Latest News & Industry Articles.

Cape Epic Nutrition

January 28, 2010

When it comes to preparing for the Cape Epic, hard work and gutsy determination will only get you so far. Serious riders know that the science behind using the correct nutrition will give them an edge to prepare themselves for what is truly one of the greatest mountain biking challenges on the planet.

Team RSAWEB nutrition sponsor Biogen provided the team with a carefully selected range of products from their Enduro range, which is designed for athletes that need to perform over longer periods of time under demanding conditions.

In preparation for the Team RSAWEB 2010 Cape Epic Mission, our pro riders Nic & Simon Lamond put these products to the test in a “light” training ride from Cape Town to Sedgefield. After conquering some rather interesting terrain (see pic below), and pushing their fitness levels to breaking point, the lads had this to say about their new trail companions:

“The recovery drink (Recovergen) works well. It’s thick and milky and feels like it rebuilds us after a hard training session. Ready for the 9-5, or the next session!”

“We are both impressed with the taste of the Energy drink (Cytogen) and the Gels (Energy Gels). Seriously. The naartjie flavour drink is awesome. You can drink it all day which is critical on a 5-hour training ride and will be a god-send during the race.”

“As for the gels, they give a boost much like most gels out there do, but these ones don’t clog up, or make you wince at the taste and texture. Easy to swallow, and pleasant on the palate.”

Special thanks to Biogen for powering our team. Literally.

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With the new-year in full swing, lets take a look at what strategic technologies we think are already beginning to take root, and will play a big role in shaping IT in South Africa during 2010:

1. Cloud based Technologies
With the success and rapid adoption of cloud based technologies in international markets, it’s only a matter of time before this game-changer reaches our shores, offering services that are faster to market than ever before. Expect some big developments in this space from RSAWEB in the near future.

2. Modular Data Center design
A more modular approach to data centre design will be employed, only providing resources for space being utilized. Previously, newly-built data centers often had huge areas of vacant floor space, fully powered and backed by an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water-and air-cooled while they were predominantly empty.

3. Flash Memory
Flash memory is not a new technology, but it is only now beginning to gain momentum as the price drops with increasing demand.

According to international research company Gartner, at the current rate of price drops, this technology will enjoy more than a 100 percent compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems.

4. Virtualization for Availability
Recent developments in virtualization technology such as live migration, has brought a new focus on this technology, which now provides higher availability than before. Such developments will allow for the cost and complexity systems to be reduced.

5. Mobile Applications
An often overlooked factor in a country that has 3 times more mobile internet users than broadband users. By the end of 2010, Gartner predicts that world wide 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing a prosperous environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web.

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How to park a domain name

December 18, 2009

Domain name choice is a critical factor for any online venture. Securing the right domain name will maximize the amount of search engine traffic that comes to your site, maintain brand consistency and make sure you’re easy to find on the web.

Those with foresight can book or ‘park’ their desired domains, so that they can own the domain without having to pay the monthly hosting costs while they are not using it. This can prove useful if you have an idea for a blog/business/ecommerce site, and want to secure a domain name ahead of time or even if you see a particular domain that will become valuable to you in the future.

Parking a domain with RSAWEB is easy and cost effective. All you pay for is the annual domain registration cost, and parking fee of R25 per annum. So for example, if you wanted to park www.thisismysupernewdomain.co.za, it would cost you R50 per annum for the registration and R25 for the parking – a total cost of R75 per annum (R6.25 per month). When you want to start using your domain, simply order a web hosting package, and you’re ready to go live.

Ready to get parking?
Check if the domain you want to purchase is available using our domain search tool.

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We caught up with U23 UCI World MTB champ and Durban local, Burry Stander at a recent Cape Epic event.

Burry, one of South Africa’s brightest cycling prospects, took some time to share with us his thoughts on the 2010 Cape Epic, what it’s like riding with international mountain biking legend Christoph Sauser and some advice for first time Epic riders taking on the race in 2010.

Burry and Christoph will be one of the big teams to watch at the 2010 Cape Epic.

Stay up to date with our Cape Epic 2010 Mission coverage as it becomes available on:

RSS feed
Email updates

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We recently bumped into legendary solo adventurer Riaan Manser at the Cape Epic route launch in Johnannesburg. In this video, Riaan shares his thoughts on the 2010 Cape Epic, his latest Madagascar adventure, leg shaving and why beards are making comeback.

Riaan is famous for his incredible solo circumnavigation of Africa, covering a staggering 37, 000km and 34 countries on a mountain bike, and more recently becoming the first person to successfully kayak 5000km around Madagascar, alone and unaided.

Riaan uses his adventures as a means to build awareness around the dire poverty in Africa, and runs several social upliftment programs that can be found on his website www.africa365.co.za.

Stay up to date with our Cape Epic 2010 Mission coverage as it becomes available:
RSS feed
Email updates

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Team RSAWEB have officially announced that they have entered 3 teams (6 riders) into the 2010 Cape Epic mountain bike race as part of their Team RSAWEB Cape Epic 2010 Mission, which includes not only participating teams and support crew, but also extensive media coverage of the event.

The Cape Epic is the world’s largest and most televised stage mountain bike race, drawing a mix of over 1200 amateur and professional riders from all around the globe to our home soil, where they must endure 722kms of SA’s toughest mountain biking terrain for 8 consecutive days. A gargantuan test of mind and body, many aim just to finish and survive to tell the tale.

As this epic adventure unfolds, we’ll be posting a series of videos chronicling the team’s progress, the race action as it happens and all the previously untold behind-the-scenes stories that take place over the duration of the race.

Traveling within close proximity to all the action, our mobile media team will be there to keep race followers on the web informed via tweets, blogs and up-to-the-minute video coverage of the race.

In our first video, we invite you to meet team members Nic, Simon, Rob and Mark. Enjoy.

Stay up to date with our Cape Epic 2010 Mission coverage as it becomes available:
RSS feed
Email updates

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It’s only a matter of weeks before multi-award-winning alternative rock band The Killers will be performing their first-ever South African tour, commencing on Friday, 4 December 2009 at the Coca-Cola Dome Johannesburg and Sunday 6 December at Val De Vie Estate, Cape Town.

RSAWEB is giving away two pairs of tickets – one pair for the Johannesburg show and one pair for the Cape Town show.

All you have to do to stand a chance to win is upload your ‘Killer Fan Photo’ on our fan photo album on our RSAWEB facebook fan page. The photo must demonstrate to the world just how much you love The Killers. The photo showing the most love from fellow facebookers in the form of ‘likes’ will be awarded the tickets. Remember, creativity will help you get the most votes, so don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild.

Some suggestions:

– Shave ‘I love The Killers & RSAWEB’ into you cat’s fur.
– Build a 40 foot statue of Brandon Flowers out of lego.
– Etch ‘I’m going to see The Killers on the 4th of December’ into your boss’s car door.
– Name your newborn baby ‘Mr. Brightside’

All we need to see is the photographic evidence. And yes, you may upload multiple photos… but keep it clean please.

Upload your photos on our facebook fan album.

Start uploading now!

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RSAWEB Soccer Clinic

November 11, 2009

With 2010 just round the corner, we were inspired to invest in South Africa’s future soccer stars. To achieve this, we partnered with Upward Sports to provide a soccer clinic for the children of the Ocean View community in Cape Town. Some of our office super stars also pitched in to lend some of their skills to the clinic…

RSAWEB TV was on hand to cover the action. Take a look…

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Getting heard above all the noise on the web is becoming harder. The old mantra of, “build it and they will come” certainly does hold true on the web in many cases. There are many obvious success stories of this, ala Google, but as more of your competitors or even other websites compete for your customers eyeballs, standing out of the crowd is what you need to get right.

What is certainly true for all sites/products/services on the web is that information is king. He (or she) who holds the data and presents it in the most useful/usable format normally wins. Data can come in multiple forms: text, images, video, maps, news etc and can be presented in multiple formats: blogs, news sites, Facebook, Twitter, email, newsletter, etc.

So, how do you become successful?

1. Be interesting
Ego plays a massive part in developing a good web presence. Tell your visitors that you are good. A good way to do this with industry recognition, testimonials from customers etc.

So to stroke your ego, get connected on Twitter & Facebook and talk about yourself, your product and your site. Build up your network of followers to some decent numbers and compare yourself against your competition. Entice customers & new Twitter followers with interesting campaigns, maybe do a product discount when you increase your twitter followers to 100 (for newbies) or up it by 10% or some other strategic number.

2. KISS – Keep it simple stupid
Simplicity and usability are two of the most important factors on the web. It’s one thing having great data, but if your delivery mechanism isn’t good, it’s worth nothing. Change things slowly, introduce new concepts and see how they perform. Are you getting more visitor traffic through a new page or menu item you created since last week?

3. If you can’t measure it, how can you manage it?
Tracking is one of those vital feedback mechanisms. You need to know how people are getting to your site, what they are searching for, how long they stayed for, how many pages they viewed etc. (you need to track this via Google Analytics)

Analytics provides a FREE & amazingly powerful tool to track your users. You can also track ‘conversions’ and evaluate how these customers got to your site. Conversions can be a specific page view, like a contact form submission or a newsletter signup or even a product order.

4. Build, release. FAST (for online applications)
If your development cycle is months, by the time you have finished building it, is your product even going to suite the users? Taking a lesson from the Agile/Scrum approach to development, build something quickly and release it. Get user feedback comments and see if they like it. Customers know what they want, you can make an educated guess, but that’s exactly it, a guess. Stop guessing, release new features quickly, take a features poll from users and stop trying to understand the customers needs, get them to tell you what THEY want. Decide, build, release, get feedback, reiterate. (in 1-2 months cycles max)

5. Leverage your user base
Engage your users on Facebook, Twitter and other social media applications. Happy users are great promoters of your products. If you are selling something, create an affiliate marketing program, giving them a % of the revenue from the sale. The power of Twitter and other social media allows interesting products/services to go viral. When a new user signs up, encourage them to follow you on twitter. Possibly offer new features in advance to users that ‘retweet’ your message to their friends (this is a great way to get followers)

6. Offline Actions
The biggest debate always revolves around what offline actions one should take. Talk to as many people as possible about your product/service. Get networking, attend conferences, get invited to speak at conferences (this happens when you become the ‘expert’ in your field) and tell friends & family. Be passionate.

7. The bigger picture
Don’t expect overnight success, all these things take time to get right. Quality content & good presentation is the key, the more useful information presented in a good format, the more success you can expect to have.

Summing up
We often see companies advertising “Get listed on Google” or some other marketing tool, used to entice customers to signup for a website or web hosting, don’t be tempted, if it actually worked, everyone would be using it (even us and we don’t!). Customers also get a website built by someone else and then wonder why they don’t get any visitors.

Realistically it’s all about your content and who links to your content. Be interesting, put some effort into marketing your website and people will come, be boring and people won’t. Google Adwords is also the fastest way to get your website out there (you pay money for people clicking on adverts).

Read up on SEO (search engine optimisation) and SEM (search engine marketing) – start implementing these strategies, they do require a lot of time and energy, but they do really work.

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Securing WordPress has become a major challenge, it is certainly true that WordPress’s success is it’s Achilles heel. As new bugs/hacks are discovered, hackers, spammers and the like are quick to pounce on these opportunities to infect blogs with rubbish content and junky backlinks. Securing your WordPress based site is a crucial step to keeping your site online, your traffic flowing to it and protecting that all important Google ranking. (Google will penalise you for link to spam.)

Keep WordPress updated
Simple yet extremely effective. Updating WordPress is usually really simple. The WordPress guys have made it as simple as possible, there is an auto upgrade function built into WordPress, which makes it ultra simple. A word of caution, if you have hacked the WordPress code, your task just got massively harder. So my advice –> don’t. Keep it simple.

WordPress plugins
Definitely keep these updated. WordPress plugins do have security flaws from time to time. Rather keep them updated, again via a simple upgrade in your plugins manager.

Secure WordPress
There are some nifty plugins that can help you secure WordPress that are easy to install and work like a charm. Secure WordPress plugin

Secure your passwords
For heaven’s sake, why did you make that password for your admin user ‘password’ when you reset it? This is the easiest trick in the book, its called a brute force attack and a cracker will simply keep testing your admin or other users passwords, its just a matter of time. Make sure you use long passwords with multiple characters. Then install this: Login lockdown plugin.

Remove the WordPress version string in your theme
This prevents hackers seeing which version of WordPress you are running. This makes it harder for them to determine where they should start attacking your site. This and other smaller but very useful tweaks can be done easily by installing the WP-Security-Scan plugin.

Server Security – Intelligent blocking
This is harder to achieve if you don’t actually own or manage the server. Modsecurity is a great plugin for the apache web server and there are specific rules that can be added to your apache config to protect it even further. ModSecurity is a module for open source web servers, like apache, that acts like a detector & firewall. It works by providing protection from a wide range of typical attacks against web applications on a web server (like WordPress). For RSAWEB Hosting customers, speak to us for help around this.

For top-class WordPress Web Hosting go and check out RSAWEB. Anything from a small WordPress site to  super-large WordPress sites are catered for.

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