Our Software Picks

NetBizCity - Our Software Picks


Sunday, 16 August 2015 16:09

Yahoo going south

Yahoo and Yext

A client had wanted to update his Yahoo Maps listing and said they couldn’t find a claim this business link.
I decided to take a look and see what happened as Yahoo did have it not that long ago.
When I checked the maps listings sure enough there was no way to claim or edit a business.
Then I thought maybe they only allow you to see the claim link if you are a Yahoo member.
So I went to login and as I suspected there was the hidden link.
So I clicked on it and to my surprise we wind up with a Yext scan !!

It looks like Yahoo has partnered with Yext to manage local listings.
Yext which started out as a service which charged $300 to list people in all local directories has now grown into a monster.
Yext has raised its rates to a fee of over $500 for the same service that was once $300 and based on what I am seeing this company is forcing small businesses to pay them a monthly fee.
They have transformed from a listing service into a landlord.
So now we see the Yext monthly Fee in Yahoo !
Yes with Yahoo you now need to pay Yext to rank in their local results.
I suspect Yext is managing Yahoo local results as their results does not match results found in either Bing or Google.

YextWith so many small businesses in the USA I can't imagine a worse idea for a search engine to do.
I am glad that Bing didn't follow Yahoo in this direction.
At a time when business is not all that great here comes Yahoo to gouge the Local Business Communities.
If the Yahoo CEO took a pay cut it would bring in more money than they can hope to raise from this incredibly dumb idea.
Maybe the share holders should think about a new CEO.


The internet once gave everyone a shot at being able to reach a large audience.

It’s a shame that it is becoming a den of thieves.

Vincent G.

Monday, 20 July 2015 19:00

Artisteer Website Builder

Another very fine website design tool that runs on your PC

Artisteer website builder is an excellent low cost tool that allows you to quickly create a website.
Their website shows a Mac version is on the way and a Linux version is down the road but at the time of this article only the Windows PC version is available.

Artisteer is more geared to the professional designer and comes in two versions - Standard ( $129.95 ) and Home edition ( $49.95 ). For a user that wants a simple to use WYSIWYG design software this one does fill the bill. The Home Edition comes with many templates and art work to make designing your site very easy. Unlike other design tools which has a fixed number of templates this one builds templates by use of a suggest button.

The suggest feature also can alter the template you picked to change any part of it such as menu position, background images / patterns and more. I found it no harder than using MS Word to work on a design and I think you too will find it easy to use.
For a user that wants a simple to use WYSIWYG design software this one does fill the bill and it has all the bells and whistles that one would desire.

When you have your design completed you can publish it or export it to HTML, Blogger Template or Wordpress Theme. Now this is realy a neat feature as for many that would like to use Wordpress but may find it hard to find a template that fits and may find it harder to make the template look the way you want even if you did find one you like. Here all you do is design your website on your own PC and when done export or publish it.

The Standard Version is basicly the same as the Home version except it can not only export as a Blogger Template or Wordpress Theme it can do more.
The Standard Version can also export as a Joomla, Drupal or DotNetNuke template!
In addition there are plug-ins available to export to others and it comes with a Library of Textures, Glares and Gradients plus more.

It has a good clean design and even a novice will find it not hard to use.
It does not have a drag and drop object type of design which is popular today as it's more a basic editor.

The the default creates a Responsive design but can be set to fixed size.
The HTML produced is very good as I do not see anything that profesionals may complain about.
It has excellent FTP support as you can set port selection, secure or non secure and SCP connections.

On the downside it does not allow you to open a Template or HTML file that you may have purchased.
Be sure to turn off suggest mode when you no longer want to use it else things you click on will change to a new suggested design.
The import is limited to Artisteer file types only.
There is no way to edit / view the whole page HTML as source. You can right click and edit a small section which opens a plain text window with two check boxes. One is for word wrap ( on or off) and the other is edit whole article. When edit whole article is checked everything in a column is brought into the plain text editor and a message which states warning after saving everything will be combined into one cell. You can edit the HTML or CSS when done with the design when you export it as the HTML code is clean and easy to read.
There is no application help as clicking on help sends you to a PDF document on their website.
This needs to be addressed as it took me quite some time to find out you can't import html files.

Overall I find it an excellent choice for anyone that is looking for an easy to use tool for website design and the added feature of being able to export the design to a template for Wordpress, Joomla or any of the others is a big plus.

Sunday, 31 May 2015 18:23

90 Second Website Builder

Low cost quick Website builder for Windows users.

The 90 second Website builder is a good solution for those that want a low cost alternative to creating a website. Unlike other tools out there such as Dreamweaver or Expression this tool is very easy to use.
Microsoft has abandoned  Expression but still has it available to install and use for free.
Expression is a powerful website designer but it is not for someone that is looking for something they can quickly jump into and turn out a website in a short time period.
But if you are an very advanced user and have good knowledge of HTML syntax then you can't beat free and Expression is a good tool.

With the 90 second Website builder you just pick a template from the many templates given or quickly design your own and you will have a website in one or two days.
It in fact works very similar to Website builders such a Wix or Webs but with the 90 second website builder you avoid the high monthly cost of such online diy services.
With a low onetime cost of under $50 this has all other ways of diy beat.
You can start off with a blank page and let your imagination go from there or you can use the import feature to bring in any template or webpage. They also offer for $20 more access to their complete template and graphic library which is a low cost should you want to get by on a small budget.
With a domain names as low as $9.99 per year and hosting as low as $24.95 per year your total cost can be under $100 to setup your website.

From the early version of this application which had less features to version 10 which has so many features it comes close to competing with much more expensive versions of software builders.
Features such as Image Galleries, Sliders, Videos, sounds and more can be placed on a page by just clicking on the selected item and then point and click with your mouse dragging it as to create a  box to the required size needed.
To edit text or anything placed on a page you just double click it and a pop up response window will display all the settings you can alter.

The company has managed to add all the needed features to the product so as to be up on the latest trends of web design.
From support for HTML5, animation, responsive design and mobile devices such as iPhone or tablets this software covers it all.

On the downside the program saves projects in a single file which if you are a bit more advanced and like to edit the HTML you will not be able to edit anything saved by the builder. You can although edit the HTML using the editor in the builder.
There are many free templates you can download but adding them to the application is not easy.
I found that it was easier to copy the contents of the zip files which contained many templates to the folder \Documents\90 Second Website Builder\system\templates was much easier than using the built-in template install feature.
Another problem is it saves everything in div containers so each line of text is in a div. This makes it hard to edit a page for a user that is somewhat experienced with HTML code.
Last the support for FTP is lacking secure FTP connections ( SSL ).
With security becoming more important by many hosting companies the trend is moving towards many hosts only supporting secure connections which can make uploading a finished website a bit of a problem with this product.

Although the average website designer will not like the looks of the code the application creates the resulting pages are quite good. Also since search engines don't care about such things you needn’t worry about it effecting your search ranking.
In closing I think if you ever used FrontPage and want to find a good replacement you may find this to be a perfect replacement.
Based on the final results and the low cost I find this an excellent tool for those that want a website but don't want to pay the high cost of a custom design or the high monthly cost of website services such as Wix, Webs and others.

Friday, 22 May 2015 06:09

Blog your way to better ranking

Blogging To A Better Search Presence

Chances are good that you follow several blogs on a regular basis.  In fact, you’re reading a blog post right now.  And if you’re like a great deal of folks, you’ve probably even written a few of your own blog posts or at least added commentary on a blog or two.  Blogs are catchy and usually fun to read, after all.

But did you know that blogs are also an incredible way to create a thriving search engine presence?  It’s true, it seems that blogs have quite a competitive advantage for several important search engine visibility producing results.  In fact, optimized blog posts are notable for:

  • How quickly they show up in a search engine’s results.  A quality well-targeted blog post from a moderately popular blog is often indexed and live in the search engines in just a matter of hours—not days or weeks.  It’s actually rather amazing!
  • Being ranked and listed for terms where creating a traditional static web page would end up with way to much competition to show up in a timely fashion (or at all).  While they usually don’t stick around in the search results quite as long as a static web page would, blogging is a great way to keep a fresh, up to date web search presence.
  • Attracting all kinds of natural free incoming links.  In the blogosphere, it’s friendly and customary to share and give back. This means that other bloggers and blog commenters will freely add a link to your blog or blog post from one of theirs if they find it appealing.  In the world of traditional static websites, you would practically have to beg, borrow, and steal to get links so easily!

And these are just a few remarkable benefits of blogging to improve search presence.

Here’s How To Make Blogging Work...

Blogging is not difficult, but there are a few things to consider in order to achieve the maximum possible benefits:

  • Optimize for a keyword.  Many think that writing a blog post is just a matter of sitting down in front of the keyboard and rambling.  This is not the case—just like any type of writing, presenting thoughts in an organized way is always best.  By keeping a certain topic or keyword phrase in mind while planning a post and writing, you’ll be naturally targeting the post for better search-ability.
  • Blog regularly and blog often.  You don’t have to do several posts a day, or even a week for that matter.  But it is important to stick to a predictable and regular schedule for both your readers’ sake and for the search engines to become accustomed to your regular postings.
  • Put your blog on autopilot.  For most of us, coming up with the time to write good posts on a timely basis is just not very realistic.  Consider hiring professional web optimization writers to handle your blogging for you.  It requires zero effort on your part, and the payoff is practically unlimited when it comes to growing your site’s targeted traffic.

Blogging is here to stay—partially because readers love it and partially because the search engines love it.  How could it be any better than that?

Computer infected with Spyware?

Follow these steps which has a 95% success rate of removing spyware and adware.

Your first line of defense is a good Anti Virus software.
Most Antivirus programs are commonly available in two forms.
The first form is Antivirus and the second is Internet Security.
The Internet security version replaces the Windows Firewall with their firewall.

I personally just use the Antivirus form as I see no advantage to having some additional firewall.

For Anti Virus I recommend either Kaspersky or McAfee.
If you have either make sure they are updated.

There are two types of infections that most PC users wind up getting.
One is Spyware / Malware and the other is Adware.
The difference is Adware just adds popup and other ads to your browser making browsing the web a bit of a nightmare.
The others cause your PC harm by various methods. Some claim to be Antivirus programs which is telling you your PC is infected.
Also it tells you if you send them X number of dollars it will remove the infections.
Of course it is a scam and hope if it happened to you that you didn't fall for it?

Even the best Antivirus applications can't block everything out there.
If you are not careful and take your PC where no man has gone before you are bound to find some bad boys.

To fix your problems should you have fallen victim to one or more of these unwanted infections follow these two steps.

Step 1.
 Download SuperAntiSpyware from http://www.superantispyware.com/.
 There are a few different versions to choose from.
 If you want to try it out then choose the free version.
 I although would suggest the portable version where you can used when needed.
 The portable version runs on a USB Memory stick or a CD.
If you install it on your PC then first go to system tools / preferences and uncheck start superantispyware when windows starts.
Also uncheck Enable real-time protection if you purchased it.
These may cause problems with your Antivirus application so best to disable them.
 After downloading and installing your choice of versions run a full scan.
 At the end of the scan have it remove all infections and allow it to reboot the PC.


Step 2.
  Download AdwCleaner from https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner/

  I don't know why there is no official website for this software but I prefer sites that don't force you to install anything else on your PC.
  The two sites I give links to require no software to install and do not require you to register with them.
  After you download it run the application as it does not seem to install on your PC.
  It has a uninstall button but I cannot find any place where it installs anything nor does it place a shortcut or menu item on your PC.
  So I am assuming it installs nothing on your PC.
  At the end of the scan it will have a check boxes next to items it finds.
  Go tab by tab to see if anything it has listed is something important to you.
  For all other items make sure they are checks and then click Clean.
  Check off everything it finds unless it's something you wish to keep.
  Click on the Cleaning button and when it's done again you will need to reboot.

After you run these two on your PC it should be clean of all bad boys.
If you still have problems then repeat running both again but this time do it in safe mode.
To get into safe mode reboot your PC and tap the F8 when you see the PC is booting on your screen.
If you can't seem to time hitting this key at the right time then use msconfig to get into safe mode.
On the first tab you can change it to Diagnostic Startup which is safe mode.

Run SuperAntiSpyware first and then AdwCleaner.
To get back to normal mode again run msconfig and set it to Normal Startup.

Lastly I again remind you that an up to date Antivirus software is your first line of defense.
Just removing the infections is not enough - you also need to bar the doors.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 16:52

Promote Your Site Locally

Think Local For These Six Easy To Score Incoming Links

Incoming links are not always easy to obtain!  Fortunately, search optimization experts are really good about finding and securing plenty of quality, appropriate links to help build your site’s link popularity ethically.  But there is one way in particular that you can help move the process along, right from your own neck of the woods.

More often than not, local organizations are eager to help out fellow organizations and businesses within their own communities.  This means that asking for a link will often receive an automatic “yes” response.  Here are 6 great places to start...

  1. Chamber of Commerce – That’s right, if you’re a member already, be sure you’re website’s link is listed at your local Chamber of Commerce web directory.  Almost every Chamber organization offers this as a little membership perk.  And if you’re not a member already, you should seriously consider joining—the rewards are well worth it!
  2. Convention & Visitors Bureau – Most communities have one.  If you provide a service or benefit to the community, and especially if that service might apply to those visiting your community, this is a win-win proposition.
  3. The Local News – Here’s a thought...the news is always looking for possible stories that involve the community.  If your business is finding unusual success during the current recession, or if you just have a unique story to tell, inform the media via PR or perhaps even a simple phone call.  Be sure to give them the link to your website so they can share it along with the news story.
  4. Local Only Directories – Chances are, your web optimization strategy includes promotion to several important global-audience web directories.  But have you forgotten to look up the local online directories?  Even most small communities have one—see if you can score a link with yours.
  5. Provide Testimonial – This works great nationally too, but it works especially well locally.  Contact a few of the businesses you contract with on a regular basis and offer to provide a short testimonial about the merits of the service or product they offer for them to freely post on their website.  It’s not unusual at all for a link back to your site to be included with such a testimonial.
  6. Better Business Bureau – Providing your customers with assurance is just one respectable reason to become a member of the BBB.  Another reason is that your local area’s organization will probably give a link to your site from your profile on their site.

Again, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the obvious.  Don’t forget about asking for links according to these six tips and also from any other organizations you might be involved with.

Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:17

Google content accuracy?

Content Accuracy or Content they want?

is now going to rate content on websites base on accuracy!

I can't see why this is required? I think people can determine who they prefer to listen to without help from Google.
Is it really help that Google is giving? After all a company as powerful as Google being in such a position can be a major propaganda tool.

I can't see that this is a good idea or is needed at all.
Why is it they seem to want to target content rather than false advertising?
Why not lower the rank of all these Hosting companies that claim to give people unlimited space and transfer?
Or SEO companies that claim to put you on the first page of Google?

Ralph Nader

There are so many false claims by companies and no one takes them on.
There seems to be a lack of people out there like Ralph Nader who was a champion for the consumer for many years.
And here we have Google who for whatever reason seems to think it knows best what political views you should have or what conspiracy facts are in their mind factual.


I hope the new CEO of Google has a better take on this then the not so bright people that seem to think this is required.
After all if some people want to believe that men from Mars built the Pyramids or that some planet X is heading towards earth that is their right to believe what they want.

What makes America a great country is our right to believe whatever we want to believe.
And if a view is popular Google has no right to try and downplay or squash it.
After all that's something dictators like to do and Americans don't like dictators!


Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:16

PirateBay causes many problems

Torrents that maybe everywhere

A problem took place with one of our servers at CW3 Web Hosting.
A reseller had created an account for a client which then canceled the account some time later.
The account was found to have 235 torrents in a folder.

The reseller having been also the website designer didn't delete the account.

So it seems for years unnoticed this account was part of thepiratebay inventory.

But because their website ( thepriatebay.org ) was shut down it somehow caused a ton of traffic to our server.
At first we thought that someone had given the wrong IP address to users which sent them to our server.
Our logs showed that the website variations of tracker.thepiratebay.org had a request for /announce.php
Of course our server does not have such an account ( thepiratebay.org ) nor does it have a file named announce.php.
So we had no clue why thousands of people from China were hitting our server which was causing it to crash.

But after we found these files we believed it maybe the cause.
These files were placed there by the someone as a remote library of files for users of Pirate Bay to use.

So we thought the closing of the website Pirate Bay revealed these files tucked away on our server.
Had their site not been closed we would have never know they were there.

I wonder how many other Hosts have these files on their servers.
I never thought to scan the server for *.torrent until this took place.

We have an Update on this problem from Ernesto at torrentfreak.com
He found the problem was due to the Chinese Government.
This info from  came from viewdns.info.

Ernesto has informed me that many hosting companies were having this same problem with some of their servers.

To me I find this as unacceptable behavior by the Chinese Government.
This has cost me time and money.

Thanks for sharing that info Ernesto.

Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:15

Website Hacking at a all time high!

Website Hacking is becoming a big problem.

We have just upgraded our website to the latest version of Joomla.
The following day the traffic went up ten times the normal.
At first I thought this was great. I thought it was from search engines looking over the new stuff.
This was not the case.

It seems hackers somehow know when a new install of Joomla has happened.
This may also be true for Wordpress but I can only speak of my experience.
The number of hackers was what surprised me all working together at the same goal.
These hackers must have some place where they share info as to have so many hit a site at once is no coincidence.
I have a development website also where we test changes prior to applying them to the live site and it too was hit.
These people must have a way to know a new install of Joomla has taken place.
Either a Bot or somehow a way of getting this info from Joomla's Website.

The page they all hit was the login page.
The countries they came from was:
Russian Federation  14,494 visits
Ukraine  9,954 visits

Our site was hacked once long ago when we were running Joomla version 1.5
We failed to upgrade it and had to restore the site and upgrade it.
After upgrading to version 2.5 we not only keep it upgraded but also have a brute force plugin installed.

If you are installing Joomla or any other application for the first time be sure to use strong passwords.
Change the default user of "admin" to something else.
Install the Brute Force plugin.

Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:13

Explaining Search Friendly Design

Explaining Search Friendly Design To The Marketing Department

Sometimes they just don’t get it.  They mean well, and of course they have the best intentions of your company in mind, but they continue to insist on just getting the company’s web strategy all wrong.  Does this sound all too familiar?

If your company’s marketing department insists on applying traditional, but often outdated marketing tactics to your website, then this scenario probably does ring a bell.  Unfortunately, experts at using the web to its fullest potential all too often are fighting an unnecessary battle with traditional marketing folks who don’t quite see eye to eye with how a website and overall web presence can be used for maximum effectiveness.

Hopefully, you’re one of the lucky ones—working with marketing professionals that really get the web.  But if not, here are a few talking points you might consider bringing up the next time the inevitable conversation takes place again...

  • Flash is great—just not for searchable text!  While using Flash as part of a website’s design can look really great and really appeal to the visitors, relying it for 100% of the website’s presentation is a fatal flaw for search engine friendliness.  Search engines rely on the text within your site to index and rank your site.  The bottom line is that the search engines can’t read or understand your site if all text is presented to the readers as a Flash design.
  • Web visitors want more than your company’s brochure copy.  Yes, web visitors are looking for more than the traditional company brochure—they’re looking for detailed, easy-to-read content.  Sales copy can and does often work on the web, but there’s a time and place for it.  Lengthy, formal dissertations are not acceptable to most visitors of your site; instead, visitors want the details presented in a friendly context.
  • It’s about more than looks.  Graphic design plays a vital role in both offline and online marketing, but websites must be about more than graphic design alone.  Websites have to have real content to attract visitors through the search engines—a pretty site alone that’s informationally empty just won’t cut it.
  • A good website is easy to read.  Remember, visitors to your site want to find the information they came for quickly and easily.  Believe it or not, the way the information is presented has a huge impact on whether or not they’ll stick around long enough to find it.  The first rule is to keep the default font size large enough for comfortable reading.  Next, it’s a really good idea to keep paragraphs short and use bullet points, headers, and subtitles frequently to add whitespace and guide the reader to what they’re seeking.  This might not be necessary in traditional print, but it is the way of the web.

In the end, it’s all about keeping in mind that the web is a completely different beast than offline marketing.  While some ideas are cross-functional, in practice, all web experts will tell you that there are major differences too.  Understanding how visitors use the web and offering a solution based on those facts (rather than just the offline marketing goals) is the best way to build upon a foundation of success.


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