How to compress files and directories on Ubuntu

One of the most common ways to quickly and effectively compress files on a Linx server such as Ubuntu us the combination of TAR GZIP. When moving directories between servers this is far faster to compress, transfer and expand — compared to raw transfer of files.

Here is an example of how I used the command recently to move some files between web hosting servers.

Source server:

tar -czvf name-of-archive.tar.gz /path/to/directory-or-file

Then using normal FTP I copied this file to my local machine before uploading it to my destination server.

tar -xzvf archive.tar.gz

Blog topics

Here is a brief idea starter for some things to blog about:

1) Testimonials – a great place to share what other people are saying about your business or product. I will also copy testimonials received from other sites such as Yelp or YP.Com

2) Case Studies – tell others about your best success stories with other clients. Choose how much information you want to share, such as business name, or perhaps just category.

3) Staff changes – always be talking about your changes in your staff, who has joined, who was promoted, or even celebrating employee anniversaries with the company, birthdays, or anything else exciting going on in their life.

4) Business hours – if you change your business hours, close for holidays, or anything else timely, share it.

5) Products spotlight – share detailed information about one of your specific products, this can either be pure informational/technical, or you can share about the history of a specific item, candid information, or customer stories about the product

6) Staff biographies – be sure to tell and share the stories of your staff. This could be directly or indirectly related to their official roles. People enjoy seeing the human side of the people they work with.

7) Industry news – share what is going on in your industry, from trends, to informative news, legal changes, other peoples successes.



Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Perform a search on Google for “Search Engine Optimization” and you’ll see over 43 MILLION pages. The concept of Search Engine Optimization is huge and very profitable. Sadly a large among of those gains are from illegitimate methods which result in only short term gains to your website. At ProactiveWeb our experienced web developers will work with you to determine the correct path to take to meet your desired objectives. We will determine realistic expectations for search results and create a plan, implement and monitor those results.

While there is no “black magic” or “secret sauce” to improving your search results, there are some well published techniques and, most significantly, qualified experience to help guide you through the process. Our overall goal for SEO is to produce a plan which shows steady, positive, sustainable growth in search ranking. Promises from companies for rapid success are from unsustainable, and sometimes unethical methods which will be short lived, and perhaps lead to your website being blacklisted or banned by Google and other search engines.

Here is some of the specific elements we can bring to help you improve your search rank:

  • Review of your website, both content and technical attributes
  • Advice on website hosting, services or other technical or programming elements
  • Content development and management
  • Online marking and social media presence
  • Key word and target marketing research
  • Training on SEO

Google has published an excellent guide which can help both webmasters as well as interested parties in Search Engine Optimization, as well as selecting a firm. We will use some of those ideas here and answer the questions they present for you.

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
    • Absolutely, we have some published case studies, including: Silicon Valley Driving School which was able to eliminate their YellowPages print ad because of our SEO work. Of course, please contact us for additional references or information.
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
    • Absolutely! In fact, we’re referencing their own questions and guidelines here. This is an excellent question to ask.
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
    • Our primary focus is on organic search results and optimization, however we will make recommendations for some online marketing when appropriate. We do not resell these services, but rather refer you directly to the vendor.
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
    • We work with our customers to develop specific, measurable objectives. Our primary goal is steady, positive and sustainable growth – rapid growth tends to be a red-herring, and of little long term value for most businesses. All objectives will be documented, and measured in a verifiable method.
  • What’s your experience in my industry?
    • Definitely contact us and let us know what industry you’re involved in and we can provide additional detail. Areas we’ve recently been involved in, but certainly not limited to is: non-profit, church/religious, medical/health-care, daycare/childcare, government.
  • What’s your experience in my country/city?
    • We have extensive experience throughout the state of California with an emphasis in Shasta County (Redding, Anderson); Silicon Valley (San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino); rural health-care; and nation wide e-commerce.
  • What’s your experience developing international sites?
    • We do not offer or specialize in international sites; we have some very limited experience with internationally based missionaries, but that would be the greatest extent of our prior involvement.
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
    • Our largest focus is on ensuring the website has discoverable/searchable content which is of real value to the individual performing the keyword searches. Valuable content is the most significant element of any SEO campaign, followed by execution and technical skill-sets.
  • How long have you been in business?
    • ProactiveWeb is a division of ProactiveITC which was founded in 2006. Our two lead SEO engineers have been providing professional web development services since 1998 and 2000.
  • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
    • All communication will be a combination of phone, web-conference and e-mail documentation; if you’re in the greater Shasta County area, on-site appointments are preferred when possible. All changes will be reviewed before being executed. In some instances a mock-up website will be created for review before being published on the internet. You are free to ask any questions as to our methodology and process, again, we don’t believe there is any secret sauce to SEO, simply well published methods and experienced execution of those methods.

Here are some additional things about us, which is (in part) taken from the aforementioned Google document:

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google: Our approach is to work with you to create long-term, realistic goals for your websites and related search terms. While the majority of the time we can help you get first page placement, and in some cases first ranking position, there are a few things you need to know. First, there is no guarantee of ranking, for MANY reasons, including the nature of the organic search – if we both searched at the same time for the same term, you will sometimes find that your computer and mine return different results, even in the #1 position. We can guarantee satisfaction with our service and that if we work together you will see a positive direction on your search result placement.
  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do: Again, we don’t believe in any secret sauce, when we are working together, we will provide you a detailed approach to how we’re going to implement the plan to meet agreed upon objectives. Of course, to protect ourselves from being abused, we don’t provided detailed plans before we’re under a service agreement.
  • You should never have to link to an SEO: We definitely agree with this one, that is a method used my many to create inflated search results, which are short lived — our method is long term, sustainable growth! However, with that said, we always appreciate our customers linking to us in attribution to the services we’ve provided that hopefully results in customer referrals, but nothing more – no page rank or backlink scheme here!
  • Be sure to understand where the money goes: All fees paid to us goes directly to our company to pay operating and staff expenses, none of the monies paid to us ever goes to third party firms. Only in select instances, typically when requested by the client, will we recommend they directly work with Google/Yahoo/etc for ad placement.
  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter? While there are many abusive methods on the internet to provide short term gains, ProactiveWeb avoids and refuses to perform any of the following: shadow domains, keyword laden doorway pages, SEO link exchanges, paid-for-inclusion methods, spam, backlink spam, and anything illegal.

Our overall goal for SEO is to produce a plan which shows steady, positive, sustainable growth in search ranking.

Contact us today and we’ll get started!

Domain Privacy

Internet privacy is a big deal these days. Privacy breaches at various sites have exposed sensitive data like home addresses, phone numbers and email and more.But for domain name owners, there’s another easily preventable privacy pitfall out there that could cause just as much headache as a major social networking site leaking their personal data.There are thousands of home-based businesses launched every year where the owner fails to enable the Contact Privacy feature of his or her domain name, resulting in the publishing of their home address, phone number and email address the domain’s publicly searching WHOIS record.

Domain Privacy is provided as a FREE service to all proactiveWeb subscribers! 

Blog Ideas: Parties

Here is a great place to share on what your organization did to celebrate the holidays. This could be pictures from an office party, your decorations or perhaps how your company volunteered to help out a charity. Whatever you do special this time of year, be sure to share it!

Blog Ideas: Holiday Hours

As we’re looking to the upcoming Holidays, be sure to post your hours of operations for the holiday. This can apply to almost any business. Even if you’re a 24x7x365 operation, be sure to state that as well so your customers know that you’ll be open over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. If you have modified schedules or perhaps only an answering service, be sure to share that. Make sure you take a moment to show your commitment to customer service in the way you present your information.

Also take the moment to pre-schedule your Holiday Greetings to your clients on a separate blog celebrating the season with them in whatever fashion is appropriate for your company. Also think of other ways you may want to spread the holidays in your homepage design or even in other technologies such as your voicemail greeting or e-mail signatures.

Blog Ideas: Testimonials

Here is a great use of blogs… start to enter in your client testimonials onto your blog! Be sure to provide enough information to make the testimony appear valid, such as partial name and city, or other such identifying information. Another source you can freely choose to grab is from online website reviews such as yelp or insider pages, freely copy their testimonials onto your own website and simply provide a link back to the source as your validation of the testimonial. Be sure to think about what level of client confidentiality you need to maintain, which is industry specific. Also, it is generally a good idea to include all errors as they appear in the testimonial to retain their genuine feel. However feel free to edit as necessary but clearly indicate where you’ve done that.

Also I will create a specific tag or category in the blog software and use that to feed an RSS reader on my website so it will show the most current (or perhaps select one out of the most recent 3) testimonials to display on the website.