What is a "managed system"?
We commonly refer to the Slab CMS as a "managed" solution. What do we mean by that? And what advantages does a managed system have over an unmanaged one?
Being "managed" means our system is integrated, centrally administred and overseen, and secure.
Many content management systems available today, whether they are open source or proprietary, rely on a plugin architecture to bolster their feature set. While the core software package originates from a trusted source, in order to extend the software's capabilities, web developers must rely on plugins submitted by third parties. These plug-in repositiories can be thought of as "App Stores" of sorts, though without the careful curation typical of major companies. In fact, most of the plugins in these repositiories offer no guarantee of compatibility with current core software versions, and many are no longer actively updated at all. In the worst case, they contain overtly malicious code, exposing their users to possbile data theft or loss.
When core software updates are released to address security concerns or add features, any of the plugins used on a site can, and often do, become inoperable. This means that keeping a site completely up to date, both in terms of its features and security, involves ensuring every single plugin on the site is also updated. Given the various degrees of commitment on the part of plug-in developers, we think this is hardy an ideal solution.
The Slab web system uses modules similar to plug-ins to extend its core feature set; however, all these modules are developed in-house, and are tightly integrated into the core software that powers our websites. That's what we mean by managed. Updates to the core always take into account the modules, and vise-vesa. The result are clean upgrades to address feature requests and security concerns, without any downtime, and the elimination of the multiple points of failure inherent in plug-in based software.
In addition to integration of our modules and core software, being a managed solution means we oversee our software administration centrally. When you use our system, you can count on us to ensure your site will run as designed, today, and in ten years. We will update your software and any modules you are running to address security concerns transparently and with no interaction necessary on your part. You focus on content, we focus on making sure your site is available and up to date.
In a plug-in based system, every feature facilitated by a plug-in is a potential attack vector for hackers. Your site is more vulnerable simply by virture of the number of different avenues available to attackers. Because Slab CMS is integrated, the types of attacks available to hackers are severely restricted. Rather than many potential points of failure, we have very few (and we watch those like hawks). Managed is more secure than fragmented.
Hosting on another server
If you want to license our system, we can arrange that for you for a fee.
Web Publishing Platform
Content Management System or CMS
Dynamic web site
Front end interface
Multi level access
What is the difference between Web Hosting and Domain Registration?
Think of your webserver (we are a webserver provider) as your house, and the domain registrar as the local town registry of deeds. You can go the to registry of deeds to find out where the house is, but you don't go there expecting to see the house.
Another way to think of these two is the difference between your phone number and your phone. The number gets a caller to your phone, but you don't need to buy your phone from the phone company that registers your number (in an ideal world).
Please contact us with further questions about domain names and hosting on SLAB500.com
How do you claim a domain name?
The trick to acquiring the domain name you want is to use a trusted registrar to (a) find out if it is available, and (b) to register it for yourself.
It is important to use a legitimate registrar, such as pairnic.com, so that you don't inadvertently alert scammers that you want that particular name. Scammers have ways of tracking which domain names are desirable and will pounce on ones that are searched. To avoid losing your domain name in that way, stick to the trusted registrar sites to do all your research.
Once you have determined that the domain name you want is available, then you can use that same trusted registrar, or the registrar with whom you already have sites registered to claim it for yourself.
Why did my Domain Registrar email me?
This notification is being sent to you as a regulatory requirement of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) WHOIS policy. When you registered your domain with us, you agreed to keep your contact information in Account Manager current, and WHOIS policy mandates that we ask you to verify and/or update this information periodically. Further, ICANN requires us to remind you that providing inaccurate or dated contact information may be grounds for domain name cancellation..."
But what does it mean?
Domain Registrar companies are required to periodically remind their customers to update their information to keep the data current and accurate. When you get an email like this, we suggest that you take the opportunity to check in and make sure your information is correct. The emails usually contain instructions on how to do this, and it is important that you keep that data current so that you won't miss renewal reminders and so that your domain name remains protected.
If you can't remember which company you used to purchase your domain name and are not sure if the email is legitimate, you can go to any domain registrar and look up your information (we recommend http://whois.pairnic.com) and look up your registrar there; pairnic is a competing domain name registration company and will list where your domain name currently lives. It's kind of like how you can look up someone's phone number using different kinds of yellow-pages: they all have the same information listed even though they are different companies. Once you are sure the email is legitimate, go ahead and follow the instructions provided.
What can Slabmedia do to improve my search rankings?
When Google started, they changed this dynamic by ignoring all keywords on websites. Google only indexes visible text on your site. More importantly, Google prioritizes larger, bolder, or italic text in decreasing importance from the top of the page to the bottom. This makes Google's search results much more accurate and relevant than Lycos', Yahoo's, or Bing's.
One of the keys to success in modern search engine placement, especially on Google, is to include specific words and phrases you think people will search for to find your site in the headlines of your site. In the SLAB500 system, this is often the "title" of an entry, or the "category". Slab driven pages have a simple outline-like hierarchy when seen without the style and background graphics (which is how Google sees the site) and so, the titles and headline tags are placed very close to the top of the page.
Another way to improve search-ability is to develop specific page titles (the text in the very top of your browser window) for each page - giving you a wider net of search phrases. We have developed an SEO module that will allow you to customize page titles, as well as keywords (still searched by Yahoo) and site descriptions on each page. This module is available for a one time charge of $125.
But wait! There's more. Even if the page is structured correctly, and full of search phrases, it's Google ranking can still remain low if the site has a low number of daily visitors, and/or links to it by other websites. One way to correct this is via a targeted, opt-in email marketing campaign, to get eyes on the pages, and by having reviews of your site or services posted on other websites with a link to your site.
There are some services offered and web developers who recommend using hidden (and irrelevant) text, and phony linking sites to boost your ranking, but from our point of view, it is not worth the risk. If Google feels that you are being misleading, it will reduce your ranking, or even worse, get you banned from their index. Not a good place to be.
Unfortunately, one has to be popular to become popular. Search engine optimization is no substitute for a good marketing campaign. However, once your site gets recognized, the methods mentioned above will help ensure that you stay popular.
How do I control my keywords, site description and page titles?
Keywords are monitored by every search engine except google - they are search terms separated by commas ie: "integrative medicine, cancer, alternative medicine, etc" -- you can go up to 255 characters with this.
A Site Title is used by Google, and it is a simple description of your service or your site.
Beyond that, for a charge tbd, we can monitor your progress via Google's statistic tools, and webmaster tools. We can give you a report every other week, fine tune the content of your site, and suggest ways to promote it to increase your ranking. At first it can take a few months to establish yourself on Google, however, our system is very Google-friendly, and I think with a little adjustment, and some external links, we should be able to get you on the first page at the very least.
What is 'Google Analytics'?
The best place to find out more about Google Analytics is here:
How do I add Google Analytics to my site?
What is Piwik?
Just like with SLABmedia, you have a lot of control over your own Piwik account. You can decide what features you want and which ones to remove. Plus, since the user interface is very customizable, you have the ability to drag and drop each feature to create your perfect display.Besides the basic traffic data that you would get with any analyzer system (such as how many people visited each of your pages), you can also see what keywords were used in searches that caused the visitor to click on your site, how long they stayed on any particular page of yours, what geographical places accessed your site, what pages were used as an entry to your site, and which ones were the last stop for any visitor. To see the full gamut of options, we recommend that you check out the Piwik demo listed below.
If you are already using Google Analytics, you may want to consider adding Piwik as a second source of tracking information. Piwik offers some different options from Google Analytics and has a very unique look to it that helps process the information it gathers in a different way. We like both programs and think they can both be useful in their own right, but we are particularly excited about the expanded possibilities offered by Piwik and encourage you to browse the basics highlighted in the demo listed below. To have Piwik installed on your site, or to get more information about it, shoot us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to talk to you about this option.
Editing Your Content
Creating a Categories, Galleries, Families or Sections
To delete a category, either delete all entries in that category or rename the category.
To register for a user name and password, fill out the information below this login form and a username and password will be sent to you. However you will not be assigned administrative abilities without the permission of the site manager.
Adding new pages in a section
Editing an existing page
How to Order Categories, Galleries, Families or Sections
Once you've started editing the entry - click on the RENAME CATEGORY FIELD, enter the category name, if it does not show up on it's own, and select an ORDER from the pull down field to the right of that category. If you have not set the other categories to a numerical order, you will need to order all the other categories so that they show up in the proper position.