Web Host Blogs

Why You Need a Custom Email Address For Your Business

BigRock Blog -

“What’s in a name?…” While William Shakespeare may have believed that, I would like to disagree!  As we grow in our professional lives, we come across many people from different walks of life. Some inspire us, some we work with, some may be a friend of a friend, while others we may have met at a social or networking gathering. It’s common to exchange phone numbers and basic information, with the hope that someday you might do something big together, or just keep in touch as you grow your network.  Now, when your phone rings and the screen displays something like, ‘Dave – ABC Consultant’, you immediately know who is calling, and an instant recollection of what they do and where you met pops up in your head within those few microseconds before you answer the call. Right?  A custom email address will create the same ‘instant recall’ and ‘familiarity’ for your business. Seeing a familiar name pop up in an otherwise busy and spam-filled email is a welcome delight — hey, I know this guy (business)!  Get Noticed With a Business Email Address A business email address not only enhances brand recall and familiarity but also adds that punch of professionalism for your brand.  Step into another business’s shoes to understand this better.  Say, for example, you buy a pair of shoes from a local brand called ‘Shoefie’. You receive the product, but unfortunately, it’s a size smaller and you raise an exchange request through their website’s customer support chat. You promptly receive an email from customersupport@shoefie.com to confirm the processing of your exchange request. Now, when you see this in your inbox, even before you open the email you know who it’s from and you already have an idea as to what to expect from the email.  Similarly, if you’re a business, you want your customers and clients to recognize your email even before they go ahead and open it. It’s your professional identity that makes you stand out, get noticed, and gives you the chance to enhance communication with your customers and clients. Additionally, it also keeps you out of the ‘spam’ and ‘trash’ folders — thus giving you yet another chance to be able to do more business, and keep growing.  In a nutshell, an enterprise email is your professional online calling card. Here’s Why You Need To Get A Business Email Address — NOW!  If I still haven’t made my point, here are five things you get with a custom business email address:  Professional Impact A custom email business address is your professional identity in the online world. It’s equivalent to your name in the physical world.  Boost Familiarity Just like people know and recognize you by your name, people and other businesses will recognize your business in their inbox with a custom email address.  Build Trust Like we saw in the example above, people will have more trust in opening an email if they recognize the name right from the start. It also shows your trust in your brand name.  Greater Control and Security If you own a professional domain name and business email address, your email hosting provider will give you the support to ensure smooth delivery and receiving of emails with better uptime as well as better security with encryption benefits.  Build Brand Identity In this ever-evolving digital world, a strong brand identity is your gateway to success. Right from your brand’s look and feel, to how you communicate and what you stand for — build a strong brand identity to boost your business. A company email address is an integral part of your brand identity.  Create an Impact with a Powerful Business Email Address If you’re wondering how to choose a professional business email address or how to get a custom email address, it all starts with your business goals.  Choose an email hosting provider who understands your business needs and can offer complete support for your goals. With numerous satisfied customers, and an aim to offer complete customer satisfaction, BigRock offers professional Email Hosting services that can help you grow your business.  The next time you open your inbox, see how many businesses you instantly recognize and how that changes the way you interact with them — that’s the recall value you want for your business.  “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” Now that’s a Shakespeare quote I’m willing to get behind! Power ahead, no matter how uneasy it may seem, wear your crown and take pride in your success.  If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, head to our Email Blog category to know more and stay updated. 

Website Design Best Practice: How to Optimize User Flow

Reseller Club Blog -

Website design is about more than aesthetics. Some websites are visually beautiful but challenging to use and navigate. The best sites are designed with user flow in mind. This method puts the user at the center of the design process and offers a better overall user experience. In this article, we’ll review website design best practices and look at some strategies you can use to optimize user flow. Before we get too far into the article, let’s cover some of the basics. What is User Flow? A user flow is a visual representation of the user’s journey through a website. If you run an ecommerce website, the user flow traces the user’s path from the moment they arrive on your landing page to the point of checkout. Here’s an example user flow for an eCommerce site:  Source: Springboard Most user experience (UX) designers visualize user flows using flowcharts. These are similar to the flowcharts used by programmers. Designers use them to evaluate user decision points and increase the chances of lead conversion. In the remainder of this guide, I’ll discuss strategies you can apply to optimize your user flow. Map Out The Ideal User Journey To understand how users interact with your website, and optimize user flow, begin by creating a customer journey map. Create an ideal buyer persona, including their goals and the problems they would like to solve. These goals are the main reason they visit your site. Once you’ve identified their customer’s goals, create maps that would logically link content on your site together. This often involves internally linking between relevant content, or making sure that appropriate content is accessible through the main menu. For example, on my wife’s travel site, I’ve created an adaptive menu. When a person arrives on a page about the city of Yogyakarta, they are presented with information about the location through the menu. Placing contextually relevant information on the menu helps channel visitors across the site and to key sales pages based on their likely interests. Identify Your Most Popular Pages The theory of how people will use your site and the reality often diverge. When reviewing actual user flow, I recommend you look at the pages on your site that get the most traffic. The best way to do this is by using Google Analytics. The Site Content tab will show you a graph of total views for your site during a specified period and break it down by page. You can then review these pages and see where traffic is flowing from these pages across the rest of your site. Making changes to the UI can help improve user flow across the site. Such changes can include adding call-to-action buttons and internal links from these core pages to your sales pages.  Identify Visitor Chokepoints You can review visitor user flow through Google Analytics. By looking at how people use your site, you can identify where prospective customers drop off and leave the site. These are known as chokepoints.  You should go to the page and hypothesize the possible reasons for the person leaving when you identify a choke point on your site. They might be general issues, for example, a page loading slowly. However, they are more likely to be specific to a page. Review the page and try to find a solution. You can use tools like heatmaps and screen recordings to aid your reasoning. Focusing on chokepoints helps you to remove problems, making the site easier and more pleasant to use. Any time you can remove a choke point in your user journey, take away a reason for a prospective customer to leave your site. Shorten the User Journey With an Intuitive Menu A golden rule of website design is, “Don’t make your user think too hard.” Your user should be able to find their way around your website easily and quickly. An intuitive menu is a critical part of making your site navigable.  The best way to do this is to divide menu items into clearly-labeled, easy to understand options on the home page. The Nike ecommerce website, pictured below, has a great example of an intuitive menu. The products are all accessible through the menu options at the top of the page, sorted into easily understandable categories.  If you have a site with a lot of content, you might use a sidebar menu with popular content to help users navigate the site. The addition of links to popular content in the sidebar is one of those basic CRO tests that consultants run when they review a site. Create Content That Lives Up to Expectations Improving the design of your website can help improve user flow. However, it is just one component of the journey. The other half is the content that you provide on the site. A great headline is useless if the content doesn’t match it. Most users will only scan your content for a few seconds before deciding whether it’s relevant to them. You need to ensure that they come away with the sense that the content you are delivering is worth their attention. Remember, visitors to your website are online, and just one click away from a funny Youtube video, Netflix, or any other source of entertainment. Your job is to stop them from leaving. Ideally, you want them to make a purchase or sign up to your email list before they do. Reduce Navigation Options On Your Sales Pages Once they’ve arrived at your target page, which for most businesses will be a sales page, you want to reduce their navigation options. You can achieve this by limiting the number of internal links on the page. You’ll notice digital marketers apply these strategies when creating a funnel using sales funnel software. For example, if you got to a webinar registration page, generally, the only thing you can do, apart from entering a new URL in the browser, is to enter your email address. There’s a reason for this. Reducing the exit paths from key pages on your website will help maximize the number of people who take your desired action. You should try to do this on your key pages in an intuitive and user-friendly way. That doesn’t mean suddenly removing the menu, but it almost certainly means not linking out to blog posts from your sales pages. Collect Contact Details With an Exit-Intent Opt-in Form Not every customer journey ends as you’d hope. However, their visit still represents an opportunity. An exit-intent form can stop users in their tracks just before they leave your site, giving you a chance to get visitors to join your email list or visit a relevant page on your website where you provide a special offer. Source: Wishpond The best way to get site visitors to give you their email address before they bounce is to offer an irresistible incentive. You could give them a free ebook, as Ad Espresso has done in the example above. You could also provide an exclusive discount or freebie.  Your exit-intent opt-in form should be as simple as possible. Two fields, name and email address, are ideal. If you’re running a B2B business, you might also ask for their company’s name. Optimizing User Flow by Following the Customer Journey As you analyze your website, put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Better yet, involve your users in the process of analyzing and optimizing your website’s user flow. Customer feedback is invaluable and will help you identify ways to make the site more responsive and intuitive.  By mapping out the customer journey and learning about how visitors interact with your site, you can reduce your bounce rate and increase conversions. Simple strategies to improve user flow include resolving choke points, using intuitive menus, keeping your visitors’ focus, and using exit-intent forms. Now it’s time to take action – Best of luck! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Website Design Best Practice: How to Optimize User Flow appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Is the WordPress XML-RPC file safe, or should I block it?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Many WordPress security experts insist upon disabling the WordPress XML-RPC file. Why? Safety Concerns The WordPress XML-RPC facilitates use of your website from outside of the WordPress Dashboard (or, the admin area). For one reason or another, you may want to intereact with your site from other locations. For example, submitting a post from email or from a third-party application, would have required hooking to the XML-RPC file. Given its direct access to the back end of your site, the XML-RPC file can introduce security risks. Continue reading Is the WordPress XML-RPC file safe, or should I block it? at InMotion Hosting Blog.

What Is Domain Privacy Protection?

DreamHost Blog -

The consequences of a data breach can range from relatively harmless to potentially costly. You may already have multi-factor authentication turned on everywhere, only use strong passwords, and never click on a suspicious link. But if you’ve ever registered a domain name, you may not be as secure as you think. When you register a domain as a website owner, you are required to provide contact info — your phone number, email address, and mailing address. This information isn’t private by default and can be the gateway to some unfortunate outcomes with shady characters on the internet. That’s why we’re here to help you understand the measures you can take to protect yourself. In this article, we’ll discuss domain privacy protection — what it is, why it’s worth investing in, the potential trade-offs involved, and how to enable it. Let’s get started! Free Private Domain RegistrationWe believe you should be able to control how much of your personal information is shared online. DreamHost includes WHOIS Domain Privacy at no cost for the life of your domain.Master Your Domain What Is Domain Name Privacy? Domain name privacy (also called WHOIS privacy) is a service offered by domain name registrars to keep your personal contact information from being publicly displayed in the WHOIS directory. That directory is a public database of all website domain names, which includes contact details about the owner of each domain, and can be accessed by anyone. The WHOIS directory is maintained by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization responsible for introducing Top-Level Domains (TLDs). ICANN requires that the following information be associated with each domain: Email Phone Mailing address Let’s take a look at why you’d want to keep your WHOIS information private, beyond just the fact that “it’s exposed.” Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Domain Name Registration Why There’s a Need for Domain Name Privacy Several different websites enable you to do a WHOIS lookup, including the official ICANN site. It’s easy to understand why this directory exists — having a central and public database of domain names and their owners can come in handy if there’s ever a legal dispute over ownership. More than that, however, is the accountability this system affords in cases of cybercrimes and copyright theft. Information acquired from the WHOIS database can be used to limit the malicious behavior of offenders across the internet. Here are some of the most common ways people typically use information from the WHOIS directory: To buy a domain that’s not currently available. Business owners sometimes find that the domain name that matches their unique brand has been taken. The WHOIS directory is one way to find the current owner of the domain and offer to buy it. This is particularly relevant if, for example, that person doesn’t have a live website containing their contact details. For unsolicited marketing efforts. If you have a domain name, you’re probably either looking to build a website or already have one. Therefore, you can expect to receive dozens of emails from marketers offering to help you build or redesign your website. For running scams. Aside from spam emails, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll receive emails from people who’d like nothing more than to scam you out of your website’s data or profits. As you can see, there are ways that those with both good and bad intentions can use the WHOIS database. The bad will outweigh the good for most people, however, especially if you’re not a large corporation that can simply use the public address of its headquarters in its WHOIS details. Related: What’s My Domain Worth? How to Value Your Domain Name The Pros and Cons of Domain Name Privacy At this point, let’s take a closer look at what you stand to gain or lose when you opt for domain name privacy, rather than sharing your information openly. Pros: You protect your personal contact information since all identifying details will be replaced by the domain registrar. You’ll avoid some spam (meaning less work for your spam filters) and attempted scams. You can mitigate the risk of having your site hacked (and your customers’ details compromised) or hijacked completely. Cons: You are sometimes charged a premium for this service, which can be anywhere between $10 to $30 (in addition to usual domain hosting fees). You risk creating a false sense of security. Your protection is still not 100% guaranteed, as disreputable companies may sell your personal information. Ownership of your domain name is less legitimate. The entity whose details is listed in the WHOIS database for a domain is considered its legal owner. It’s worth noting that here at DreamHost, we offer domain privacy for free, which mitigates one of the chief disadvantages. This means that for most users, the positives of keeping their domains private will outweigh the few drawbacks. Before moving on, we should also mention that some TLDs have special circumstances, and domain name privacy may either be attached by default or be forbidden. These include: Privacy by default. Domains such as .al, .gr, .ca, .is, and .uk have varying levels of restrictions placed on them. For some, no information about the owner is disclosed, whereas for others, the owner’s home address may be hidden but not their full name. Privacy is forbidden. This applies to domains like .us, .in, and .it. So when deciding whether or not you want to make your domain private, you’ll also want to consider your TLD and find out if it has any special rules. Related: The History of Internet Privacy How to Enable Domain Name Privacy for Your Website There is no one right answer as to whether you should or shouldn’t enable domain name privacy. It’s a recommended step for most users, but the pros and cons detailed above should also guide your decision-making process. If you do decide to pursue domain name privacy, there are a few ways to do so: Get a secondary email and P.O box. This is a costlier method than paying for domain privacy (around $100 on average), but it is an option. You just replace your own address with that of a P.O box and create a secondary email you don’t use for anything important (so it doesn’t matter how many spam or scam emails are sent to it). Use a domain name privacy service. Entering your personal details anywhere online obviously comes with some risk, but this can be mitigated by keeping that data private. Domain registrars can replace your information with anonymous details so that only they have access to that data. If you have a website here at DreamHost, adding domain privacy is easy! You’ll start by visiting the Registrations page of your DreamHost control panel and using the checkbox to enable privacy for your desired domain. Just check “I want all my contact information private” and save your changes. That’s all you need to do! Related: Didn’t Buy Your Domain With Dreamhost? It’s Easy to Transfer Your Registration Get Domain Protection Today Although the WHOIS public directory has an important role to play, it is often misused for purposes such as scams and identity theft. So while you may be painstakingly keeping your personal details protected everywhere else, you might be sabotaging those efforts by leaving your details exposed in the directory. Investing in domain name privacy is a practical way to protect both you and your website’s visitors. Want a painless process for your next domain registration? Try DreamHost for hundreds of unique TLDs, straightforward pricing, and free WHOIS Domain Privacy! The post What Is Domain Privacy Protection? appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

How to Optimize Keyword Bidding on a $100 Google Ads Budget

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Optimize Keyword Bidding on a $100 Google Ads Budget appeared first on HostGator Blog. This article is part of HostGator’s Web Pros Series. In this series, we feature articles from our team of experts here at HostGator. Our Product Managers, Linux Administrators, Marketers, and Tech Support engineers share their best tips for getting the most out of your website.  Are you ready to run ads for your business online? Is the $100 Google Ads credit that came with your new HostGator Hatchling plan is burning a hole in your virtual pocket?  Google and other search engines make it easy to run ads that appear on their search results pages. You can set up your first pay-per-click (PPC) campaign in just a few minutes. To get the most value from the money you spend on these ads, there are a few things it’s helpful to know first.  Know your keyword match options Before you start bidding, it’s important to understand the different ways that Google matches searches to the keywords that trigger your ads to appear.  While you’re setting up your keyword plans, you can choose from three different types of matches for your keywords: exact match, phrase match and broad match.  What are broad match keywords? By default, Google Ads sets all your keywords to broad match. It’s the most general match category, and it reaches the widest possible audience, because Google will loosely match people’s search terms to that keyword for broad match. However, that audience may not be looking for exactly what you offer. That’s because if your keyword is kids’ t-shirts, the broad match setting may also display your ad on searches for kids’ dresses and men’s t-shirts. Here’s an example from Google: How to set up broad match keywords: Just type in your keyword phrases in Keyword Planner without brackets or quotation marks. What are phrase match keywords? Phrase match keywords help you reach a more specific audience. For example, if your phrase is “kids’ t-shirts” your ad may display on search results for similar phrases, like discounts on t-shirts for kids and tag-free children’s tee shirts. How to set up phrase match keywords: Enclose your keyword phrases in quotation marks. What are exact match keywords? When you select exact match for your keywords, your ads will only display on searches where people type in exactly the same text as your keyword phrase or a phrase that shows the same intent. With [kids’ t-shirts] as your exact match keyword phrase, only people who search for kids’ t-shirts and related terms like children’s t-shirts may see your ad. How to set up exact match keywords: Enclose your keyword phrases in square brackets. Why exact match keywords are best for bidding on a budget To get the most value from your ad budget, you want to utilize exact match keywords as much as possible. That’s because people who are searching with those terms are looking for something specific, and it usually means they’re ready to make a purchase, so you want to get them to visit your store.  You may have heard this kind of keyword search referred to as long-tail keywords. You can and should do your own keyword research over time, but Keyword Planner is great for finding exact match keywords fast. To do this, choose Discover new keywords:  Then choose start with a website. You can type in your website address and the planner will generate a list of keyword suggestions. Here’s what happens when we enter Hostgator.com: For each suggested keyword, you can see how much traffic is available and how much competition there is. Further to the right in the table, you’ll also see the low and high ranges for bids that would put your ad for each keyword at the top of a results page. Here’s an example from an online flower delivery website: Notice that for these keyword suggestions, there’s a lot of competition, so getting just one click from a top-of-the-page ad could cost more than $5 for someone who’s looking for general same-day flowers. When you have $100 to spend, you may want to direct your spending toward people who are closer to making a specific kind of flower purchase. To do this, instead of bidding on the most competitive and general searches, you may want to pick the suggested keywords that are longtail but that have a decent amount of traffic.  Remember that generally speaking, longer tail keywords show higher intent to purchase. So instead of bidding on “online flower delivery” you might instead bid on “graduation flower bouquet” or “graduation flowers for guys.” These are still competitive keywords with lots of traffic, but they show more intent to purchase—and it costs less to get your ad on the top of the results page. So, you find your long-tail keywords to use as exact match keywords [in brackets] in your first Google Ads. As you set up those campaigns, you’ll get more mileage from your budget by thinking about time and money. Is this your first time using Google Ads? Read my guide to setting up your first ad campaign. Use dayparting to get more value from your ad budget Google ad scheduling tools let you choose when you want your campaign to be active. This can ensure that customers see your ad when your store is open, or that your ads only display at the times when you know your customers are most likely to buy. To choose when you want your ad to run, click on the campaign in your Ads dashboard. While you’re  choosing your days and times, remember that you’re looking at your time zone. If your customers are several times zones away, you’ll need to adjust for that. Save your selections, and your schedule is ready. Decide on your maximum daily ad spend It’s tempting to bid low when you’re working with a small ad budget, to make that money last as long as possible. But to be effective, your ad generally needs to be the first one people see on a page.  Why? Nobody really looks down the page if they don’t have to. Of course, the higher the placement on the page, the higher your cost per click.  To get that top placement, you’ll need to bid close to the max bid range, which you can find for each keyword on your planner list. The best thing to do is spend as much per day as you’re comfortable so customers can see you at the top of their searches—and so you can start getting data on how your ads perform. Study your campaign results Your Google Ads dashboard lets you generate reports so you can see which ads work best. Once you start getting data from your first ads, you can start making decisions on which keywords get the best results, and which ads get the most click-throughs and conversions.  You can use that information to decide which keywords to focus on, which dayparts give you the best results, and the wording in your ads that works best. Keep building on that knowledge, keep testing ways to improve your keywords and ads, and you can keep getting the most from your ad budget.  Ready to start running pay-per-click ads for your business? HostGator’s Hatchling plan comes with a $100 credit for Google Adwords when you spend $25 on ads, and a free $100 credit for Bing Ads. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

VPS Security: How to Keep Your Data Secure

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Are you thinking about ordering a new virtual server and wondering about VPS security? When ordering a server for VPS Hosting, you will likely be presented an option between a managed and an unmanaged server. It is important to know your hosting options when deciding what kind of infrastructure and secure VPS support you will need. Here are the main differences between the two and how a managed VPS security system can help protect your sensitive data. Why Use Managed Server vs. Unmanaged Server for Security? The main reason to use a managed server vs. unmanaged server is that a managed server gives you access to a support team 24/7. This is incredibly important for VPS security because managed hosting experts will know exactly how to handle difficult situations and new types of threats. With an unmanaged server, you have no support on your server other than keeping the network maintained. If you have an unmanaged server, plan on doing all of the work needed to maintain your server. You will also need to provide your own technicians to solve any issues that may arise. Does Managed Hosting Include Updates and Patches? With Managed Hosting with Liquid Web, your server gets regular patches and OS updates automatically. Patching is more important than ever, as core operating system patches secure your VPS hosting and stop hackers from using well-known exploits against your servers. When an exploit is found, operating system updates are issued to patch the exploit and prevent it from being further abused by attackers. If you are using unmanaged hosting, you will need to install all updates and software patches yourself. With Liquid Web, our proprietary software keeps your server up-to-date with the latest patches to keep your VPS security system safeguarded against hackers. Our systems check the latest patches and install them during the best times for your business, usually after-hours. Looking for VPS Hosting and not sure which managed host to choose? Download our 20-Point Checklist for Vetting Your Next Managed Hosting Provider. How Do Managed Server-Level Backups Work? On a managed web server, you will have backup software available to you to keep regularly, likely daily, backups of your servers files in case something were to happen. These backups will be stored in the cloud, off of your server. If something were to happen to your server, you will be able to restore it to your latest restore point quickly and with minimal data loss. Unmanaged servers do not readily offer backup implementations. This means that you will have to find your own backup solutions to successfully copy data off of your server in a secure fashion to prevent possible data loss in the future. Do Managed Servers Come with Security Protection? Liquid Web’s managed servers come with basic DDoS protection. DDoS, which stands for Distributed Denial of Service, is an attack from hackers in which a server is inundated with packets with units of data to the point where the server cannot function. DDoS protection prevents these types of attacks from happening and is able to shut them down once they start. They can do this by detecting abnormal traffic patterns and blocking the units of data from hitting the server. Liquid Web can help to secure the VPS server in a way that nothing is affected by the attack, and effectively prevent DDoS attacks. Liquid Web’s team actively monitors network traffic and is quick to detect potential threats. Even while you are home sleeping, Liquid Web’s monitoring team watches for unusual traffic patterns and implements rules to protect your server. With additional VPS security features like CloudFlare protection, which can reduce server load as well as prevent DDoS attacks, Liquid Web helps makes sure your servers are safe. And with point-and-click scaling of resources, VPS Hosting can handle DDoS attacks much more readily than most shared hosting. Does Managed Hosting Offer Virus Protection? Managed hosting offers a VPS security system with strong protection from viruses and other types of hacking attempts. Liquid Web managed hosting includes ServerSecurePlus and MAD to help fend off attacks. ServerSecurePlus ServerSecurePlus, which can be purchased at an additional cost, is an overarching security tool developed by Liquid Web to run malware scans, harden FTP rules, and provide real-time security intelligence. These tools include anti-virus software, vulnerability scans, and email virus filters. Malicious Activity Detector (MAD) Liquid Web’s MAD security tool prevents hackers from brute-forcing server passwords by detecting a threshold of failed logins and blocking that IP from accessing the server for a set amount of time. This effectively stops hackers from using automated software to guess passwords on your webserver to gain illegitimate access. With unmanaged servers, you won’t get any of these features. Unmanaged servers are completely do-it-yourself and do not include anti-virus and brute-force detection by default. Again, another reason to have a managed server is the VPS security it provides to your server and data that’s unmatched by unmanaged hosting. Do Managed Servers Have Automatic Upgrades? Hardware upgrades are vital to VPS data security, such as your hard drive RAID (redundant array of independent/inexpensive disks), which allows storing data across multiple hard drives. If your RAID fails, then all of your data is at risk of deletion. Having a dedicated team available to monitor these physical hardware risks is incredibly important to keeping your server safe. Managed servers will get hardware upgrades automatically at the data center. If hardware is failing or becomes very out-of-date, the support team can automatically upgrade these physical components at an appropriate time. Even if you need more RAM added or a bigger hard drive, managed support can implement these changes. Why Should I Choose Managed VPS Security? Unless you have your own fully dedicated technical support team at your organization who understands VPS hosting, it makes sense to go with managed hosting. Unmanaged VPS hosting can be a lot of work and requires a vast array of technical knowledge to keep VPS data secure. This support must also be available at any time to prevent or stop attacks. With a dedicated Liquid Web monitoring team, security team, and Windows or Linux general support, Liquid Web supports you every step of the way. Try Managed VPS Hosting at Liquid Web With Liquid Web, the Managed Support Team is available 24/7/365 via phone, chat, or email to help you with any VPS hosting issues that may arise with your secure VPS server. Whether you need a password reset, a firewall rule implemented, or have a VPS security question, a dedicated support team makes a big difference on your workload. You can simply reach out to the support line and get an expert technician in minutes. Download our 20-Point Checklist for Vetting Your Next Managed Hosting Provider The post VPS Security: How to Keep Your Data Secure appeared first on Liquid Web.

Taking EWWW IO Off WP Engine’s Disallowed Plugins List

WP Engine -

Plugins are a huge part of the WordPress ecosystem—they’re one of the key features that make it such a flexible platform. With more than 55,000 free plugins available in the WordPress Plugin Repository, as well as thousands of premium or “paid” plugins available in the market today, plugins represent an increasingly massive opportunity for adding… The post Taking EWWW IO Off WP Engine’s Disallowed Plugins List appeared first on WP Engine.

The July 2020 promo code is tasty and in season

Name.com Blog -

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through 2020? We certainly can’t—not that we’re complaining. But what we do know is that we’re back with another promo code to save you on your .com and .net renewals throughout the month of July. Use the promo code CARROT July 1 – 31, 2020 to renew your […] The post The July 2020 promo code is tasty and in season appeared first on Name.com Blog.

7 Mobile-Friendly Design Tips for Your Blog or Website

HostGator Blog -

The post 7 Mobile-Friendly Design Tips for Your Blog or Website appeared first on HostGator Blog. Think about the last time you were in public with a bunch of strangers. What were people doing when you looked around? I bet you a shiny silver dollar that they had their heads buried deep into their smartphone, checking social media or browsing websites. If you don’t like to rely on anecdotal evidence alone, recent research shows that the number of smartphone users in just the United States is over 257.3 million. That’s nearly 80 percent of the total US population. All of this is just to say that if you have a blog or website, or are planning to launch one soon, and want to capture the attention of smartphone users, you have to make your website mobile-friendly. In other words, you have to make it possible for smartphone users to easily read and navigate your website from a mobile device. None of this pinching, scrolling, and zooming business! This post will provide the top seven mobile-friendly design tips for your blog or website. 1. Pick a mobile-responsive website or blog theme No one said you had to be a web designer to have a mobile-friendly website. They did say, however, that you have to be picky when it comes to choosing a theme. Save yourself a headache and pick a mobile-friendly theme. As a quick review, a theme is a preconfigured framework that defines how your website looks. Mobile-responsive themes are pre-coded for both optimal desktop and mobile navigation.  If you have a WordPress blog or website, most templates will already be optimized for mobile devices. However, you can double-check by reading the theme description and also by testing the demo URL for responsiveness.  If you buy a third-party WordPress website, the theme product page will usually include a picture or demo of how the theme will look on a desktop and mobile device (see below). If you’re running your website in HostGator, take note that all of our drag-and-drop website builder templates are mobile-friendly. 2. Include a viewport meta tag If you’re the “I’ll do what you say, no questions asked type of human,” here’s what you need to do: Copy. Copy the following code: <meta name=″viewport″ content=″width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>Paste. Paste the code in the HTML <head> area for each page of your website. Tada! You’re done. Pat yourself on the back. Now the explanation. The viewport code provides search engines with the information needed to correctly display the size and scale of the content, based on what device an internet searcher is using.  Put simply: this meta tag provides a top-notch, multiple-device navigation experience, so website visitors can enjoy your content from a large desktop and a small six-inch mobile screen alike. 3. Simplify your content Any time you, as an internet browser, navigate a good mobile version of a website, you’ll notice the content isn’t as rich as it is on a desktop. When creating copy and design elements for your mobile website, the hard and fast rule is: simplify everything. Here’s what I mean. When I search Krispy Kreme (I’m not eating a dozen doughnuts, you are!) on my desktop, this is what the home page looks like. It’s complete and full of all the information you could ever want to learn about these delicious confections.  What happens when I search for the same website via a mobile device? This is how the home page looks now. You only see the essentials. Krispy Kreme puts the most important information on the top (“order now”) and eliminates any elements that aren’t critical to a mobile shopping experience. It’s awesome. Do as Krispy Kreme does. 4. Avoid fancy design elements The goal of mobile search is to get answers from brands as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means when you are designing your mobile-friendly website, you have to let go of all your fancy design ideas and opt for the quick and simple. Here are the two things to forget about first. Flash? Just say no. As it turns out, Flash is not an apt name for the technology. Why? Flash can slow down a site’s load time significantly. The more you can do to speed up your site’s load time, the more attractive your website will be to users. Additionally, neither Android nor iOS supports Flash. This means if your websites’ mobile experience is dependent on whether or not your viewers can see your Flash animation, you’re going to run into trouble when someone searches via a mobile device. Avoid the use of pop-ups and refreshers Pop-ups and refreshers can be a great tool for desktop viewing. They are especially helpful in capturing new subscribers, making announcements, and giving discount codes. However, these tools are distracting on a mobile device. You want your content to be as simple and easy for your visitors to navigate as possible. If your visitors see irrelevant pop-ups that take up the whole screen, it could lead to a potential customer getting frustrated and clicking out of your website. Also, have you ever tried to hit the tiny close pop-up “x” on a small screen? It’s impossible. A smart alternative is to include a small bar at the top of your mobile search page where you include promotions, announcements, or free shipping. 5. Consider the size of your font and buttons  Have you ever visited a blog on a mobile device and had to zoom in to consume the content? How long did you keep reading? Chances are it wasn’t very long.  The font on mobile sites should be at least 14px. This makes it easy for most people to read your content without any problems. If you have any copy that is supplemental, you can keep the font at 12px. Reading articles on a mobile device isn’t the only time where the size of the design element comes into question. It’s also important to design any clickable buttons correctly. The last thing you want is for your mobile visitors to have a difficult time selecting products or tapping on buttons. Bigger buttons are best. Shoot for button sizes that are at least 44px by 44px.  44px by 44px is the size of this circle: 6. Compress your images and CSS Did you know that 47 percent of website visitors expect a site to load in less than 2 seconds, according to Kissmetrics? And, 40 percent of visitors will exit out of the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds. You’ve already avoided using Flash and eliminated distracting elements like pop-ups, but what about images and CSS? Images and CSS take up a lot of server space, meaning they take longer to load. But, you don’t want to get rid of visual design elements that make the mobile user experience better. The solution is not to leave out images or style sheets, but to compress them. When you compress your image file sizes they load faster without negatively affecting the quality of your site. 7. Include a search function if you sell products on your mobile site Think about the popular eCommerce platform, Amazon, for a second. There are over 12 million products on Amazon; yet, anyone can find and purchase exactly what they want in a matter of seconds. One way Amazon accomplishes this is by including a search bar at the top of their mobile app. You may not have 12 million products, but that doesn’t mean the magic of a search bar can’t help you organize the products you do offer. Design Your Mobile-Friendly Website There are over a billion websites in the world, but not all of these websites are created equal. Website owners that work hard to improve the mobile user experience get rewarded with more traffic, referrals, and repeat visitors. As you design your mobile-friendly website, implement the design tips listed above. These tips will help keep your website working properly when someone comes searching from a desktop or mobile device. You can get started with these responsive web design tools. Remember, you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself. HostGator’s drag and drop website builder is already optimized for mobile viewing. All you have to do is pick a template and customize it to your liking. Or, you can have our web design pros create a professional, mobile-friendly web design that’s all your own. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Second Half of the Year Day

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It’s July. Wait, Whaaaat? Although March and April seemed to crawl along as we all learned to navigate brand new economic and personal landscapes, it’s somehow suddenly summer. The goals we set for ourselves and our businesses back in January seem a distant memory now. Wednesday, July 1st is precisely half-way through the year 2020. The 182nd day of the year, it is the perfect time to take stock of the past six months. In so many ways, the first half of this year has been challenging for businesses and organizations. There’s a reason that nearly every email we exchange lately contains words like “unprecedented” and “uncertainty.” But we know that times of upheaval can also be times of tremendous positive change—if we are intentional about the ways we engage with our business, with our employees, and with ourselves. 2020 thus far has been tumultuous. And in six months, it will be behind us. It’s never been more important to take the time to pause, reflect and reevaluate, and recognize how to move forward in ways that recognize that the current state of the world may be the norm for some time. So, how can we advance our businesses, given the circumstances in which we find ourselves? Take stock. Reassess how the year has gone so far. Look back on your goals for the year. When originally setting objectives and targets to measure the success of ongoing projects at the start of 2020, no organizations could foresee what our lives and companies and work would look like in a few short months. Now is a great time to examine those objectives and targets and re-prioritize. What should you start doing, stop doing, and keep doing? What goals have been reached and which ones just aren’t realistic anymore? Which projects need attention, what new opportunities have presented themselves, and which efforts are simply not adding value anymore? Be ruthless. If understandable delays have occurred in your business, think of July 1st as a time to get back on track. Consider July 1st as a restart – a New Mid-Year’s day, if you will. It’s a clean slate on which to adjust goals and come up with cohesive action plans that take our new “normal” into account. Make an action plan for forward movement. Do you need to take a different approach? Recognize the ways you can continue to make progress in the midst of uncertain times. If there are aspects of your business that need attention or adjustment, think about trying a different approach if you’re falling short of some of the goalposts you’ve set. Think about new methods and actionable steps that could help you and your team find new and positive ways of working for the latter half of the year. Try setting SMART goals—ones that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Keeping security up to date. Take some time at the beginning of July to ensure that your online security is up to par. As most companies continue working remotely, cybersecurity protection is more important than ever. Make sure that your cybersecurity is up-to-date and that any necessary updates have been installed. Prevent security issues and make sure the second half of the year is as smooth as possible. Security is complex and can be viewed as “just another thing to worry about.” But mitigating risk is a critical component of any successful business and you owe it to your customers to protect them – and to yourself to protect what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Don’t make a hard year worse by succumbing to a security breach that could have been prevented. If you need help, here’s a few good resources. 3 Essential Cybersecurity Tips for 2020 Cybersecurity Best Practices 3 Steps to Mitigate Security Threats Holidays! Think ahead. Planning ahead for the holiday season will be essential for eCommerce stores. From your website optimization to products, July is the perfect time to plan out what your strategy should be for the 2020 holiday season. It is also a good time to get in touch with suppliers and distributors to understand about any potential delays and restrictions due to the pandemic. Online business will be the order of the day. Is your digital commerce strategy and site ready to go? No? Let’s get on it. Here’s how we can help. Prepare Your Site for Potential Spikes in Traffic: Liquid Web offers infrastructure that can scale quickly, ensuring server resources can meet demands. Don’t leave customers unable to check out with your products due to slow load times, or worse, a crashing site. Mitigating a Malicious Attack on Your Server: Handling legitimate traffic can be quite enough without adding on a DDoS attack or code injection. Liquid Web offers basic and advanced DDoS protection to help, along with other add-ons such as firewalls, load balancing, or ServerSecurePlus for server hardening. Get creative about “events.” At the beginning of 2020, I approved a Marketing plan that invested heavily in events, in-person Partner Summits, and travel to clients. Well, that’s not our world anymore. As conferences, face to face meetings, and business-related travel continues to stay motionless, getting creative about ways to connect with your customers and employees is important. We’ve all had to make adjustments to our event planning for this year. While we are unable to come together for in-person conferences, consider using this time to completely rethink the way your business approaches these gatherings. Using a webinar format is a great option for the time being, give thought to how you can make them fun and interesting. But also consider brainstorming about how best to revamp in-person events when the time comes. Connect with employees. It is vital to find ways to connect with employees who are working remotely. Outside of whatever sort of mid-year performance review you may do, consider reaching out to remote employees to have separate, open discussions about their professional goals. Though many things in our businesses have shifted and changed, our employees still have ambitions. Ask them about their hopes and think about ways you can support them. Many people are using this time to think about personal development. Perhaps there are training resources or seminars that you can offer remotely to help employees build skill sets or try new things. Finally, be sure to celebrate your successes. What have you done well in these challenging times? How have you shown up for your employees and reminded them of their value? It is essential to look back at all you have accomplished during the first half of the year. Be sure to celebrate and congratulate yourselves and your colleagues as we continue working through this pandemic. The post Second Half of the Year Day appeared first on Liquid Web.

Employee Spotlight: Rachel Noonan

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In this ongoing blog series, we speak with WP Engine employees around the globe to learn more about their roles, what they love about the cities they work in, and what they like most about working at WP Engine.  In this interview, we talk to Rachel Noonan, an Engineering Manager at WP Engine’s Limerick office,… The post Employee Spotlight: Rachel Noonan appeared first on WP Engine.

3 Surprising Ways Bloggers Can Drive More Site Traffic

HostGator Blog -

The post 3 Surprising Ways Bloggers Can Drive More Site Traffic appeared first on HostGator Blog. Don’t let what I’m about to say scare you (because, secretly, it’s awesome for you). Recent stats suggest one-fifth of bloggers report that it has become more challenging to get traffic from Google, and 50% of bloggers say it’s gotten harder to get traffic from Facebook.  This makes sense considering there were more than 500 million existing blogs in 2019, and the number of bloggers in the U.S. is expected to increase to 31.7 million in 2020. But, does the abundance of bloggers mean you should throw your hands up and abandon all plans? Can I get a loud and resounding “no” here? The reason why more and more people are building blogs is that it’s a surefire way to grow your business, establish credibility, capture more email subscribers, and help people find your business or side hustle online. While there is an abundance of bloggers, and some bloggers find it more difficult to get more traffic, it’s essential to remember a couple of things. First, Google’s algorithm is doing a better job than ever delivering up relevant content to search engine users. This means if you are writing helpful content on your blog, Google will reward you, and you won’t be one of the one-fifth worried about relevant traffic. There are also specific and surefire strategies you can employ on your blog posts to help Google understand what your site is about, so Google can deliver your content to the people that want to hear from you. These conventional strategies include writing helpful on-topic content consistently, engaging in off-page SEO, and optimizing your on-page content for the search engine results pages (SERPs).  But, surprise! We’re not going to talk about those today. This post is going to cover three of the less obvious ways you can drive more traffic to your site via your blog posts. 1. Include images or videos in all of your blog posts Blogging is all about the written word, right? Nope. Stats show that articles that include images get 94% more views than blog posts that don’t use any visuals. The wild thing is only 19% of bloggers are now including video in their posts. This means the second you start adding images to your blog posts, you are giving yourself a competitive edge over bloggers in the same niche. Here are two insider tips to know that will lead to a boost in website performance. Use real images in your blog posts You may be tempted to pay for a stock image. While stock images are better than no images at all, research shows that real photos can result in a 35% increase in conversion.  You may not be a pro photographer, but that doesn’t matter. People want to see a real picture of your garden, sourdough start, art project, or whatever it is you specialize in.  Use a free image design service If you want to design images to use in your blog post (like the one above), there are tons of free resources on the internet like Canva and Crello. The cool thing about these types of free image design services is they offer thousands of templates you can customize to fit the tone and style of your blog. That means you don’t have to be a designer to create a fun and shareable image. Additionally, you can count on the dimensions being correct for social shares. This means if someone goes to your blog and decides to share your post, the image will automatically be the correct size for a social share. Optimize your image for search engines If you’re a novice blogger and only know the basics of how the internet works, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Remember, Google reads words, not pictures.  The best way for Google to understand your images are is to label them appropriately. In SEO terms, this is called using an alt tag.  All you have to do to become a professional SEO alt tagger is save the picture you are going to use to your desktop, then right-click on your picture and select “rename.” Instead of “img10393” (or whatever mumbo jumbo the image is named), rename it your primary keyword. Here is an example of a recent image relabeled with the primary keyword “gardening tips.” If I include the “gardening tips” image instead of the “screenshot…” image, Google knows what my picture is. Magic. If you’re really ambitious, you can also include a video in your content. Video is particularly strategic, as 43% of consumers increasingly want video content, and video content is 50X more likely to drive organic search traffic than text only. 2. Follow blog headline best practices Writing a blog title can be one of the most difficult parts of publishing a blog post. It’s challenging to think of one line that summarizes your entire post, draws readers in, and makes them want to click.  However, having an awesome headline is one of the best ways to bring traffic to your website. In fact, making appropriate headline changes has the power to provide a 10% increase in clicks, according to MarketingExperiments. Here is a quick list of what makes a good headline. Include your target keyword in the first part of the headline When a searcher types a keyword into Google, Google’s algorithm searches through all relevant posts on the internet to deliver up the right content. Google looks at headlines to understand the theme of a post. That’s why it’s critical to include your primary keyword in your headline. Consider using a list-based headline (they are wildly popular) People browse the internet when they are looking for how to do something or for best practices. A list-based article is an outstanding way to present information. Lists are easy to scan, informative, and quickly give readers the information they seek. If you write a list-based article, then your headline should show readers the post is a list (e.g., 7 Top Gardening Tips for Novice Green Thumbs). According to ConversionXL, 36% of people prefer list-based headlines. As an added bit of advice, odd-numbered lists tend to outperform even-numbered listicles by 20%. Hit the headline word-count sweet spot (6-8 words, but up to 13) If a headline is too short, Google will have a hard time determining the relevance of the post. Google will have the same problem if the headline is too long. So, what’s the sweet spot? Stats show that headlines with 6-13 words attract the most traffic, and if your headline is between 6-8 words, it can increase your click-through rate by 21%. 3. Publish blog posts regularly The last tip for driving more site traffic to your website is to publish blog posts regularly. Research shows that companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get nearly 3.5x more traffic than those that publish 0-4 monthly. There are a couple of reasons why Google rewards more active blogs with better search result rankings and why they get more traffic. Maybe the reasons are obvious, but since posting regularly is critical to the success of your blog, let’s cover them anyway. The first reason is that the more content you produce, the more pages Google’s algorithm has to sort through. When you have more content, it’s easier for Google to understand your particular niche, find relevant keywords, and deliver your content to the audience that is looking for you. The next reason is that the more high-quality content you have on your blog, the more it establishes you as an industry leader. As you provide excellent blog posts, people will come back and visit your site often for more of your expertise.  Not to mention, businesses that maintain blogs receive twice as much email traffic as those that don’t. Email is yet another way to reach your audience and drive meaningful traffic to your website. Start your blog with HostGator today! Blogging is undoubtedly one of the best ways to capture the attention (and business) of your target audience. That’s why there are over 500 million blogs on the internet.  If you follow SEO best practices as well as the three tips listed above, your blog will be a successful tool in capturing customers. To get started with your blog, sign up with HostGator today. You can either use HostGator’s Website Builder, or you can start a WordPress blog via HostGator. We can’t wait for you to build your website. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Liquid Web Acquires ServerSide, a leading Microsoft Windows CMS Hosting Provider

Liquid Web Official Blog -

LANSING, Mich., June 30th, 2020 – Liquid Web, LLC, (https://www.liquidweb.com), the market leader in managed hosting and managed application services to SMBs and entrepreneurs, is excited to announce the acquisition of ServerSide adding proven experience in hosting the leading Microsoft Windows Content Management solutions to Liquid Web’s portfolio. The acquisition of ServerSide bolsters Liquid Web’s VMware cloud hosting capabilities for small to medium businesses launched in 2019. It also accelerates the company’s entrance into the Progress Sitefinity, Kentico, and Sitecore hosting market. The ServerSide team, including Steve Oren, founder, and CEO, have joined Liquid Web and have helped lead the effort to migrate customers onto the Liquid Web platform. “The acquisition of ServerSide supports Liquid Web’s mission to power leading content management platforms. With ServerSide, we are excited about building upon the relationships ServerSide had with Sitefinity, Kentico, and Sitecore and their ecosystem partners”, said Joe Oesterling, CTO. “We are excited about joining the Liquid Web team. We’ve successfully migrated our customers to Liquid Web’s platform, and we are working hand and hand to deploy our VMware architecture more broadly within Liquid Web”, said Steve Oren, Former CEO at ServerSide. “We look forward to using Liquid Web’s scale to be a bigger player in the leading Windows CMS ecosystems,” said Oren. To learn more about the Liquid Web Private Cloud powered by VMware and NetApp visit: https://www.liquidweb.com/products/private-cloud/. To learn more about the Liquid Web Windows CMS offerings visit:Kentico: https://www.liquidweb.com/products/add-ons/software/kentico/Progress® Sitefinity: https://www.liquidweb.com/products/add-ons/software/sitefinity/ElcomCMS: https://www.liquidweb.com/products/add-ons/software/elcom/Sitecore: https://www.liquidweb.com/products/add-ons/software/sitecore/ About the Liquid Web Family of BrandsBuilding on over 20 years of success, our Liquid Web Brand Family consists of four companies (Liquid Web, Nexcess, iThemes, and InterWorx), delivering software, solutions, and managed services for mission-critical sites, stores, and applications to SMBs and the designers, developers, and agencies who create for them. With more than 1.5 million sites under management, The Liquid Web Family of Brands serves over 45,000 customers spanning 150 countries. Collectively, the companies have assembled a world-class team of industry experts, provide unparalleled service from a dedicated group of solution engineers available 24/7/365, and own and manage 10 global data centers. As an industry leader in customer service*, the rapidly expanding brand family has been recognized among INC. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies for twelve years. For more information, please visit https://www.liquidweb.com/ for more info. *2019 Net Promoter Score of 67 The post Liquid Web Acquires ServerSide, a leading Microsoft Windows CMS Hosting Provider appeared first on Liquid Web.

Let WordPress Redirect Your 404 Pages Automatically

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404 pages are part and parcel of a fully functional website. It’s not entirely bad if your website has 404 pages, especially if it contains tons of pages or posts. This may be comforting to an extent but doesn’t warrant total negligence, especially when WordPress can redirect your 404 pages automatically.  The way you handle 404 errors determines how much impact it could have on your SEO and conversion rate in general. Continue reading Let WordPress Redirect Your 404 Pages Automatically at InMotion Hosting Blog.

The 6 Best WordPress Plugins Every Blog Needs

HostGator Blog -

The post The 6 Best WordPress Plugins Every Blog Needs appeared first on HostGator Blog. Blogs are a must-have to establish an online presence. With blogging, you get to communicate with your visitors about the latest trends, showcase your products and services, and even ask for their feedback.  But blogging is more than just writing a few words or posting a couple of videos. To run a successful blog, you also must consider search engine optimization, security measures, and promotion.  Luckily, WordPress plugins can help you with these pressing needs. Check out the six best WordPress plugins for blogs below. 1. Yoast SEO Blogging is a long-term strategy to bring attention to your brand. It’s a combination of writing relevant content and getting people excited to visit your website.  Search engine optimization plays a huge role in helping visitors discover your content on the web. Using the right keywords can ensure you’re attracting the right people. Adam Enfroy, a full-time blogger and affiliate marketing expert, says: “Optimizing your blog posts is not about stuffing as many relevant keywords into the article as you can (that can actually hurt your SEO now). It’s about writing for humans first, and search engines second.” Yoast SEO is an essential WordPress plugin to get your blog content ranked on search engines. This plugin comes with a readability analysis feature, title and meta description templating, breadcrumb controls, and XML Sitemaps functionality. 2. Newsletter Visitor engagement doesn’t stop when people land on your blog. The next step is to capture their email address, so you can send visitors more relevant content. That way, you can build a quality relationship with your audience.  Newsletter is a WordPress plugin that helps you with list building and sending emails. This email marketing tool allows you to create responsive newsletters with its drag-and-drop composer. There’s even a subscription spam check to block unwanted bots. Experts suggest building an email list as soon as you create your blog. It’s also wise to try different methods to boost your subscribers. Belle Beth Cooper, the first content crafter at Buffer, writes: “When you’re asking readers to sign up for your email list, you might want to try experimenting with a different language. Willy Franzen found that his subscription rate jumped 254% higher when he changed his call-to-action from ‘subscribe by email’ to ‘get jobs by email’.” 3. Wordfence Security Reports indicate that 43% of cyber-attacks are made against small businesses. One reason for this staggering statistic is the lack of security infrastructure. Similar to adding an alarm system to your new home, your website needs tools to protect it from potential breaches and suspicious attackers. There’s no better time to add security to your site than right now.  Wordfence Security keeps your website safe with its firewall and malware scanner. This plugin identifies and blocks malicious traffic and checks core files for malware, bad URLs, and SEO spam. You’ll get access to a dashboard with an overview of your site’s security including notifications and total attacks blocked.  This tool also comes with two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA to stop bots from logging into your site. If you upgrade to the premium version, you’ll get real-time malware signature updates along with checks to see if your site has been blacklisted for malicious activity. 4. wpDiscuz A blog serves as a central location for your brand to discuss topics relevant to your audience. Your blog posts will give insight into your business’s culture, products, and team.  But it’s also important to get feedback. The comment section of your blog gives readers a chance to express their opinions directly to you. Every once in a while, it’s okay to get a little controversial. “Begin a conversation in which you share your position and invite others to disagree. Be careful of overdoing this, though, as being contentious all the time can get weary. It can look like you’re just trying to pick a fight,” writes Jeff Goins, best-selling author of five books. Supercharge your blog comments with wpDiscuz. This plugin adds an interactive comment box on your posts. You can accept and deny specific comments, sort the comments by newest or oldest, and enable comment voting. 5. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP Getting traffic to your blog matters to your brand. So much so that there’s been a 93% increase in blogs using promotional techniques to drive traffic to their posts. You need a way to observe your traffic as it comes in. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP helps you set up all your tracking features without writing any code or hiring a developer. No more leaving WordPress to view key stats in Google Analytics; now, you can monitor them inside your dashboard. Get real-time stats of who’s viewing your website, where they’re coming from, how they found your site, and how long they’re staying on your site.  You also can automatically track clicks on affiliate links and track every file download with just one click. Haven’t set up Google Analytics for your WordPress blog just yet? Read our step-by-step guide. 6. Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons Writing great content is only one part of a successful blog. The other part is actually getting people to read and engage with your blog posts. Beyond SEO, you will need additional content distribution channels to attract visitors to your blog.  Social media is an effective way to spread the word about your website. Ben Sailer, inbound marketing lead at CoSchedule, states:  “Another way to connect your audience to your content and encourage them to share it is to create content that revolves around their values. Your audience wants to know that the values of your company or product align with theirs.” Encourage your current visitors to share your blog posts with the Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons plugin. You can pick from 16 different designs to match your brand’s site.  This tool gives you the option to make your social media icons static or dynamic. You also can add a counting feature to the buttons. Upgrade Your Blog With These WordPress Blog Plugins It’s time to attract new visitors to your blog. Use these six WordPress plugins to boost your SEO results, gain traffic from social media, and track your site’s analytics.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Liquid Web Vs. InMotion

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Comparing Hosting with Liquid Web vs InMotion? All too many hosting providers offer low prices in an effort to attract customers who don’t know exactly what they need. And then once that customer is through the door and has signed up, add-on fees and a la carte services come to light, stacking up and negating those earlier cost savings entirely. InMotion Hosting provides excellent infrastructure for sure, but the original appealing price is almost never the final bill. While price is always a consideration when making infrastructure investments, it can be difficult to compare one provider to another since details can vary so widely between one host and another. The entire exercise can be confusing to even the savviest technologist. So what’s the solution when you don’t want to pay too much, but also don’t want to miss out on capabilities and functionality that you need? How do you even know what those capabilities and functions even are in the first place? At Liquid Web, we remove the confusion by always offering full management of your infrastructure. From hardware to software, your infrastructure is under the watchful care of the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting. Rather than nickel and dime customers around the world for things like server administration and optimization, we offer complete management and monitoring so your team can focus on other parts of your business. When considering a hosting provider like InMotion, it is critical that you know what you’re getting with your purchase…and what you aren’t getting but probably need. Choosing InMotion for your infrastructure means choosing to pay additional fees for server management and performance monitoring. It means performing your own migration and potentially being left out in the cold when things start to go wrong. Learn More About Our Hosting Products Liquid Web vs InMotion: Dedicated and Virtual Private Servers Liquid Web is the world’s most loved hosting company for a reason. Our industry-leading web hosting solutions are built on best-in-class hardware and verified by independent testing to consistently outperform competitors. In fact, you’ll find that Liquid Web’s base server configurations outclass top-of-the-line offerings from InMotion. Our Dedicated Hosting and VPS Hosting are competitively priced, contract-free, and don’t require a long-term commitment or expensive add-ons to work as advertised. See for yourself how Liquid Web compares to InMotion Hosting:   Fully Managed Additional Fee Full Server Stack Support Additional Fee 24/7/365 Support Included Support Request SLA 59 Seconds or Less for Phone or Chat; 59 Minutes for Email Includes cPanel/WHM/Plesk cPanel Performance Optimization Additional Fee Service Monitoring Proactive Monitoring Included Outgoing Bandwidth 5 TB  4 TB 100% Network Uptime Guarantee 100% Power Uptime Guarantee SLA Remedy 1000% Unpublished Predictable Billing? Yes, Monthly Yes, Monthly Migrations Included? Backups Included? Nobody Includes More Than Liquid Web Managed Dedicated Server Hosting and Virtual Private Server Hosting at Liquid Web is engineered for peace of mind, with a full suite of performance, reliability, and security solutions included at no extra charge. CloudFlare® CDN We provide full management for one of the world’s most popular CDNs, and full support when your site is added to CloudFlare through our interface. CloudFlare will not only speed up your site, but also provide a further boost to security. Built-in Backups Local backups are always included at no extra charge. For an extra layer of backup protection, you can add our Acronis Cyber Backups, offserver backups especially made for our Dedicated and VMware product lineup. Enhanced Security Security is paramount, which is why we include ServerSecure with every Fully Managed server. Your server will be protected by a range of proprietary security enhancements to block unwanted access and keep your data secure. DDoS Attack Protection We provide free basic protection from small volumetric DDoS attacks with every server on our network. Best of all, it’s always on and ready to go. For larger and more sophisticated attacks, comprehensive protection and mitigation is available. The World’s Most-Loved Hosting Company Nobody delights customers more than Liquid Web. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS® ) of 67 puts us among the world’s most loved brands — and makes us No. 1 in the hosting industry. What makes us special? Our customers say it best: “Liquid Web’s support team goes above and beyond all my expectations. They helped me transition from one e-commerce platform to another and fixed all the bugs on the way. I call them every time I need any advice or help because they are experts at what they do and I trust them.” — Alex Genson “Wow! What a refreshing surprise in a world filled with mediocrity and poor customer service. I recently changed to Liquid Web … for hosting after nightmares with almost every other hosting company you can imagine. Kudos to Liquid Web and especially Alexander Houston who just expertly answered my questions and made essential changes to my account in a matter minutes rather than days in a simple knowledgeable LiveChat session.” — Barry C. McLawhorn Backed By The Most Helpful Humans in Hostingand the Best Guarantees in the Industry With more than two decades of helping small and mid-size businesses reach their goals, our team has the experience and expertise to keep you growing into the future. From small businesses starting their first web project to large enterprises running mission-critical applications, you can count on Liquid Web to provide the right solution for whatever’s next in your digital journey. Isn’t it time to find out what makes Liquid Web the most reliable hosting provider on earth? 24/7 Support from The Most Helpful Humans in HostingIt’s easy to say you have the best support, but we have the numbers to back it up. Our Support ranks No. 1 in customer satisfaction. 59 Second Initial Response Guarantee: Phone and ChatWe’re committed to answering your call or connecting to your LiveChat within 59 seconds. 59 Minute Initial Response Guarantee: EmailHelpDesk tickets receive an initial response via email within 59 minutes, guaranteed. 100% Network Uptime GuaranteeAll major routing devices within our network will be reachable from the global Internet 100% of the time. 100% Power Uptime GuaranteeBy owning — not leasing — our infrastructure, we can guarantee that power to your rack will always be online.   Learn More About Our Hosting Products Featured Clients The post Liquid Web Vs. InMotion appeared first on Liquid Web.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Branding Your Business

HostGator India Blog -

Whether you have an online business or an offline one, branding plays an important part in establishing and taking your business places. Branding not only helps you standardize what and how you communicate to your customers but also helps boost your brand’s recall value.   An effective branding strategy can elevate your business in this ever-competitive […] The post 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Branding Your Business appeared first on HostGator India Blog.

Why Open Source Software Needs Non-Technical Roles

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Marketers, designers, writers, and other non-developer skill sets make open source projects grow, thrive, and stay competitive. Think programming is the only skill that matters in the information technology sphere? Think again. InMotion Hosting has a long history of using and supporting open source software. From our extensive and lasting participation in the WordPress community, to our new involvement with OpenStack and the OpenStack Foundation, reflected in our new flex metal cloud product, open source has always been a critical part of our mission as a technology company. Continue reading Why Open Source Software Needs Non-Technical Roles at InMotion Hosting Blog.

Customer Chronicles: Minte (A Unit of Ikon Technologies India Private Limited)

HostGator India Blog -

  Our aim at HostGator has always been to enable our customers and their business. We believe the best way to achieve this is following a customer-centric approach. Our customers’ success makes us proud of them and inspires us too.  Minte is one such customer success story that inspires us, makes us do better, and […] The post Customer Chronicles: Minte (A Unit of Ikon Technologies India Private Limited) appeared first on HostGator India Blog.

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