Browsing posts tagged "server setup"

What are MySQL Databases?

February 9th, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Getting started in the world of web development means getting acquainted with a slew of new terminologies and technologies, and one of the very first things you’ll come across is SQL and MySQL databases. For someone who isn’t familiar with database technology it can be a bit daunting at first, but it really isn’t as complicated as it seems once you learn a bit about how it works.

How Databases Work

A database is an organized collection of information stored as a digital file that can be constantly accessed, read, maintained, changed based on the needs of the owner. Almost any business, website, or collaborative group makes use of some sort of database. A library uses one to keep track of its inventory of books and whether they are in or out, even if they are late and how much they owe. A service provider might use a database to keep track of clients, orders, and finances. Their implementations are limitless and almost every major operation dealing with lots of data usually has one running behind the scenes.

You can picture a database as a collection of charts that you’d see in a program like Excel. They have definable rows and columns which can be filled with values that then define a certain record. So in other words, we can make a table in a database where each row represents a different book in a library, and each column is a piece of data describing that book. So we would have a row for the book’s Title, Author, ISBN, Status (out, in, late), maybe even its location in the library and other descriptors as well. This record can be instantly accessed and edited by a computer system to keep track of the inventory. Now you can see just how essential database technology is, they practically run the whole world.

So what is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is usually pronounced as ‘sequel’ or ‘S Q L’. It’s a technology that allows us to access and manage databases, think of it as the software that serves as a middleman between us and the database. A database can be written in a variety of different formats and languages, SQL is one of them and it’s a very popular and widespread platform that’s almost universally adaptable.

So what does all of this mean for someone who’s setting up a relatively simple website? Unless you’re using very straightforward HTML pages, chances are your platform requires the use of an SQL database. For example, WordPress installations need to have an SQL database to store information about your site that needs to be accessed and changed. When a user creates a profile there needs to be a database to store it, and when that same user comments on one of your posts a database is needed to record it. The good news is that it’s a very low maintenance process, once the database is created you’ll never need to worry about it again as long as there aren’t any technical problems that need addressing (knock on wood).

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Proper Server Setup Equals Maximum SEO Potential

December 8th, 2011 @ 8:00 am

If Google has said it once they have said it a million times, having properly coded websites and properly configured servers are critical to maximizing SEO results. This is important because Google has taken the position that a site that is valued by the owner should be properly coded, and it certainly should have the basics of proper server setup. Just as page speed and proper markup gives a site an SEO bonus, so does a properly configured server that is hosting that website. This is why we have experts on staff that ensure all of our servers all properly configured, this way we know we are doing our part in enhancing your SEO.

The problem is that in a recent article by Conversation Marketing and highlighted by SEO Moz, Conversation Marketing found that only 69% of servers they tested were properly configured for some of the most basic of server functions. In fact I in a recent study of a hosting provider that advertises itself as a “boutique” hosting provider in order to justify their extra costs, it turned out that they too are far from perfect, even when testing the simplest of functions.

For example, when testing the homepage for any site the server should respond with a server response code of 200, which means everything is OK. But one site that was checked on the expensive hosting provider’s server delivered a 302 code. This is not acceptable because a 302 tells the browser that the page has been temporarily moved, but it will be back in the future, yet the page that was tested was actually present. The server should have responded with a 200 for everything is OK, or at worst a 301 which indicates a permanent redirect. A 302 is simply indicative of bad configuration.

When a non-existent page was requested at the same hosting company, it returned a 302 code. This does not make any logical sense and yet that is the code the server responded with. The server should have sent a 404 code indicating that the page does not and never did exist. This means that whenever a search engine tries to visit that site using a broken link, the search engine will think something is supposed to be there, but is not. That indicates to the search engine that there is a broken link or error on the site. On the other hand, if the server had returned a 404 error, at least the search engine would know that the error was in the originating link, not in the destination website.

All of this may sound trivial to the average SEO. But the fact is that when your competition has their sites coded properly and their servers configured properly, they have a distinct advantage over anyone that is delivering errors and incorrect codes to the search engines every time they visit the site. This is why our company has always employed experts in information technology, we know how important it is to the client to have their hosting provider always ensuring maximum up time and consistent correct server configuration.

Take the time to use our hosting service; we know how to properly configure a server. This is important for SEO and it is also important for overall server security. This concern over improper server configuration also reaches beyond the impact on SEO. Just think, if your current web host does not know how to configure the basics correctly, how are they going to maintain security on their servers should they come under attack from a hacker or other malicious software?

Our experts are exactly that, they are experts in maintaining the integrity of the server. What this means to you is that not only do you get proper configuration for SEO benefits, but you also get experts ensuring the integrity of you site, your information, and the information of your customers.

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