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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I will return to South-East if Nigeria splits -Onyeka Onwenu Published September 3 Nigeria’s music legend, Onyeka Onwenu, has warned against division in the country, saying that “Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable”. Onwenu, however, said if the country breaks up, she would prefer to return to the South-East. She said this during a virtual pre-book launch briefing ahead of the release of her memoir ‘My Father’s Daughter’, billed for October 1. The music icon called on the people of the South East, especially those in the diaspora, to develop the region. She said, “It doesn’t take away whatever you are doing in Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt. You are free to live and do business wherever you are but remember back home, we are being marginalised for a long time. And our people have always done things for themselves. [READ ALSO] Fraud: Ex-banker jailed 98 years, to return N49m, $368,000 “We built the Imo Airport. I was part of the process. It remains the only airport in the country that was built by the citizens and handed over to the Federal Government. “My father went to school abroad, people in his home town collected money and supported him. That’s how we do things, we are communal people. So, I’m not afraid to go back home.” When asked for her views on the agitation for self-sovereignty by some groups in the country, the human right activist said, “If that happens (referring to Nigeria breaking up), I will go back to the South-East because I want to go back home. And even if we don’t split, I want to do so much there.” She charged Nigerians to play less on tribalism by focusing on the positives inherent in the different ethnic groups that make up the country. Using her marriage to a Yoruba Muslim that produced two children as a reference, the 68-year-old music star enjoined every Nigerian to uphold the country’s unity and stop insulting and denigrating each other. “We are blessed with the richness of our culture and everyone should see themselves as one and not let divisions break the country,” she added. Onyeka explained that her new book, titled ‘My Father’s Daughter’, which contains over 450 pages, is designed to give inspiration to the younger ones, especially the younger feminine gender. She said the book examines aspects of her life that are hitherto unknown to the public.

 I will return to South-East if Nigeria splits -Onyeka Onwenu Published September 3   Nigeria’s music legend, Onyeka Onwenu, has warned against division in the country, saying that “Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable”.  Onwenu, however, said if the country breaks up, she would prefer to return to the South-East.  She said this during a virtual pre-book launch briefing ahead of the release of her memoir ‘My Father’s Daughter’, billed for October 1.  The music icon called on the people of the South East, especially those in the diaspora, to develop the region.   She said, “It doesn’t take away whatever you are doing in Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt. You are free to live and do business wherever you are but remember back home, we are being marginalised for a long time. And our people have always done things for themselves.  [READ ALSO] Fraud: Ex-banker jailed 98 years, to return N49m, $368,000  “We built the Imo Airport. I was part of the process. It remains the only airport in the country that was built by the citizens and handed over to the Federal Government.   “My father went to school abroad, people in his home town collected money and supported him. That’s how we do things, we are communal people. So, I’m not afraid to go back home.”  When asked for her views on the agitation for self-sovereignty by some groups in the country, the human right activist said, “If that happens (referring to Nigeria breaking up), I will go back to the South-East because I want to go back home. And even if we don’t split, I want to do so much there.”    She charged Nigerians to play less on tribalism by focusing on the positives inherent in the different ethnic groups that make up the country.  Using her marriage to a Yoruba Muslim that produced two children as a reference, the 68-year-old music star enjoined every Nigerian to uphold the country’s unity and stop insulting and denigrating each other.  “We are blessed with the richness of our culture and everyone should see themselves as one and not let divisions break the country,” she added.   Onyeka explained that her new book, titled ‘My Father’s Daughter’, which contains over 450 pages, is designed to give inspiration to the younger ones, especially the younger feminine gender.  She said the book examines aspects of her life that are hitherto unknown to the public.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

9 ways to save light by NERC


The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission have put together 9 ways to save your electricity consumption. This is in light with the recent increase in electricity billing. Can you share some of the ways you save electricity consumption in your residence or place of business?

1. Turn off lights and electrical appliances when not in use: don't leave your electronics or lightbulbs on all day long.

2. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs:
Traditional light bulbs waste 95% of the energy they use giving off heat, with only 5% going toward the light. Switch them out or use them sparingly.
Leaving them on for long periods is highly wasteful. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80 percent less electricity and last 3 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.

3. Reduce the use of water heaters:
Water heating is a major contributor to your total energy consumption. Other than purchasing an energy-efficient water heater, there are two methods of reducing your water heating expenses, you can simply use less hot water or turn down the thermostat on your water heater.

4. Purchase energy-efficient appliances:
Appliances account for a large amount of enemy consumed in households, offices, and industries. With this in mind, it is important to be intentional about purchases made to the ensure that energy-efficient appliances are installed.

5. Set refrigerator temperature to the manufacturers recommendation:
This is important to avoid excessive cooling and wasting energy

6. Unplug battery chargers when not in use:
Many devices including battery chargers draw power continuously even when not in use.

7. Plug home electronics into power strips:
Use power strips such as adaptors and extension boards to reduce energy consumption Turn the power strips off when equipment is not in use. You'll stop these devices from using energy when idle with one convenient switch.

8. Bring in sunlight:
During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights and use windows and skylights to brighten your home.

9. Service your air conditioner:
Easy maintenance, such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling systems energy consumption.

https://twitter.com/NERCNG/status/1310119927718776833/photo/1


Re: 9 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

What is shared hosting


Shared hosting definition

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where a single physical server hosts multiple sites. Many users utilize the resources on a single server, which keeps the costs low. Users each get a section of a server in which they can host their website files. Shared servers can hosts hundreds of users. Each customer using the shared hosting platform’s server has access to features like databases, monthly traffic, disk space, email accounts, FTP accounts and other add-ons offered by the host. System resources are shared on-demand by customers on the server, and each gets a percentage of everything from RAM and CPU, and other elements such as the single MySQL server, Apache server, and mail server.

Shared hosting offers the most cost-effective way to get a site online since the costs of maintaining a server are split among all the users. This style of hosting is best suited for a small website or blog that doesn’t require advanced configurations or high bandwidth. Since shared hosting is not sufficient for sites with high traffic, high volume sites should look to VPS or dedicated hosting solutions instead.

Let’s start out with a metaphor.

Shared hosting is like using public transportation (stick with us here).

Traveling by bus is an alternative to driving your own private vehicle. This comes with benefits; it is both more environmentally-friendly and can be more cost-effective. But, given the public nature of a bus, you are sharing this mode of transport, so it might be packed at times. The bus will occasionally end up taking more stops between point “A” to point “B,” and your travel time may be increased overall, but it’s still low-cost, convenient, and reliable.

This is how shared hosting works. The resources on a server are shared with other users, but you can still enjoy many of the resources. Reputable web hosting companies (like Namecheap) have policies that govern fair use to make sure everyone has access to a fair amount of the resources.

Shared hosting is an entry-level service capable of offering the amount of resources that a start up, local business, or personal site require. Many people new to the world of web hosting choose shared hosting. It’s popular because it’s the most cost-effective option. Since many people are sharing the resources of a server, individual user costs are kept low. The majority of shared hosting packages come with easy-to-use features such as a user-friendly control panel that allows you to upload your website files, create an email account and add databases for services that need them.

Yes, shared hosting is considered “entry level” by some professionals, but for the majority of sites, it’s more than adequate for their needs.


How does shared hosting work?

As we’ve stated, shared hosting is where a single server hosts multiple sites. The numbers can range from a few hundred to several thousand depending on the available hard drive space, RAM, and processing speed. This hosting is on a machine that’s identical to a dedicated server, but its resources are used by a much greater number of clients. Each website user account's files and any applications are stored in separate partitions on the server, and each has its own file directory tree. Users don’t have access to either the root or to each other's files. All accounts on the shared server share computing resources of the web server.


Advantages of shared web hosting

There are numerous benefits to opting for shared hosting. Let’s take a look at the fundamental features of shared web hosting:

It’s less expensive

Shared hosting provides the most cost-effective hosting solution. With many people contributing towards the costs of the server, the hosting company’s costs are distributed between them. Basic plans start at around $30 a year while you can expect to pay over $100 a year for premium plans with unmetered disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited websites.

It’s flexible

New online ventures can begin with a shared plan and upgrade without hassle as their site grows.

It’s easy to self-manage

Shared hosting is simple and straightforward to set up. Most providers offer a control panel to manage your website. This simplified user interface manages the administrative tasks and any monitoring duties associated with running a server.

You can host multiple domains

You can install numerous websites in your user directory; you just need to make sure the domains you purchase are connected to it. An example would be one person having different domains for their personal website, their hobbyist blog, and their business. Shared hosting is perfect for this.

It’s professionally managed

Shared hosting is relatively low maintenance. Your host will take the headache out of running your server by taking care of basic server administrative tasks. Unless you are prepared to run your own server, web management is the most convenient option. Leave it to professionals to worry about your web hosting - With shared hosting you can expect professional technical assistance for everything from hardware upgrades and maintenance, software updates, DDoS attacks, network outages, etc.

It can host dynamic websites

Websites that look different according to who is browsing are known as dynamic. Popular dynamic websites include Facebook, Quora and Twitter, and dynamic content management systems (CMSs) include WordPress and Joomla!. Dynamic sites and CMSs use alternative programming languages such as Perl, Python or PHP, all of which can run on a shared server.


Things to consider

There are some important criteria to think about when choosing between shared hosting providers, and it goes beyond just pricing. You should look for the following characteristics of a shared hosting package.

Uptime

When you are looking for a shared hosting plan, make sure you have certain uptime guarantees. The absolute minimum you should accept from a host is 99%.

Speed

Sites sharing a server don't affect the speed and performance of each other using the shared hosting at Namecheap, but this can’t be said of many web hosting companies.

Traffic

Factor your anticipated website traffic into your decision. It’s not easy to make projections about web traffic, but if for any reason you expect a large amount of traffic, shared hosting might not be suitable since you might be breaking their fair use policy.

Resources

Resources are always limited, this is the basic premise of the entire field of economics and applies to shared hosting. When choosing shared hosting, check the fine print for what is within their fair use policy. It will cause problems for others if your site gets huge amounts of traffic, if your visitors download masses of content, or a script causes the server to slow down for instance. The podcast website Frogpants experienced problems because visitors were downloading and streaming big files for example.

Limited customization

If you have any special technical requirements, this might not be the plan for you. You aren’t allowed to use customized software. For example, if you need to run an alternative operating system like FreeBSD, or PostgreSQL script for your database, you'll need your own server, if your shared hosting plan doesn't offer these. The best option, in this case, will be a virtual or physical server as most use MySQL and PHP since most popular CMS engines and blog builders are designed to work with them.

Support

Just because this style of hosting is inexpensive, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect support. Look out for a host with support agents working around the clock and available by the means you will find most helpful, such as phone, email or live chat.

Above all else, you must keep in mind that you’re sharing. You share a server with many other customers, all of whom have, ideally, small sites. Since these sites are relatively lightweight, they don’t require many resources so the server won’t feel the strain of hosting them all together.


More Things to Consider

The style of hosting might be the same but the features provided differ from host to host. To narrow down your options, choose a host that provides the features that you need:

Disk Space

This refers to the available hard drive space a hosting company provides to users. If your site is particularly image-intensive or features audio files for download, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space available. Monitor the amount of disk space used or how much bandwidth you are using via your host’s control panel.

Control Panels

Make sure your host includes a control panel with their shared hosting plan. It’s basically a web-based interface allowing users to manage their server settings from the comfort of their web browser.

One-click Install Applications

For seamless integration with services like WordPress CMS or a website builder such as Weebly, go with a host that offers easy install facilities.


Is Shared Hosting Right for Me?

Shared hosting is the right choice for your site if you:

  • Have little experience with web hosting

  • Want to keep costs down

  • Are designing a small business website, or something for friends or family

  • Don’t require access to extensive web programming

  • Are studying applications like Joomla or WordPress

  • Are running a small business or startup

  • Are experimenting with web design and coding

There’s a lot that you don’t know when it comes to starting a website for the first time, but there are some things you can count on. When your site is newly launched, chances are you won’t attract masses of traffic unless you plan on launching with a major marketing campaign. In this case, it’s unlikely that a new site will need much in the way of bandwidth. Additionally, it’s hard to predict the how much space you’ll need unless you are 100% certain on the size of the content and images you will produce. Shared hosting offers a flexible solution to these unknowns

Getting Started with Shared Hosting


The following article will get familiar with your new Shared Hosting account, including the Account Center, our world-renowned support department, and the rest of the tools that come with your new service.

Advanced Support can help!Need assistance with your server, including migrating your site? Additional assistance is available via Advanced Support, our premium services division. For more information on what Advanced Support can do for you, please click here.

Account Center

The Account Center is the main secure interface to manage your domain and Shared Hosting. This is how you will log into your Media Temple account and manage your various services. For information on the basic functions of the Account Center, please see:

First Time Setup

The following will give you a quick run-through of setting up your service after first purchasing Shared Hosting.

  • Log into the Media Temple Account Center.
  • Click on the ADMIN button associated to your Shared Hosting server.ac-1.png
  • If this is your first time accessing your server, you will be asked to enter a domain name. Type your desired domain name, then click Update.ac-2.png
  • Select a data center location.ac-3.png
  • Select if you'd like to install WordPress. This can be done at a later time if you select Not now, thanks.ac-4.png
  • If WordPress was selected, enter a WordPress admin username & password. Then select Next.ac-5.png
  • It may take a few minutes for your service to provision.
  • Next, you will be shown a list of DNS to point your domain to. You may want to make a note or screenshot this information, as this will be necessary to connect your domain to the server and push your website live. You can however, complete this at another time and simply select I'm done, continue setup.ac-7.png
  • Once your setup is complete, you can continue to the Dashboard to work on your website.
  • Logging into cPanel

    cPanel is the control panel that is used to perform a number of primary functions on your server. For information on how to access cPanel please see:

    Setting up FTP/SSH

    The following guides will show you how you can set up your SSH and FTP users:

    Create email accounts

    The Shared Servers come with email capabilities. This article walks you through the steps for creating email users through cPanel. Once your email account is created, we have guides on how to add it to your favorite email client.

    MySQL database

    Databases on the Shared Servers can be quickly accessed by following the instructions below:

    Site migration

    Moving a site to Shared Hosting? Check out our migration guides below:

    Backup

    Backups can be quickly made through cPanel. For detailed instructions see:

    Pointing your DNS to Media Temple

    After you've finished setting up your website, you may need to update your DNS to connect your website to the the Shared Hosting server. You can find information on that process below:

    24/7 Phone and Chat Support

    We are a true 24/7/365 company. What this means to you is that you have total, around-the-clock access to our renowned Customer Support Department.

    Google’s Mueller on Shared Hosting and Ranking Impact


    A recent SEO study set out to discover if there was a negative impact on ranking on sites that were on shared hosting.

    Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion of the test results.

    Research on Web Hosting and Ranking

    An SEO company set out to do a long term study on whether shared hosting negatively affects rankings.

    The study authors reveal they created the study from concern of “potentially harmful SEO effects” from shared hosting.:

    “Concerned about the potentially harmful SEO effects that hosting a website on one of these shared hosting options could have on the websites of thousands of business owners, we decided to run a technical SEO experiment to find out what effect, if any, it had.”

    The idea they were testing is if low-cost hosting attracts low-quality websites that can negatively impact other sites hosted on the same server.

    The report authors suggest that Google could use the presence of spammy sites on a shared server as a negative quality signal because they were all in the same neighborhood.


    Here is their hypothesis:

    “With cheaper shared hosting solutions usually attracting many lower-quality websites (like spam and PBN websites), we wondered if it is possible that Google’s algorithms sees using this kind of hosting as part of the pattern of a lower-quality website.”

    So it appears that the authors are testing a hypothesis that is not based on any actual evidence or statement from Google.

    It’s just an opinion expressed without basis and, as you will see, it’s also based on a misinterpretation of what a “bad neighborhood” actually is.

    The article went viral on Twitter and Facebook, with many prominent SEOs promoting it.

    Shared Host Study Methodology

    The study authors went to great lengths to shield their websites from any outside interference.


    They assured that nothing affected the results of the study other than the natural events of releasing them all at the same time for indexing by Google.

    The methodology relied on an old research approach that uses a made-up keyword that has never previously existed online in print. The search term the created is the made-up artificial keyword, hegenestio.

    Results of the Shared Host Research Study

    The results of the study confirmed their pre-existing hypothesis. They discovered that shared hosting can negatively affect search rankings.

    Study Authors Claim “Detrimental Effects” from Cheap Shared Hosting

    According to the research authors:

    “The results of this experiment suggests that cheap shared hosting options can in fact have a detrimental effect on the organic performance and rankings of the websites hosted there if your website ends up being hosted alongside lower-quality and potentially spammy ones (providing all websites being observed are otherwise on a level playing field).”

    Study Authors Disavowed Their Own Findings?

    Curiously, while the study authors first say that shared hosting “can in fact have a detrimental effect on the organic performance and rankings,” they actually disavow the bold statements in a following paragraph by stating:

    “It is important to note that these results don’t show what effect the type of hosting you use when setting up a website would have in an actual SERP for a keyword with real competitors.”

    What’s going on, right?

    They first say that cheap shared hosting “in fact” can have a detrimental effect and then they say that the results “don’t show what effect” hosting will have in actual search results.

    It kind of sounds like they’re trying to sound the alarm that “cheap hosting” can wreck your rankings while also saying, well maybe not.

    Report Claims Benefits of Dedicated Server & IP Address

    Then in a subsequent paragraph they seemingly contradict themselves again by asserting that the study does “show the effect the type of hosting you use” by writing:

    “Hosting your website on a dedicated server and IP address has many benefits and now, according to the experiment data, ranking higher in the SERPs could very well be one of them.”


    The SEO research authors hedge their statements with words like “could very well” which makes the statements less conclusive.

    The statements that shared hosting “can in fact have a detrimental effect” on rankings and in a follow-up paragraph that the study “results don’t show what effect” shared hosting will have in “actual SERPs” seem contradictory. 

    Google’s John Mueller Comments on Study

    Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller tweeted that the research was flawed and did not reflect how Google actually ranked websites.

    Mueller asserted that research based on artificial websites (a reference to the made-up keyword used in the research) are flawed.

    “Artificial websites like this are pretty much never indicative of any particular effect in normal Google Search. …it’s not useful data.

    Host where it makes sense for you.”


    Cyrus Shepard challenged Mueller to back up his statement:

    “Could you present us with more useful data then to back up your claims?”

    John Mueller tweeted this response: 

    “Are you saying that what works for made up keywords on artificial websites will work for a website in an active niche?

    That seems like quite a stretch. (Even aside from the technical aspects of “what is shared hosting anyway” — AWS is shared hosting)”

    Google’s Mueller followed up with this tweet:

    “I’m not aware of any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account.

    Look at Blogger, there are great sites hosted there that do well (ignoring on-page limitations,etc), there are terrible sites hosted there. It’s all the same infrastructure, the same IP addresses.”

    Problem With SEO Studies Based on Made-up Words

    A problem with studies that use nonsense words is in the way Google’s algorithms responds to non-existent keyword phrases is different from it responds to actual keyword phrases

    Google’s algorithms attempt to understand the meaning of a word. It relies on language to rank webpages.

    Without language or understanding, Google’s algorithm can’t kick in the way it normally does.

    The only thing left is for Google to resort to simple word matching. And that’s not Google’s regular ranking algorithm.

    So it’s kind of stretch to assume that the results of a test that uses a made-up word is going to reflect what Google’s regular ranking algorithm does.

    That’s an important caveat against the usefulness of the study.

    Related: SEO-Friendly Hosting: 5 Things to Look for in a Hosting Company

    Research Authors Definition of Bad Neighborhood

    A problem with the test is that it appears that the authors may misunderstand what the SEO term “bad neighborhood” means.

    According to the article:

    “BAD NEIGHBOURHOODIn the context of where a website is hosted, a “bad neighbourhood” is commonly referred to as a host, IP address and/or other virtual location where a collection of low-quality, penalised and/or potentially problematic websites (e.g. porn, gambling, pharma) are hosted.”

    That is an incorrect statement.

    A bad neighborhood has always been understood within the context of linking patterns and the spamminess of the sites being linked to.

    In the past, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines referenced bad neighborhoods within the context of linking patterns:

    “Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”

    Former Googler Matt Cutts used the phrase “bad neighborhoods” himself and it was also within the context of linking patterns.

    For example, in this blog post from 2006, he explains why some sites were dropped from Google’s index following an update called Big Daddy.  Matt uses the phrase, “bad neighborhood” in the context of links.

    “People have been asking for more details on “pages dropping from the index” so I thought I’d write down a brain dump of everything I knew about, to have it all in one place.

    …The sites… were sites where our algorithms had very low trust in the inlinks or the outlinks of that site. Examples that might cause that include excessive reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling.”


    The phrase “bad neighborhood” is commonly understood to be within the context of linking patterns, not web hosting or IP addresses.

    The context is never the web host or IP address, contrary to the misinformed assumption made by the study authors.

    This means that the underlying assumption by the study authors, that web hosting is related to “bad neighborhoods” is incorrect.

    Cyrus Shepard Changes His Mind About His Tweet

    Cyrus Shepard changed his mind the next day about his original tweet. I admire people willing to change their minds.

    On the following day he tweeted:

    “So a bit of a mea culpa…

    @JohnMu was 100% correct to say we shouldn’t conclude “all shared hosting is bad”

    That’s not what the data says, and my tweet extrapolated too far (most shared hosting is fine – you’d still likely avoid the cheap/spammy operators)

    The data though…”

    Research Studies Can Be Problematic

    There were many problems with the research, beginning with the fact that the authors appeared to have a bias in favor of a specific outcome.


    Having a preconceived opinion can set up a situation called Confirmation Bias, which is a flaw that causes people to see evidence of what they believe and ignore evidence that doesn’t conform

    I asked Jeff Ferguson (@CountXero), Adjunct Professor at UCLA and Partner & Head of Production at Amplitude Digital (@AmplitudeAgency) about this study and he offered this opinion:

    “Hosting and the bad neighborhood theory has kicked around SEO circles for years but I never felt like it held much water.

    While the Reboot test went to some extraordinary lengths to exclude known possibilities such as site speed, I still think it suffers from confirmation bias.”

    I highly recommend an article that Jeff authored on the topic of SEO research, Do We Have the Math to Truly Decode Google’s Algorithms?

    Insights and SEO Studies

    SEO studies can be problematic. Although the SEOs behind this latest study went to great lengths to firewall the test to isolate it from anything that would bias the results, the basis of the study itself was flawed

    Firewalling the test didn’t matter because SEO studies based on non-existent keywords can not offer insights into how Google’s algorithms actually work, for the reasons I outlined above and as was confirmed by Google’s John Mueller.

    My professional experience with shared hosting is that it generally has no effect on the ability of a site to rank. That’s not my opinion, that’s a statement of fact from my actual experience, over twenty years of experience.

    The only time shared hosting becomes problematic is when a site becomes very successful. That’s why I also pay for dedicated servers.

    Shared servers cannot handle ultra high traffic websites. I can say that with confidence because I’ve been kicked off of a shared server because my site’s high traffic slowed the server to the point that everyone’s site was throwing 500 errors. So you know… speaking from experience.

    If you’re just starting out or don’t have excessive traffic, it’s perfectly fine to put it on a shared web host then upgrade when you outgrow it.

    In my professional experience, based on what I know, I agree with what Mueller suggested, that publishers should host “where it makes sense” for them.

    An area of eastern Ghana has declared itself a sovereign state Togoland

     




    An area of eastern Ghana has declared itself a sovereign state. The region known as Western Togoland has had secessionist attempts in the past.

    Armed men demanding the secession of Western Togoland from Ghana blockaded major entry points to the Volta region of Ghana on Friday morning.

    Local sources say the group are holding three police officers hostage, including a District Commander, and attacked two police stations. Prior to the blockade, the group reportedly broke into an armory and stole weapons.



    "This is a very serious situation because just few weeks ago we saw [what happened] when they mounted signs along the major roads welcoming people into the Western Togoland State," a local resident told DW. "Blocking the roads with heaps of sand, burning tyres [and ] even holding security personnel hostage."

    About 12 hours before Friday's dawn operation, the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) published photos of the graduation ceremony for around 500 personnel who underwent training for months in secret locations, raising questions over the effectiveness of security agencies in the region.


    Seeking sovereignty


    Ghana's Western Togoland region is predominately wedged between Lake Volta and the Ghana-Togo border. Currently, a number of splinter groups are demanding the area be recognized as a sovereign state.

    In a press release, the chairman of the WTRF, Togbe Yesu Kwabla Edudzi I, declared that efforts for consolidating statehoood, which began on 1 September 2020, were being put into practice.



    The press release also claimed "roadblocks to assert its sovereignty are all over the Southern sector."

    The movement says it wants to force the Ghanaian government to join United Nations (UN) facilitated negotiations aiming to declare Western Togoland an independent state.



    Ghanaian police have been ordered to "leave the region in 24 hours" and surrender weapons. Some radio stations appear to have been taken over by members of the WTRF. The group has demanded the release of prisoners currently being held in detention for secessionist activities.

    Travelers urged to be cautious

    Meanwhile, on Facebook, Ghanaian police have cautioned travellers to be aware of "security operations" in some communities in the Volta Region.

    Local media have reported the minister of the affected Volta Region, Archibald Letsa, urged travelers to remain calm and allow security personnel to do their jobs.

    A tumultuous past

    The territory of Western Togoland was first colonized by Germany in 1884 and incorporated into the Togoland colony. After Germany's defeat during the First World War, the colony of Togoland was divided between France and Britain as protectorates. The western part of Togoland became part of Britain's Gold Coast colony, which became independent in 1957 to form modern-day Ghana. Togo gained independence from France in 1960.

    Western Togoland is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). Four million people live in the region. In terms of language and culture, Western Togoland, especially the Volta region, has more in common with Togo. Locals in the region say they feel underrepresented by Ghanaian authorities.

    A previous unsuccessful attempt to declare Western Togoland independent from Ghana took place in 2017. In March 2020, around 80 members of the separatist group were detained for protesting the arrest of seven leaders of the Homeland Study Group Foundation. The charges were later dropped.

    Source: https://www.dw.com/en/ghanas-western-togoland-region-declares-sovereignty/a-55051426

    Friday, September 25, 2020

    Why site speed is critical for your SEO success and how to make it happen



  • The fact alone that the search engine giant has deemed site speed important should be enough for you to make it a priority.
  • As your page load speed increases second-by-second, the bounce rate also increases a lot.
  • It’s challenging enough to craft a call-to-action that convinces your site visitors to buy your product or services without adding any additional hurdles.
  • Sprinkle in a bit of slow page load time, and you could be missing out on a ton of revenue.
  • A walk through how to identify your site speed issues and fix them.
  • Google has confirmed site speed as one of the 200+ factors that Google uses to determine your website’s position in search. The fact alone that the search engine giant has deemed site speed important should be enough for you to make it a priority. Beyond that, however, there are other reasons you should place a focus on the speed of your site.

    Let’s look at a couple of other critical reasons why you need to focus on your site’s speed for the success of your SEO efforts and the success of your business.

    Keep visitors on your site

    In a recent report, Google noted that 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. That’s where we’re at in this world in regard to our attention spans. Think about all the traffic you could lose if over half of the visitors to your site leave simply because they don’t have the patience to stick around longer than three seconds for your site to load.

    And with every second it takes for the pages on your site to load, the chances that your visitors will bounce increases. Take a look at this chart from the same study. It shows that, as your page load speed increases second-by-second, the bounce rate also increases, a lot.

    site speed stats on mobile speed

    Source: Think with Google

    Reducing your site’s bounce rate is a focus for virtually every site owner or it should be anyway. So, make sure to pay attention to site speed to avoid issues in this area.

    Stop losing business

    It’s challenging enough to craft a call-to-action that convinces your site visitors to buy your product or services without adding any additional hurdles. Sprinkle in a bit of slow page load time, and you could be missing out on a ton of revenue.

    In fact, in 2012, Fast Company had conducted a study showing that even a one-second increase in page load time could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in lost revenue. Granted, your business likely doesn’t bring in the same revenue as Amazon, but you can still work the formula backward from Amazon’s actual revenue, determine what percentage that loss accounts for and then apply that to your revenue.

    Site speed and bounce rate

    Source: Fast Company

    Whatever that number is, I can guarantee you it’s not a number you want to lose when it comes to revenue. No business wants to lose revenue, no matter how large or small.

    What causes slow site speed and how do you fix the issues?

    You get the importance by now of making sure your site loads quickly. So, now let’s look at a few reasons why your site might be bogged down.

    1. Large media files

    Videos, images, graphics, and other large media files can take up a lot of space. When a visitor hits your site, your site begins to serve up images, graphics, videos, and other media files that are supposed to exist on the page on which the visitor lands. If the files are super huge, this can slow down the speed of your site.

    The fix

    Host your video files elsewhere. Rather than hosting them on the site, host them in places like YouTube, Vimeo, and other such services. Then, embed the videos on your site. That way, visitors can still play the video right there on your page, but they won’t deal with any lag in load time. Regarding optimizing your images, try to use file types like JPEG, PNG, and GIF. These tend to load much more quickly than less optimized file types.

    2. Avoid slow hosting services

    While you may be tempted to cut costs in an area like website hosting, I strongly advise against doing so. There are some affordable hosting options that do offer decent site speed, but often the cheap, cost-saving hosting services come with slow page load speeds.

    The fix

    First, look to avoid shared servers if you want your site to load fast. Shared servers are ok for smaller sites, but if you want to avoid the lag time, opt for another type of hosting. There are a variety of options here depending upon your site and your particular needs. So, do your research and figure out what the best option for hosting is for your site.

    3. Not picking the right CMS

    There are tons of great CMS options for creating your website. Options such as Joomla, WordPress, Wix, and others are higher quality options and often help with your site’s load speed. There are less reliable CMS options, however, which can slow your site down.

    The fix

    WordPress is my personal preference for all the great plugins and other available tools at your disposal to help you boost your site’s performance. Avoid some of the lesser-known options, especially those with reputations for being highly unreliable. Focus instead on more proven options. If you’ve never heard of a particular CMS, do some digging, look at reviews, ask your peers, and make the best choice for your business.

    4. Having too many redirects

    Redirects are an easy way to point site visitors away from content like a 404 page and toward relevant content that actually exists and might meet their needs. The problem is, if you have too many redirects on your site, you can start to aggravate your site visitors. Think about the extra second or two a redirected link causes as it finds the new content. Those seconds could lose a visitor’s attention.

    The fix

    I’m not saying don’t use redirects. They are a highly useful tool. That said, try to use them sparingly. Also, try to limit multiple levels of redirects which can add even more seconds on to the page load time.

    5. Too much code

    Too much code can bog down your site.  Javascript, CSS, and HTML can all include unnecessary code that can lead to your site slowing down.

    The fix

    Cut down on any unnecessary characters like commas and spaces. This alone can help speed up your site. Also, get a skilled developer to look at your code. There are potentially a lot of lines of code on your site that are unnecessary. One example of how this can happen is when someone copies and pastes something from a Word Document right into your site. This can add lots of lines of unnecessary code. In this instance, it’s best to instead copy and paste the text into a text editor, then bring the copy into your site.

    These are just a handful of the many things that can slow down your site. Start here, as each of the above can have a significant impact. Then take it a step further and bring in an expert to dig through your site and analyze any other issues that might be impacting your site’s load time.

    Wrapping things up

    You’ve seen the evidence. Now I highly recommend digging around and checking out the page speed on your own website. Fortunately, that task is simple. Here are a few great tools to easily check the load speed of your website.

  • Google’s Pagespeed insights
  • YSlow
  • Pingdom
  • Uptrends
  • Dotcom-Monitor
  • I can’t stress enough how important it is to focus on the speed of your website. Why put your site at risk of turning visitors away and missing out on revenue critical to the growth of your business. Even if you run a blog and don’t sell services or products directly on your site, your revenue likely comes through Google AdSense clicks or affiliate marketing, thus you still need to rely on high traffic levels and people sticking around your site.

    So, no matter what niche you are in, get focused on site speed now, and address the issue before it becomes a major problem.

    The United States Mission to Nigeria has celebrated Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, for his role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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