Five Articles About Cloud Hosting Tools

These posts were commissioned via oDesk. I researched, edited and completed five posts in one morning for a very happy client.

Five Reasons To Use Dropbox

Dropbox is an online storage tool, and a very useful one at that. You can upload your files, and then access them from anywhere. And it’s the simplest to use. Do you need more incentive than that to use Dropbox?

1.       Backup your most important files – you won’t lose them if your computer crashes or your external hard drive gets stolen, or your child spills juice on your PC.
2.       Access from anywhere – perhaps you want to review a work file from your tropical vacation, but your wife did not let you bring your laptop for that exact reason. You can download the doc onto another device straight from dropbox (when she’s not looking).

3.       Send large files – many files are too big to send via email or messenger (videos, college theses, hundreds of vacation photos). For these, dropbox is a handy tool. Just upload the document, and send your counterpart the link to download it on their end. There’s no limit on filesize!

4.       Organize and pool work – if you are working on a project with multiple people, dropbox is the perfect way to stay organized and watch what your team members are producing. Project leaders will make folders for the assigned work, and everyone can upload their documents into the correct spot.

5.       Store a large document that you share often – if you have a document that you give away fairly often, store it on dropbox for easy access. You can then include the share link in your email newsletter, on a social media post, or wherever you need it so that your clientele will have access. or Vonage vs Vonage? It’s not all that easy to choose one over the other. Rather, you should choose the service that is right for you. Both companies offer phone service via high speed internet, but just perusing through the two websites will show you which one is aimed at business. lets your business work from anywhere under the one phone number with extensions, and vonage lets you make calls to anywhere via the internet, thus saving you a lot of money. is the clear winner for small businesses that aren’t necessarily tethered to an office. With’s mobile office service, you get a range of benefits perfect for business. Purchase a business phone number, set up an extension menu so that customers know where to direct their call, and let your staff receive calls no matter where they are. All employees could be working from home or a coffee shop and customers would be none the wiser. Make calls from your mobile or your computer, and your business phone number will show up. Receive phone calls from your business line on your cell, and they will be identified as a business caller so you will know exactly how to answer the phone.

Scheduling the hours where calls are allowed to come in is easy with – just set your schedule and let the calls roll in, or conversely, send them automatically to voicemail if ‘the office is closed.’ And you can customize your afterhours greeting much like you would in a conventional office. There are so many features included’s services: you can even review faxes via smart phone and set your hold music.

Vonage offers many services. It lets you make and receive calls over the internet, either from your computer or from a house phone. All you have to do is buy a Vonage box and plug it into your high speed internet. You can call more than 60 countries using Vonage, which will save you a good chunk of change if you have friends and family spread throughout the world. For small business, the routine is the same: buy a vonage box, plug it in, and start calling. You get a dedicated fax line (with 500 minutes), the same, cheaper long distance rates, and the ability to extend the plan to a mobile phone similar to’s service.

When it comes down to it, you can tell by the companies’ homepages that is making mobile offices their bread and butter – whereas Vonage is aimed at the home phone market, most likely for travelers or families with many international ties. The one you choose is the one that fits your need best.

How to Buy a Domain Name Through Godaddy

One of the first things any web-based business has to do is purchase a domain name. Well, after figuring out a product or service to sell, and figuring out a business plan, and figuring out a company name. After all those are complete, you must procure your domain! GoDaddy is one of the most recognizable vendors of domain names – after all, they like to run ads during the Super Bowl. And they are relatively inexpensive for the service.

Buying a domain name is quite simple via GoDaddy:
1.       Check to see if your desired name is available! Just enter the name you want into the search bar that says, “Search for a new domain.”
2.       If your domain name is available, purchase by clicking “Add.” You can also select many other domains – GoDaddy will offer you a packaged deal on .net, .org and .info. GoDaddy will often have domains on sale (this week’s biggest bargain is .Us).
3.       Click “Continue To Registration.”
4.       A pop up screen will ask “What Do You Want To Do With Your Domain?” You must choose one of three options: Web Hosting, Website Building and Hosting, or Email.
5.       Continue to Shopping Cart. You will now have to choose specifics including how many years you are paying for, which “email package” you want, and any other domains you’d like to purchase. Read this carefully. Make sure you are only buying what you want.
6.       Click “Check Out.” Now you will have to log in or create a new GoDaddy account with your personal information.
7.       Continue to Checkout. Enter your billing information (credit card or paypal), and accept GoDaddy’s Universal Terms of Service Agreement.
8.       Click “Place Order Now.”

Why Use Google Apps?

There are many reasons to use Google Apps. Firstly, everyone else is using them – so you better know how to use them too if you want to keep up with the online business world. Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs are all apps that you’ve probably already heard of that are brought to you by the geniuses at Google.

Secondly, Google has a ton of apps; they’re so integrated into our daily routines that we don’t even think of them as apps. They have a social network (Google+), a web browser (Chrome), and are connected with important tools of the trade such as Youtube and Blogger. Google Apps will make your life easier. Why wouldn’t you use them? Google Drive lets you store and access your documents anywhere, Gmail is the most popular webmail ever, Google Calendar keeps you organized and can share your schedule with whomever you want, and Google Talk allows you to chat and talk and video message straight from your email. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Google has apps for translation, picture storage, mapping, and analyzing web traffic.

Thirdly, Google Apps have the important distinction of allowing you to work together with others, even though you could be spread out across the globe. This remote collaboration is one of the most important reasons you should be using Google Apps. Google Drive was released this year, and it allows you to work – in real time – with remote team members on spreadsheets and documents. It’s not the first service of this type, but it’s by Google, so you know it’s the best.
Finally, it’s really low cost. While you can buy apps to customize your Google experience, the key apps are free - perfect for someone just starting out. You can set yourself up with a calendar, a group, an email and much more for no cost. If you want a Gmail account with your domain name, it’s only a few bucks and you can try it out for up to ten people for free with no credit card information necessary.