Article by Mike Medrek, owner / operator
First off, you’ll just need to know a couple of terms:
- A server is basically a high performing computer with lots of storage space that’s always online.
- A hosting account is your personal account on a server. It’s where all of the files that make up your website are stored and kept online for anyone to view 24/7.
We had a large chunk of server space with a top hosting company, which allowed us to manage and monitor all of our clients’ hosting accounts while the hosting company took care of the nitty gritty server maintenance. This was an effective way to keep a close eye on our websites and make sure they were all running smoothly.
The downside was that this server space was on a “shared server”, which means that it also stored thousands of other websites, and more were being added all the time. Eventually, I noticed that the server started to slow at peak traffic hours of the day, affecting all of the websites on the server. Not only that, but it also required occasional software restarts due to the activity of these other sites. These restarts caused brief downtime for our websites.
In this industry you have to stay ahead, or be left behind. So I signed Aurora Technologies up for a much better hosting plan called VPS Hosting. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This means that we have our own dedicated server space that includes luxurious levels of bandwidth to run our sites much faster. There are two major benefits here:
- There are no other websites in our server space, so our clients’ sites will not slow at peak traffic hours of the day. This also means that there will be no software restarts due to the activity of other websites. This equates to faster website speeds, and more uptime.
- Our websites will run much faster in general. We have about 5 – 8 times more bandwidth, except now we have it all to ourselves. This not only makes the public facing front-end run faster, but it also makes it much faster to work in the back-end as well.
The Best Parts
You can decide what the best part is: The increased speed, more reliable uptime, or the fact that it’s free.
Don’t have a hosting account with us yet?
You can learn more and reach out here:
More about hosting
Welcome to the third iteration of Aurora Technologies’ website! Those of you who run small businesses probably know that when you go above and beyond for your clients, your own items can be the last to get attention.
So after building and upgrading our clients’ websites with all the new features that have come out over the past few years, we decided it was time to treat ourselves.
Here are some of the tricks we used
If you’re thinking about a website redesign for your own business, feel free to note these ideas for yourself.
Stationary / Shrinking Header
We wanted our visitors to have quick access to the navigation menu no matter where you’ve scrolled to on the page. So we fixed our header to the top of the viewport window, and made it shrink when you scroll down the page so that you can more easily see the page’s content.
Our favorite feature on “Aurora Technologies website 3.0” is our interactive web design portfolio. We needed a creative way to show numerous website designs at once, so we came up something that we’ve actually never done before! When you hover your mouse over the screens, they scroll automatically. This allows you to browse through multiple designs quickly. Or you can click on them and scroll through that way to see the full designs easily.
Here’s a sample:
More Mouse Over Effects (aka CSS3 Transitions)
Mouse hover effects (aka mouse-over effects, aka CSS3 transitions) can really bring a website to life. For a good example, hover your mouse over our navigation menu links. You’ll see that they respond to your mouse without having to click. There are also several other areas on our website that you can interact with by hovering your mouse.
On our home page, scroll down slowly and you’ll notice that the banner scrolls at a different speed than the rest of the website. Parallax scrolling is a common practice, and can be a nice addition to a website if not overused. You’ll also notice that the banner’s backlight dims (this is not as common).
Reviews are among the most trusted form of marketing or advertising. When someone who has used your service tells others what a great experience they had, it means a lot more than you saying it yourself. Displaying your reviews with the company logo and the individual’s name helps to show their legitimacy, because some companies actually do make up their own reviews. Check out our reviews as an example.
If you’re thinking about a new website for yourself or your company, feel free to reach out with no obligation.