Frequently Asked Questions
With Answers That Make Sense

Web Design

How long does it typically take to design our site?

The process depends on what you require. A basic site normally takes, after the scope of work is defined, 7 to 14 days. If your scope is complex, such as database driven web site, it may take a longer. We endeavor to complete every project in a timely manner.

How much does a web site cost?

Professionally developed web sites start at about $1,000 and can reach into the upper $10,000’s, depending on the complexity and amount of information your company needs to present.

Internet Marketing

Why is search engine optimization (SEO) important?

Search engine optimization is the best way to be known on the internet; it delivers customers to your website consistently.

How long before I see better rankings?

It depends on your site and its history with the search engines. Established websites are likely to experience noticeable traffic improvement within the first three - five weeks after Next Horizon implements an SEO program. New web sites need roughly 20+ weeks to achieve significant results. There is nothing anybody can do to speed up the indexing; it is entirely up to the search engines when to spider your site.

What kind of results can I expect?

It depends on your present website ranking. Usually at four months you should experience 50% - 90% increase in the number of search engine visitors. Some Next Horizon customers have increased to 400% within six to eight months.

Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

No

What are the search engine optimization risks I keep hearing about?

Search engines penalize certain techniques and your ranking can be degraded. Our SEO specialists at Next Horizon use the right techniques to assure your ranking doesn't drop.

If I wanted to optimize my own website, what would it take?

You would need to be educated in advanced HTML, CGI scripting and Server Side Programming. After this, it will take about 30 hours/week to stay current skills, OR you can let Next Horizon do it for you!

I found other services that are more affordable than Next Horizon. How do I choose?

Beware of the $19.95 rankings. Usually your site will be submitted to search engines that no one uses and it can even result in your domain name being banned. You get what you pay for!

All this is very confusing and I still have some questions about your services.

Please contact us with your questions and concerns. We would be happy to talk with you so you can get a better understanding of Next Horizon. We do our best to “Make Sense” of technology and try not to use high-tech lingo.

How can Next Horizon help my business?

Having a well written, eye-catching web site, as well as a good ranking on the search engines, can bring tangible, financial results to your company. Next Horizon is dedicated to helping your company grow in Central Florida. It’s what we do!

Can we do this ourselves?

You can but, typically, you won't. We have found that it takes too much time and attention; business owners need to concentrate on their core business, not take up web design and technology. It is easier to send this work to Next Horizon than it is to hire & manage another person to do this.

What is the cost?

There are many variables to consider; the best thing would be to contact us for more information.

What is your guarantee?

We don't guarantee search engine rankings or listings because there are too many factors that are beyond our control.

How long does it take to see results?

It usually takes 4 - 9 weeks to start seeing results, then after that, it continues to build.

What happens during the term of the program?

The process is ongoing. During your business relationship with us, Next Horizon will continue to watch, maintain, and raise your ranking on search engines.

Do you provide reporting?

Yes! These reports include key program data such as position rankings and amount of traffic generated. Position reports are typically e-mailed to clients on a monthly basis. Traffic data information is real-time and can be accessed at any time by the client. This option is only available when Next Horizon is maintaining your Internet marketing.

Can you submit to international search engines?

Our clients and their customers span the globe. We work with you to identify appropriate keywords and submit them to an international list of search engines to accomplish set objectives.

Mobile Web Design

Why do I need a mobile website?

Most websites will not work on a mobile phone. They are slow to load, hard to view and do not offer the right kind of experience for customers on-the-go. Mobile searches are set to surpass desktop search by 2013, and 61% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a mobile optimized site. If your business is not on the mobile Web, your customers will not be able to find you.

How are mobile websites different than PC sites?

Mobile websites are built to utilize the features of mobile phones and mobile users to provide the best possible experience to users. Besides adapting to the smaller screen of a mobile phone, they are also made easier to navigate using touch or a keypad and provide more direct access to the information that a customer is more likely to need while on the go.

What are the benefits of a mobile website to my customers?

Studies show that visitors who access a full website on their mobile phones complain about how much time and data is required to load the site and how hard it is to find the information they need. Most will abandon the site and look for a competitor with a more mobile-friendly website. 61% of mobile users call a business after searching and 59% of mobile users visit a business after searching.

Ecommerce

Can you submit to international search engines?

We are consultants at the core of our business, if your business isn’t successful neither are we. Our agents are always ready to review your ecommerce idea and help bring it to fruition.

Does your shopping cart work with accounting software like QuickBooks?

Our shopping cart Synchronizer for QuickBooks provides true synchronization capabilities between your ecommerce store and your QuickBooks company file. Integration with other accounting systems are performed through our XML tools.

Is your shopping cart search engine friendly?

Yes, absolutely. Our cart includes a number of features designed to help you build a search engine friendly e-commerce store. These include product- and category-specific Meta Tags, canonical URLs, keyword-rich URLs, sitemap generation, and more.

How about PCI compliance? Is this a PA-DSS approved shopping cart?

Yes, our shopping cart is one of the very few shopping carts that has been PA-DSS validated. Our shopping cart software was validated in the fall of 2009. If you are using a licensed shopping cart, using a PA-DSS cart is a necessary component in demonstrating PCI compliance for your e-commerce Web site.

Networking

Why do I need a firewall?

Your computer is at risk when it is connected to the Internet, either through a dial-up (modem) connection, through a broadband (DSL or cable) service, and even large ISP T1 and greater Connections. Without a firewall, your computer is operating with an "open door" policy. Hackers can get in, take your information, passwords, documents and photos. It leaves a "back door" open so that hackers can turn your computer into a "zombie" and use it to attack other computers. You need a firewall!

Why do I need anti-virus protection?

Without a current version, or frequently updated anti-virus software, your PC and all its data and programs are at risk from any one of the thousands of viruses and their variants. These viruses can spread into your corporate network as well as leave "back door" opportunities for hackers.

What is a computer network?

Networking is a group of connected computers that allow the sharing of information and equipment. The most basic network is made up of two computers connected by a cable in order to exchange information quickly and efficiently.

What is a WAN?

A WAN is a Wide Area Network. It is a group of computers connected through bridges, routers, hubs and repeaters. The network may extend across buildings on a campus, across the country, or even around the world.

Web Hosting

Why do I need a server?

A server can accomplish many things including sharing documents more reliably than a peer-to-peer network. The centralized storage area can have added redundancy to protect important documents. Tasks such as backing up documents can be automated so that they are performed on a regular basis and with minimal user intervention. Placing the server in a locked room or cabinet can enhance physical security. Logical security is met by a user account database physically on the server. This account database will authenticate a user's user name and password without relying on the individual PC.

Why should I use your web hosting over another company?

We work with our customers and consider all of our customers as part of the Next Horizon family. Our help desk is here to serve the clients of all sizes – small to large – and we give all equal time until the problem is resolved. We are specialist in what we do … we do not “farm out” our work to subcontractors … we received advance training to always stay ahead of the technology curve. Next Horizon strives to serve our customer and “Make Sense” of the complicated world of technology.

Programming

What programming languages do you develop in?

C#(C-Sharp), ASP.net, Java, C++, Visual Basic, Active Server Pages, PHP, Jquery, and Javascript.

Does your company hold any certifications for custom development?

Yes we are a Microsoft Certified Partner and certified Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV)

What is a database?

A database is an organized collection of information. Some examples: telephone book, student directory, and excel spreadsheet. These are miniature examples of a database. A database leaves you with endless possibilities to dynamically drive your content to your client.

Computer Forensics

What should I do if I think that computer evidence will be involved in a legal matter?

First of all, do not tamper with the potential evidence. In other words, do not turn the computer on at all. This will write data to the hard drive, potentially overwriting evidence in the empty areas of the drive.

What if someone deleted all of the information off of their computer?

Don't worry, we can still recover the deleted information and use it in your case. We use specialized, industry standard and court-approved tools to recover and search all of the information on the drive, including the deleted information.

Why is Electronic Discovery important to me?

Due to the fact that roughly 90% of communication in the business environment takes place through computers (E-mail, instant messaging, voice mail, etc.), the odds are very high that something about your situation will be located on a computer. With computers playing such an integral role in today’s business environment, how can you afford not to examine this evidence?

Can you track the internet history of a computer?

Yes!

Can you track the internet history of a computer?

Yes!

How long does a Computer Forensic examination take?

A general rule of thumb is that a forensic examination will take between 5 and 10 hours. Depending on the task, this estimate can vary greatly. However, the more guidance that you, the client, can offer to us as far as your goals and any information associated with the case, it can be possible to have a narrowed examination scope.

Cloud Computing

What is cloud Computing?

Computing delivered over the internet like a utility service that can be accessed by any device that has internet connection. Computing horsepower is located and happens outside the company on external servers, so no computing hardware needs to be owned and operated by the company.

Think of Terminal Services on Steroids

What would full Cloud Computing look like in my office?

Imagine your server room or server area gone, no more major capital expenditures on equipment and facilities. Imagine desktops that don’t crash and hard drives that don’t fail, but with the same user experience. Imagine a secure safe environment for your systems and data taken care of by experts not on your direct payroll for a flat monthly fee that covers everything at a lower cost than you currently pay. This is what Cloud Computing can look like NOW.

Why isn’t everyone doing it?

Big companies have commonly been using Cloud Computing technology for a while now. Now smaller companies are increasingly changing to this way of running IT. Specialized managed IT companies are helping these smaller companies move their IT to the cloud and then run their IT efficiently – and this is accelerating the trend. Your office has actually been using a piece of our cloud services for over 2 years.

With Cloud Computing do you have to buy servers?

No. There is no cost burden of server ownership and therefore no expensive capital expenditure. You buy “server use” from a virtual server created for you in our external data center and pay for it by means of a simple monthly fee.

What about Company Specific Software?

In a Cloud Computing setup, a company’s current servers, with their existing enterprise software, is transitioned over to newly created virtual servers which are theirs only. The company accesses everything as before as normal, with the exception that it is now communicated over the internet not the company’s local area network in a secured model. You would still be responsible for the Company Specific Software licenses and the ownership would remain with you.

How does Cloud computing get rid of PCs?

With a full Cloud Computing implementation there are no servers or PCs at the business locations. Data is securely protected and continuously monitored on servers in a safe local physical environment and backed up behind a firewall. All PCs are changed to “Virtualized Desktops”, as the die or cost of repair is no longer feasible. Employees will have a Thin Client, mouse, keyboard and screen but nothing will change in their computing experience. They will be looking at their screens with all their familiar programs such as Office, Outlook, etc.. They will be able to save to “My Docs” and other drives as normal.

We as the cloud management company will take care of equipment, Microsoft software licensing, antivirus, Spam Filtering, Security, secure backup, server and virtual desktop monitoring, and all the other IT headaches that you would rather not worry about. It’s easy to add desktops as you grow, or take them away just as easily if you need to downsize, paying for what you need.

Cloud Computer and the IT person

The typical IT person working in or for a company is spending up to 80% of their time keeping stuff up-and-running – PCs, hard drives, updates to office software, virus spam protection issues. It’s “busy work” which does nothing to improve the company’s performance. With a Cloud Computing solution a company does not have to spend time on these activities. More time can be spent on activities that support the business.

Is Could Computing Less Secure?

Typically because of the physical security and data security used, cloud security protection is almost always much better than most local company networks. Security over the internet is extremely high with firewalls that form barriers and which are monitored continually. Advanced backup and data recovery mean even a catastrophe can be quickly recovered from. And because all the company data is held on the company’s remote servers and is not being held all over the place (such as on local hard drives, thumb drives etc.) the likelihood of software and data contamination and theft is reduced.

What happens if a cloud server goes down or a catastrophic loss of data?

This is a very important topic. Companies frequently think that their own server rooms are somehow immune from catastrophe and they are also very often woefully under-prepared for a disaster. Simply doing tape backups, putting tapes in fireproof boxes and other methods can give a false sense of security. The reality is if disaster strikes, you need the very latest backup data recovery technology so that you can be up and running in minutes or hours not days or weeks or never! Cloud computing solutions typically take incremental snapshots backed up to multiple locations physically elsewhere to ensure you will be up and running again very quickly.

What about Mobile Devices?

With Cloud Computing, your Virtual Desktop can be accessed anywhere and anytime. Other solutions require your office PC to be turned on, and your office Internet connection to be live. Most Internet connected devices, such as laptops, tablets, smart-phones, can be used to connect to your desktop. Imagine being able to run Excel, PowerPoint or any of your business specific software from an iPad or a smart-phone! And security remains at a high level for remote access since only keystroke and screen refresh is sent between the data center and your smart device, but no actual data.

Internet/Voice Access

What is Metro Ethernet and Fiber Optic Internet?

Fiber optic technology transmits data by pulses of light. It is known for its high bandwidth and is capable of higher transmission rates than other competing ISP technologies.

While it isn’t available in all areas, fiber optic can be a very good option for. Since there are different upstream and downstream speed options, the scalability is an impressive feature not found on most other comparable Internet services.

The price for fiber optic Internet access varies based on the different options in upstream and downstream speed.

Do I have to sign a contract to sign up for dedicated access?

Yes. Because of the equipment and time involved in establishing a connection, the minimum contract term is 1 year and discounts are offered for extended contract terms.

How long does it take for my dedicated connection to be installed and activated?

Lead time for this service is approximately 30 days. Once your order is placed, a representative will conduct an on-site survey and will verify local loop fees and lead times prior to contract execution.

What is a T1 line?

A T1 line is a high-speed digital telephone line that transfers signals at 1.544Mbps and accommodates up to 24 telephone lines or trunks. A T1 line can be used in place of separate local trunks and lines from the local telephone company. It also has the ability to bypass your local telephone company and connect directly to your long distance service provider.

3 to 12 Mbps of Throughput with Built-In Redundancy

If you need more throughput, “bonding” is a method of combining 2 or more T1s together to ultimately increase your T1 access. Using Multi-link Point-to-Point Protocol, we can achieve 3 to 12 Mbps or more of total bandwidth. If one of the component T1s should fail, the data is automatically routed over the remaining T1s.

What is a PRI?

PRI’s are the industry standard for reliable digital voice and data access on ISDN transport facilities. 23B+1D channels configured with Direct Inward Dialing numbers to get calls to your employees directly, with valuable features such as caller ID.

What is a SIP Trunk?

A SIP Trunk is primarily a concurrent call that is routed over the IP backbone of a carrier using VoIP technology. SIP Trunks are used in conjunction with an IP-PBX and are thought of as replacements for traditional PRI or analog circuits. The popularity of SIP Trunks is due primarily to the cost savings of SIP, along with the increased reliability as backed by the SLAs of SIP Trunk Providers.