Our latest upgrade: ASP.NET 4.0 & SiteStudio

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Hello everyone!

We’ve received a lot of feedback from our customers regarding some of the aging features of our hosting plans, most commonly related to SiteStudio and ASP.NET. We’re excited to announce two server upgrades that will address much of this feedback, resulting in a better experience for everyone taking advantage of these features.

SiteStudio Patched

As several of you know, our website creator, SiteStudio, has looked a bit rusty lately, with known compatibility issues with newer versions of popular browsers. Recently, our IT team released a patch to update SiteStudio’s compatibility with the newest versions of common browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc). Before this patch, the ‘Rich Text Editor’ function didn’t work as you’d expect, and some users had trouble creating tables, even when other aspects of the Editor were working. With the new patch, these problems are now fixed, and the Editor should be completely usable again for all of our customers. Thank you to everyone for your patience while we worked to resolve this frustrating issue.

ASP.NET 4.0 for CP8 and CP10 Windows Customers

Customers using our CP8 and CP10 control panels can now take advantage of ASP.NET 4.0. This is an upgrade from the previous version of 3.5 and will provide an up-to-date work environment for customers using our Windows platforms. ASP.NET 4 provides customers with the ability to use parallel extensions, new Visual Basic and C# language features, and code contract support. More information about the new features in ASP.NET 4.0 can be found here:

http://www.asp.net/learn/whitepapers/aspnet4

To find out the Control Panel on which your account is located, simply log into your account, click on the “Manage” button next to your hosting plan, and look for “cp#” in the URL in the address bar; “#” will a number between 2 and 12 (if you don’t have a number, you’re on cp1). If you’re not on CP8 or CP10 and want to give ASP.NET 4.0 a try, contact our support team, and they’ll be happy to walk you through the process of migrating to a newer Control Panel.

We hope all of our Windows customers on CP8 and CP10 enjoy this new feature!

Have a great week everyone!

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Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – help?

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OK, so I admit it. I’m as confused by “social media” as everyone else.

I can’t figure out how to get millions of followers on Twitter, or how to get hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans, or why I should even try.

But I can read the writing on the wall, and I’m willing to learn.

My friend and IX Web Hosting guest expert David Bullock is a genius about social media. He’s the co-author of “Barack 2.0: Barack Obama’s Social Media Lessons for Business” – and he’s agreed to share his social media chops with me – and you – in a series of video tutorials and live webinars over the next several months.

In this short clip (just 6 minutes and 19 seconds long), he explains just what the heck social media is, why we need to pay attention, and how to start using it to grow our businesses. (I’m taking notes!)

Watch the video here:

If you find it valuable, don’t forget to register for the zero-cost webinar on “How to Develop X-Ray Market Vision” on January 20, 2010 below.

“How to Develop X-Ray Vision in Your Market”
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Noon EST (9 am PST)
  • Is an online market worth your time?
  • How much profit can you expect?
  • Messages that will attract the perfect buyer
  • What to show visitors to predispose them to buy

David will be co-presenting with Howie Jacobson, the author of Google AdWords For Dummies. Seats are limited, so please don’t delay and miss out.

Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity,

Fathi Said, CEO
IX Web Hosting

PS: If you can’t make the noon webinar time on January 20, don’t worry! Go ahead and sign up anyway and we’ll send you a video of it afterward so you can watch it whenever you want.

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Zero-Cost Online Business Webinar

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Ok, I’ve been promising this to you for some time now, and I’m finally able to announce it:

As an IX Web Hosting customer, you’re invited to our first “Online Success” webinar!

The webinar topic is “How to Develop X-Ray Vision in Your Market” and we’ve scheduled it for late January.

Which means I now get to reveal our “secret” presenter, David Bullock, author of the social media study and book titled “Barack 2.0″. David is a well-known expert in the Internet marketing space and I’m really excited to have him share his vast amount of online marketing knowledge with you.

David, together with Howie Jacobson (author of “Google AdWords For Dummies”), will be showing you exactly how they use Google and other tools to discover:

  • Whether an online market is worth entering
  • How much profit can you expect to make in a market
  • What your customers want (and can’t find right now)
  • The messages that will attract the right customers to your web site
  • What to show visitors on your web site that will predispose them to buy from you

In short, you’ll discover a 45-minute protocol for quick, zero-cost market research that can potentially DOUBLE the effectiveness of your website.

We’re making this webinar available as part of your regular hosting package, so you won’t have to pay a dime to attend. (In fact, you won’t even have to worry about using your phone minutes – you’ll listen in right on your computer.)

Space is limited though, so register now to reserve your seat.

“How to Develop X-Ray Vision in Your Market”
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Noon EST (9 am PST)
  • Is an online market worth your time?
  • How much profit can you expect?
  • Messages that will attract the perfect buyer
  • What to show visitors to predispose them to buy

If you can’t make the event, register anyway and we’ll send you a video of the presentation later.

See you on January 20, I hope :)

Happy New Year!

Fathi-sign

IX Web Hosting

PS: Remember Howie’s recent video on how to get into Google in my last blog post? Keep an eye out for a post with another video – this time from David Bullock – real soon.

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Important Hosting Account Updates

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Fathi Said here, with a couple of important updates about your hosting account here at IX Web Hosting.

But before I share them, I want to acknowledge something that hasn’t made me very happy.

When I look at the world of web hosting, I realize that IX Web Hosting – my company, the one I founded and the one I run – is just about average. No worse than the competition, but not much better either.

We have a giant data center in Columbus, Ohio that looks really impressive, we have a big support staff to answer your emails and phone calls, and we offer competitive pricing, but when I look at all that from my customers’ point of view, I have to say: “So what?”

I didn’t go into business to just create an ordinary service. And yet that’s where I find myself in the last month of 2009.

And that’s going to change. In fact, it’s already changing. In two big ways.

First, we’re changing the way you receive support when you have a question or problem with your site or hosting account.

The new system is called “Support representatives” – and my commitment to you is that it’s not just a catchy name, but also a fundamental improvement that makes your life noticeably easier.

Second, we’re redefining our business model to move from “hosting provider” to “strategic partner” as you grow your web site.

When I sat down and thought about the contribution I want to make, it wasn’t enough to be a reliable place to stick your website. We decided to actually branch out from being just a “boring hosting company” and actually show you some of the killer techniques we use to get thousands of hits to our website each day!

You’ve created your web site with a goal in mind. Maybe to make money. Maybe to spread the word about an important idea. Maybe to connect people. Whatever your goal, I want to help you achieve it.

We’ve teamed up with some of the top online marketing experts to provide cutting edge strategies, tips and techniques to get more visitors to your site, and to get those visitors to take action once they get there.

So without further ado, here are the details about the two big improvements to your IX Web Hosting account:

Support Representatives

What if you had a personal contact at IX Web Hosting – an “insider” who knows your name, knows your business, and can pull strings to get you exactly what you need? We’re in the process of assigning a personal Support representative to each IX Web Hosting customer. Your Support representative will be an actual person who works in our Ohio office.

When you have a question or a problem, you can send them an email. You can phone them directly. Or you can IM them.

 

Your Support Representative is responsible (and accountable) to get you what you want as quickly as possible, and not to leave you hanging. Since they’re your personal “account manager,” you won’t have to explain your problem again and again as you get transferred from one technician to another. And if you get disconnected, your Support representative knows how to reach you, so you won’t have to dial the main number and be told your “wait time is approximately 26 minutes.”

Each Support Representative will handle your issue as if they were the owner of the company, because their bonus is based on how long you stay a customer, and how many of your friends you refer to us.

So the happier you are, the happier they are, and the happier I am. (I believe the business books call this a “win-win-win.”)

Now, sometimes our Support representatives sleep, or take vacations, or are “busy helping other customers” (as the phone company voicemail messages say). What then?

Without boring you with the details, we’ve set up teams of Support representatives who will pinch hit and report back to each other. And each representative has their own team of technical specialists around the world, whom you may also get to know. But the ultimate responsibility for your satisfaction rests with your individual representative.

Look for an email from your personal Support representative within the next several weeks.

Online Marketing Advice from Top Experts

As you probably know, just having a domain name and a website doesn’t guarantee that anyone will find your site.

And if you use your site for business, it’s crucial that people find it when they’re looking for what you provide.

We’ve partnered with some of the top online marketing experts to provide you with exclusive videos, articles, and even live webinars – all completely free for IX Web Hosting customers.

You’ll discover:

  • quick and simple tweaks you can make to your site so Google can find it and know what it’s about
  • how to “cut to the front of the line” on the three big search engines
  • how to get some of the most popular sites in the world to link directly to your site
  • how to find out where the traffic you should be getting is going right now – and how to stick your site in front of all those people
  • what to show visitors once they arrive at your site, so they stay, play, and pay

Here’s the first video for you to watch:

My friend Howie Jacobson explains some killer techniques. It’s only 7 minutes and 29 seconds long and reveals the first thing you need to know if you want to get your site ranked high on Google.

Also, look out for a survey I’m going to send you in the next few days. Please make sure to fill it out, this way we’ll know what kind of free “traffic getting” videos and webinars you want us to make for you. This is going to be fun, and I can’t wait to hear stories about you receiving boatloads of traffic.

I want to close this entry by stating publicly what an honor it is to have earned your business, and that we’re going to do much, much better in 2010. I’m truly jazzed by the opportunity and I can’t wait for you to share my excitement when you experience what we have planned.

Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity,

Fathi-sign

 

IX Web Hosting

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Blogging – One Chris tells you why, another Chris tells you how

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The 1st Chris

On the topic of startups, Chris Brogan says if he were to start today “No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog. It’s a website, with lots of built in features that make it useful from a search perspective, and simple from a content creation perspective. That alone is worth the price of admission.” And Chris should know.

Chris Brogan Blog

Chris Brogan Blog

Chris Brogan is a ten year veteran of using social media to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Chris blogs at www.chrisbrogan.com, a blog in the top 10 of the Advertising Age Power150, and in the top 100 on Technorati.

With a blog virtually anyone can publish their thoughts, ideas and opinions to millions of potential readers. In return, those readers can “participate” by expressing their view points or comments. This method of communication is allowing all of us a means to become involved in information rather than just being passive consumers of it.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary awarded “blog” as “The Word of the Year” in 2004, when more and more people started using them as a means to express themselves personally. Today, blogs are reaching new heights in popularity. Many businesses and corporations are increasingly implementing blogs as they discover the flourishing opportunity it provides to build relationships with their existing customers as well as developing relationships with prospective new customers!

We’ve talked to many of our customers who say they want a web-presence. Cash is tight and they don’t have big advertising budgets. Blogging is a very inexpensive way to help accomplish this goal (all you need is your IX Web Hosting account).

Some of our customers haven’t started a blog because they are intimidated by the setup process. That’s where the other Chris comes in.

The 2nd Chris

Now that you’ve heard the reasons that a blog is the first thing to do from Chris Brogan, it’s time to hear from another Chris. Our own Chris Testerman. Chris will help you with the “how” do I start. Chris created this really awesome video that will show you how to set up a WordPress Blog in your IX Web Hosting account in under 2 minutes!

If you don’t have a hosting account here’s a blog post to let you know why you should.

Now, there’s nothing to hold you back!

Now that you’re ready to start creating your content, you are going to have to start sharing it with someone, right? So please, feel free to comment to this video with links to the blogs you’ve created. We’d love to take a look at them!

By the way, here’s a link to the tutorials Chris mentioned in his video: http://www.ixwebhosting.com/index.php/v2/pages.customerCenter

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We're Always There When You Need Us The Most!

Your Dedicated Support

At IX, we take care of our customers. And dedicated support is one of the ways we prove to you again and again that we are here to help you every step of the way, regardless of your skill level. With IX dedicated support, you get a support technician personally assigned to assist you. You get their name, number, email, social media connections, and work schedule! It's just one more facet of our service which proves our deeply rooted belief that being a great hosting provider requires more than just cutting-edge technologies, but the best in support and service.