Permalink 04:16:01 pm, by Jet-Screamer Email , 669 words   English (US)

Why You Should Cancel Your NetFlix Account Now and What Your Options Are

What do a middle-aged Web Developer, a middle-aged French/American Operations Director and a twenty-something gay Program Manager have in common? They're all leaving Netflix as a result of Netflix's drastic price increase. And if I were a stock holder of Netflix I would seriously have my ears tuned in to who and who is not pissed off enough over the price increase to bail on Netflix so easily.

It is clear to me from various people's reactions in our peer/work circles that NetFlix is going to see a lot of customers leaving them for alternate sources of movie rentals.

Cancel or Suspend Netflix?

A positive for Netflix in this whole mess they've created for themselves is their Suspend feature which allows you to, as the word says, suspend your account for up to three months due to vacation or whatever. During such time you will not be charged and of course you have to return all "At Home" DVDs and will not be able to stream. You will however be able to access your account and see what you have rented in the past etc. You can turn off the Suspend at any time during your defined suspension period. If you allow the suspension period to expire your account will become active again. To continue your suspension of their service you will have to extend it before it expires.

Most people we've talked to are choosing this as opposed to cancelling their accounts altogether. For one obvious reason, they're pissed, but not pissed enough to kick NetFlix COMPLETELY to the curb. They're just suspending their accounts in the hopes that NetFlix will see the error of their ways. This way, if NetFlix gets a clue and reverses their moronic business decision, people will still be able to pick up their accounts where they left off.

What Are Alternatives to NetFlix Service?

The second, and MORE IMPORTANT, reason is there are many options out there to provide the same results that NetFlix provided, or even better. The below video from Funny or Die (which makes a great deal of fun out of this "tragic event") offers a clue as to what many former NetFlix users will be turning to:

Others are choosing the popular RedBox service. Can't really argue with $1 buck/night if one of these is on your daily path. But what about us streamers? Yea, that's right! The glorious promise by NetFlix that we would all be able to stream movies WE WANT with the push of a button! Which would almost make up for the jet-packs we were all promised. Well, there's the rub isn't it? NetFlix's streaming content sucks. There is nothing there! And that's actually what they're charging more for. They think their streaming content is worth an additional $6/month. Sorry! It is NOT!

In addition, there has been a steady increase in LONG delays on the availability of physical DVDs. Here is an example of just how poor NetFlix's DVD availability is:

NetFlix Cue
NetFlix Cue

Each of the above Movies in the cue is either not available yet from NetFlix or is a "long wait". Each and every one of them was available at the same moment from Amazon's Instant Video for $3.99 or less. When we saw that comparison our decision on how to handle the NetFlix 60% price increase was done. In addition to Amazon's Instant Video we decided to add HBO to our cable service as they were running a promo price of $10/month. So between those two and a DVR, we're pretty sure we'll be completely cancelling our NetFlix at the end of our Suspend period, unless NetFlix reverses their price increase AND increases the number of available titles both DVD AND streaming.

UPDATED TO ADD: Since this original article, Amazon has now updated their Prime deal which is unlimited two-day shipping for $79/year to include unlimited streaming of their video content.

How about you? What's your reaction to NetFlix's price hike? What are your sources for Movies/TV Series? Leave us a comment below.

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Permalink 06:26:20 pm, by Jet-Screamer Email , 656 words   English (US)
Categories: Website Hosting Tips

Battling Link Rot - Dead Links

What is Link Rot? Simply put, link rot is the inevitable increasing occurrence of broken links. There are two types; internal broken links and external broken links. Internal broken links are those within a website which are pointing to items on that website which are no longer there. These can be web pages, graphics, etc. External broken links are those which point to items on others' websites. These are the most common contributors to link rot as websites are often revamped or completely redesigned or the site simply no longer exists.

Why should one monitor link rot and deal with it quickly?
Two reasons; website user experience and Search Engine Placement. Obviously, getting "404 file not found" and/or being redirected to another web site's home page when they expect a particular product or informative article, is going to be a negative user experience for users. When someone clicks on a link that says "article about widget A", they expect to see an article about widget A. That's the deal. That's how the "interwebs" work. When the user does not have this experience, they go elsewhere.

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Permalink 05:27:38 pm, by Jet-Screamer Email , 642 words   English (US)
Categories: Website Hosting Tips

Link Exchange Requests

What are Link Exchange Requests?

You've seen the emailed requests; "We've added a link to your site on our links page! Please reciprocate by adding a link to our website on yours..." You may even visit the page referred to and see a link to your site there and feel obligated to link to theirs. Not so fast. First let's review the purpose of link exchanges and then we'll look at how to get the desired result out of link exchanges.

So why the heck is everyone emailing you for a link exchange, aka URL swap? One word, Google. Google accounts for 48.1% of all Online Searches and is the focus of all website owners as far as organic (as opposed to paid) search placement. A first page placement for target keywords/phrases can make a huge difference in the number of eyeballs arriving at one's site and the two main factors that affect this ranking are content & links to your site.

Content is pretty obvious. Whatever is typed into the search box should be the main topic of the web page shown in the search results. Google uses many automated means of weighing the varying content on a page for this purpose and this will be discussed in a future column.

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Permalink 03:17:18 pm, by Jet-Screamer Email , 62 words   English (US)
Categories: Website Design Tips

Additional Website Usage Statistics with Google's Analytics

In addition to your website's web log statistics there is a free service available from Google called Google Analytics. This service is free and can provide you with additional information such as what browsers, screen resolutions, and keywords your website visitors are using. If you are already using Google's adwords, this can show you which adwords are driving traffic to your site.


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