Building with Your IT Needs in Mind

building with IT in mind_Now IT Connects_Minnesota

The COVID-19 pandemic will permanently change the way we all work. The health and safety of your employees is vitally important. But so is the ability to stay connected, especially when a portion of your workforce is working remotely. Here are a few ways you can design your workspace with your IT needs in mind.

Integrate, Don’t Retrofit

Your company’s IT needs should be integrated into the design of your workspace. Don’t wait until you finalize plans and put up walls to consider what your IT needs are. Include your IT team in the design process so you create a space that will meet your current and future technology needs. Your IT experts can advise you and your architect on what space you need to house your IT infrastructure and how to integrate ethernet and USB ports and WiFi networks into the structure of your space to make it easy to stay connected.

IT Needs for Individual Workspaces

What IT does each individual worker require in your workspace? At a bare minimum, they likely need plentiful electrical outlets, USB and ethernet ports, and a strong WiFi connection. Screen privacy should also be a priority, especially for employees who work with sensitive information. Consider the hardware you will need to support. Will you invest in desktop computers for everyone to encourage desk use, or provide laptops or tablets to empower people to work where they choose?

IT Needs for Conference Rooms

Due to COVID-19, it is likely that a portion of your workforce will be working remotely over the next few months and perhaps permanently. Meetings with clients and vendors may also occur virtually. It will be vitally important to include a space to facilitate collaboration between remote workers and in-office employees.

Conference rooms require IT infrastructure that makes collaboration easy and seamless. To do so requires forethought during the design stage to hide network and AV cables behind a wall to supply a projector or in a floor trench to serve the conference room table. To facilitate video conferencing, you’ll need a webcam as well as a projector, and a mic as well as speakers. If you plan to use an app-based room scheduler, having a tablet outside the door of the room can make it easy for workers to review the calendar and schedule their meetings.

IT Needs for Common Areas

As flexible workspaces become more popular, common areas of your workspace will need to be technology-friendly. Employees should be able to stay connected to email and other essential applications wherever they are.

When designing your common area spaces, carefully place WiFi routers so every square inch is covered. If you have a lobby, consider installing digital signage to direct visitors and share information in real time. Remember to add the IT infrastructure to support any access control system you require.

If you need help determining what IT infrastructure you’ll need to support your business in your new space, Now IT Connects is here to help. We can design, install, and maintain your network, hardware, software, and web applications to keep your team productive. To get started, contact us today.

Recovering after an IT Disaster

recovering after IT disaster_Now IT Connects_Clearwater MN

You spill coffee all over your laptop keyboard, and now it refuses to boot up. You log onto your computer to find your files are corrupted and unusable. Worse, you power up your computer only to get a black screen with a message that your computer has been taken ransom. All of your data is being held hostage until you pay the cyber criminals who’ve taken over your computer. How do you buy bitcoin, anyway?

IT disasters can strike anyone, anytime. That’s why many companies have disaster recovery and data backup plans in place. Recovering from an IT disaster is easier when your team understands their responsibilities and you have the policies and technologies in place to minimize the interruption a data loss causes to your business operations.

Know Who’s in Charge of What

A good disaster plan includes the team members at your business who will be involved in the recovery after an IT disaster. These people should be ready to jump into action in the event of a loss of data or other IT disruption. The rest of your staff should know who is on this team as well so they can approach them with any questions or concerns they have.

The people on your disaster recovery team may include a point person who is managing the entire recovery process, someone who’s in charge of assessing the damage, a team member who is responsible for repairing the damage (or coordinating with a professional IT team who can do so), someone who is in charge of recovering data from backup storage, and a team member who is responsible for communicating all of these actions to your team and any other affected stakeholders.

Tackle the First Few Hours

Spend the first few hours after an IT disaster addressing immediate concerns. Assess the damage that the disaster caused and run through your inventory of hardware and software to understand how extensive the damage is. You may need to source new devices so your team can continue to work as you recover from the incident, even if they are working with limited IT resources. Then, put your disaster recovery plan into action.

Get Everyone Back Up and Running

Once you have an idea of the extent of the damage the disaster caused, prioritize how you’ll roll out your recovery. What data and systems are mission critical to your business operations, and which ones can wait a day or two? Once you have your list of priorities, work with your disaster recovery team to execute them. These items may include:

  • Repairing damaged server hardware and software
  • Replacing failed hardware and software
  • Restoring email access to employees
  • Restoring website content and data after a cyber attack
  • Training employees on new tools and new data policies
  • Communicating a data loss event with stakeholders

Communicate with Your Team

Don’t forget to continue to communicate with your team throughout the disaster recovery process. Inform them that a data loss or technology failure has occurred and let them know that your recovery team is working hard to get them back up and running. Communicating with your team allows you to manage their expectations for when they’ll be back to normal.

Not sure what would happen to your data in the event of an IT disaster? The Now IT Connects team is here to help. To start protecting your company’s data, contact us today.

Give Your Business an IT Disaster Recovery Check-Up

IT disaster checkup_Now IT Connects_Clearwater MN

These last few months have been tough, and the last thing anyone needs is another crisis on their hands. It’s impossible to know when an IT disaster may strike, but you can minimize the stress and the damage with a disaster recovery plan and experienced IT pros on your side.

Disaster Recovery Basics

IT disasters may be instigated by an actual physical disaster, such as fire or flooding at your business or other physical damage to your hardware. But more often, disasters occur within your systems themselves. This could be a fatal failure of your hardware or software or a direct attack on your network by cyber criminals. Malware, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, and phishing scams can all create wreak havoc on your network.

While it’s impossible to prevent all disasters, it is possible to protect yourself from many of them. You can also create a plan for what happens when disaster strikes so your network can get back up and running quickly and your staff can get back to work.

Review Your Current Disaster Recovery Plan

When is the last time you’ve looked at your IT disaster recovery plan? If it’s been awhile, it’s time to get to work. Older disaster recovery plans often include technologies that are obsolete or degraded beyond usability (think those old tape backup systems). Even cloud-based data backup solutions should be tested annually to ensure they are set up properly.

Disaster recovery plans include more than just your procedure for backing up data. Here’s a list of common items found in a disaster recovery plan:

  • Who is responsible for executing and managing the plan
  • Immediate steps following the disaster
  • Inventory of hardware and software that may be affected by a disaster
  • Post-disaster business continuity plan
  • Strategies for communicating with stakeholders
  • Policies for data, email, and social media use

Work with a DRaaS and DR Provider

Managing data is a complicated, high-stakes task. If left vulnerable to attack or disaster, data can be lost forever, crippling a business. As data security becomes a top priority for businesses, IT companies are increasingly offering DRaaS (Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service) and DR (Disaster Recovery) as services. Companies can outsource their disaster recovery plans and procedures to IT experts who can provide a multi-faceted solution that includes backup recovery, file syncing, and cloud-based data storage to prevent the loss of data.

Not sure what would happen to your data in the event of an IT disaster? The Now IT Connects team is here to help. To start protecting your company’s data, contact us today.

The Four Fundamentals of Network Security: A Guest Post by Secure Net Pros

network monitoring keeps your business safe

Whether your team is onsite or working remotely, the security of your network is an ongoing concern. Here are the four fundamentals of network security that all organizations should implement to protect their networks.

1. Assess Cyber Risk

Stronger network security starts with a comprehensive cyber risk assessment. It is impossible to prioritize and address security vulnerabilities without identifying what those liabilities are. A thorough assessment will evaluate your hardware, software, system configurations, system entry points, and other security risks.

2. Remediate Security Vulnerabilities

The cyber risk assessment uncovers your network’s vulnerabilities so you can take steps to address them. Some solutions are simple and straightforward, such as strengthening your network’s firewall protection and making all outstanding security updates to your hardware and software. Others require long-term management. This may include uncovering and eliminating any unauthorized wireless connections to your network and erasing unneeded user profiles from software and web-based applications.

3. Detect Cyber Threats

A cornerstone of network security is ongoing threat detection. Many cyber threats against your network come from external bad actors trying to gain access to your systems. But many others come from inside your network itself. Your staff may inadvertently or intentional change security settings or access your network on an insecure device, giving criminals back-door access to your network. Continuous threat detection to identify and remediate these risks is an important part of keeping your network safe.

4. Monitor the Network

Set-it-and-forget-it solutions just won’t cut it when it comes to securing your network. Managed security is a round-the-clock job. The 360-degree managed security solution from Secure Net Pros puts actionable intelligence at our fingertips so our team can act fast to protect your network and your data. For expert help in securing your systems, contact the Secure Net Pros team today.

3 Cyber Threats Remote Workers Face

cyber risk for remote workers_Now IT Connects

Cyber security threats were a concern for businesses before the COVID-19 pandemic. But with many people working from home and accessing systems remotely, understanding and preventing cyber threats has become more urgent. No one knows what the new normal for work will be, but addressing these cyber threats now can put an organization in a better position for handling future attacks, especially if working from home becomes the norm. Here are three of the top cyber threats organizations face and how to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

Weak Password Security and Other Access Control

With so many employees working remotely, many organizations have implemented web-based project management, file transfer, and video conferencing tools to stay productive. These technologies help teams collaborate and stay connected, but they require strong password security and access control to protect company data. During the pandemic, remote work platforms have become prime targets for cyber attacks.

To protect their data and their systems, organizations must work with staff to implement strong passwords and provide training on password best practices. Businesses should also implement all recommended security protocols for their technologies, including passwords and waiting rooms for video conferencing platforms and two-factor authentication for cloud-based file storage and project management applications.

While some hackers attack systems directly, many pursue phishing and other scams that target staff. Strong passwords will not protect a network against staff members getting duped into sharing those passwords with bad actors. That’s why it’s important to continually train employees on how to spot and report potential phishing scams. The Now IT Connects team can provide this important training remotely.

Vulnerable Home and Public Networks

Strong passwords and other access control practices offer good protection for your online applications. But with employees working from home, insecure home and public internet connections can provide cyber criminals easy access to your data. Home wireless routers that lack strong password protection can be easily hacked by bad actors.

Remote workers should change the names and passwords of their home WiFi networks from the default settings. A strong password is at least 20 characters long and includes letters, numbers, and symbols. Companies should help workers activate WPA2 network encryption to make data unreadable to criminals as it is being moved across the wireless network. Some companies may consider providing remote workers with firewall hardware as additional protection.

Insecure Hardware

Insecure hardware can leave a company’s network vulnerable to cyber attack. Staff members who use their personal computers, tablets, and smart phones for remote work may be putting the company’s network at risk. It is impossible for a company to establish a security standard on devices it does not control.

Instead, companies should provide employees with hardware and devices to use for remote work. That way, organizations can be certain the hardware of a worker’s computer, tablet, and smart phone is secure. Companies can also require staff to make regular system and security updates to their hardware to ensure it is continually protected.

The pandemic will likely change how employees will work in the future. The Now IT Connects team believes remote work will become more common, even when the threat of COVID-19 has passed. That’s why companies should take the time now to protect their web-based applications and their networks. For expert help in securing your systems, contact the Now IT Connects team today.

IT for Construction Workers in the Field

IT for construction workers in the field_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

When you think of IT, you probably imagine a guy in a tie (or a hoodie) sitting behind a desk all day, avoiding talking to people. The Now IT Connects team can tell you that stereotype doesn’t always hold up. IT can be just as useful in the field as it is in the office.

Nowhere is that truer than on a construction site. Construction crews spend all day outside doing hard, physical work. IT for construction workers can make their jobs easier, safer, and more productive. Check out some of our favorite technology for construction workers.

Wearable Tech

Wearable tech is no longer limited to fitness trackers and smart watches. New wearable technologies improve construction worker safety. Whether they’re in a hardhat, glove, vest, or boot, construction wearable technologies can monitor a worker’s movements and position to help them avoid slips, falls, and other accidents.

Other wearable technologies feature voltage detectors and environmental sensors to alert workers to unsafe conditions. Some super-smart technologies allow project managers to designate certain areas hazardous or restricted, setting off alarms when a worker mistakenly enters one of these spaces.


Drones make it easier and safer to inspect and access hard-to-reach or hazardous areas of a worksite. Construction firms are using drones to assess roof condition, get a bird’s-eye view of the site, identify hazards, and monitor project progress.

While a worker will need to be trained to pilot a drone safely, using drones will make inspections more efficient and reduce safety risks at the job site. This means work will get done faster with fewer safety incidents.

Field Management Apps

Field management software is a powerful tool for construction companies to keep projects on time and in budget. While office staff can use the software at their desks, field workers have full access to field management apps on tablets and smart phones. These management tools help keep everyone on the same page, identify areas that are delayed or ahead of schedule, and ensure no steps are missed or corners cut.

Safety Apps

Safety apps are another technology for construction workers to use in the field. The American Red Cross has a helpful app that leads users step-by-step through common first aid protocols. Users can call 911 from the app and locate area hospitals. The app also has tips on how to stay safe in extreme weather and temperatures.

Other construction worker apps automate safety checklists and reporting to ensure workers never miss an important step in their safety protocols. The apps can generate reporting for the back office so staff can monitor compliance and ensure steps are being taken to prevent accidents.

Reporting Apps

The construction process is often long, with meetings and milestones along the way to keep everyone informed of a project’s progress. Construction project reporting apps streamline estimating, inspections, work orders, and audits to eliminate paperwork and improve accuracy and thoroughness on important forms. Some reporting apps can even take payments, making getting paid a breeze.

IT for construction workers is constantly evolving to make job sites safer and more productive. Now IT Connects can help you put the right products in place to keep projects on track and prevent accidents. For more information on how to integrate IT into your construction firm, contact Now IT Connects today.

IT Needs for Construction Firms

IT Needs for Construction Firms_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to adopt new technologies. It’s a business where safety is paramount and margins are slim, so it’s no wonder construction executives are hesitant to invest in new IT.

But construction IT has the capacity to revolutionize the industry. With a little upfront investment, technology can save construction firms money while improving safety. Here’s a look at a few IT innovations.

Technologies that Improve Construction Safety

Safety is an extremely important consideration at any job site. Construction IT can make it easy to train workers and ensure safety checklists are being completed with excellence.

Forward-thinking construction firms are incorporating virtual reality and augmented reality into their safety training. These technologies help workers understand job site risks and learn how to prevent accidents without putting them at risk.

In the field, safety technology can ensure workers incorporate safe workplace practices into their daily jobs. Mobile apps can automate safety checklists and prompt workers to affirm they’ve taken appropriate precautions.

Hardware that Helps Construction Firms Work Smarter

What if you could inspect the roof of a building without sending a crew member up to take a look? What if you could print the complicated part you need yourself without waiting weeks for a machine shop to fabricate it?

That’s what drones and 3-D printing technologies offer construction firms. Drones give construction crews a birds-eye view of their projects without putting workers at risk of a fall. Today’s drone technology produces crystal-clear color videos and still images that can be used to assess work progress or damage. With 3-D printing, construction companies can design and print their own components and parts without outsourcing the work to a third-party manufacturer.

Construction Software and Mobile Apps

Software and mobile apps are making it easier than ever to manage projects, track progress, and collaborate with multiple subcontractors. Cloud-based field management software allows every member of the construction team to see and respond to project tasks. Many of these technologies also include schedulers to make managing subcontractors and lead times a breeze.

Cloud-Based Computing Solutions

Cloud-based IT is making it easier than ever for construction firms to track job site progress. Crew members can update their progress in real time and even submit their timecards without coming to the office and punching a clock.

Project reporting is easy on a cloud-based system, too. Effortlessly pull work records for any project at any stage. Same goes for expense reports for weekly meetings with customers.

Wondering how IT can help your firm stay productive, safe, and profitable this year? Contact the Now IT Connects team.

A Closer Look at Our IT Services

A Closer Look at IT Services_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

Ever wonder with the Now IT Connects team is up to every day? Wonder no more! We have several main IT services that keep us busy throughout the day and week. From backup and cloud solutions to network security and comprehensive managed IT services, here’s a look at how we can help you.

Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services are the Now IT Connects team’s bread and butter. Why try to figure IT out on your own when you can partner with an IT company who provides you with cloud-based solutions, network maintenance, hardware updates, and email troubleshooting?

Through our managed IT offerings, you can rely on us to take care of IT through ongoing device management, monitoring, and alerting services. Our cloud-based managed IT platform allows us to monitor your systems remotely so we aren’t interrupting your day. We can schedule updates overnight so your team experiences minimal downtime, and our alerts system helps us resolve any issues before you even realize they exist. If you want to stay up and running in 2020, the Now IT Connects team has your back.

Network Security

Your network is your business’s heart, brain, and circulatory system all rolled into one. It keeps your business running, your team productive, and your operations moving forward with ease. When your network’s compromised, it can grind your entire business to a halt.

Unless you have IT expertise, we recommend working with an IT service provider like us with the know-how and technology resources to protect your hardware and software from malfunction, misuse, modification, and attacks.

Email and Spam Protection

It’s tough having your email down for an hour, let alone a day or two. Business email systems must constantly defend themselves against viruses, malware, direct attacks, and inadequate storage. That’s why Now IT Connects offers cloud-based email solutions. Cloud-based email and spam filtering systems offer limitless storage and real-time security updates so your inbox is always protected.

Backup and Cloud Solutions

Speaking of the cloud, it’s a powerful, secure place to store your data. One of the IT services we provide is cloud-based data storage and backup. We partner with trusted cloud service providers to offer our clients secure data storage that’s available anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud computing also helps our clients eliminate the need to manually back up their data to tapes or other local storage devices. Instead, we can automate daily backups to the cloud to ensure your data is always available and safe.

If you’d like to take your IT to the next level this year, we’d love to meet you! Give Now IT Connects a call today at 320-558-6300.

Reasons to Love the Now IT Connects Team

Fall in Love with Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

If you’re looking for a managed IT team to partner with in 2020, the Now IT Connects crew may be your perfect match. We work closely with our clients to provide right-sized IT solutions that keep their businesses running smoothly. If you want a managed IT team with personality and heart, we’d love the opportunity to get to know you better! Here’s a little bit about us.

John Koshiol, Now IT Connects CEO

John is the owner and CEO of Now IT Connects. He’s been our fearless leader for the last 16 years. John loves to help businesses keep their data secure and easy to use. When he’s not working with Now IT Connects customers, John’s outside hunting, fishing, golfing, or participating in shooting sports.

Lloyd Sanquist, Now IT Connects Network Engineer

As a network engineer, Lloyd works alongside Chris and Trevor to keep our customers’ networks safe and performing well. Lloyd’s served Now IT Connects customers for more than eight years. Lloyd enjoys writing, camping, playing video games, and making the rest of the Now IT Connects team laugh.

Chris Imdieke, Now IT Connects Network Engineer

Chris is our second network engineer and has been part of our team for more than two years. Chris works alongside Lloyd and Trevor to support our customers’ networks and IT needs. After work, Chris enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

Trevor Koshiol, Now IT Connects Network Engineer

Trevor is our third network engineer, working alongside Lloyd and Chris to maintain our customers’ networks. Like his dad, Trevor enjoys spending time being active outdoors, whether he’s fishing, hunting, golfing, or playing team sports.

Bobbie Anacker, Now IT Connects Administrative Assistant

As the Now IT Connects administrative assistant, it’s likely Bobbie’s smiling face or cheery “Hello!” will greet you at our door or on the phone. Bobbie has been part of the Now IT Connects team for two years. When not supporting Now IT Connects customers, Bobbie enjoys listening to music, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Ready to fall in love with your IT support team? We’d love to meet you! Give Now IT Connects a call today at 320-558-6300.

New IT Products for 2020

New IT Products_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

Every year, hundreds of new tech products hit the market. It can be tough to know which ones will make a real, positive impact on your business. That’s why we’ve come up with our own best-of list of new IT products we’re looking forward to using in 2020.

Two-Factor Authentication Is Something You Can No Longer Ignore

Two-factor authentication has been around for years, but it is finally hitting the mainstream. Two-factor authentication, or TFA, requires two forms of identification to access an online account. You may have noticed that your bank now requires you to enter a password, then receive another code via email or text to enter before you can access your account. That’s an example of TFA.

For now, TFA is one of the safest ways to secure your online accounts. We highly recommend you use TFA whenever it is offered to you, whether it’s on your business bank account, on your cloud storage account, or your email.

WatchGuard offers a two-factor authentication product called AuthPoint that helps you secure all of your business systems from a single app, including your email, network, CRM, data storage, and accounting applications. Check it out.

Barracuda’s Content Shield Web Security Keeps Teams Productive

Barracuda MSP (formerly Intronis MSP) is our favorite managed IT service platform. Recently, Barracuda announced enhancements to its MSP (managed service provider) product that will help you encourage your teams to stay productive.

The product now includes Content Shield web security. Content Shield filters URLs so your managed IT provider can protect you and your employees from malicious web content. The product also improves malware protection and allows business owners to block web traffic to specific websites (like Facebook). All of these features help keep your team more productive at work.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 Could Revolutionize the Way You Collaborate

Our two first new IT products for 2020 are functional but (unless you’re an IT nerd like us) not that exciting. Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 product is both functional and extremely exciting.

The Surface Hub 2 is a piece of hardware that makes collaborating effortless, whether your team members are in the same room together or across the world from one another. The Surface Hub 2 is a smart whiteboard, teleconferencing, and collaborative computing device all rolled into one sleek product you can wheel anywhere in your office. We believe it will revolutionize the way you collaborate.

Those are the products Now IT Connects is looking forward to following in 2020. What are some of yours? Let us know on social media or contact us to keep your business running smartly and smoothly this year.

2020 IT Trends to Watch

2020 IT Trends_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

The IT world seems like it moves at the speed of light. There’s always a new device or service that’s competing for your attention and your dollars. That’s why we wanted to showcase a few trends that are worth watching for Minnesota companies. Which ones make your list of 2020 IT trends to watch?

5G Launches across the Country

5G is the next generation in mobile networks. Most cellphones in Minnesota rely on the 4G network. But by the end of the year, it’s possible we’ll all be enjoying much faster, more reliable connections on our mobile devices.

Currently, Verizon and T-Mobile offer 5G in some areas of their network in Minnesota. Verizon’s service is limited to certain areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis, while T-Mobile has launched 5G across the state. As 5G technology becomes more widespread, expect tech companies to develop apps that take advantage of the network’s faster, more reliable speeds. Experts predict 5G will also revolutionize the IoT, or Internet of Things. Expect to see more smart workplace devices showing up in offices, manufacturing facilities, and retailers and restaurants in 2020.

Distributed Cloud Advances Cloud Computing

First, there were local servers. Then, cloud computing exploded our idea of what it meant to store a file, buy software, and collaborate as a team. Now, distributed cloud computing is going to take us to the next level.

Most cloud networks store data at one or two large data centers in a model IT nerds call the centralized cloud. The distributed cloud allows cloud service providers to store data across one or more micro locations in a decentralized model. A decentralized cloud runs on blockchain technology, dramatically increasing data security and privacy. It helps organizations stay nimble and take advantage of the seemingly limitless storage capacity of the cloud without sending all of their data to a single, central location.

Computer Vision

As augmented and virtual reality become more mainstream, computers are becoming smarter at identifying people, items, places, and objects from an image snapped by a camera or caught by a sensor. This ability is called computer vision, and it’s what’s behind the technologies of Apple’s FaceID and Google Image Search.

With computer vision, computers on manufacturing production lines can identify and remove faulty products or alert employees when a piece of equipment has broken down. Security cameras can use vision to track unusual behavior or even to recognize faces in a crowd.

Using IT and Data Management to Build Customer Relationships

Before this post gets any more Big Brother, let’s touch on a more human 2020 IT trend. Research organization Deloitte predicts that as data becomes more ubiquitous in business, companies will leverage their data security policies and practices to build trust with the customers.

Called “ethical technology,” corporations are using their IT and data policies to reflect their core values and mission while showing their customers that they are handling their data responsibly. Taking these actions without being prompted by litigation or a data breach scare can build trust with customers and other stakeholders. If you haven’t considered using your data practices to build relationships with your customers, we encourage you to give it a serious thought.

Those are the 2020 IT trends Now IT Connects is looking forward to following. What are some of yours? Let us know on social media or contact us to keep your business running smoothly this year.

How to Register Your New Domain

how to register your domain_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

Whether you’re starting a new business in 2020 or finally creating a website for your current company, registering your domain is the crucial first step. It’s difficult to know where to go to register your domain, so Now IT Connects has made it simple. Visit our website and follow a few easy steps to get up and running in no time.

1. Come Up with a Great Name

“Keyword” is a big buzzword in the website development world. But in December 2019, keywords in your URL aren’t a huge factor in how Google ranks you in its search results. What you need to know is that the best name for your domain is one that is easy for both your audience and Google to understand. Err on the side of clarity and simplicity. Your best bet may be to simply use your company name.

2. Use Our Domain Registration Tool

Once you’ve settled on a name for your site, visit our domain registration site. There, you can search for and purchase your domain, web hosting, email, and other essential website tools.

3. Purchase Your Domain and Choose a Hosting Platform

To see if your first-choice domain is available, search for it with our tool. The tool will produce several options. If the .com extension is available, we recommend going with that (unless you’re a nonprofit, in which case .org is a good option for you). Notice that the cost of the domain changes depending on the extension. Once you’ve made your decision, add your selection to the cart.

Then, click on “Hosting” in the top navigation bar to select a hosting environment for your domain. This is where your domain will live on the internet. cPanel is a popular choice, as is WordPress. Or, you may choose to host your domain on a dedicated, private server.

4. Opt for SSL and Website Backup

If all you’re interested in is the domain, you could check out at this point. However, we encourage you to consider purchasing some essential security tools first. An SSL certificate lets users who visit your site know you keep their data safe. Google considers SSL certification in its search results. Sites without an SSL certificate are ranked lower than sites with the certificate in place.

Website backup is another service we highly recommend. Don’t put a lot of time, effort, and money into a new site you are not planning to back up and keep safe. Website backup is affordable, automated, and provides a lot of peace of mind.

5. Add Email and Online Storage

Don’t forget to add email and online storage to your domain purchase. These services will allow you to send emails from your website domain (, for example) and add and remove email users with ease. Online storage is a good option for backing up files to the cloud and making it easy for your team to collaborate.

6. Get Online!

You’ve purchased your domain, hosting, SSL, backup, email, and storage. It’s time to get online! The next step is to design a beautiful, optimized website. There are several good DIY options, but we recommend calling in the pros to maximize your investment in your new website. For a recommendation or for help registering your domain, contact our team!