I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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What uses up bandwidth?

If you’ve tried reaching my blog or website in the last day or so you may have experienced some trouble unfortunately. I know I wasn’t happy to see a ‘exceeded bandwidth’ message when I tried to log in to post yesterday and again today.

Knowing I was well under my host limits a few hours earlier, I was surprised by the message and have contacted my host. Especially as the second time showed about 12,000MB of bandwidth used in less than 24 hours!

Figuring out the bandwidth issue

A laptop covered in chains and a padlock

Securing computers is important but not always easy…

No one has accessed the back end of my site or ftp (but I have changed passwords anyway!) but my host found that someone (and let me add that it is very restrained of me to just write ‘someone’!) in Washington has been using my bandwidth. I should say ‘had been’ as that ip is now blocked.

My host has been great at trying to help me and extending my bandwidth to keep the site live while the issue was researched, so thanks Lucie at Multimediart.

My question however, is how is someone using up so much bandwidth on my site? No unexpected files have appeared on the site and apparently no one unauthorised has logged in so I’m confused. Do you have any idea what this person was doing?

Does anyone have any suggestions to share so we can all avoid this sort of distraction and time-wasting in the future? I’d really appreciate any help I can get!


* Image courtesy of 123rf

Can you see the site?

Cite: to reference something and identify that source, especially in academic and legal papers
The lawyer decided to cite John’s affidavit but not Mary’s.

Site: a location or area
They had to clear the site before they could build on it.

Sight: being able to see; what is seen
She lost her sight after staring at the eclipse.
“What a sight!” said the hikers when they reached the mountain top.

The word cite is used less often in general conversations and probably doesn’t suit most business documents. But I do see site and sight being misused.

Think of site as a place where you can sit and it may help you remember which is which.

rejecting SEO “offers”

I seem to be getting more emails about search engine optimisation (SEO) services lately – all of which I delete without any consideration I might add!

Why do I delete them?

  • I don’t have time to read so many emails that are often copies of the same text
  • I don’t trust services who need to spam me to get work – if their services are so great, they should be able to get work in less annoying ways
  • no one can promise to get another site to to the top of Google – Google changes their system often enough that no one can hack it exactly for one thing, and it depends on what other sites are doing as well – if their site is improved, how do I stay as number 1?
  • I am convinced that good content is a key to succeeding with search engines – the amount of site traffic I get from my articles is evidence of that – and I doubt an SEO company will help me with my content!
  • I hate spam!

What worries me more is that some of them will convince other business people to take up their services. Not only would it be a waste of money most of the time, some SEO strategies can actually penalise your site (and if Google or Yahoo cuts you out, it is very hard to get your site recognised.)

So if you get made an offer to ‘put your site at the top of search engine listings’, please consider carefully if it is worth pursuing. In fact, if they convince you of the need to have SEO help, go online to find a company to use instead of trusting an uncalled for solicitation. Finding a company gives you the chance to decide how reputable they appear.

Alternatively, take some time to work on your content to make it useful and relevant for humans and read up on other ways to help your page rankings.

Set your sights to the details

Although we may use the word sight a lot more often than site or cite, it is worth knowing the difference between them!

Cite: to mention or quote a document or legal result.
He cited Judge Brown’s findings from case 32.

Site: a relevant place or piece of ground. It includes a construction site (where building works are taking place), a sacred site (a place of significant meaning to some people) and a crime site (the area where an activity took place, in this case an illegal activity).
They chose the best site for their sleeping tent.

Sight: the ability to see and what is seen.
Sight is one of the five senses.
It was a magnificent sight from the lookout.

Site is easy to remember if you think of a site being a place where you can sit.

Having an about us page

When surfing around sites and blogs, you occasionally come across a site without an About Us page. To be honest, I don’t always look at an about us page anyway, but it really annoys me when I want to and there isn’t one there to look at.

Why do I want to look at an about us page sometimes?

  • I may want to know where they are based, and the contact us page doesn’t give enough information
  • I don’t understand something on the site and want to check a fact. For instance, if I am unsure if they do consultations as well as sell a product/service, I may check the about us page for details
  • if I want to contact the site/business owner (for example to suggest a joint venture or acknowledge something), I like to use their name and an About Us page is the obvious place to find their name
  • An about us page usually gives me an idea of the size of the business which can sometimes be important
  • I can get a better sense of who is behind the site/blog which can develop my trust/their credibility, or at least give me an idea if the person is speaking as an expert in their blog or just sharing their opinions

I also know many people who really like to know who is behind a business before they deal with it – they want personal stories on the about us page and would even prefer a photo of the owner and key partners/staff.

So, do you have an about us page on your site or blog?

As writing About Us pages is one of the most common web content requests I get, I really should post some tips for writing (or improving) your about us page!

Fresh web content tips

Carrying on from my last post about Lucie of MultimediART’s talk, it was interesting to get her interpretation on fresh website content. It has often been said that fresh content is important for search engine rankings, but what does fresh content mean?

Three main points to consider are:

  • change the content on your site at least once between each visit from a search engine spider (check your stats to find out how often that is for your site)
  • keep the content change within 2 clicks of your homepage
  • swapping around a few words or even a paragraph is probably not enough to count as fresh for a search engine

Search engines apparently search your site more or less often depending on how fresh they judge your content to be.

Content includes any articles and text on your site, as well as products, tools, news items, RSS feeds, and so on.

So how fresh is your website?

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