Category Archives: Computers Plus Service

Repairing your computer vs. replacing

One glance around in today’s culture and you can tell computers are a major part of daily living and functioning. We use computers for everything and we even carry tiny computers in our pockets which we refer to as smart phones.  So, when your computer goes down and needs to be fixed it’s a major issue. Should we simply toss out the old computer and purchase a new one or should you have your current computer repaired? Today, we look at some reasons why it would be more beneficial to just repair your computer rather than replace it.

  • The first thing to consider when deciding to replace or repair your computer is price. It’s like a car if it would cost more to fix the car than the car is worth we tend to junk the car and get a new one, your computer is the same way. If it will cost you more to repair the computer compared to purchasing a new one then you would obviously want to replace it not repair it.
  • The second consideration is age, how old is that computer anyways? If your computer is older than 7 years it might be high time to replace it. The traditional lifespan of a computer is between 3 and 7 years and a good thing to keep in mind is the price of your computer originally. Traditionally the more expensive your computer was to purchase the longer you can expect it to last. Technology and especially computers are constantly being upgraded and updated so if the broken computer is older than 7 years it might be a better option to replace it rather than repair it.
  • Software is licensed not owned so if you have special software on your current computer that may not be able to be transferred to a new computer then repairing your current computer would make more sense.

The decision really boils down to personal preference as well as that you will be using your computer for, having a computer repaired does tend to be cheaper than replacing it completely. Just keep in mind when you have your computer repaired to have it done by a professional because if you take your computer to someone who doesn’t really know what they are doing you run the risk of seriously causing harm to the system rather than helping or bettering it.

Some things to keep in mind when trying to find a reliable and skilled computer repair technician:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Are the technicians certified in computer repair services?
  • Do they have references that you can talk with?

These are just a few things to keep in mind when looking for a professional to repair your computer. Hopefully this has helped you not only decide whether to repair or replace your broken computer but also has given a little insight into who to select should your computer need repaired.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Is It Time To Replace Your PC

We get asked all the time if clients should replace their personal computers or if it is worth repairing.  Many of us get used to the quirks of our own computers.  Over time we know what works and what doesn’t. We know when to wiggle the connections and when a simple reboot will reset the system.  This is one reason it is so difficult to diagnosis when it’s time for a person’s PC to be upgraded.  Below are some of the signs we look for to know it is time to transfer that data to a new computer.

One sign that it is time to upgrade your PC is when you can no longer install the latest upgrades to the computers operating system.  New versions in operating systems weren’t always a priority for users however with the latest update to Windows 10 everything has changed.  Most of us stick with operating system our computers come with when we purchase them.  We ignore upgrades and continue functioning under the status quo of the system that is familiar to us.  Computer users with Windows XP are finding that computers still using this operating system are now obsolete.

We also know it is time to upgrade when users can no longer use the computer to run the latest apps and games.  Gaming on personal computers is costly.  All PC users try to “future-proof” their computers but there will always be something to upgrade when you own a personal computer.

Another reason to replace your PC is because it has become slow.  A slow computer means something different to every user.  You will know when your PC becomes too slow for you.  Does the computer boot up only after you have brewed an entire pot of coffee?  Can you type an entire sentence before even one word appears on the computer screen?  Is the computer grinding to a complete halt when you open more than a single screen?  If things used to work faster than they do and they are no longer functioning as you know them to it is time to upgrade your PC.

If you find yourself spending more time repairing your computer than enjoying it that is a clear sign you need to upgrade.  When it becomes a nuisance to own your personal computer then it is time to buy a new one.   Your computer should not crash without an explanation, the wi-fi should stay connected, systems should not freeze these are all signs, as is the blue screen of death, that your computer should be replaced.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

The Difference Between Paid and Organic Online Marketing

Online marketing remains one of life’s little mysteries for business owners looking to expand upon their online presence.  Confusion basically stems from two general differences: paid advertising and organic search rankings.

Let’s start out by talking about paid advertising.  Paid search engine marketing refers to advertising in which a business pays for ad placement based upon a targeted search.

Google Adwords is the term most business owners are familiar with when discussing paid advertising.  However it is important to note that Google is the most widely used search engine other options are available when it comes to paid ads.  Both Bing and Yahoo offer paid ad services.  Google is the most used search engine and therefore paid ads places within the search and display networks associated with Google will cost more than those places within Yahoo or Bing.  You are paying more because more advertisers are using the service and more traffic is essentially viewing your ads.

Many companies with smaller advertising budgets choose to place their paid advertising dollars on smaller search engines such as Bing largely because the costs per person reached are much lower than with Google.  The main disadvantage is the decrease in users associated with the less known search engines.

When you company is looking into paid ads it is important to be realistic.  If your paid operating budget for a month is five hundred dollars and you are in a highly competitive market, for instance home improvement, law, pest management etc… then it may be best for you to use your paid advertising on search engines with lower ad costs such as Bing, Yahoo, Microsoft etc…  The competition will be lower, the ad costs will be less and the amount paid per click will be less expensive which goes along with the theory that fewer people are using these search engines;  less ad competition results in less expensive per click fees, while reaching targeted consumers.

If your operating budget is unlimited and you are seeking to reach the largest number of people without expense being a concern paid advertising with Google Adwords is ideal.  The number of people using Google as a search engine is higher than Yahoo, Bing, and Microsoft etc….  The competition within Google is greater because of the number of advertisers seeking to reach targeted consumers because of the popularity that Google offers as a search engine therefore the competition for higher ad space is greater leading to a more expensive per click cost.

In both scenarios companies are paying for their ad to be placed in front of potential consumers based on results from targeted search terms.  No matter what search engine is used a user searching for Pest Control will find ads at the top and down the right hand side of business that have bid on the keyword Pest Control.   Higher ad placement goes to those advertisers willing to spend more per click.  Paid advertising is a key element when looking for consumers who are actively seeking targeted business services.

Another service that is offered to clients that is crucial to online marketing success is SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization.  SEO refers to the method in which a company reaches higher organic search rankings.  This service involves a variety of activities that work with your website to increase your site rankings on search engines when your services are being targeted through a consumers search.

The process of SEO is complicated and constantly evolving.  Search engines are constantly changing algorithms and their methods of placement to avoid companies looking for higher rankings through unsavory online activities.

A combination of methods to achieve the highest possible organic search results for clients possible without the risk of being blacklisted.  We use a combination of blog creation and management, social media integration including the creation and management of Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter, press releases, video marketing, article marketing and more.  Most importantly we focus on the content of your website to ensure it is evolving as the company continues to.  Our web team also places a high value on the backend of your site ensuring that is search engine friendly meaning that search engines will understand exactly what it is that is being offered based on title tags, site descriptions and tags used in programming your site.

Online presence is more important now than ever before.  Out are the days of reaching for a phone book and looking up a certain key phrase in the yellow pages to find a business to meet your need. In are the days at having information at the touch of a button.  Your business must be present online to draw in and retain customers.  Consumers are looking for information on your business right then and there while they are ready to take action.  Your website, social media presence, blog updates, reviews and testimonials will all say a lot about your business.  SEO companies are here to help ensure the message they are receiving is the one that you want to be presenting.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Debunking The Myths Surrounding Technology and Computer Networking

The myths surrounding technology and computer system repairs are plentiful.  In this article we will look to debunk common myths surrounding computer repair, networking and I.T. consultants.

The myth that only a true computer geek can eliminate issues with your computer or network is one that is completely false.  Computers and the systems that surround their effectiveness used to be considered unknown areas where only a technology geek could maneuver.  Now day’s desk top computers are set up so that most anyone can troubleshoot problems and most often fix them.  It is important to understand that to work within the I.T. industry you will need to obtain certain credentials and certifications to be of value to most employers.

The myth that one rate fixes all computers is a complete myth.  Different issues associated with your computer require different amounts of time to repair.  If you see a company offering a one size fits all approach to fixing your computer or charging you to repair your system run the other way.  A flat fee is commonly charged but the overall rate you will be assessed should be determined on a number of items such as techs needed to fix your particular problem, hardware and software needs and time spent to completely resolve your issues.  Many flat fee companies work to temporarily solve your problem without completely fixing all of the issues surrounding your network.

Unless you know what you are doing you should never attempt to defrag your computer at home.    Many people have been told that defrag can be done at home by anyone however this results in a myriad of issues from more sever computer problems, complete system failures and unnecessary hardware replacement.  Although a program to defrag your system may be pre-installed within your computers operating system it is indeed a service that should never be attempted without a good deal of knowledge into exactly what you are doing.

Just because you think your technician is the best does not mean they are equipped to handle every system that is in place.  If the technician that most often works on your computer considers the problem fixed yet you are still having issues with performance it is probable that the problem is something unique that they may have not seen before and therefore are unaware of how to fix.  Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion for another tech within the company.

Just because the company charges a nominal amount more than what others charge does not mean that the service or parts used are of higher quality or greater value.  In computer repair and networking value is seen in the work performed over not the fee paid.  This is one service industry that the old saying you get what you pay for is not always true.  Be prepared to pay a higher fee for companies with more techs that specialize in a variety of services.  Specializing in a number of different areas allows companies to charge more than those that only offer a few basic services.  This is the same concept as you find between an urgent care facility and a doctor that offers services in one unique field.

Myths are plentiful no matter what industry you are in charge of hiring services to be performed.  Be sure interview several different companies before determining which I.T. consultants best fit your technology needs and goals.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Understanding What Information Technology Consultants Offers To Your Company

Not many people completely understand what services IT consultants provide to their clients.  Information technology consultants, also known as computer consultancy services, advise organizations on how best to utilize technology in order to achieve success within their business.  IT consultants will create a plan to direct, employ, set up and oversee information technology based on the systems currently in place as well as the goals the business and long term objectives.

Outsourcing is a common practice amongst growing businesses.  Companies outsource IT consultants for a number of reasons.  Large professional service firms may be able to afford having an IT workforce but for midsized and smaller companies the expense of an IT specialist may not be justifiable.  When looking to outsource it is important that you do so with your company’s size and goals in mind.

There are several tiers within the IT consulting industry.

  • Professional IT service companies that retain a sizable workforce to provide consulting services and a rate that matches.
  • Temporary staffing firms that place IT specialists with businesses that require their services on a temporary basis. This is most often due to the fact that an employee is absent or that the skill the temp offers is something unique that no one else currently employed can offer.  IT temps are also hired when a technical project requires something that is needed that current employees can offer.
  • Independent IT consultants are individuals that are self-employed and are hired as independent contractors to provide services on an as needed basis.

There are several reasons IT consultants are asked to provide services.

  • When advice is needed from someone that is outside of the company. When external, objective advice and recommendations are needed from an impartial party.
  • When specialized expertise service can be gained from the consultant.
  • When a onetime project requires services that cannot be performed by a current employee and when it is cost prohibited to hire a permanent employee.
  • When IT services are required from a specific company.

When a company realizes it is time to take their IT to a new level it is important that they bring in an expert IT consultant to define the scope of the project including time of implementation and costs.  The IT firm will maintain and support the development of the companies IT plans.  IT consultants work with the company from the beginning of the projects development until the end in order to ensure complete satisfaction by the hiring company.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Hiring An I.T. Company That Does It All

Small business, large businesses and all the ones in between rely on computer systems, the internet and a variety of other I.T. services. How do business owners come by professionals to provide these services? Is it possible that one team of I.T. specialist can supply all of the services that businesses need? The answer is simple, yes. It is possible to find an I.T. team that specializes in a variety of services to offer reliable affordable computer repair, computer consulting, networking, server builds and installations, data back-up systems, computer troubleshooting, wiring, website design, graphic design, web hosting, SEO, iPhone and Android programming as well as custom programming.

There is a lot to consider when looking into I.T. services. A lot of times the idea that a company would need all of these services is a lot to think about. This is especially true because half of them are services that you had never heard about. Let’s look a bit deeper into each area and how your business uses these services to run more efficiently.

Computer Repair, Computer Tune Ups and Computer Malware and Virus Removal: Computers are a main stay in running any sized business. When the computer fails it can take the entire business down and out of service. What you need is I.T. services that quickly repair your computer issues so that your business is not out of commission for too long. Computer viruses, hard drive repairs, new mother board installation and more are services that your I.T. company should be efficient at.

Computer Consulting: Part of servicing company’s I.T. services it devising a technology plan for the company. Considering their budget and time frame a company then can begin implementing the stated plan and put it into action. Many times an I.T. plan includes computer networking, building and installing a server; putting back-up systems in place and the ability to trouble shoot any current computer issues.

Website Design, Graphic Design, Web Hosting and Search Engine Optimization Services (SEO): Much of a company’s business comes from their internet presence. It is crucial that not only does your business run with up to date computer technology but web presence as well. Companies that already work with you and understand your I.T. needs have a better understanding of what represents your business. That information can be taken and turned into a graphic playground in the form of a website. The presence of your company online is also crucial which is why SEO services are performed. It is important that your clients can find you online and that they are drawn to use your business services from the online presence that is present.

iPhone and Android Programming and custom programming: Apps have taken on a life of their own in the world we live in. These app ideas don’t come to be magically. They require custom programming. Bringing your ideas to life, in order to grow your business you will need to develop a mobile presence with the use of a website that is mobile friendly and apps for both iPhones and Android phones.

All of these services tie into one another and to find an I.T. company that can provide all of them for you in a one stop shop is the best possible scenario for your company. An all inclusive I.T. service company knows your company inside and out. This means that they will provide better services based exactly on what they know you need to continue to grow your business.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas. You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Valuable Computer Repair Services Fast

Computers are one of the most exciting and infuriating technological advances known to man.  Everywhere you turn you are faced with the need for computers.  One of the major problems with this is when it fails we are at a total loss.  Computers hold are lives and for many of us out livelihoods as well.  Without a computer work stops, messages don’t get returned and calendars disappear.  It is so important that when our computers break down that we have somewhere reliable to turn to in order to get our worlds back up and functioning in the manner we are accustom to.

When you find a quality computer repair shop you will instantly know it.  Not only will the shop offer reliable services at a reasonable fee they will speak to you in English not technology.  A good computer repair shop with hire technicians that are capable of repairing a variety of issues both related to computer hardware and software.   The technician will also be able to tell you what caused the issue, ways to prevent it and how it was fixed in a way that novices can understand.  Good computer repair shops offer the ability to repair the issue and how to explain the technicality of it to even the most basic user.

You should always be able to authenticate the computer repair shop.  This will allow you to see that the shop is conducting business legally.   You should never trust your computer repairs to a company or individual who seems to have just set up shop.   Look for a repair shop with a reputation both locally and online.

When you are looking to have your computer repaired it usually hasn’t come at a time that is convenient.  Most repairs are urgent.  When you choose a computer repair company for your residential computer or your commercial I.T. needs be sure that they are equipped with the latest tools and equipment needed to repair your system immediately.  Of course there will be situations where parts are needed that the shop does not have in stock.  The effects of this are lessened when the shop collaborates with part providers who are willing to ship next day.

Finding a computer repair shop is not difficult.  Finding one that is reliable and able to maintain its technicians can be.  For the best I.T. results both residentially and commercially find an I.T. company with low turnover and high employee retention.  This will allow you to be serviced by the same few technicians on a regular basis whether you need your computer worked on in the shop or you need a technician to your home or business.  A company with technicians that are familiar with your computer systems and network decreases the time it takes for them to diagnosis a problem.  This is the same thing you want when working with a doctor, lawyer or other specialty.  The less you have to repeat to someone knew each time the fewer details that are lost and the quicker the problem can be diagnosed and repaired.

It’s not difficult to find a computer repair shop; they seem to be popping up on every corner these days. The problem is that you need more than an average corner repair shop when it comes to something as valuable as your computer.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Creating A Presence For Your Business Online With Search Engine Optimization

The aim for business owners when developing a website and online presence is to show up at the top of internet search engines.  The goal is to standout above the competition whether you are online or in person.  To do this your business must include search engine optimization in their website design and marketing plan.  Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is the process of promoting your website to search engines in order to achieve higher rankings.  Different companies offer their own distinct methods to do this for customers.  Below are some powerful SEO strategies to consider and others to avoid when looking to increase your search engine rankings.

Your site must be optimized properly to engage your target market.  Bringing visitors to your site that are not your intended market is of no use to you as a business owner.  Your SEO must optimize your site to create traffic from your desired target.  Your content is what will help bring the traffic to your site if properly optimized; the graphic design and layout will keep them there.

Not only does the sites content need to be optimized the site itself should be built and coded in a manner that search engines can clearly identify what your business offers.  It is crucial that your site is optimized for several keywords and their variations.  Search engines analyze your site metatags in order to determine what your site offers.

When creating your sites backend metatags don’t keyword stuff or over optimize key phrases.  This is seen as a black hat technique and many search engines will black list your website until they see vast improvements.  Natural use of keywords within your site metatags is the best option to appease search engines.  Consider using several variations of your keyword throughout the backend of the site.  Analysis of your website should be conducted to ensure that your keywords and variations don’t comprise more than twenty percent of the sites content for optimum results.

When choosing a url be aware that this is also an integral part in SEO.  Your site url and page names should not only be relevant to the site content but also memorable.  When choosing a url for your site avoid the use of special characters as these make it more difficult for users to remember.   Add keywords and their variations to the sites many different pages. For instance a contact us page can turn into contact our search engine optimization experts.  Your base url needs to be simple and easy to remember.  Side page urls need to be site descriptive and optimized to bring the best search engine results.

SEO is an ever changing process.  Work with professionals in the search engine marketing process that understand they must adjust the techniques they employ as time progresses.  Using SEO techniques that worked last year is not a guarantee for success this year.  You must work with an expert that understands the ever changing ways search engines are looking for when ranking websites.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services and SEO serivces to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

Tips To Help Keep Your Laptop Running Efficiently

For some of us our computers are our life line.  We carry our computers from the café to our work place and even to catch some mid afternoon rays.  Laptops are a preferable choice for many as they are easy to transport.   Laptops are different then desktop computers and therefore have to be cared for in a particular manner.  Below you will find some tips on taking care of your laptop.

One of the leading causes of damage to desktops and laptops is lack of airflow.  When using a laptop it is crucial to have it setting on a hard surface.  Avoid using your laptop on a bed or pillow as the soft fabric can block the vents and cause the system to overheat.  It is important that you ensure the vents are clear of dirt and dust.  Use a can of compressed air to clean the vents out frequently to allow for adequate air flow.  Many computer repair shops offer a complete computer tune up for a relatively low fee.

Purchase an LCD and keyboard protector.  These inexpensive items can guard your laptop against scratches and damages.  The screen will be protected from scratches and the keyboard from crumbs and spills.

Laptops are more susceptible to damage from food and drinks.  If at all possible do not eat or drink while using your laptop.

Keep your laptop surfaces clean.  Wipe the outer part of the laptop free of dirt and dust.  The accumulation of dust will prevent your laptop from running properly.  Purchase fabrics designed to clean laptops and electronic devices.

Keeping the fan on your computer in working order is crucial whether it is a laptop or desktop.  To avoid overheating the fan must be in working order at all times.  If the laptop overheats it can cause issues with the computer’s memory and hard drive.  Look online for information on your particular laptop to see how to visually check the fan.  If you are not at all computer savvy a local computer repair shop will be able to look at your computer for you for a minor fee.

Your laptop should always be stored correctly.  Always turn your machine off and put it in a laptop bag when not in use.  Laptops should be stored away from children and pets; anything that has potential to chew on or damage your laptop should be kept away from stored laptops.

The tips above are just a few of the suggestions to help you keep your laptop running efficiently.  It is not difficult to maintain your laptop properly and keep it running in tip top shape with just a little bit of extra care.  Follow the tips above; if you notice your machine is not running properly shut it down and take it into your local computer repair shop for diagnosis.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.

A Deeper Look Into How Computer Viruses Affect Us

Through the course of working with technology and using the internet most of us have had an encounter with a computer virus.  Most systems use anti-virus software, a program that can help to eliminate common computer viruses from invading your computer system as well as prevent common symptoms that occur when a virus is attacking your computer.   Often times when a computer is infected it is because a new virus has been created to override the anti-virus prevention allowing the virus to infiltrate your computer system and network.

Computer viruses can attack your system in several different ways.  One way to get a virus is to download it from an email.  A virus can disguise itself in a funny image attachment, a greeting card or an audio video file.  Don’t open any type of email that looks suspicious even if the email is from somewhere or someone you are familiar with.  If you are unsure just don’t open it as it may just be a computer virus sent from an infected network that their computer is connected to.  This is true of instant messaging programs as well.  When opening outside materials use caution.

Another way a virus can attack your computer is through downloads off of the internet.  Coupon bars, illicit software or files and programs that you have downloaded can all potentially contain a virus.  When downloading anything off of the internet know the source from which the download is coming from.  If you need to download software or a program to run something on the system go directly to the site to start the download.  Many pop ups with downloads for the software will pop up all over your computer.  It will be impossible for you to tell whether one is infected or not before it is too late and your system has become infected.  The best way to avoid this is to go straight to the site to access the download.

Removable media may also become infected if the media is used on a computer that is infected.  Use precautions when using the same media disk between public computers and your private system.

In order to minimize the risk of infecting your computer it is important that you take precautions when opening emails, downloading software and using removable media.  It is also crucial that you update the anti-virus protection on your computer system regularly to keep newer viruses from being able to creep in and infect your system.  If at any time you find your computer is acting differently turn the machine off and take it in to a local computer repair shop for a virus removal and tune up.  Turning the machine off immediately helps to prevent the virus from spreading throughout your machine.

Computers Plus Service, in Brighton Michigan, provides a wide range of valuable services for residential computer repair as well as a variety of commercial computer services to the entire Livingston County area including Howell, Brighton and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more about the services offered by CPS at http://www.cpsmi.com.