May 13, 2013
Issue No. 53
facts and costly risks regarding your website and email
Spotlight: Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame at Massasoit Community College
mission is to help client partners ethically
win market leadership and
stakeholder respect by uniquely achieving a harmony of strategic and
creative resources. Objective, experienced and audience-centered,
the resulting public relations, advertising and marketing programs will
earn trust, respect and confidence.
for clients of COCO+CO.
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Secure Social Media Management offers a professional ‘look and feel,’
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Organizations looking for expert marketing assistance turn to COCO+CO.,
a full-service advertising agency with a depth of experience spanning
more than 21 years. These companies seek—and receive— expertise,
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operates from dedicated, modern and fully equipped facilities located
in an easily accessible office park. Experienced and talented staff
quickly deliver blue-chip materials using industry standard, high-end
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creative & strategic
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long ago realized that, while it seems less costly to turn to
contractors or home-based businesses, there is too much risk. They know
deep levels of vendor outsourcing sacrifices quality, accountability
and timeliness. They require the peace of mind associated with
appropriately insured vendors, data security, regulatory compliance and
proper licensing of intellectual property.
not only meets these necessarily stringent requirements, but also
uniquely offers the defined and proprietary Connections Process; a mix
of creative and strategic disciplines under one roof; important
contacts; and a zealously ethical reputation backed by a binding
Resolution of Principles.
189 Ward Hill Avenue Ward Hill, MA 01835
At a minimum, you
will reduce risks by safely storing your usernames and passwords to
your domain registrar’s and Web host’s websites.
Five misunderstood facts and costly risks regarding your website and
Know these dry, but
critical essentials; heed warnings
and chief executive officer
If you are like most, you occasionally receive mail or email regarding
your website’s domain name renewal or how to raise your rank in search
engines. You may also receive and telephone calls about listing your
site in Web directory.
Please beware. Most of these solicitations are, at best, misleading and
could be scams.
Owning a website involves a number of components. Below is a primer
about what you must know, what essential information must be safely
stored and what you should expect to pay.
Before you launched your website, your domain name(s) (e.g.,
www.mycompanyname.com) had to be recorded by a registrar. In the
beginning, there was only one registrar, Network Solutions, but now
more economical options include GoDaddy or Bulk Register. Network
Solutions is the most expensive and least flexible registrar in the
business. Domain names must be renewed at regular intervals and your
website and email won’t work without them. Prices range up to $35
annually per domain name.
If you haven’t yet registered a name, choosing a name is not as easy as
typing it into your Web browser to see if it is available. Many names
have been registered, but may not be in use as websites. Instead, you
need to conduct a “Whois” search through a reputable vendor. Network Solutions
is facing a class action suit from users that allege the
company registered for itself domain names that users searched. This
action forced companies to buy the name from Network
Solutions—traditionally the highest cost registrar.
Each registrar is coordinated by a nonprofit agency, the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), to ensure duplicate
names are not registered. ICANN also operates a Trademark Clearinghouse
to help prevent others from stealing your company name.
The various registrars have gone on to add various services such as
domain forwarding, Web hosting, email service, private registration,
domain expiration protection, design, etc. You do not need to buy any
of these optional services. However, most registrars provide a
free service for you to “point” or “forward” additional domain names to
your existing website. You should never pay extra for this service.
After registering a domain name, it is absolutely essential you save
your username and password. It is extremely difficult to recover this
information from some registrars—especially foreign-owned ones. Without
a username and password, your domain name cannot be assigned to your
website or email. Also, don’t fall for those fake “renewal” emails or
postcards. Be sure the company seeking renewal is actually the one in
which you have an existing business relationship.
Once you have a domain name, it must be assigned to a computer
operating on the Internet 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Most
companies rent a computer or space on a computer to host their websites
Again, while you may rent this Web server (host) from many registrars,
it is risky to place everything with one vendor. Your Web designer may
also employ features that cannot be implemented by some Web hosting
companies. Your designer may write website code specifically for
Windows servers, for example, while your Web host provides UNIX-type
servers. All Web servers are not the same.
Prices for Web hosting range from less than $10 monthly to hundreds of
dollars depending on levels of security, features, etc. For most
companies that do not store sensitive client information, there are
many reliable, but low-cost Web hosts.
Web host is also responsible for taking steps to protect the security
of their servers. However, many are lax and you could find your own
email, for example, being used to send thousands of spam messages. Not
only does this slow the server and possibly prevent you from receiving
your own email, your domain name may be “blacklisted” by third party
security services such as Barracuda
Networks. You could lose the right to send any emails at all.
Again, it is important you save your Web hosting username and password.
Most Web hosting vendors can also handle your email accounts. You
should never pay extra for basic email accounts. Basic accounts use
such protocols as Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) or Internet Message
Access Protocol (IMAP).
Alternatively, you may send your email to a Microsoft Exchange server.
This server—which you can host yourself or rent—will sync your emails
with all of your devices. If you are a Comcast Business Class
subscriber, hosted Exchange may be free.
For best results, you should always send and receive email from email
client software on your own device such as Outlook, Outlook Express,
etc. This allows you to store your own received and sent messages that
will be accessible even if you temporarily have no Internet access. You
will also be able to use a graphical email “signature” with your own
company logo for a professional look.
Several cautions. If you typically send or receive large attachments,
make sure your email provider does not set too low a limit on the size
of attachments or ban certain extension types. Also, try to avoid using
unprofessional email addresses such as AOL, Gmail, Verizon, Comcast,
etc. if you’re sending company messages. You should always be able to
use the same email domain as your website.
you read your email on multiple devices (computer, smartphone, etc.)
using software on your own device (known as “clients,” such as
Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail), you run the risk of permanently
deleting messages or preventing them from reaching your other devices.
There are workarounds such as selecting “save messages on server” in
your options or preferences screens.
Most companies maintain a website to present a positive image to their
customers, prospects, employees and others. Even the smallest
microenterprise can look larger than life with a professional website.
Unfortunately, the way the Web evolved, vendors largely broke into two
camps—heavy technical capability, but poor design or great design
without much functionality because of a lack of “under the hood” coding
skills. Luckily, companies such as COCO+CO. deliver both sets of skills
in-house. Almost anything you imagine can be built. This is especially
important now since more of your customers and prospects expect to see
your website display properly and sized correctly on their smartphones
Some companies simply try to copy their competitors’ websites. This is
a sign of low self-esteem. Your enterprise should strive to be
“different.” There are only two ways to compete—price or
differentiation. Competing only on price is dangerous since it results
in thinner margins. For more, click here.
There are many do-it-yourself website services, but these come with
risks. Most use proprietary code which prevents you from ever expanding
or moving your website to a new host—an utterly dangerous situation if
business continuity or disaster planning is a concern. These may also
prevent you from adding important options as you grow, such as
animation, videos, forms, downloadable brochures, etc.
you shop for expensive goods in a dark, back alley store with a paper
sign and creepy sales clerks? A poor website is the equivalent.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
If you read those constant email solicitations about “boosting your
Google search rankings,” you might think you are nowhere to be found.
Truth is, if you’ve listed your website address on your business cards
and advertising, you’ll be found by the people that matter most.
Further, signing up for “pages” on Facebook, Google Plus and other
social media will also greatly increase your rankings. Make sure your
website is listed by the chambers of commerce, service clubs or trade
organizations in which you hold memberships. These “inward” links to
your website and positive reviews drive traffic and raise search engine
Of course, there are some prerequisites. Make sure your designer uses
appropriate META tags, descriptions and individual Web page names that
match your content. You must also keep your website content updated and
SEO providers are scammers. They will either take your money and do
nothing or create a spam regime that will drive useless traffic to your
website that will frustrate users who find themselves on a page they
didn’t seek and certainly won’t buy from. Worse, your domain name can
become blacklisted, preventing almost any traffic. There is no “secret”
method Google doesn’t want you to know about, as some of these
companies claim. Also, beware of those telephone solicitations to
“renew” your listings. Many will do nothing, but add a recurring
monthly charge on your telephone bill. You may already be paying
thousands of dollars annually through these scam charges on your phone
For more ideas or
COCO+CO.’s blue chip Connections
Process can help your business grow, call 978.374-1900.
Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame at Massasoit Community College
took time to recognize the extraordinary efforts of television and
radio stations to cover the Boston Marathon bombings. COCO+CO. designed
and constructed the
site at www.massbroadcastershof.com.