Tips for Speeding Up Your PC

free-tips-tricks-speed-up-pcA slow moving PC can be one of the most frustrating things on the planet. A poorly operating PC slows down business and decreases productivity. Luckily enough, however, there are some tips that can keep your PC running efficiently.

  1. Reduce Items that Run on Startup

If you most notice that your computer is running slowly during startup, it’s likely that you have too many items that begin upon the start of your computer. If this is the case, the first thing that you want to do is see what starts when you hit the power button on your tower. You can do this my clicking on the Windows button, then click “run”, then typing “msconfig” into the box. Once the system configuration prompt appears, click on the “Startup” tab. This will show you everything that opens when you power up your computer. Identify items that are not important and disable them.

  1. Remove Programs that You Don’t Use

We all have programs on our computer that we once thought were going to be useful, but it turns out that we don’t use them anymore. Uninstall these programs through your control panel to free up some space for programs that you do use regularly.

  1. Remove Malware

Anything that starts with “mal” should be eliminated from your life, especially when it comes to your PC. Scan your system regularly to rid it of any kind of malware that is slowing down your computer. There are a few free tools that provide this service, such as Norton and Avast.

  1. Defrag Your Drive Regularly

It is important to regularly defragment your drive manually or to schedule a defragment to happen automatically. It is a good idea to do this at least once per month if you are using your PC for office work. However, if you are downloading movies, programs or software often, it is a good idea to defragment your drive on a more frequent basis.

These tips will help your PC to run more quickly, and help you to be more productive. If these tips are not doing the trick, and you need a professionals help, please feel free to give iPoint a call. We offer hourly rates with no contract.

The Power of a Blog

Do you have a blog for your business? I hope you do, but if not, now is the time to start one. The power that a blog holds continues to be greater and greater. Additionally, the ways to leverage your blog to increase traffic to your business website continue to increase. It may seem like a daunting task, to blog, but the overall benefits outweigh the time that you spend writing.

How can you benefit from having a blog?Power of a Blog

It helps increase traffic to your website – Blogs will help drive traffic to your website, which in turn, will help your website to perform better in search engines.

  • Having a blog means that you are updating the content on your website on a regular basis. This is a determining factor that search engines use to rank pages. If a site is regularly updated it will most often rank higher than a site that doesn’t get updated.
  • Every blog post creates a new page on your website, which means with every new blog post there is an opportunity to show up in organic search results
  • Blogs are a great opportunity to link with other pages, and to share on social media. It is another way to reach out to your target market.

Great example of the power of blogging

iPoint wrote a blog about the advantages and disadvantages of wifi about 7 years ago. For whatever reason, the search engines picked up on it quickly and it ended up recording over 40K views of our website. It was traffic that we definitely wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and some of the views turned into business for us.

Blogging is worth it

Properly optimized blog posts, coupled with frequent posting and relevant topics will increase the likelihood of a business’s appearance in organic search. If a user clicks on your blog post, your website benefits from the traffic and Google notices that people are searching for information that is related to your industry, and that information is held on your website. This further enhances your websites credibility, and creates a higher ranking for your site.

If you are interested in learning more about the power of blogging, please give us a call!

Web Applications for Small Business

web_applicationApplication development started becoming a big business with the introduction of online business, and hasn’t stopped growing since. Now, most big businesses have developed an app that they can use to manage their business online or an app for customers can use to interact with the business. However, that doesn’t mean that apps are only meant for big businesses. Many small business owners can too benefit from an app.

What are some things to consider before moving forward with web applications?

  1. What will the app do?

Asking questions like, “What will be the functionality of the app?”, and “What is the apps purpose?” are great ways to determine how the app will add value to your business. There are several different ways that an app can benefit both the internal workforce and the end customer. Whatever the use of the app may be, it is important to think through how you would want it to operate.

  1. How is the data organized?

The most important role for applications developed for small businesses is often organizing data in a way that is easy for users to find and access. With that in mind, how do you want the data that you are going to include in the app to populate? What does that look like? Is there any secure information that the app is going to have to work around like credit card numbers or other personal information?

  1. Does it solve a problem for your business?

When developing an app for your business, make sure that it solves a problem and serves a purpose. Is it something that will help your business to manage clientele, like a specific client relationship management database for a real estate agent that also has specific paperwork available on it? Or, are you a distribution company that needs an app to keep track of where all of the items in the warehouse are? The problem could even be as simple as a chiropractor who needs to be able to view patient notes and make new notes while in the room with the patient.

Depending on the industry that you work in, an application could save you a great deal of time and money. It can also help to capture gaps in productivity and streamline your workflow. If an application is something that you’ve been considering for your business, we’d be happy to offer you a free consultation to talk about your options.

Benefits of using Microsoft 365 vs. Basic Email Systems

BenefitsThis is more of a cloud or hosted email system versus an onsite email system question.

Office 365 is a cloud based hosted service, where as Microsoft Exchange is email software that runs on a server in house. For the purpose of this blog think of Office 365 as a synonym for cloud based or hosted email.  The benefits are the same regardless of whether Microsoft, Amazon, or Google provides the hosting.

The main benefits of Office 365 is its hosted nature.  This means all the email software and email data itself lives on Microsoft’s servers.  Since all the data is stored by Microsoft they manage it as well.

Unlike traditional in house hosted email, disaster recovery, storage, and service outages are handled by Microsoft instead of your IT department.

Similarly if the client is running an onsite email server and for some reason the internet becomes unavailable, or equipment breaks, the server is shut down and they will not receive email.  With Office 365 hosted email, no matter what happens to the client’s servers or workstations, they will receive their email when they reconnect.

Simply put email is a mission-critical part of every business.  Unless you want to have an on premise IT department, or purchase a maintenance package, Office 365 is a good way to outsource the servers and administration of email hosting.

The biggest advantage for an onsite email system is data security. If data security is absolutely vital to the operations of the company, the company should move forward with an onsite email system and accompany it with onsite IT personnel.

For cloud hosted email systems there are currently three large competitors.  Microsoft and Office 365, Google and Google Apps for Work, and Amazon with Amazon WorkMail.  Amazon WorkMail costs $4/user per month will give you 50GB of storage per user.  Google Apps for Work costs $5/user per month and offers access to Google Drive Apps (it is essentially a google doc’s application) and 30GB of storage per user.  Office 365 Business Essentials is the email-only version and costs $5.61/user per month and includes 50GB of storage.  However, you can buy Office 365 business premium for $12.50/user per month however that includes full Microsoft office 2013 1TB of file storage and sharing per user and unlimited online meetings with Lync instant messaging and HD video conferencing.

For our customers, we prefer to set them up with Office 365 because it gives them the most file storage and is the most user friendly of the versions we’ve tested. If you are interested in moving your companies email to a cloud based system, please give us a call 970-266-0703.