Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News

Why B.C. Stands Out with its Startup Canada Involvement

The Startup Canada team, for six months, did a cross country trip, coast-to-coast, throughout various cities in Canada to gather Canadian entrepreneurs to join a movement. Startup Canada believes that the solution begins with a grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement to bring together Canada’s national entrepreneurship community to create a clear vision and strategy that leads to real change and action. Entrepreneurs are part of our circle, in the past, we shared useful insights on helpful organizations like the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, tips for new small business owners, useful questions for new business owners, and even took part in the most recent Vancouver Startup Weekend. To say, the least, B.C. has a lot going on when it comes to startups and small businesses. A recent article from the Province states that B.C. is the hub for startups, with a nation leading 3.7% of the working population being part of a startup, and Alberta is second. B.C. stands out for leading the country in this area and we're proud of it.

startup, canada

Startup Canada

Social Innovation

During the "Social Impact Entrepreneurship" session, Nicole Stefenelli, president and CEO of Urban Impact, shared her own entrepreneurial story and her key emphasis was on innovation and the importance of being ahead of the curve in order to remain competitive. Attendees had the chance to mingle with the Startup Canada team in an intimate setting then, later, toured the recycling facility. Other social entrepreneurs shared their stories and the main theme surrounded real life problems being solved with innovative solutions using state-of-the-art technologies.

Entrepreneurial Defining Moments

During the middle of the week, the evening session "Aha! Defining moments" showcased lightning pitches from 20 great Vancouver tech startups answering the question: What was your aha! moment or turning point for your company? Some of the answers included wake-up call from accidents, being inspired by customers, wanting to build rather than being told what to do, desire to crowdsource opinions, making business tasks like bookkeeping more accessible, helping society become healthier and many more. They keynote was Rahim Fazal, CEO and co-founder of Involver, later sold to Oracle. Following the theme of the week, he also shared how he began, his past and his current projects, leaving the crowd with some entrepreneurial food for thought. His three main tips were to 1) join the world on your own terms, 2) be vulnerable, and finally, 3) if everything seems under control, you're not driving fast enough.

Innovating Differently

Finally, one of the last sessions was "Innovating Differently: Women, Entrepreneurship & Technology" which consisted of four panels exploring: 1) Innovating Differently: Why women are critical to innovation, engineering and technology, 2) Launching a Start-Up: Lessons Learned from Successes and Failures, 3) The New Economy: How technology is enabling a thriving culture of startups out of the home, 4) Financing Start-Ups: Incubating, Accelerating, Funding– What’s working, what’s not, what’s hot. Lots of insights came out of all of these panels. Innovation could just be a spark. Any failures were just missed opportunities. The hot debate between stay-at-home moms vs. stay-at-home dads came up. Communication and trust between an open partnership were emphasized. Thinking about distribution from the start was another important component. Also, one of the panelists stressed the importance of hiring the right sales force at the right time.

Affordable and Easy Access to Technology

The comment during Startup Canada that we related to the most was how affordable and fast it has become nowadays to launch your own business online and in this day in age, businesses must have an online presence. With the rise in entrepreneurship, here, at Canadian Web Hosting, we're always ready to help you and your business succeed. So, what are you waiting for? You can leave us a comment, tweet us at @cawebhosting or connect with us on Facebook to let us know how we can support you.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru


Back-to-School? Six Mobile Apps for Students

Education and technology go hand in hand. However, with the rise of apps, the current and future technology will continue to change the world of education from the way students take notes to how they interact with all the gadgets available now and in the future including ultrabooks, studying apps, etextbooks, not to mention the free virtual resources all over the web. A recent study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that since 2009, the percentage of apps for children in every age category from toddler to high school has risen. Additionally, a look at the top 25 apps reveals about 60% of those apps target children per a recent Techvibes article. Since school is just around the corner, we thought that it would be a great idea to share some useful apps (and site) for those who are in education and for those who have children going back to school. From toddlers to college students, these apps can really help our younger generations thrive and become successful in gaining knowledge in the classroom.

Mobile apps
Photo © methodshop on Flickr

The list of apps geared towards education is endless and continues to grow. To get you started, we're sharing 6 apps that you might find helpful:

1. The Chemical Touch ($0.99 on iOS devices): this interactive app is a periodic table to help you learn chemistry in a fun way. When you select different elements, the app provides you with their properties and get definitions of nucleobases. When you can recolor the periodic table, you can visually identify periodic trends. The app will open Wikipedia entries if you have used up all of the app's built-in information.

2. Evernote Peek (Free on iOS devices): this app turns your iPad‘s SmartCover into a flashcard. You won't need any more hard copies of index cards to memorize anything from geography facts, language translations to geometric equations. Evernote helps you turn your notes, audio notes and images into study materials. If you don't have a SmartCover, you can still use virtual smart cover. Check out their video showing how it works.

3. Rate My Professors (site): this isn't an app, but since it could turn out to be a very useful site, we're including this one on our list. helps you figure out which professors to choose from or to avoid through more than 14 million student-generated comments and ratings. They cover 7,500 schools, 1.7 million professors from colleges and universities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The best part is that it was built for college students, by college students.

4. Graphic Calculator (varies): for your math classes, you can avoid paying for a "real" calculator and invest a few bucks, usually less than $5 into this app. It can be found on iOS, Android OS, and more. Besides, why would you need to carry an extra gadget when you can use your smartphone to do the job? Let this app make your world easier when you're ready to crunch numbers and formulas to solve your classroom assignments.

5. World Atlas ($0.99 on iOS and free on Android OS): this app makes learning easy for your geography class. It provides high-res images with detail and accuracy beyond any Google image. It helps with your history class with visuals such as world flags and facts about each country, including government types and capitals. Some apps may have different map styles, so that you can choose the viewing style that you prefer. Bookmark your favourite places can also be an option depending on the OS that you're using. You may even be able to view the current time or weather, as well.

6. Astrid Tasks/To-do List (Free on both iOS and Android OS): as a student, you have lots of homework, projects and extra curricular activities to keep track of. This app is your personal assistant to help you become more productive and efficient. You'll feel organized and ready to tackle each day with this app that lets you prioritize each to-do activity on your list with due dates (as needed), priority levels and even a calendar. The filters can help you jump quickly from one category to another such as home to school. It's easy to use and you can even share your list with your roommate or other students when you're working on a team project. Now, you can stay on track with your busy student lives.

Finally, Edudemic has a thorough list of 50 apps that you can browse through including DropBox,, Instapaper, iTranslator, WebMD, Street Safe and Math Ref to share some of their finding. What other educational apps do you or your students use? Feel free to share your findings below in our comment section.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru


Tourism Richmond Talks’ Recap: Why Taking Risk Pays Off

If you've been following our blog, you'll know that while we love informing and educating you about our exciting web hosting and IT solutions related products, we also enjoy sharing innovative, business tips for our tech savvy community. This time, we'll focus on the tourism (and food) community to switch things up. While this isn't an industry that we have blogged much about in the past, some key elements will relate to entrepreneurship, an area that we constantly monitor. Besides, we know that our customers touch endless industries and since tourism is one of them, this is relevant to them, but also to the countless entrepreneurs using our services.

With that said, this past spring, you might have heard of this online buzz coming from Richmond, BC, regarding the food blogger gig announcement for a lucky winner to eat out for an entire year in that city. Last Wednesday, the Social Media Network hosted one of their social media speaker sessions at the Network Hub, featuring Brittany Riddell, marketing manager for Tourism Richmond. The event hashtag was #TourismRichmondTalks and the topics covered were as followed: how Tourism Richmond got all foodie eyes via social media, the social media behind Tourism Richmond’s recent 365 Days of Dining campaign and finally, being social in tourism.

Photo © riacale on Flickr

Key Facts from the Tourism Richmond 365 Days of Dining Campaign

      • 365 Days of Dining was the biggest campaign [in the greater Vancouver area] since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
      • In Richmond, BC, there are over 800 restaurants and over half are Asian influenced (we even have our own proof with an off-the-cuff blog post that we wanted to share with our local community).
      • This specific campaign used a triple A approach: affordability, accessibility, and its large Asian culture.
      • #365DaysofDining (their official hashtag during the campaign) was groundbreaking because it was driven purely by social media and the momentum of bloggers around the world.
      • The perks and compensation validated the work of food bloggers worldwide as professionals.
      • The applicant pool came from over 23 countries, 26 US states and all 10 Canadian provinces.
      • 1507 applicants were narrowed down to top 12 applicants with 6 people reviewing all of the organic applications.
      • The top 12 finalists resulted in an increase of 6500 Facebook fans and transparency with the campaign remained from beginning to end.
      • Constructive criticism and ranting is hard to distinguish and a crisis plan was already in place from the very start.

Recap Summary: Taking Risk in Social Media = Online Success

If you're in the tourism industry or you're an entrepreneur looking for new ways to spice up your next social media campaign, I hope that you found some useful tips through this article, feel free to share it on social media to your peers. Tourism Richmond is obviously social and you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and more. This campaign really demonstrates that a calculated risk including a crisis management plan requires a high amount of transparency and ongoing flexibility as the campaign evolves through the end. Course correcting is still a key element and it'll be interesting to follow their journey. We applaud Tourism Richmond for running an innovative campaign in such a traditional media driven industry, taking risks and doing something different among their peers. Finally, you can also view the brief recap from the organizers from the Social Media Network for more information that includes an online curation of the event's tweets.

Special Offer for #TourismRichmondTalks' Friends

To conclude, we are offering a special deal for any offline or online #TourismRichmondTalks' participants including speakers, organizers, volunteers and even sponsors. You can learn more about us at Canadian Web Hosting, and to find out more about this specialized offer, the first step is to follow us on Twitter at @cawebhosting and like our Facebook page. The second step is for you to send us a message with the keyword "#RichmondRules" along with your contact information (email and/or phone number, or even Twitter handle) and we'll contact you directly after we verify that you completed the first step. Are you the next food blogger or tourism ambassador to watch? Let us help you.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru


A Common Trait Between an Olympian and StopTheHacker: Prevention

The 2012 Olympics in London are in full swing and like other tech and business bloggers, we feel the urge to make an Olympics’ reference to make topics more relatable to our audience and current events. At the time of this post, Canadians are currently 25th in the medal count leaderboard – 0 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze. Go Canada go! (Why do we sound like Canucks fans? Sorry, we can't help ourselves.)

Olympics 2012 in London, UK

How does an Olympian’s Training Relate to Web Hosting Online Prevention?

If you happen to be an athlete, say a hockey player, you might already know that according to sports’ studies, athletes can prevent injuries by taking some prevention steps such as strength training, which is one of the benefits in building muscles prior to competing. Strength training is necessary to promote success and safety. As such, the main keyword connects to: prevention. It’s simple. Prevention is one of the elements in an athlete’s overall training and in the web hosting world, prevention is highly important when it comes to protecting your sites, including your blogs. Our team often blogs about online privacy topics, and this time, we want to share with you how StopTheHacker can help you and your business regarding online security. If an athlete gets injured, he or she will lose precious time with physical therapy and such. It’s the same thing with your sites, if you get infected, you’ll lose hours, days and maybe weeks trying to recover data and preventing that from happening should be a must, so please read on. We want to help you become more productive in business and for you to worry less.

What is StopTheHacker?

StopTheHacker is a cloud based website protection suite (AV for Websites) to help prevent, detect and recover from malware (and viruses) attacks. StopTheHacker's technology, supported by the US National Science Foundation, has won multiple awards since 2009, and is a leading application supporting customers all over the globe, protecting their online presence from emerging threats. Each edition comes with a different feature set tailored to each specific target group and varying security requirements.

What are the Key Features of StopTheHacker?

Standard and Advanced Detections. StopTheHacker comes with standard or advanced detections. The standard feature checks all of your pages on your website for known viruses and web malware threats to see if hackers may have injected malicious code into your website. When enrolled, the built-in notification system immediately informs you about any scans found, so you, or your web master, can take actions if needed. The advanced version, in addition to what the standard version does, protects the website from never-before-identified malware. It detects malware within the following website elements including HTML, Java Script, php, iframes to name a few.

Automatic Malware Cleanup. You may not be a security expert, or have the resources available to handle a malware attack. Therefore, the automated malware scanning system can remove it for you and you can decide which level of automations fits the best for you. Let StopTheHacker tool do the work for you, so that you can focus on what’s important for your business.

Blacklist and Reputation Monitoring. It is a comprehensive daily check on the status of your website on Google’s Safe Browsing List and other search engines including Yahoo, and Bing; malware blacklists like Malware Patrol and Malware URL; DNS Blacklists; phishing blacklists like PhishTank; spam blacklists like SpamCop; and many more. We will automatically notify you if your website ends up on a blacklist and help you to remove your site from the search engine blacklist.

Vulnerability Assessment. It scans to identify vulnerabilities in your server/application configuration, so you can patch them to prevent web-based attacks by bots and hackers. Today, the tool checks over 35,000 vulnerabilities on your server(s), website and infrastructure. We also check for web application vulnerabilities in some of the most popular software applications like WordPress, Drupal, Django, Joomla, Ruby on Rails, OpenCMS. Through these scans, we can uncover vulnerabilities in custom installations too.

Other Features. They include speed and up-time monitoring, Facebook protection and because it’s cloud based, there’s no software to manage and it’s easy to set up. All services are offered on Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, and they are run outside the firewall.

How can a Customer Take Advantage of StopTheHacker?

It’s easy to implement StopTheHacker for your web hosting prevention needs, contact our sales teams today at 888-821-7888 or by email at Our expert team will work with you to examine your existing infrastructure and to relate back to our introduction, as strength training helps sports performance, it is important to remember that it is only one component of an integrated program, and compared to web hosting, prevention is only one of the components too. When you reach out to us, we can help you identify next steps to leverage our industry best services with Canadian Web Hosting along with prevention tools like StopTheHacker. Prevention is key, so don't wait!

What other online tools do you use to prevent your online sites? Please share your thoughts by leaving us a comment, otherwise, you may catch us on Twitter at @cawebhosting or on our Facebook Page, on a social side, we'll even chat with you about your favourite Olympics' event.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru


Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

Some of our community members are already business owners, and others might be thinking of starting their own business. We recently heard a local designer share her own personal story on how she got started with her own business and the discussion surrounded six main questions that you should ask yourself before jumping in. In this article, we're sharing her thought process and how it's helped her along the way, hoping that you'll find some takeaways yourself.

question marks

Photo © Oberazzi on Flickr

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

1. Why am I doing this? Have a good reason. In her case, providing a specific type of design is what she loves and since that is what she lives and breathes each day, that's a strong reason for her to go after this endeavour. That is her passion and she understands that there is a clear need for her services today. Her skills can be monetized and since that is what she loves to do, she has no reasons not to do it. The following question adds a bit more depth.

2. Where am I now? Know your city, be part of it. She fell in love with the city and decided that this is where she wanted to personally and professionally set roots. Since jobs were scarce, this was a timely opportunity to jump in and do it herself. In her specific situation, she supports local businesses and what works to her advantage is that because she loves the city, she's able to mingle with them at various events, get to know them on a more personal level and know the latest happenings around town. It's important to know what's going on in the community, to understand its culture and most importantly, to be a part of it.

3. Who are my clients? Know what they care about. With the previous point made, depending on your business, you may have a niche and her type of design service is very specific to a particular clientele and once she figured that out, she's been able to spend more time in that specific community to keep up with trends and again, to find out more about them on a personal level. This allows her to put her best work forward when she's designing for each customer. Each customer has different needs and when she's able to learn more about them as individuals along with their personalities, she's able to let that knowledge influence her as she's creating art. In the end, she's able to connect with her customers' requests more easily.

4. How can I educate my clients? You're their teacher. In her design field, not only is she producing work, but she's also keeping her clients informed on her process from timeline to different types of materials that can be used for their requests. She has to consistently be a teacher, an expert who can provide information about any intricacies in her line of work. Some clients may not always understand how much material or time a certain project may take and she's able to inform them about all of the details that need to take place. For example, with Canadian Web Hosting, our latest post provided information on how to protect yourself from a data breach. Being able to provide unique, and useful information will help others see you come across as an expert in your own industry.

5. Who are my peers? How can I collaborate with them? Every industry has a community somewhere, whether online or offline, to share thoughts and ideas and she goes back to connecting with the community, except in this instance, it's about connecting with her own design community where she can continue to learn about what's new and up-and-coming. In other cases, her peers may have a certain skill set that she isn't an expert at, and a new partnership could well easily be formed to work on certain projects. On a related topic, the WHIR's latest magazine covered power partnerships which speaks directly to this question on a similar level.

6. What do I have to offer? Be different, be you. Design is a vast world and her type of design is unique. She takes a very personal approach by connecting with the community and while she shows some of her own personality when the project is more open-ended, she uses the personal tidbits that she learns through engaging with her own clientele to make the work different, and which reflects her clients' needs.

If you have more questions to add, please leave us a comment, or you can bring up this conversation with us on Twitter at @cawebhosting or on our Facebook Page. As always, we'd love to hear from you.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru