Get Your Site Featured with IX’s New Website Directory

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Earlier this year, we mentioned a few of the features that would be launching alongside MyIX, and one of the first ones is ready for you to see:

Introducing the IX Web Hosting Website Directory!

With this new catalog, we’ve made it possible to see how similar sites and competitors in your industry are creating their websites. You can also browse each others’ sites to get some ideas for your own, as well as cross-promote your services to help improve your SEO.

Additionally, we will pick new websites from our network every week to be featured on our site directory. Those customers will get a badge to add to their site so they can show off their cool new status!

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And guess what? YOU can be part of this new feature!

Check out the sites we currently have featured at http://www.ixwebsites.com/. While you’re there, browse through the different categories and see if anyone has a site that has a similar focus to yours.

And, if you want to add your site to our directory, just login to your control panel at my.ixwebhosting.com and follow these steps:

1. Click “My Profile” on the top tool bar.

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2. Click “Website Information” on the left.

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3. Click “Add Website Profile” at the top and fill out the information about your site!

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The more detail you provide, the more information we can be list for your site in the directory!

So go ahead and check it out now! You can be one of the first to get your site added and viewable by other IX customers.

Have fun!

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Keeping the Crazy out of Your Comments

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Recently, Google announced that they are rolling out comment moderation abilities to a handful of YouTube users, with plans for a widespread release in the future.

This is a welcome addition to the YouTube community, and anyone who has ever been brave enough to view comments on even the most innocent of YouTube videos knows exactly why. For beneath nearly every YouTube video lies some of the most ignorant, racist, and profane collection of nonsense you could ever imagine.

So, I started thinking… if a universally popular site like YouTube is experiencing these problems, what about our customers here at IX? What is an upstart blogger or online business owner supposed to do if they want user feedback, but want to avoid this type of online nastiness?

The Problem

Comment spam a very odd phenomenon that takes place on the internet. The ability to anonymously say anything you want, coupled with the absence of accountability, turns some people into raving maniacs who choose to take out their frustrations and insecurities anywhere they can.

This problem isn’t only affecting YouTube, either. Take a look at the comment section of any website that handles movie reviews, news, politics, or gaming. You’re sure to find your fair share of senseless aggression and filth.

So, the question is, how do website owners defend themselves from these malicious parties?

Know Your Enemy

First, let’s identify where all of this garbage is coming from. There are 3 major categories of inappropriate comment sources that you’ll want to filter out:

1. Trolls – Trolls are people that get a kick out of ruffling feathers. They will purposely try and start a online ruckus by presenting a ridiculous opinion in a serious manner, or play devil’s advocate just to rile people up. They rarely believe what they write, but they take pleasure in getting under people’s skin.

2. Bots – If you ever see a comment that sounds like an advertisement, it’s most likely a spam bot. Much like spam emails, these automated bots leave comments on popular videos and blogs with promises of great wealth for minimal effort. Here’s an example:

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Note: Finding this bot spam took me literally 30 seconds. It was the most recent comment on the popular Gangnam Style music video on YouTube.

3. Genuine Craziness – Even though a lot of comment section trash is generated by people just being jerks to rile people up, there are some folks out there who have an agenda and legitimately believe in what they’re saying. These people can be particularly off-putting to level-headed comment posters because they’re typically angry, offensive, illogical, and relentless.

Filter out the Filth

Now that you know where all the junk is coming from, here are some methods to keep it out of your comment sections and message boards.

Turn off Anonymous Comments – If your blog software or comment section of your site has a setting that allows people to comment anonymously, make sure to switch it off. This will cut down on a very large amount of spam bots and trolls.

Captcha – This free program prompts the user to type in a series of letters or numbers before they make a comment to ensure that they are a live human being and not an automated spam bot. You may have seen these at one time or another on an online store or when signing up for a newsletter.

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Captcha plugins are available for popular blogging and CMS software like WordPress, MediaWiki, and ASP.NET. Check out their website for more information.

Text Filters – Check to see if your blog or forum software of choice has a plugin that will filter out profanity, sexual references, and racial slurs. Some of these filters will just replace offending words with asterisks, while others will restrict an offending message from being posted at all. This should drive away or at least censor people who want to simply coat your comment section will four-letter words.

Don’t Over-Censor

Not all confrontation is necessarily bad when it comes to online comments. While filtering out the bad apples makes a comment area a better, more peaceful place, don’t be tempted to start banning people because of minor disagreements or legitimate gripes.

For instance, if you sell a product, and someone leaves a message on your comment board that says, “Your product broke after 3 days. Not a happy customer,” you might be tempted to remove the content or ban the user so they don’t spread any more ‘bad press’ about your company. However, this is a huge mistake and can backfire for a number of reasons.

For one, your customers are your revenue base, so it’s best to keep them happy. Ignoring or deleting users that have real complaints doesn’t fix the underlying problem, and will only cause more headaches in the future.

Secondly, if you’re caught intentionally ignoring or censoring displeased customers, you’ll soon find yourself in a firestorm of bad press. Nothing shows your customer base that you don’t care about them more than deleting bad reviews to skew public reception into your favor. People will take to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and anywhere else that people will listen to decry your name and shady business practices. When it’s all said and done, the act of censoring a negative review can hurt far more than the negative review itself.

It’s best to address gripes and complaints head on, and in public. Make your own comment profile and respond to customers’ concerns directly. Let your users and customers see that you’re not afraid to address the issue and help someone who’s unhappy. It demonstrates your willingness to work with people and your openness to criticism.

Conclusion

These tips should help you ward off the majority of cyber-crazies, but there isn’t an everlasting cure-all. You have to be a constant gardener when it comes to your website’s forums. So, periodically check your comment boards and user forums from time to time to make sure they haven’t been consumed by the internet’s darker side.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

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IX’s New Kitty Commercial

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Everyone knows the internet wouldn’t survive without its two most vital ingredients:

1. Web hosting. No web hosting means no web sites, and no web sites essentially means no internet.

2. Cats. It’s common knowledge that the internet is dependent on people sharing cute cat pictures and videos in order to remain relevant.

So, when our VP of Operations adopted an abandoned kitten that was rescued from an empty storage facility, we took the opportunity to combine both major components of the internet into one adorable commercial.

Click here to watch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyfkmfiTjDQ

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Important Information about HIPAA Compliance

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As part of IX Web Hosting’s ongoing compliance initiatives, we have identified recent changes in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) that may impact some of IX’s customers. Specifically, these changes require Covered Entities and all of their Business Associates who create, receive, maintain transmit or have access to protected health information (or the possibility exists that the protected health information in the business associate’s custody or control could be compromised) to independently comply with HIPAA.

To help identify those customers who may be impacted, IX is asking its customers to notify IX if they are considered a Covered Entity or Business Associate under HIPAA and store or transmit electronic protected health information using IX’s services. IX will assume that the recent changes in HIPAA do not impact IX customers who do not identify themselves as a Covered Entity or Business Associate. IX has also updated its Terms of Service with customers to prohibit the use of protected healthcare information on websites that IX hosts.

If you answer “yes” to both of the following questions, please contact legal@ixwebhosting.com no later than 09/23/2013.

  • Is your business a Covered Entity or a Business Associate as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA (45 CFR 160.103)?
  • If so, are you maintaining or transmitting Protected Health Information or PHI (defined in 45 CFR 160.103) using any of the IX services?

If you did not answer “yes” to both of the above questions, there is no need for further action

Please see below for some frequently asked questions.

We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to continuing to serve you.

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If I answer “yes” to both questions will my service be impacted or change as a result of the new regulations? What if I answer “no”?

If you answer “yes” to both questions your services will change. You must transfer to another hosting provider. Upon request, we can provide you with the name of a provider who is HIPAA compliant and operating in a HIPAA compliant data center. If you answer “no”, there will be no changes to your services at this time.


If I answer “yes” to both questions what will IX do with the information that I provide?

IX will use the information to recommend you transfer your account to a provider who can supply HIPAA compliant services.


Will I be contacted by an IX representative whenever new regulations apply to my business?

Not necessarily. We may contact you if the regulations apply to and affect IX’s provision of services to you.

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Important Yahoo Mail Update

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On Monday, July 15th, Yahoo Mail will be removing all inactive email accounts (specifically, those that haven’t been logged into for the past year) and will be releasing them back into the public domain.

This could potentially affect anyone who currently has a mailing list that includes these unresponsive Yahoo email addresses, because if someone else picks up the released email address and gets an unfamiliar email or newsletter, they may end up marking it as spam.

If you have a mailing list that may include some of these email addresses, you may want to identify and remove them as soon as possible. If someone re-registers one of the released emails, gets your newsletter by mistake, and marks it as spam, it can easily cause ISPs like Google and Gmail to block any further emails you attempt to send.

It’s never pleasant to have to delete subscribers, but it’s better than being marked as spam.

Remember, Yahoo is making this change on Monday, July 15th, so try and contact your Yahoo contacts ASAP.

 

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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.