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Fresh off the Press
Organise your emails with ease.....
What is that huge, never-ending, bottomless corner of the internet that must be checked every day (read: sometimes)? It's the tower of content that grows unchecked and before you know it - there's no more space left.
Yes you guessed it, its your email inbox......
Keeping on top of your inbox is a relatively simple process, the difficulties lie when your attention becomes diverted elsewhere and your emails slowly start to pile up. The next time you log in to check your emails you seem to have acquired a ton of them overnight (mostly junk mail) and its a struggle to find that important receipt or the email received only yesterday that you MUST reply to! Fortunately, as mentioned, there are steps you can take to help you keep your inbox well organised. A well organised inbox and mail system saves a lot of work further down the line as you can dig out specific emails as and when you need them. Please read on for a few hints and tips to help you get started: -
Plus Addressing: - First up we have 'Plus Addressing', this one goes to the top of the list as we feel that this alone can have such a great impact on your inbox. An example of how Plus Addressing looks would be something like this 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. When an email is sent to us using this email address we would receive the email as usual. Instead of receiving this mail into our inbox it would be diverted into a folder which we had setup previously named 'receipts' (if this folder didn't exist it would be created automatically to accommodate this email). The Plus Addressing system operates by firstly reading the recipient section of the email and ignoring the section after the '+'. This function makes sure that the item is sent to the correct email address. The Plus Addressing system would then look at the section from the '+' on to '@', if a folder existed within our inbox that corresponded with the folder stated after the '+' the mail item would be sent to the named folder rather than our inbox. This system is very useful if you are running a busy website and need to compartmentalise emails to various areas/departments. This can save valuable time further down the line as you can head straight to a folder rather than trawling through your inbox. Plus Addressing also has the knock on effect of reducing the amount of mail that is captured by your general inbox, with less mail in your inbox its much easier to search through general mail that isn't re-directed to a folder.
Don't Horde!:- We are all guilty of this one (even us here at Peters Web!). Delete unnecessary emails once you have opened them, an active inbox can gather mail quickly so its important to ensure that only important older emails and newly arrived emails take precedent. This process can become a lot more difficult if you are rushed and are short on time which leads us onto our next tip......
Create an 'email hour':- Put aside an hour every day (or every few days depending on the frequency of mail you receive) and dedicate it to solely checking your inbox, this helps to establish a routine and allows you to check your emails more thoroughly. Once you have carried out your actions (replying etc) delete any emails that have been dealt with.
Use 'Boomerang' email scheduler:- Boomerang is a plugin that can be used in conjunction with your gmail email account. Boomerang operates as an email scheduler and will send out predetermined responses at set times during the day. This is of great use if you are on the go and need to regularly respond. There is also an email tracker function incorporated into the software that will remind you regularly about emails you have sent out that haven;'t been responded to. Follow this link (http://www.boomeranggmail.com/l/email-follow-up-software.html to read more and to download the software.
Answer 'tough' emails first:- This seems an odd statement doesn't it? What constitutes a 'tough' email? We all receive those emails which we put off as the reply may end up being resource or time consuming. Make a point of dealing with these emails first when going through your inbox. You will get a boost from getting these emails resolved before everything else and the rest of your to do list will feel a lot more manageable!
As always the list above is short, there are many other steps you can take when working with your inbox to ensure that you keep on top of your workload. A well managed inbox and email system saves lots of stress further down the line and allows you to have more time taking care of other aspects of the running of your website.
If you have any questions regarding this topic and would like to speak around it further please contact us via a support ticket (open a ticket) with our hosting department and we will get back to you as soon as possible
What makes us great here at Peters Web?
We were inspired to write this article following a chance discussion we had with a friend of ours – the friend in question was looking into purchasing web hosting for a small hobby style website. The basis of the discussion was centred on what qualities we (firstly from the perspective of a consumer/client and secondly, as web hosts ourselves) would look for in an ideal web hosting provider. To cut a relatively long story short everything we spoke about boiled down to 4 key areas: -
1) Security: - The client must feel that their website is secure, regularly backed up and the hosting platform is supported with the latest in virus/bug protection software.
2) Loading Up/Running Speeds: - Isn’t it annoying when you are short of time and the page you are trying to access takes forever to load up? Or during navigation it seems to take a lifetime to move from page to page?
3) What am I actually getting for my money? : - Am I buying the right package for my needs? In terms of information is the web host transparent in what they offer and how they deliver their service to their clients?
4) Customer Care: - If something goes wrong or I’m unsure of something is there someone who can help me out? Is that person easy to contact and can they troubleshoot quickly? Do I feel at ease when communicating with my host provider?
This was a great reflective exercise for us at Peters Web, originally we were motivated to start up our company due to dissatisfaction with our previous hosting providers. Looking back the root of our unhappiness was in the four points above – our web host fell short within all of these areas!
When we first started out (myself and a friend started up a family history website – www.familyhistory4beginners.com if you are interested in taking a look) we changed our host provider every year due to standards starting high then slipping over time. We felt that there was always a lack of loyalty on the side of the host provider which reflected in how we were treated as clients, going forward we wanted to create a hosting provider that we would choose to use ourselves. I was approached by two colleagues around this time for advice about the running of their websites and securing a reliable web host. This marked our first foray into the world of web hosting……
From the beginning we adhered to a strict set of values, we would keep our organisation small and we would always focus on the needs of our clients. To allow us to do this we started by making our service available to purchase at any time which allowed potential clients to acquire our services at a time that suited them best and to be online within one hour of purchase. From here we developed our organisation on several fronts, producing a service that featured the latest in security protection whilst always keeping an eye on developments we could use to further speed up the delivery of data to our clients. Lastly we placed transparency above all else, we provide exactly what we advertise with no hidden extras.
At present we provide a super-fast, streamlined service aimed at everyone from small scale bloggers up to more commercial ventures. We have switched to the use of Litespeed web server – x3 times faster than our previous Apache server (Apache is still used as standard by the majority of hosting providers) and use Cloudflare as a content distribution network – this ensures that content is loaded quickly from a server that is guaranteed to be close to the location of each client. As an extra feature we also have Cloudflare available as a plugin for all of our clients so they can use the service for their own ventures. As well as our superior service we provide full support personalised to each client and aim to resolve any issue within an absolute maximum of 24 hours (although this is usually much less!). As a final note we are proud to say that at present our network has 99% uptime, meaning that you never have to worry about your website being offline. Here’s a link to our live uptime – uptime.petersweb.me.uk
If you have read this article and have any queries we are always delighted to chat, contact us via a support ticket to our hosting department (open a ticket) we are always happy to discuss all things web!
Please follow this link to Trustpilot to see what our clients have said about us….https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.petersweb.me.uk
Information on Litespeed
Here at Peters Web HQ we recently made the change from using Apache web server technology to using 'Litespeed' (yes I know this service already sounds super quick!). As we are new to this web server technology we felt it was a great idea to include some information here as a handy guide for our clients. We will go on to give an outline of this service and also a few hints and tips in terms of setting up Litespeed cache for your own use., so without further ado..........
Litespeed is a type of web server technology, the essence of this type of application is to load information about the website from the server to the internet browser. Since its development in 2003 it has gone on to become one of the most popular web servers currently in use, this is down to the fact that it delivers high speed server performance using the same framework as Apache (the software is considered to be an Apache drop in replacement).
When comparing Apache and Litespeed a great analogy to use would be to think of a store (in this instance we will use the analogy of a clothing store). Imagine that when you visit a store you must be accompanied by a sales assistant at all times, from when you enter the store, whilst looking around and then having to use the same sales assistant to run through a sale at the end of the visit. Throughout this experience each shopper that enters the store must be assigned their own personal assistant, eventually all of the assistants available are tied up with their own store visitor. New visitors to the store then have to wait outside the store until an assistant becomes available to partner them - this scenario is comparable to the operation of Apache which operates in a 'product driven' fashion. In terms of Litespeed this acts in an 'event-driven' fashion, when a visitor comes into the store they are greeted at the door but then are left to browse the store on their own. If they wish to try something on the door to the changing room is left unlocked so that they can use the facility whenever they wish (in comparison to Apache this would be like an assistant having to unlock and lock the door depending on whether a customer needed to use the changing room). Finally if a visitor chooses to buy an item they run it through with a cashier at the end of the visit. In terms of this change in operations, Litespeed runs much quicker in terms of how it processes information. There are less resources tied up when using Litespeed which allows for a much quicker load time for a given website.
Aside from the operations of Litespeed that are stated above there are other ways in which Litespeed performs better than a system such as Apache. Firstly LiteSpeed interprets languages such as PHP and Python 50% faster than Apache further increase its speed of performance. Secondly Litespeed allows for the caching of dynamically created content - for example your WP site is loaded from a database, therefore its considered dynamic. Litespeed only has to query the database once in a given time frame (versus Apache that has to query it every time a user logs on). Litespeed caches the information that is retrieved from the database hence why it doesn't need to query the database with each user request.
So, how do you use Litespeed cache?
- Install the plugin for WP
- After installation you may wish to alter some of the parameters within the plugin (e.g HTTP/2 push I always toggle on along with the minification settings). I recommend that if you are new to these parameters to toggle one at a time and reload your page to get a feel for the effect of the toggle, do these for each option that you toggle before proceeding to the next option (or buy our management service!)
We have purposefully kept this article short to give you a flavour of what Litespeed has to offer, we were surprised by how much the performance of our websites improved when we began using Litespeed so felt compelled to write a little about it.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us here at Peters Web should you require any more guidance on this topic. You can contact us via a support ticket (open a ticket) to our hosting department.
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