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New Design, New Server, New Feature


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Video Recap

  • Hostgator – still recommended for niche sites and for starting out with.
  • StormOnDemand – best, highest-performance hosting I could find. Also with great support and reasonable prices.
  • IM Impact Votebox – submit questions and suggestions and vote on everything!
Thanks for watching!
P.S.: There were many great comments on last week’s Sunday Update. I was too busy with this whole site move to get around to answering any of them, unfortunately. Sorry about that.
Peter Sundstrom - February 26, 2012

Hi Shane.

While the new design of IMimpact isn’t radically different, I find the fonts a lot easier on the eye and easier to read.

Cheers

Peter

    Shane - February 26, 2012

    Thanks, mate!
    It’s actually more of a redesign/tweak of the previous theme. It was pretty good to begin with, IMO, so I didn’t want to do something completely new from scratch. :)

Ferhat - February 26, 2012

Hey Shane,

the Design-Update of your Blog looks great. It’s pretty much clearer for me as a blog reader… i like it!

regardly
Ferhat from Germany

    Shane - February 26, 2012

    Thanks for the feedback! Glad you like the new design. :)

Mitro - February 26, 2012

IMO, if you wanted to go for the stylistic, minimalistic look (ala Apple.com), you failed.

It’s hard to pinpoint why. Maybe it’s too “soft” (rounded corners, shadows etc.) to be a great minimalistic design.

I like something more edgier. (You know the marketing mantra, “If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.” That’s what this makes me think, for what it’s worth…)

Gotta agree with Peter Sundstrom, though – typography is important. See http://www.pearsonified.com/typography/

    Shane - February 26, 2012

    Haha, you’re hard to please, Mitro! :)
    You might be right, maybe it would look better with sharper edges.

      Mitro - February 27, 2012

      Why do I get the feeling that’s not the first time you’ve said me that… -_-

      I just don’t think your design supports your message (impact) very well. Maybe it doesn’t have to?

      Shane - February 27, 2012

      Don’t worry about it. Having high standards is a virtue, not a vice. :)

Norm - February 27, 2012

Hello Shane,
I dunno what I was expecting with your new design, but I got less.

The fact is that less is always better than more. My old TV production boss pounded me about that years ago. It left a mark on me. Now when I use too many colors or pixels I feel very badly about it.

Good job Shane!

Norm

    Shane - February 27, 2012

    Thanks Norm! That’s an interesting way to put it. :)
    I’ve also found that when you talk to a designer or otherwise artistically sensitive person, they tend to want you to do less of everything. Fewer colors, fewer gradients, fewer fancy stuff = better design, apparently.

Peter - February 27, 2012

Ho Shane

Looks good to me. Nice and neat and easy to navigate around which is the main thing. We all like different things and at the end of the day it is your site. Are you not a fan of Google Plus 1.

    Shane - February 27, 2012

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your feedback!
    I can’t say I’m a fan of G+ or any of the other social thingies. I’m not the type for them. However, the little widget at the end of each post should be displaying twitter, facebook and G+.

Neil - February 27, 2012

Hi Shane – I prefer the new design, it seems simpler and cleaner to me. It may be my imagination, but it seems faster as well. The new logo looks sharp as well. I look forward to ‘out-growing’ Hostgator at some point! Cheers, Neil

    Shane - February 27, 2012

    Thanks, Neil!
    The extra speed is more due to the new host than the new design. You aren’t imagining things, though: the site is measurably faster than it was before. :)

arindam - February 27, 2012

As always you inspire me to think laterally.

Rema - February 27, 2012

Hi Shane,
The new look is simply great. Very neat. And your title for this post is just awesome. Just like the title, I wish your business too a new (higher) level. I am sure all the readers are going to love the new feature ‘vote box’. Great idea. Good luck in everything you do!!
Cheers
Rema

Cliff - February 27, 2012

Hi Shane,

I like your new design, and I’d have to agree with Norm about “less is always better than more”.

I have another saying that I’ve used as a general guide: “Simplicity Is The Key To Success”. I think it helps a lot with improving focus and fits in well with your most recent effort.

Nice layout!

Cliff

Tung Tran - February 27, 2012

Hi Shane, I really like your new design :D. Cleaner, simpler and the loading speed is very fast

    Shane - February 27, 2012

    Thanks for your comment! Glad you like the new design. :)

Uwe - February 27, 2012

Hi Shane, like your new design and the vote-box is certainly a great idea. Sorry to hear you had problems moving your site to a new server. Something for us to learn out of your difficulties? Cheers – Uwe

    Shane - February 27, 2012

    That’s a good question.
    I think there are two things I could have avoided:

    1) Being perfectionist. As is usual for me, I tested out various different hosting providers before settling for one. I ended up moving around many sites and databases and all that, for testing purposes. This obviously makes things more complicated. However, thanks to this I found a really good host and I know they are good, because I have several comparisons.

    2) Being a control-freak. Let me put it this way: I now know far more about hosting, databases, nameservers and lots of other techy stuff than I did a week ago. The reason for this is that I trial-and-errored my way through the whole process, trying to do everything myself. Ultimately, I had to get my mate Paul as well as the StormOnDemand hosting team to clean up the mess I had created…
    The smart thing to do would be to just get the pros to handle everything.

John.N - February 27, 2012

Hi Shane –

Nice new look, the design differences are subtle, but effective! I think its also easier to navigate the site now, so good job!

John

    Shane - February 27, 2012

    Awesome! Better navigation is one of the things I was going for. :)

amr - February 27, 2012

congratulation shane to new lock : )

Michael - February 28, 2012

Much better! Easier to navigate, seamlessly integrating what appeared in the earlier version to be more than one site. So much easier to access the wealth of information you have been building up Shane.

Thanks

Michael

Steven Edward - February 28, 2012

Hi Shane-
I appreciate your concerns, but to go too far beyond one’s gut feeling, is to ‘think too much’. The cool, clean lines, the dynamic video contrast – bottom line, it’s easy on the eyes. I have a couple of minor unrelated questions which I’m sure you could quickly provide answers for, but this doesn’t seem the moment.
Best,

Steve

Tim MacKenzie - February 29, 2012

Hi Shane:

The new format is very easy on the eye and brain – You have kept it simple, easy to navigate and personable with the video right up front – not too much advertising to distract one from the content either – good job!

You are very very well informed, provide endless free advice and are a model of trust – I really enjoy following your example. Thanks for everything.

Cheers … Tim

Arabella Bombane - February 29, 2012

Hi Sir,

Your SEO stuff is so great, and your website is very informative and helpful.

Rob - March 1, 2012

Hi Shane,
Like the “remodel” , its clean and efficient like SECockpit. I took a look at your new cloud hosting service provider but its all foreign language to me. I dont even know where to begin in how to make sense of it all. What makes this service better than hostgator, bluehost, etc.

    Paul McCarthy - March 2, 2012

    Hi Rob,

    I worked with Shane to do the site migration. A cloud hosting provider has advantages over a standard shared hosting account in a number of ways:-

    1) Cloud platforms are instantly scaleable. For example, if Shane suddenly gets a huge wave of publicity (perhaps from TV, media or landing on the front page of Reddit for instance) that sends thousands and thousands of visitors to his site within a short space of time there would be no hit in terms of performance or uptime with the cloud.

    With a shared hosting plan (what he used to use) the likelihood is that the host would notice insane amounts of traffic and pull down his site due to fair usage restrictions (even though these accounts are often marketed as “unlimited”). And, even if they didn’t pull his site, the performance would suffer massively as the server would be under a lot of strain.

    2) Uptime. Cloud technology has a higher uptime than shared hosting. In a shared hosting environment, if the server that your files sit on fails, that’s it – web site down. Most cloud providers have fail over technology such that a server outage should never bring down a site, and therefore can boast 99.999% uptime.

    3) Utility billing. When you purchase a standard shared hosting account, it’s often a flat fee per month. For instance, with Hostgator it’s $7 / month for their baby plan or whatever it’s called. If you outgrow this, then your next option may well be a VPS which is a jump to $40/month. However, when you purchase a VPS, you may only be using 20% of it’s potential while still paying 100% of the cost….

    When you pay for your electricity – you only pay for what you use at the end of each term. Someone comes over, reads your meter – that’s how much you owe. You pay for what you use. A lot of cloud hosting models operate on the same basis – they’ll measure your data usage and other key metrics and bill you appropriately. As the moment, the cost difference is negligible, but over the coming years as more and more people move to the cloud I predict that the cost will come down quite substantially and, especially for larger sites, will mean a substantial cost saving.

    In Summary.

    Basically, we wanted to find a hosting provider that provided really fast download times, guaranteed uptimes and the ability to scale as we grow the site over the coming years. The cloud solution provides this, perfectly.

    That said, if you’re starting out, you can’t go wrong with an entry level hostgator plan or something equivalent and then migrate to the cloud when things start gaining traction!

Rob - March 1, 2012

This is a different subject but I would like to know your thoughts…

I have noticed that after all the Panda updates that only big brands have taken over page 1 on google and then the affiliate sites start on page 2. Im sure its not exactly like this in all topics but using SECockpit I also notice that the only ranking factor would be DA, theres little if any links, the PA is weak, and all other metrics as well. The DA is the factor that is the strongest metric. Whats your thought on going forward in 2012 having this information??
Thanks

    Michael - March 2, 2012

    Rob – Could you define DA and PA ? and expand.

    Are you saying in your area, well written legitimate sites (which may have been google juice perfect), have now been bounced onto page 2 instead of being on page 1, and that the only sites remaining on page 1 now are big brand sites?

    Are you also saying that well written legitimate sites (which may have been google juice perfect) and also have significant back-links have also been bounced to the second page in favour of the branded sites?

    So are you saying that back-links have become ineffective?

    Are you saying that there is something that big brands are doing that we don’t know about – which is the reason that they are on the fist page?

    Many thanks – Michael

Rob - March 3, 2012

Great explanation Paul, thanks!

Why is it that many of these tech driven sites dont know how to communicate in plain english to the rest of us like you just did? The saying “sell the sizzle, not the steak” is what they should do. With your explanation I can now see the benefits to myself rather than really cool looking pictures of their products. Sorry, Im a bit jaded with all the advertising out there that just is lukewarm at best. Thanks again!

Rob - March 3, 2012

Michael,
DA(domain authorith) and PA(page authority) is the SEOmoz data in SECockpit. I wouldnt say backlinks are not effective, in fact a part of the overall ranking formula. I just see the fact that Google is favoring brands and the word is that they are now moving more aggresively into the affiliate marketing game by favoring their own revenue generating relationships they have with big brands. Its a challenge going forward with site development as a one-man shop with this new environment. The strategy I believe is more and more on-site “stickyness” so google reads the site as a good site to rank. Pure speculation of course, but with all the rage of amazon mini sites I think theres going to be big disappointments when google keeps plugging these holes in their algo.

Michael - March 4, 2012

Thanks Rob. I was looking at http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/domain-authority
and this seems to imply that you are right and that focusing more and more on-site “stickyness” so google reads the site as a good site to rank is the way to go.

Michael

How do I influence the Domain Authority metric?

Unlike other SEO metrics, Domain Authority is difficult to directly influence. This is because it is made up of an aggregate of metrics (mozRank, mozTrust, link profile, etc…) that each have an impact on this score. This was done intentionally because this metric is meant to approximate how competitive a given site is in Google.com. Since, Google.com takes into account a lot of factors, a metric that tries to calculate it must incorporate a lot of factors as well.

This means the best way to influence this metric is to improve your overall SEO. Particularly you should focus on your link profile (which influences mozRank and mozTrust) by getting more links from other well linked to pages.

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