The 15-Minute Morning Routine That Will Make You Entrepreneur of the Year

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

While it’s easy to spend the first few minutes of your day pressing the snooze button and hiding under the covers, many highly successful individuals know that their most powerful moments—the ones that have the most significant impact on the rest of their days—are those first few minutes after waking up.

Stick with this simple, 15-minute morning routine and before you know it, you will have a leg up on the competition as you begin each day with a fit mind, less tension, and a clear vision of your success.

 

  1. Make Your Bed (two minutes): While many people tend to crawl out of bed leaving rumpled sheets in their wake, taking two extra minutes to make your bed sets the tone for how you view the rest of your day. By tidying up your bed, you are placing an emphasis on organization and order. Additionally, making your bed gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment, which will drive you to succeed throughout your day.
  2. Drink Water (one minute): After you sleep, your body and brain need replenishing with water to function at their full potential. Drinking a large glass of water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps purify the body’s internal system. With help from water, your body is able to produce new blood and muscle cells, allowing you think more clearly. This will help bring forth new ideas for success
  3. Stretch (three minutes): Taking a few minutes to stretch your body can be vital to your well-being throughout your day. Not only will you experience physical relief from using muscles that have been inactive for hours, you will also enjoy mental release first thing in the morning. Stretching can speed up the release of mood enhancing endorphins, improve circulation, and increase your mental flexibility as you proceed throughout your day.entrepreneur tips
  4. Map Your Day (five minutes): Planning out your day can help you focus on what events lie ahead, helping you to stay organized and on track with your goals and tasks. Put together a calendar of events, make a list, or even add your tasks to your cellphone. When you envision each task as a step toward completing your goals, you can actually increase your motivation to work and get things done.
  5. Dream (four minutes): You haven’t been out of bed long and may even have just woken from a dream, but believe it or not, daydreaming can be a very important motivator when it comes to an entrepreneur’s ability to soar. Choose a peaceful vision that makes you feel successful, think about how you will feel once you have reached your goals, and allow yourself to dream big.

As an entrepreneur, you know that your productivity level is significantly based on your ability to manage time effectively. Starting your day with a routine that combines the maximization of your time with an emphasis on motivational activities is essential.

Entrepreneurs can turn to IX Web Hosting for their web hosting needs. We offer a variety of flexible hosting plans with unlimited shared hosting, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server space, and incredible hosting support.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

Breaking Down the Basics: What is SEO Anyway?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

Did you know that the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, often abbreviated as Cat or CAT, ranks above the domestic animal of the same name, as well as the insect, in a search on Google for the word “cat”?

How can a company that has been around for little more than a century outrank an insect and a feline that have been around for thousands of years? There’s always something else ranking higher than you on a Google search results page. That, my friends, is the awesome power of search engine optimization, or SEO.

So, What Is It?

As the full name of the abbreviation implies, SEO involves the optimization of online content to appeal to various guidelines, standards, rules, and preferences used for displaying search results to Internet surfers, searchers, and shoppers.

People use search engines, primarily Google, to find things on the Internet. If you want to be found, you either have to give your website address to each individual personally (which is impossible), or you need to optimize your content so the search engine will find your site worthy of being included in a result list.

Why Should I Care?

The goal is to have first-page ranking because studies show that many people don’t even look beyond the first page. Even more so, such as in the case of Caterpillar, you want to have the No. 1 rank, because 33 percent of search traffic goes to that coveted position.

Some things search engines like to find on websites when considering them for search placement include the following:

  • Contextually relevant keywords and key phrases within the site copy that pertain to the search terms, including long-tail and geo-targeted keywords for niche and location-specific searches.
  • Content that is original, valuable, and meaningful. Duplicate content can get penalized by search engines.
  • Authority, content that’s back-linked on relevant expert sites, and a large quantity of social shares.
  • Optimal site performance in terms of page load times, functioning links, bounce rate, and easy navigation
  • Log into your control panel at my.ixwebhosting.com

basics of seo

There are also things search engines do not approve of, like keyword stuffing, duplicate or “thin” content with little substance or value to the visitor, back-links to questionable sites, and the use of coding tricks to superficially create visitor or search engine appeal.  Some of these techniques are referred to as “black hat SEO” because they are unethical, improper, or frowned upon by search engines and marketing experts.

When you’re ready to take your online marketing to the next level and gain the exposure you need to achieve your marketing goals, start thinking about SEO. Ensuring that your site is properly optimized for search engines is an essential requirement, and there are plenty of tools to help you along the way.

For more information on web hosting that makes implementing your SEO processes easier than ever, check out our selection of affordable web hosting plans.

 

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

WordPress- The Incredible Content Management System

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

WordPress has been around for a while now, but that doesn’t mean that people automatically know everything there is to know about it. WordPress, despite starting from pretty humble blogger beginnings, has turned into a complex, feature-rich, incredible Content Management System. If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the last 10 years, you’ve been on WordPress sites.

So to answer your questions about WordPress, what it can do, and to give you some history…we’ve created a great little infographic that’ll run you through the details. Even if you’re using WordPress today, chances are you’ll learn something new about it. And if you’re not using WordPress yet, this might inspire you to. It’s FREE and it’s so powerful.

Check it out!

WordPress-incredible Content Management System

Pretty cool!

Interested in trying WordPress? If you’re hosting with us already and want to know how you can get started using WordPress, you can give us a call or open a chat today and we’ll help you get set up. It usually doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes.

If you want to install it but don’t feel like socializing with us, all you have to do is:

  • Log into your control panel at my.ixwebhosting.com
  • Click “Manage” for your hosting account
  • Go to the “Easy Apps Collection” icon, select WordPress, and then hit “Install”
  • You have WordPress! And it’s FREE!

Look through some free themes here: https://wordpress.org/themes/. If you see one you like, you can activate them pretty easily following the instructions on that site.

And if you get stuck at any time, IX is staffed 24/7 with WordPress experts. We have people who live, breathe, eat, and sleep WordPress and they’re on site, ready to help you figure things out when you get stuck. WordPress and IXWebHosting are a pretty good combination.

Not hosting with us yet? Get started on our Expert plan, which gives you one free domain, unlimited space & bandwidth, 24/7 support, and access to easy installs of great free apps like WordPress. It’s only $3.95/month too!

Thanks for reading. Happy hosting!

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

IX Outage – Post Issue Technical Report

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

As many of you know, last week we experienced a major outage, affecting multiple email and database servers for just under 5 days.

It was, without a doubt, the worst technical issue we’ve ever experienced as a company.

Thankfully, all systems were brought back up without any loss of data.  Although we’re happy that we could restore all your data, we know the duration of the incident, as well as the incident itself, is unacceptable.

To make certain that something like this never happens again, we launched a full investigation to determine the root cause of the issue, outline the steps we took to handle it, and help us take preventative measures against this type of problem in the future.

I want to share this report with you, both to satisfy the curiosities of our more tech-savvy customers, and to illustrate the amount of time, work, and research it took to resolve this difficult issue.  I also want to share the steps we’ll be taking to prevent this issue in the future, which are included at the end of the report.

So, here is the post-issue follow-up my system administrators delivered to me this morning. I think you’ll find it informative, and I hope it sheds some light on the mess that was last week:

Incident Name: Storage Outage – sas3

Incident Date: 2014-03-02
Report Date: 2014-03-14

Services Impacted:

Storage sas3 on dbmail01
93 Shared vms (mail and mysql of cp9-11), resources of 30366 accounts were affected.

Incident Root Cause:

The affected SAN is comprised of an array of drives in a RAID 50 configuration that consists of two RAID 5 groups (one parity group consisting of the even numbered drives and one parity group consisting of the odd numbered drives).   The array can handle two disk failures at the same time as long as they are not part of the same parity group.  In the case of our outage, drive 6 failed and drive 10 was added to the RAID to rebuild the group.  During the rebuild process, drive 0 failed causing us to lose the even-numbered parity group.  This occurred just before 4AM EST on 3/2/2014 and caused the RAID to go into an unrecoverable state. We contacted our hardware vendor’s support line before acting, because there was a large potential for data loss, and were escalated to their engineering team.  Total call time was 10 hours.

raidfailure

Response:

In order to regain access to the data, we had to manually disable slots 10 and 15 (the spare drives) so that the RAID would not attempt to rebuild.  Next, we reseated drive 6 which brought it online, but not as part of the RAID.  This allowed the entire RAID to come back online in a degraded state with drive 0 active.  Because drive 0 was still failing, we knew the RAID was in a very fragile state and that we had to move forward with great care or we would risk losing data.

Our hardware vendor showed us a binding procedure that allowed us to move the affected volumes from the storage system.  We learned that if we triggered another failure in drive 0 at any point during this process, the RAID would go offline and we could lose access to the data.  With this in mind, we began to migrate the volumes, one at a time (that way, it would reduce the stress on drive, thereby reducing the chance of it failing again).  We were methodical and deliberate in the way we approached this and thankfully, we were successful in migrating all data from the storage without triggering another failure in drive 0.  The process completed, and all customers were back online as of 3/6/2014 just after 6PM EST.  The whole process took almost 5 days.

Timeline:

You can find a timeline of events on our status blog–from the initial outage to the final server’s reactivation.

What We’re Doing To Prevent This:

Improve Monitoring

Currently, our automated hardware checks are set to notify us when a storage system has an issue of any type.  While sophisticated, it’s not specific enough to tell us what the actual problem is.  For instance, if a drive fails, we get a general notification, rather than a ‘drive x has failed’ message.  We are looking into using more specific, granular notifications for individual disks.

Proactive Hardware Replacement

It may be possible to check via SNMP for things like disk errors on specific disks before they actually fail out of the RAID and trigger a rebuild. This will result in less drive failures and less rebuilds.

Switch All Arrays to More Stable RAID

Our RAID currently rebuilds on storage arrays using RAID 50. Although this is standard, it can take more than eight hours to complete a rebuild. This is an 8-hour window where we risk losing two drives from the same parity group.  We can decrease this risk by moving to a significantly faster RAID 10 setup, which can rebuild in about 3 hours.

Thanks for reading and again, we’re so sorry about this inconvenience. If you have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

Conclusion

Along with the steps we’ll be taking to improve our hardware, we also need to work on improving our speed and accuracy when it comes to identifying affected services and affected customers. This information should then make it to the blogs quickly so the customers know we are aware they are affected, and that we are working to fix it. The faster we can do this, the easier it is to pinpoint problems and implement fixes.

During this current outage, we took too long to get detailed technical information (especially ETAs) communicated to you. We think it’s better to get some good information out – even if we have to admit that they’re rough estimates and it’s the best we have right now – than to delay providing any real information. Many of you agreed.

Now that we understand the details of this issue, we can sleep a little better knowing that this won’t be likely to happen again and we’re all on the same page about what went wrong. We’re incredibly grateful for your trust, and we will continue to work tirelessly to regain and keep it.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

Happy Holidays from IX!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

Raise your hand if you spent the last few days running around like crazy, buying, wrapping and giving gifts for what feels like forever. A lot of really tired hands just went up at IX!

We do all this running around, buying presents, making food, trying and failing to avoid crowds, because we want to see the people we love smile!

The “smile countdown” has officially begun. And this year, the IX team got together to make 127 disadvantaged kids smile, and smile they did!

Supporting the Franklin County Children Services Holiday Wish charity has become an IX family tradition, and this was our most successful year to date!

Have you ever seen what a IX-Mas Tree made out of gifts looks like?  Watch below.

Enjoy these times, savor the smiles, and don’t forget to smile yourself!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from IX Web Hosting!

Your Team at IX

PS:  Leave us your comments below! We’d love to hear what you think!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInDiggEmail

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.