Netfirms

Like most things on the Internet, there is no shortage of hosting providers. If you do a search for the top providers you will come across a top ten list similar to this:

  1. Hostway
  2. Media3
  3. HostMonster
  4. IX Web Hosting
  5. StartLogic

I was surprised not to see Netfirms listed on any top hosting list I came across.

About a year and a half ago I signed up for Netfirms Advantage plan, which gave me 2 domains, 100 GB storage, 750 GB transfer, access to MySQL, PHP4, PHP5, Ruby on Rails, Python and Perl / CGI-BIN.

Over the past year and a half, I have not experienced too many problems or and major problems with the hosting. Their Control Panel XL6 makes managing my domains a breeze, with one click access to anything I would need. It contains links to my Database Manager, MySQL, Email setup, Domain settings, and much more that has also garnered them quite a bit of attention by folks like the Wall Street Journal and many editor reviews which can be found all over the Internet.

If your looking for a provider that can brag about their support and mean it, then Netfirms may not be for you. They have an extensive FAQ section, but if you don’t solve your problem that way, it can take up to 3 days for an email response, which typically is just a pre-written response that 9 times out of 10 doesn’t help you at all. Now there have been times I have gotten a response within 6 hours, they used to say that you can expect a response within 24 hours, but at the time of writing this review was unable to verify if that claim still exist.

Their prices are very reasonable and competitive especially for what you get. If you are looking for free hosting, they have that too, and your free hosting comes with MySQL, SSI, PHP etc… as well. One annoyance with the free hosting is that if you use server-side includes like .shtml, your visitors will sometimes get an error from Netfirms saying that the website owner should upgrade to a paid hosting package and they say try the web-page in about 5 minutes. They blame it on server-side includes, and I have tested it without the server-side includes and the error never came back.

Overall, I would recommend Netfirms and I plan on renewing again in November and I also plan on purchasing another package before then.

Links:

I would love to hear your experiences with Netfirms or any other provider, please leave a comment below.

Statcounter

Perhaps one of the best programs for tracking traffic to your website would have to be ‘Statcounter’. One of the biggest bonuses is that it is FREE. There are many programs of this type that are free, but not all of them offer the stats and information that ‘Statcounter’ does.

The reports it gives are easy to read, and don’t require you to have an extensive background in reading them. Each report is self explanatory and in depth.

Here are some of the reports it gives:

  1. Summary
  2. Popular Pages
  3. Entry Pages
  4. Exit Pages
  5. Came From
  6. Keyword Analysis
  7. Recent Keyword Activity
  8. Recent Came From
  9. Search Engine Wars
  10. Visitor Paths
  11. Visit Length
  12. Returning Visits
  13. Recent Pageload Activity
  14. Recent Visitor Activity
  15. Country/State/City/ISP
  16. Browser
  17. System Stats
  18. Lookup IP Address

Another great feature of the program is that you can set it to be invisible on your website.

I recommend everyone give it a try.

Rating: 4.5/5

Below is a screenshot of the members area:

statcc.JPG

Website Reviews

Surfing is one of my biggest past-times. When I find a website I like, regardless of the content, I like to tell people about it.

I am an avid believer that being W3C compliant is key to having a good website. Using CSS is also very important especially if you have a large website with many sub-pages.

When reviewing websites I look for the following:

  1. Clean easy to update design/structure.
  2. Good usability in the design
  3. Fast loading pages.
  4. Intelligent use of technology – i.e. flash
  5. The websites ability to convey the meaning/message of the website quickly if not instantly.
  6. Grammar and spelling.
  7. Colours

I will post my reviews in the “Websites” category, if you would like to suggest a website to be reviewed, leave me a comment here.

Happy surfing.

First Blog Post

Hi,

Welcome to my first ‘blog’. I will be adding posts here showing you my favorite things, ranging from websites to products and much more.

I welcome you to comment on my posts and look forward to hearing what your favorite things are.