Tag Archives: Survey

Test winner again! The 1&1 Cloud Server ranks first in the 2017 Cloud Spectator Benchmark Survey

Once again, the American analyst institution Cloud Spectator compared the biggest and most important cloud service providers in North America. In their “Top 10 Cloud IaaS Providers Benchmark 2017,” the company analyzed the price/performance ratio of the providers’ solutions and determined for the second time in a row that 1&1 is an outstanding winner in this region.

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Category: 1&1 Cloud Server | Cloud | Company | eBusiness | Inside 1&1 | Net World | News | Products
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Detailed Results from Cloud Spectator: 1&1 Cloud Server Outperforms Competitors in Benchmark Performance Test (download)

Cloud Spectator, a global agency specializing in the analysis of Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), recently evaluated the 1&1 Cloud Server. The benchmark was conducted to assess 1&1’s newest cloud solution in terms of overall performance and price-performance. Simulating end-user experience, Cloud Spectator conducted a series of unbiased performance tests on five similar mass-market cloud solutions – 1&1, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Aruba Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and CloudSigma. The assessment took into consideration processor, memory bandwidth, network storage, and internal network features.

The initial results, published earlier this month, showed the 1&1 Cloud Server provides competitive levels of raw performance and price-indexed performance, with strong price-performance value throughout the course of the study. The highlighted areas where the 1&1 Cloud Server excelled:

  • Highest performance on vCPU, memory bandwidth, and storage performance
  • Excellent price/performance value in vCPU, memory and even better on the storage tests
  • Most stable performance over the test period

Now, the full report (a 27 page PDF : Cloud IaaS Performance & Price-Performance – Comparing Linux Compute Performance of 1&1, Amazon AWS, Aruba Cloud, CloudSigma, and Microsoft Azure) detailing the methodology, findings, and summary is available to download. 

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Category: Cloud | Server & Hosting
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Increase Customer Feedback on Social Media

As a small business owner you are always working toward creating better products and services. In order to be successful, it is essential to leverage customer feedback as often as possible. You can gather feedback through face to face contact or phone support, but it is important to consider additional channels to engage users. Social media has become an excellent outlet for finding and receiving customer feedback to enhance your business. Here are some simple steps you can take to increase customer feedback:

Request interaction. Social media exposes your small business to current customers, prospective clients and industry trendsetters. Use this to your advantage with product reliability and performance. On Facebook, users have the ability to rate a business and provide open feedback. Don’t be discouraged when you receive negative comments, you can use those for possible changes and improvements. Ask questions every now and then about ways that you can improve your business, and take the suggestions seriously.

Hold a group. You can use social media platforms to hold informal ‘focus groups.’ For example, you can use hashtags on Twitter to hold a Twitter chat or use the Hangout feature on Google +. Focus groups can center on specific topics with a more in-depth outlook. Make your customers feel important by inviting them to take part in these informal focus groups, and demonstrate to them that you value their input.

Provide a survey. There are multiple services online that provide free surveys you can embed on your business website. You can also share the links to these surveys on your social media profiles. By providing anonymous surveys for customers, you may receive feedback that someone would normally be too shy to share on a public platform. Craft your survey questions carefully to be as unbiased as possible, and use questions that can allow your customers to rate areas of your business on a scale.

Don’t forget – you can gather customer feedback in places you don’t actively request it as well, such as online review websites or mentions on Twitter. Always respond to customer inquiries and responses to show that your business appreciates their input.

Photo Credit: © vynan – Fotolia.com

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Category: Tips
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Over Half of Americans Consider Starting a Business

Around 53 percent of American adults have seriously considered starting their own business, according to new research recently released by 1&1 Internet, Inc. The data from over 1,300 Americans shows that in recent years many have weighed their options for increasing their household income. The minimum income expectation from efforts to start a side business is on average $50,000 gross per year. The study would suggest that US entrepreneurial spirit remains strong. 1&1 advises anyone considering starting a new business project to think about the online tools available today that can greatly increase chances of business success and more flexible working.

Around 20 percent of those surveyed have considered starting a side project in tandem to their existing job, in order to boost family income. Other primary motivations included the opportunity to be their own boss (24 percent), a better work/life balance or family life (19 percent), and passion for a hobby (21 percent). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the desire to start an enterprise does decrease with age. Those aged 35-44 years are most driven towards launching a business (67 percent).

An interesting aspect of the study is the average US expectation for the amount of secondary income that would make creating a start-up business worthwhile. The average US requirement was $50,384 gross per year from such a project. This figure is much lower yet comes in second to the highest expectation, that of Germany with its average being $67,039. The US is followed by Spain, $43,750, and then UK, requiring $38,148.

Robert Hoffmann, CEO Hosting, 1&1 Internet, comments, “The Internet makes it much easier today to start a business. A powerful website and the right tools to attract customers can often be the key needed to transform a business dream into a real life success. Modern website packages deliver the necessary eBusiness elements for attracting, interacting and transacting with online consumers – ready to place your website on top of search engines and connect you with Internet communities like Facebook, Twitter and eBay. Since you can use these powerful tools over the Web with no software or programming skills needed, starting a website is easier than many realize – the result being that a sideline or hobby business can become economically feasible and conducive to work/life balance.”

Internet Psychologist Graham Jones believes that Internet-based tools can certainly help entrepreneurs to succeed. Jones comments, “Research over the past few years has shown that when people use the Internet as the focus of their business, their productivity goes up. If only more people would tap into the online tools available, they too could run productive businesses which are using the extensive knowledge available online to give them a competitive edge.”

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/belekekin

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Category: News
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New Features Add Functionality to 1&1 MyWebsite

 

  • New tools for multimedia slideshows, online brochures and online surveys
  • The largest selection of “drag-and-drop” Web applications in the industry

Today, 1&1 Internet, Inc. unveiled a set of new inclusive features for its popular MyWebsite instant website package, designed to enhance both the appearance and capability of a small business website. 1&1 is constantly adding new functionality to its MyWebsite packages in order to equip small companies with the best possible chance for online success.

As a result, 1&1’s new Video Maker tool enables a business to create audio-visual material they can publish on their website for a more persuasive sales approach. Within a few easy clicks, any level of user can create an online video from up to 20 images, and accompanied by a wide choice of royalty-free music. The feature is ideal for venues such as restaurants and hotels, or craftsmen who can showcase a portfolio of past work.

Brochures are another important tool for many companies in assisting consumers with their search for products or services. If these brochures can be downloaded directly from the company website and printed, business owners save the time of fulfilling requests for information and save on the postage costs of sending these out. 1&1‘s new Online Brochure tool makes light work of creating such brochures. Within seconds, the user can combine images and text in a PDF to create a 32-page flip-brochure that their customers can view, save, print or share using buttons for Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

While the majority of business owners today do recognize the value of attracting and conducting business with customers online, few are using their own website to collect feedback or research their customers‘ needs. Online surveys are an effective way to gain information in a number of areas such as customer satisfaction, effectiveness of their website, market research, demand for new offers, etc. MyWebsite can help with its new Online Survey tool. The App delivers professional looking online surveys to be embedded directly within a company homepage. Users can select from different survey templates that can be easily edited and customized. A comprehensive report of results is provided online or emailed to the business owner in either PDF, Word, PowerPoint, or Excel formats.

These new Apps are further examples of how 1&1 actively advises small businesses on how to achieve a successful e-business strategy. 1&1 MyWebsite now offers more than 75 Web applications that can be integrated simply by ‘dragging-and-dropping‘ into a website design to add functionality across eCommerce, communication, social media, or business management. MyWebsite has already the widest selection of Web applications for rapid integration than any other website creation package and will continually add to the number of Web applications available.

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Category: MyWebsite & Apps
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Networking Online Leads to Small Business Success

Small business owners are having more success with networking online, according to a recent survey by Manta, an online network for small businesses. 9 out of 10 businesses surveyed say that they dedicate at least part of their time to networking online. With potential customers finding and participating in new ways to interact with businesses and brands, nearly half of the surveyed business owners claim to have gained at least a quarter of new business through online and social media channels last year. Additionally, close to 80 percent of businesses state they have gained customers as a result of online networking.

In an increasingly online world, this shows that consumers are turning to online networks more than ever to learn about new businesses and products, and are more likely to buy from a business with a solidified online presence. This of course begins with the company website, which contributes to about 25 percent of a company’s sales, according to the survey. But it is also essential for small and medium business owners to develop a larger presence online to be found by all potential customers searching for their products or services. This presence should go beyond the official company website and into realms such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google Places, etc.

Exactly which networking channels are right for your company depends on your type of business. For certain brands, Facebook might be appropriate, but for others, a more professional and business-oriented network might be better. You will need to spend some time researching the activity of your target customers on each network to find the right fit. Additionally, you might also want to check out some of the Online Success Center’s previous articles on the topic of social media.

For more details about the study, which polled 614 small business owners in August 2012, read more here.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/alexsl

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Category: Tips
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Research: Importance of a Reliable Website – Part 2

In Part 1 of this research, we began discussing how an unreliable or slow-loading website negatively effects your customers experience with your business.

Failure to access content online leads nearly 3 in every 4 Americans to completely abandon a slow running website in search of similar services through another competing resource with a better online user experience. As much as this may seem insignificant for your public perspective, slow speed and unreliability are actually two characteristics that people take seriously. The reason being, people connect with others through emotions evoked from an experience. Time spent interacting with your website, for better or for worse, evokes a feeling they will automatically associate with you.

One of the contributing factors to a website’s overall speed is the amount of rich content it has to load. If you like to post a lot of multimedia features like videos and Flash files or use large photos, you might be overloading your website with too many rich files for the system to handle. The amount of time for all of the data to upload onto a Web page upon each visit will be longer than three seconds, which is the average attention span before someone decides to stay or leave a site. While not the core factor in dictating loading times, it is one that certainly affects a customer’s Web experience.

Whatever the reason behind a dead website, the most important thing to remember is the open opportunity it creates for people to choose other businesses over yours. As long as you have a website that clearly conveys relevant information, you are generally able to compete on the Web for attention. If there are problems keeping your site accessible, you are hurting your chances for better visibility among those you hope to help.

If you find yourself running into problems with loading times, you can try a variety of things to help improve it.  Look at the images on your website. Are they high-quality or oversized? The bigger the file, the longer it will take to load properly on a page. Limit the number of videos and moving elements like fancy headers or logos. Also, look into how much actual content you have on a page. Is there a large amount of text and images perhaps? If your page looks congested and is hard to read, try to edit the paragraphs to knock down the word count. An added bonus is that you will likely improve the language and make it easier for visitors to understand.

In today’s world, a website should mirror the organization itself. The site should be professional yet informative and show that you are a professional business that understands what your customers are looking for.

For more information on how to get started with a reliable website, check out 1&1 MyWebsite.


WIRED Magazine online research study conducted in April 2012 of 1,340 US adults.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/skynesher

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Category: News
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Research: Importance of a Reliable Website – Part 1

When searching for the right company to do business with, one looks for reputability, capability and reliability. As a result, it is crucial for small businesses to utilize a website to establish an online identity, keeping in mind that Internet users relate a website’s appearance and performance to the quality of the business.

In April 2012, WIRED magazine conducted an online research study on behalf of 1&1 Internet.  According to the survey results, 53 percent of consumers are increasingly distressed over website unreliability. Poor uptime is greatly detrimental to a business that expects their Web space to build reputability for their name rather than distaste.

Loading times and maintenance are the most common issues people encounter while using the Internet. In fact, 68 percent of online users have become increasingly critical of a slow or unreliable website, while about 58 percent are less likely to use the company again if they experience slow or faulty service. This could mean that slow running websites are losing significant opportunities with potential as well as current customers looking for details about your company. People turn to the Web for research because it is a convenient means for obtaining information immediately. Anything they encounter that is out of line with this objective, like limited access or ongoing downtime, is reflected onto the business.

A company’s website becomes the face of a business people recognize on the Web. It helps you put your best face forward and clearly portray what products and services you offer, so supporting your website with an infrastructure that is just as reliable makes a difference in how the public perceives you. Depending on who you use as a Web hosting provider, investigate what back-up and security measures are in place on the backend of their service. Ideal support would be Dual Hosting, which means your website data is hosted on two different servers in physically separate locations. The benefit comes from the host’s ability to use the second location for putting a website online in the event of different circumstances, including server maintenance. Website visitors will continue to have access to your site without any effects of downtime.

Read Part 2 of this research analysis, and for more information on how to get started with a reliable website, check out 1&1 MyWebsite.


WIRED Magazine online research study conducted in April 2012 of 1,340 US adults.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/matspersson0

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Category: News
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