10 Million and Counting…

A lot has changed since 1999– the Internet has transformed how people communicate and how businesses create value.   Kindles and iPads are quickly replacing books and magazines as knowledge and news sharing devices, and we as users are finding it more and more challenging to make the best decisions with our rapidly growing options.  The world is changing fast and we’ve got to be ready to move with it.

Lucky for us, some important things have remained the same.   Since our beginning, No-IP has had the same mission of providing cost effective, high quality web services for our customers using the latest technology.  And this month, we are proud to announce a new milestone– we’ve just hit our 10 million user mark.

We want to extend a sincere thank you to all of our customers- both new and old- for their continued support over the years.  And we hope you’ll celebrate the occasion with us.  For a limited time, we’re offering substantial savings off our Plus and Enhanced packages, giving you more reason to experience all the great benefits our DDNS  services have to offer.

Cheers to the next 10 million– and all the other untapped technology and internet inspiration the future has in store.

– The No-IP Team

Building a Website? 5 Tips to Retain Site Visitors

As any business manager, blogger or budding entrepreneur could tell you, building a website is no easy feat.   You can pay thousands of dollars to have a professional looking design, but that doesn’t mean it will keep people around. You’ve got to consider design as well as functionality when mapping out your web project, and keep your audience at the heart of most decisions.

Below are a few tips that can help steer your web team in the right direction and save valuable dollars on project costs:

1) Navigation: Map out a clear path of site navigation.  Walk through visitor scenarios and if-then decisions, considering how you’d like your site visitor to maneuver their way through the site from beginning to exit.

2) Load time: Make sure your design is not so extensive that it takes too long to load.  On a busy place like the internet, you are always competing for audience attention, and most visitors have very little patience for waiting.

3) Simplicity: Keep your design as professional looking yet simple as possible.  A page cluttered with too much text or images can confuse or deter visitors from doing what you intend them to do.

4) Purpose:  Each page should have a purpose and call-to-action.  Make it clear for visitors what you expect them to do while on a particular page.

5) Technical Considerations: Test to make sure your site will populate using the most of the major web browsers, including IE, Firefox, and Safari.  Also consider that different screen resolutions are not the same as yours, and adjust your design as needed.  And most importantly, choose a domain host that is reliable.

While this may not be the kitchen sink on web design 101, following these tips with the advice of an experienced web developer will help make your web project a sound investment for your business or blog.

Are we forgetting any?  Please share in the comments below.

Domain name taken? Not to worry! 5 Tips for Alternate Name Selection

You’ve analyzed your great idea from top to bottom, worked through your business plan and are finally ready to take the leap and launch your new business.  Then the inevitable happens– you go to register your domain and find out your desired name is already taken.   Nothing short of taking the wind out of your sails, right?

Our advice?  Breathe and reboot… it’s not the end of the world.

You just have to move to plan B, and keep in mind these
helpful tips for alternate domain name selection:

1) Rethink your name.  Chances are there’s a pretty good alternative that will work with only a slight variation.

2) Register with an organization that tracks domain names that are about to expire. Oftentimes, you can request an alert when a  domain relevant to your business was not renewed.   Patience is certainly a virtue and you may have some luck and get the domain name you really want.

3) If you’re really stuck, you can always put in an offer for your “must have” domain name.  Just remember it’s going to cost you more depending on its popularity and how much the current owner is willing to budge.

4)  Tight on money?  Consider a .net, .biz or .org.   These are widely growing in popularity, and may hold you over until your .com becomes available or you allocate enough budget to buy it from another owner.

5) Relax… your domain name isn’t going to make or break your budding business.  People will evitably be drawn to the products and services you offer and how well you market them, not just where they sit on the internet.

Do you have other tips for alternate domain name selection? Leave them in the comments!

Server access headaches? Try setting up your own router with DDNS.

A cable/DSL router or dialup access point can cost hundreds of dollars and still be extremely difficult to configure.  The last thing you need is denied server access when you need it most.  Instead of paying a large sum of cash for a hassle-in-a-box, take control by transforming one of your computers into a router with DDNS.

How, you ask?  By following these simple steps with No-IP.

Using DDNS will allow the updater to seamlessly report IP changes to No-IP as they occur, rather than having downtime waiting for the next time your updater reports the new IP. This eliminates server access issues.   The best part?  It’s completely affordable.  For the cost of only an additional Ethernet card and a bit of your spare time, you can have a cable/DSL/dialup router set up for your network with the ability to run servers that are completely accessible from both the internet and the internal network.

Questions on how to get started?  Please share them in the comments below or feel free to contact us.

DDNS: Easing Efficiency and Access to Point of Sale Devices

Whether your sales team is working 2 or 2,000 miles away, the last thing you need to worry about is accessing your point of sale system.  Information is critical to making better business decisions and when you need it- you need it.  Yet all too often, the majority of point of sale devices that use a dynamic or non-static IP address run into access issues because users simply don’t know the IP address; causing inconvenient headaches during peak business hours.

A simple fix to address this problem is to implement Dynamic DNS.   A DDNS service will allow you to access your POS device without having to remember a lengthy IP address.  You specify your own device name and use the same name every time you access the device.  This allows you to quickly call  results from your sales device that allow you to make better decisions that impact your bottom line.  The best part?  It’s completely affordable and easy to set up.

Next time your sales team hits the road, trade show or sales floor, prepare ahead of time by setting up Dynamic DNS.