Blog Post Archives - Hostlag


How to create an eCommerce website using WordPress

Thanks to WordPress and Woocommerce, creating an ecommerce website is now very easy. Moreover, there is no better time to start selling online than now when the effect of the covid-19 has taken its toll on many businesses. The success of eCommerce businesses has been so impacting that even established organizations have started online selling not just as a complementary effort but as their main shop.

And why wordpress?

Because wordpress is a robust tool for managing your website, it is free and easy to use, it powers over 75% of the entire global websites, it is a content management system (CMS), it is much easier to get support online for any issue you may face when developing your website. WordPress also have fantastic themes and plugins to make your job easier both free and at a fee (premium).

Factors to consider before building your eCommerce shop.

  1. Web hosting: A good webhosting service provider will make your life easy. Very few web hosting companies are proactive and responsive when it comes to customer support, before choosing a webhost, I will recommend that you do your due diligence, find out about them online and if you can’t find much reviews about them, send them an email and factor in their response time. Make sure the webhosting company offers quality service and their rates are affordable. For a good local (Nigerian) web host, I will recommend Hostlag.
  2. Domain Name: A good domain name is better than expensive marketing. Choose a domain name that people can easily relate with, choose a name that when people see it or hear it, they can easily determine your line of business. As an advice, I will suggest that you choose a domain name that is not more than two to three syllables. Also go for a domain extension that will help your domain name rank faster.
  3. Themes/Plugins: Choosing the right theme for your ecommerce business will make your job easier. Should in case you want to engage a developer to help you develop your website, let the developer send you different ecommerce themes that talks about your niche or line of business, review the themes and choose the best one you think is good for you. Some themes will even help with your SEO (search engine optimization) because some basic seo elements comes with the theme. Choosing the right theme and plug-ins is an added advantage for you. We will discuss what seo is some other time and you can also check our previous blogs for seo meaning.
  4. Payment gateway: If you are a Nigeria business, you have varieties of choices to choose from, I will recommend that you choose either Paystack, Flutterwave or Quickteller. Personally, I’ve always work with the first two.
  5. SSL certificate: Security is very important to your online store, get a comodo positive SSL or any genuine certificate. Comodo and Sectigo is the same company and I will recommend them any day any time because they have been tried and tested. However, even if SSL is installed on your domain (website), you must continue to monitor your website to avoid any cyber-attack on your site. Tools like wordfence and many others can be used for this purpose.  

The factors listed above are major for your online experience. There are also other options of using site builders like shopify, wix and the others for your online shop but the reason why I don’t recommend such is because your online shop will be at the mercy of another company, you can’t make decisions on your own, you must abide by their policies, terms and conditions and even, they can decide to increase price at any time.

If you decide to build your own ecommerce store, all your need is a good webhost and I recommended Hostlag for you if you are in Nigeria, get your server (hosting) and domain names registration from them and either build your site yourself or engage a developer, even though Hostlag is a Nigerian company, they are not limited to only Nigeria, you can also make payment in dollars when you buy your domain names and hosting from them.

Also woocommerce is not the only ecommerce plug-in used in building an online store, there are several of them and you can always find out on your own, what I have done is to recommend what works best for me.

ICANN and Verisign agreed to increase .COM prices in secret

On January 3, 2020, ICANN announced significant changes to the contract it has with Verisign, Inc. to operate the top-level domain .COM.

ICANN and Verisign made these changes in secret, without consulting or incorporating feedback from the ICANN community or Internet users.

Although ICANN has a history of making similar deals behind closed doors, and also of ignoring unified opposition against such action, Hostlag and other domain name registrars will continue to lead the fight against price increases that will harm our customers and the Internet as a whole.

The changes to the .COM agreement will have a much bigger impact on the Internet than the previous action for .ORG, .INFO, and .BIZ domains, due to the dominance of .COM. There are 359.8 million total domain names, of which 144 million are .COM — that’s 40% of all domain names. With 161.8 million country-specific TLDs (ccTLDs), there are 198 million generic TLDs (gTLDs). That means that .COM makes up 73% of all gTLD domain names.

ICANN was created in part to introduce competition between domain name registrars, but now ICANN itself is at the heart of the problem, without considering any input from Internet users on these critical decisions.

There are four main concerns with ICANN’s decision:

1. Price Increases

Verisign will be allowed to increase the wholesale price to registrars for .COM domains by 7% each year in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. After a two year “freeze”, Verisign can increase prices by 7% annually during 2026-2029, then another two year “freeze”. This cycle will continue, meaning that within 10 years, .COM domains could cost approximately 70% more than the current wholesale price of $7.85 — and the sky is the limit.

It is not clear how much of these price increases registrars will pass along to consumers, but it is likely that most of these increases will be paid by domain name registrants. The contract does allow for other price increases for certain extraordinary situations, so it is possible prices could increase more than anticipated.

2. ICANN Will Receive an Extra $20 Million

With the contract changes, Verisign agreed to pay ICANN an additional $20 million dollars over five years to support ICANN’s initiatives regarding the security and stability of the domain name system. There is no explanation why Verisign did this, how ICANN will spend the money, or who will ensure that the funds are properly spent.

3. Verisign Can Operate as a Domain Registrar

ICANN also had rules that the operator of a TLD could not operate a domain name registrar. Although in 2012 ICANN allowed operators of new gTLDs to have domain name registrars, it did not apply to Verisign. The new contract will allow Verisign to operate its own registrar, except for selling .COM domain names itself. To circumvent this, it is also possible that Verisign could act as a reseller of .COM domains, through another registrar.

This result is that the company that controls almost 80% of the registrar pricing for domain names will compete directly with all domain registrars, maximizing its control of domain name pricing to the detriment of other competing registrars. While this might result in lower prices to consumers, fewer registrars will harm competition, choice, and domain name services.

Verisign’s registrar could also use its dominant position to charge higher prices to consumers, while at the same time raising registrar prices.

4. ICANN Ignored Previous Comments

As detailed on Standing Up to ICANN to Keep Domain Prices in Check and, over 3,500 comments were submitted in support of price controls for the .ORG, .INFO, and .BIZ TLDs. Only six comments supported removing price controls. ICANN discounted the comments that were in favor of maintaining price caps. A number of the comments were submitted using an online tool, which caused the comments to be discounted as “spam” by the ICANN Ombudsman.

ICANN removed the price caps, primarily relying upon a biased preliminary analysis from 2009 by an economics professor that did not reference any data.

What Can Be Done About This?

These changes will have a significant impact on the Internet for years to come, and only ICANN and Verisign have participated in this decision. Here is what can be done to stop these harmful changes:

• Let ICANN know how you feel

The Public Comment period is open through February 14, 2020. Submit your own personalized comment using ICANN’s form at You can use the points in this post, but comments will have more impact if they are personalized and based upon your own experience. Everyone on the Internet will be touched by these changes, so together we must tell ICANN how we do not want this.

Ebenezer Dare

CEO – Hostlag

Does Your Business Really Need Online Visibility?

Making the most of the internet is as important as your breathing. Every entrepreneur needs the digital skills to grow his business and confidence. You need to leverage on the power of the internet and social media to generate leads for sales and business growth.

The Internet is a force for good and we must work together to keep it that way. The Internet has become increasingly central to many of our lives and societies, allowing us to accomplish things in moments that less than a decade ago were impossible. For communities coming online, the Internet is a connection to opportunity and empowerment.

Let’s look at some statistics

– Google gets over 6.5 billion searches daily, other search engines like Yahoo and co are not inclusive

– There are well over 1.2 billion websites globally (Is yours included?)

– There are over 4 billion internet users daily

– An average of 200 billion emails are sent and received on a daily basis

– Over 3 million blog posts are written daily

And many more. You can check for more statistics.

Also, according to Global Digital Report 2018;

– The number of internet users worldwide in 2018 is 4.021 billion, up 7 percent year-on-year

– The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year

Do you know that?  

– Listing your business on more than 20 business directories can increase your visibility online by 15%?

– 80% of people find out about new or existing businesses through search engines and directories?

So what is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

How do you take advantage of online visibility to boost your sales?

  1. Don’t always come online, live online.
  2. Always tweet, post or share topics that relates to your business.
  3. Be on every social media platform
  4. Do online adverts
  5. Be consistent in your posting, tweeting etc. It takes patience, faith, consistency among others to close deals.
  6. Be proactive in your response to inquiries.
  7. Grow your network. Your network will determine your networth.

Channels of online marketing

  • Email Marketing
  • BulkSMS
  • In app advertisement
  • Social media marketing. (i.e Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube etc)
  • Websites

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, only when we are confident and believe we are going to win. ~Orison Swett Marden

Thank you.

Ebenezer Dare is the founder and CEO of Hostlag – A web hosting and a domain name company.

Why securing your website is important and necessary

Web hosting business in Nigeria is still a long way to go when it comes to security however, we are not doing badly too. An average Nigerian web hosting company must take security as a priority in order to meet up with customer satisfaction, this is one major reason why we make sure to educate our customers on the necessity and importance of security to your online presence.

Let’s start with the basics: What is SSL? An SSL certificate encrypts the data that goes from a user’s computer to the target website and back. Every time a user enters information into your site, SSL makes sure it can securely travel from their browser to your web server.

What does this mean for website owners? Websites communicate with their customers to share information, and so that they can buy products or services safely with you online. Without getting overly technical, adding an SSL certificate creates a safe connection for those kinds of activities. The most important thing to grasp about SSL is that anything that needs to be secure online should under the protective umbrella of an SSL certificate.

You might have gone to some lengths to bolster your site security but without SSL, it’s unlikely to be enough. Website are free to operate online without an SSL certificate, but you must ask yourself whether you want to take the chance that yours is susceptible to hacking? Probably not.

It was once sufficient to depend solely on basic antivirus software and firewalls for the protection of your business and home computer. That’s no longer the case; today’s users are bombarded with malware. Securing customer trust and confidence should be up there with the most critical factors to consider for anyone operating a business online.

Consider the motivation behind any external party getting hold of your visitors data. Their intention won’t be good; it’s most likely their purpose is to manipulate the information or use it for identity theft. As such, the onus is on the website, or online business to take active steps to counter these measures, in a effort to look after these customers. In doing so, you’re ensuring continual confidence in the use of your web services, higher customer retention and, more importantly, the reduction of data theft.

To sum up, an SSL certificate is more than protect your transactions and your customers’ private information. It will also help to build trust between you and your customer base all the while making your business more reputable.

Hostlag has been one of the top web hosting companies in Nigeria over the last few years and we are committed to keeping you safe online. We offer various services ranging from web hosting, domain names registration, SSL, business emails VPS and dedicated hosting, web design and development and many more.

How to protect your website from hackers

Either we know it or not, agree to it or not, data breach and hacks is on the increase across the globe. That it has not happened to you does not mean it is not happening and if you have been a victim of data breach and hacks, you will understand the severity better.

Hackers do not only target big businesses, one recent report shows that 43% of data breaches and hacks has been against small businesses. You may be wondering why hackers would want to target your small business.

You’ve worked hard enough to grow your brand (website) and you are still doing, so don’t let someone who wants overnight success frustrate your diligence and commitment to growing your business. Use these few tips to protect your website.

  1. Install Plugins that can help secure your website: More than half of the active websites across the globe is developed with content management software (cms) while the others are developed by writing codes.

The difference between these two will be a topic for another day but what’s important for now is for you to know that you can use some security plugins like bulletproof security, wordfence and many others for your wordpress websites while Amasty, Magefence etc will help to protect your websites built with magento.

For websites built with Joomla, you can use security plugins like jomDefender, RSFirewall and many others to protect your websites from hackers.

Whether you’re running a CMS-managed website or HTML sites, you can also use SiteLock to protect your website. SiteLock does more than simply closing site security loopholes by providing daily monitoring for everything from malware detection to vulnerability identification to active virus scanning and more.

If you run an e-commerce website or your business is dependent on your website, SiteLock is definitely an investment worth considering.

  • Update your website regularly: You need to stay up to date to avoid hacking threats. Using the various available content management systems and plugins are very beneficial but also comes with its own disadvantages.

Because most of these tools are developed as open source software, it makes their codes accessible to hackers. Hence to protect your website from hackers, make sure that your cms, plugins, apps, scripts are updated regularly.

You can always login to your website backend to check if any of the tools you are using is available for update and if yes, do not hesitate to update immediately.

  • Using Secure Socket Layer (SSL): One very major important component of online business is creating a trusted environment where consumers and potential customers feel safe when making purchases.

SSL creates a foundation of trust by establishing a secure connection that assure visitors their connection is secure, with a green padlock and a five letter word (HTTPS) showing beside the domain name on the browser URL bar.

The SSL certificate helps you to secure the information of your customers like their personal data, credit card and contact information between the website and the server.

In July 2018, Google Chrome released a security update that alerts website visitors if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed. Your website visitors will see something like Not Secure when they visit your website.

That makes visitors more likely to bounce, even if your website doesn’t collect sensitive information. Search engines are taking website security more seriously than ever because they want users to have a positive and safe experience when browsing the web.

Taking the commitment to security further, a search engine may rank your website lower in search results if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Which means your competitors will rank higher and better than you on search engines. If you want people to trust your brand, you need to invest in an SSL certificate.

Purchasing an SSL certificate is not expensive but the extra level of encryption it offers to your customers goes a long way to making your website more secure and trustworthy.

You can get your SSL certificate here.

  • Use a strong password: This is not new but yet many website owners prefers to use a password they can easily remember. Your website password should include a mix of special character, letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and make it long.

Using numbers like 123456 or ABCDEF is not advisable, using your birthday or your child’s date of birth should be prohibited because hackers (especially if the person knows you already) can easily guess your password and have access to your website.

Make sure to change your website password regularly and if you have other team members who also have their own password access to the same website, make sure that they update their password regularly and they use a strong password too.

  • Frequent Backups: Even with all the above, it does still not mean that hackers cannot gain access to a website nobody is perfect, even though the threats may be limited and your website may not be easily accessible but you still face some risks.

The best way to protect yourself is to have a regular scheduled backups. While data breach may be hurtful no matter what, but having a backup of your website will help relieve you of some stress in the case of data breach.

You can make it a habit to manually backup your website weekly or bi-weekly or if chances are that you may forget or you may be too busy to always manually backup your website, you can invest in automatic backups, it is not expensive.

With automated daily backups, using Hostlag website backup means deleted files are now recoverable, overwritten files are now obtainable, and if a site is hacked, the malware is easily removable.

There are other more advance method of securing your website and protecting it from hackers especially if it’s a web application, but with the above, you are guarantee peace of mind.

About the Author

Ebenezer Dare is the CEO of Hostlag, a web hosting and domain names company that helps businesses and organizations get global relevance via online presence.

You can connect with him on Twitter: @DareEbenezer or Instagram: @ebbydare

How to identify a good web hosting company

Reading through some articles and reviews online recently, I was touched by the experience of some webmasters and business owners when it comes to hosting your websites and web applications online. Many have been disappointed by these web hosting companies by the irregularity of their service.

As a webmaster or business owner, you know that online visibility is key for your business or career if you want to attain global relevance but many at times, entrusting your online presence into the hand of some web hosting companies can deny many the opportunity to achieve set goals because these so called web host are not consistent with their service.

Some of them may just go offline for some days and when you send a mail to their customer support, they’ll tag the issue to server maintenance and that’s even if at all they’ll respond.

Hence, before you entrust your websites or web applications to any web host, what are the features that you must consider;

1. Speed

We all know the importance of website speed. And speed all begins with a fast web host. A web host should respond within 200ms (according to Google), so look for a host that responds quickly in your location and around the world.

2. Uptime

Uptime is a measure of reliability. In other words, it’s the percentage of time your website is online. Even an uptime of 98% can mean your site is down for six days within the year. Look for an uptime of 99.8% or higher.

3. Security

There’s nothing worse than getting hacked. What would you do if you lost all your content and hard work? That’s why web host security is so important. A good host should have automatic updates and malware scanning. Some even come with a free SSL (security) certificate.

4. Backups

As an extra security and practical feature, many hosts now come with regular automatic backups.

5. Customer service

Ideally, your web host should have 24/7/365 customer service. Most hosts now have customer service options including phone, ticket systems and online chat. Note that some hosts charge extra for a premium support service.

6. Storage and bandwidth

‘Storage’ refers to how much content, images and data you can store on the host’s servers. And ‘bandwidth’ is how much data can flow through from the server. This has an impact on speed and visitor numbers. Naturally, we want the highest storage and bandwidth within reason.

7. Price

Don’t always settle for the cheapest webhost. It can end up causing you issues with speed and reliability. It may even hold you back if your website starts to grow. At the same time, you don’t need to spend a fortune! Look for an affordable host with all the features you need.

This is why at Hostlag we prioritize these features above and give our customers a lasting and exciting experience, we know how painful it can be when you don’t have access to your business online for days, we have always been and will continue to put measures in place to make sure that our customers are satisfied with our service.

Hostlag is a web hosting and domain name registration company that help gives businesses and individuals global relevance via online presence.

Think web hosting, think Hostlag.

How to avoid your emails going to spam

Have you ever had one of your emails marked as spam? According to statistics, 80% of all sent emails are spam. As a result, spam filters are becoming stricter and even legitimate emails can end up in spam. There are some steps you can take to ensure that all your emails are being delivered into the inbox. But firstly, let’s discuss what the spam filter is and how it works.

What is a spam filter?

Even 5 years ago, the idea of the spam filter was something new and its work wasn’t checked enough. The spam filter is like a searching system, that scans the emails. If some suspicious material is found, the email ends up in junk.

How does the spam filter work?

The information that the filter looks for can be divided into three categories:

Where the message came from:

Anti-spam organizations have created special network lists, which are called RBLs . Spam filter checks such lists for the IP, that the message was sent from. If the IP address matches one on the list, the spam score of the message increases.

Who sent the message

Using email headers spam filters check if the email was sent by a spam engine or by a real sender. Every email has an unique ID, but when the spammers send mass emails, they all have the same ID.

What the message looks like

Spam filter analyzes the body and the subject of the email. Strings, which can be identified as spam are ‘viagra’, ‘buy now’, ‘lowest prices’, ‘click here’, etc. Also, it looks for flashy HTML such as large fonts, blinking text, bright colors and so on. A lot of spam filters compare the whole text to the amount of suspicious words. So, for example, if your email is long, it will not be identified as spam because of a few suspicious words.

There are several things you can do to improve your email delivery:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • The email should be identified as an ad if that is what you are sending
  • The recipients should have information about your location
  • Include unsubscribe link
  • Do not use too many special symbols, especially at the beginning or in the end of the sentence
  • Check the formatting. If it is possible, avoid different colors of the fonts
  • Do not use shortened URLs. Those are often used by spammers to hide their real URLs
  • Add text version of an email. When you send HTML emails, include a text version of the email
  • Test email with spam checkers like where you will send your email to the specified address and then check your score
  • Check your IP and domain in blacklists. If your IP or domain is blacklisted you should whitelist it or contact your email service provider before sending emails.
  • Be careful with the images. It is recommended not to send emails with images only. Make sure you have no less than two strings of the text to every image and your images are optimized
  • Avoid some types of attachments like .exe, .zip, .swf. It is okay to use .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf
  • Do not purchase email lists. It is common practice to purchase lists of potential clients. However, a lot of email addresses in such lists are not correct and your IP/domain can get blacklisted for mass mailing very fast. It is better to send individual emails to real people
  • Check how your your emails are delivered. You can create different email accounts with popular email providers like Google, Yahoo and so on and send test emails to them
  • Send the emails to your clients on a regular basis and instruct your recipients on how to white-list your email address.