Corporate Blogs

Gutenberg: A Six Month Feature Update

WP Engine -

It may be hard to believe, but Gutenberg, the default content editor in WordPress that was first introduced to the community with the launch of  WordPress 5.0, is nearly a year old.  As opposed to the HTML-reliant Classic WordPress editor, Gutenberg uses a block-based editing experience for a more convenient, WYSIWYG-type editing experience. When it… The post Gutenberg: A Six Month Feature Update appeared first on WP Engine.

The Best One Step Checkout Extensions for Magento 2

Nexcess Blog -

Lengthy checkouts annoy your shoppers and send them to your competition.  The default checkout page for Magento 2 fails to solve this problem. Fortunately, there’s plenty of extensions in the Magento 2 marketplace that attempt to fix this problem. However, sorting through the available candidates is no small task, so keep reading to help narrow the field.   What Is One Step Checkout? Optimizing the shop experience is the most reliable way to increase your conversion rate and prevent abandoned carts.   58% of current online stores still divide the process into multiple pages. Read more about this fact and 7 other emerging trends in ecommerce.  Properly executed, one step checkout removes the annoying hoops between your customer and the Place Order button. The name of the game is quick, easy, and painless. An effective one step checkout extension limits the process to one page, and:  Suggests a delivery address Allows customers to add a comment  Includes a field for coupon codes Allows store owners to configure checkout fields Supports varied payment methods Provides clean address, shipping method, payment method, and order review sections  Identifies the shopper’s IP address to expedite future checkouts Optimizes the page for mobile Provides checkout analytics and reports Has a prominent Place Order button Each of the Magento 2 checkout extensions provided in this article achieve the above. Let’s take a closer look at what each has to offer. How We Narrowed the Field  At time of publication, the Magento marketplace has 19-and-counting one step checkout extensions available. We’ve narrowed the field to five options that support the latest stable relase of Magento 2 Community Edition, which is currently version 2.3. This version was released in November 2018, and any extension still not compatible is arguably the victim of neglect by its developer. If you’re sticking with Magento 1 despite it reaching official end of life in June 2020, here’s what you need to know. If you’re running Magento 2, but not the latest version, we recommend that taking immediate action to patch your store. Unpatched software can degrade your store’s performance and expose your customers to significant security risks.   When deciding whether or not to purchase support for any extension, remember that support also includes updates to that extension. Keeping your extensions updates is one of the most reliable ways to keep your safe and secure. Smart One Step Checkout by Aheadworks Cost: $299 Support: 3 months free, then 12 months for $120 Installation Service: Not available Front-End Demo Back-End Demo Featuring a two-column design, Smart One Step fuels auto-address suggestions with GeoIP  and Google, and allows unregistered guests to make purchases. If you’re looking to further expand functionality, Aheadworks offers other extensions for coupon code generation, gift cards, reward points, and store refunds. Between companies, extensions don’t always play nice with one another, but you can prevent some headaches as long as you don’t mind fully hitching your wagon to Aheadworks. Installation service is unavailable, although Aheadworks provides a one-page installation guide. OneStepCheckOUT by One Step Checkout AS Cost: $570 Support: 6 mos $105/12 mos $140 Installation Service: $85 Front End Demo (Back End Demo Not Available at Time of Publication) With 150 reviews in the Marketplace for their Magento 1 extension, One Step Checkout AS has a well-established reputation in the community. This experience comes with a hefty price tag. In theory, however, a good extension will drive sales and provide value over and above the cost of acquiring it. If you want the streamlined, barebones experience for your shoppers, you can certainly give it to them. The extension also offers CSS compatibility and fully embraces a modular approach to customization.  If you’re planning to use multiple extensions, OneStepCheckOUT promises easy compatibility. If you’ve enlisted their support service, they also promise to help you integrate troublesome third-party extensions for no additional cost.   One Step Checkout by MageDelight (Krish TechnoLabs) Cost: $199 Support: 6 mos free/9 mos $180/12 mos $300 Installation Service: $99 Front End Demo Back End Demo If you want one-step checkout but don’t necessarily need heavy customization, MageDelight’s One Step Checkout may be a reasonable choice. Customization is limited to field selection and interface color, which will be enough for owners just looking for consistency with their storefront.  Options like coupon generation, refunds, and other features not already listed in the What is One Step Checkout section will require additional extensions.  Purchase includes 6 months of free support.  One Step Checkout by Templates Master (Swiss Up Labs) Cost: $189 Support: 1 yr Free, then $588/yr Installation Service: Free Front End Demo (2-column) (Back End Demo Not Available at Time of Publication) The purchase of One Step Checkout by Templates Master includes free installation, 1 year of support, and free integration of third party modules. However, the cost of support after that first year jumps to $588 annually. As for layout, store admins have full control over checkout fields and can select one, two, or three columns. Four different checkout page skins are included, and it’s possible to customize your checkout page with JavaScript or HTML. One Step Checkout by Amasty Cost: $299 Support: 3 months free with free lifetime updates/6 mos $79/12 mos $129 Installation Service: $59 Front End Demo Back End Demo One Step Checkout by Amasty has something to offer both layperson store admins and seasoned developers. The former can easily and quickly tweak layout, colors, and fonts. For users wanting more control, the extension provides CSS and LESS support. Notably, this is the only offering on this list to provide free lifetime updates.  Advanced options include gift options, header and footer promo information, delivery date and time, and others. One Step Checkout Extensions At a Glance Following is a summary of our findings at the time of publication. The policies, prices, or functionality of these products may have since changed.  The post The Best One Step Checkout Extensions for Magento 2 appeared first on blog.nexcess.net.

cPanel Price Increase , Package Reviews and new Website/Branding

ThisWebHost Blog -

On Friday 28th June 2019, cPanel announced that they are changing their licensing model and pricing for the cPanel/WHM software. You can read more about this change here, but to simplify for the purpose of this blog post/e-mail – they are moving to an account based licensing system instead of a fixed license cost per month. This means the more accounts you have on a server, the greater the licensing cost. As a smaller hosting provider, this change means that we are forced to re-evaluate our package prices in order to ensure that this increase is compensated for. Since our launch in 2008, lots has changed in regards to our service, offerings and infrastructure. We have tried our best to keep prices static, despite inflation and our own changing costs, and to also provide you with the best possible price for the service that we offer. We feel that with this change to the cPanel licensing structure, it is now the perfect time for us to re-evaluate our costs as a business and adjust our prices to also meet these new changes. So what is changing? The prices for all of our hosting packages will be changing within the next two weeks (by the end of Saturday 31st August). The new prices are based on our own business costs and are not in any way meant to be comparative to the industry or other hosting providers. We want to provide you with the best service that we can at a reasonable price, and we feel that this is the best way to do that. In addition to the price changes, all clients on older hosting packages (indicated by “old” in their service name) will be moved to a suitable and comparable current hosting package. For example, if you are currently on an “Old Starter/Blog” package, you would be moved to our existing Starter/Blog package at the new price. Most of our older packages provide less features (such as less disk space or bandwidth), and in order to ensure that everything is balanced, we will be retiring these old packages by the end of Saturday 31st August once all customers are on new packages. We apologise for the relatively short notice on this change, however we have to move quickly due to how soon cPanel are imposing these changes on their end. We also needed additional time to review our own costs and the impact this would have on us financially. What will the new pricing look like?Due to the different costs of infrastructure in the US and the UK, we are splitting our packages into “US Shared Hosting” and “UK Shared Hosting”. The UK infrastructure is typically more expensive than US infrastructure, and this will be reflected in the pricing accordingly. While we would strongly recommend you choose a location closest to either yourself or your visitors, customers may choose to host in either location, and will pay the equivalent price in their own currency (if applicable). The new pricing is as follows: UK Hosting SharedStarter/Blog: £3.85/monthStandard: £6.19/monthMedium: £9.59/monthLarge: £13.99/month ResellerStandard: £18.99/monthMedium: £37.99/monthLarge: £61.99/month Semi-Dedicated/High TrafficSD1: £18.95/monthSD2: £27.95/monthSD3: £37.95/month US Hosting SharedStarter/Blog: $3.79/monthStandard: $5.99/monthMedium: $9.29/monthLarge: $13.59/month ResellerStandard: $18.59/monthMedium: $37.29/monthLarge: $61.49/month Semi-Dedicated/High TrafficSD1: $17.59/monthSD2: $26.59/monthSD3: $36.59/month Overall, these new prices are actually cheaper than the ones previously listed on our site, and a good number of our customers should see a price reduction as a result of these changes. In some situations (particularly reseller packages) there may be an increase due to a result of the cPanel licensing changes. Infrastructure Changes In December 2018, we made substantial changes to our UK infrastructure. We opted to move to our own rack space in a UK datacentre and installed our own equipment. This allows us much more room for expansion in the future, as well as reducing our on-going costs and prices for UK customers. This month (August 2019) we are also performing a similar change in a US datacentre. A new server has been brought online that is much more powerful than our existing 2 US servers combined, and we will be migrating US customers over to this new server in the coming two weeks. Again, this change will provide us more room for expansion in the future as well as further reducing our on-going costs for US customers. Please look out for an e-mail from us in the coming weeks providing you with information regarding this migration, as well as the new IP address you may need to update your DNS to (if applicable). Over the last few years we have also made significant changes to our services and offerings, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind you what is provided as standard with all of our hosting packages. Twice-daily full account off-site backups, that can be accessed, downloaded or even restored remotely from within cPanel.Immunify 360 protection for all hosting accounts – protecting your sites against known viruses, malware and attack patterns (such as SQL injection attempts, etc).Litespeed Web Server for increased performance and reliability.CloudLinux, including Kernelcare, for further increased performance and reliability – eliminating the need for regular reboots.MailChannels SMTP Relay – ensuring that your e-mails are delivered and preventing any of our servers from becoming blacklisted.Multi-geographical redundant name servers. New ThisWebHost Website & Branding It has been several years since our website was last updated, and due to some technical issues it was always somewhat disconnected from our client area in terms of design and branding – with both “sites” looking like different sites entirely. We are pleased to announce that we have sought the assistance of a design and marketing company who have put together a new website and logo for us that perfectly integrates into our client area. We will be migrating to this new design in the next couple of weeks. If you are an affiliate of ours and have any requests for marketing or affiliate banners – please do get in touch and we will work with you to have these developed. While our research has shown that the vast majority of our customers will see a price decrease due to these changes, there are some that may see an increase – particularly if these customers are on very old packages that were created near the beginning of our launch as a company. We sincerely apologise if anyone is negatively impacted by this change, but we hope that you understand our reason for needing to re-evaluate our costs and pricing. As always, we welcome any feedback that you may have in regards to this news. Please feel free to comment on this blog post if you have any questions, or would like to provide any feedback. You may also get in touch directly with us via a support ticket in our client area.

Do You Need Insurance for Your Side Hustle?

HostGator Blog -

The post Do You Need Insurance for Your Side Hustle? appeared first on HostGator Blog. Congratulations! You finally decided to start your side hustle.  You’ve done your research to determine which side hustle is best for you. You’ve set your side hustle goals. You may have even already started building a website for your side hustle. This is fabulous news, and, hopefully, things have been smooth sailing so far.  Now it’s time to delve a little deeper and make sure your business has covered its backside.  In other words, it’s time to learn whether or not you need insurance for your side hustle. To help bring you up to speed, here are the side gig insurance essentials. Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Side Hustle? Owning your own business is beneficial for several reasons. You get to set your own schedule, work remotely, go on vacation when you want, be your own boss, and charge your customers what you want. But, there are some downfalls to owning your own business—namely, you don’t have a group insurance policy subsidized by your employer. Similarly, your personal home and auto insurance don’t cover work-related claims. This means if you run a business that is susceptible to a lawsuit, property loss, and/or business interruption, you need insurance. Seeking out insurance for your side gig will protect you from financial ruin in the event of an incident, accident, or lawsuit. How Do You Know If You Need Insurance for Your Side Hustle? Not every side business is the same, so not every business owner will need the same type of insurance. In fact, some business owners won’t need insurance at all. Whether or not you need insurance (and how much insurance you need) is based upon your risk factor. If your side hustle has a high risk factor, you need insurance. If your side gig has low or no risk involved, then you only need a small policy or may not even need insurance. Here are some things to consider to determine risk: Do you run a side gig where someone could get hurt (bitten by a dog, victim of a car accident, experience an allergic reaction to one of your products)?Do customers come to your place of business?Do you go to customers’ homes?Do you work with the elderly, children or animals?Do you handle any sensitive information or process credit cards?Do you use a car to travel to and from business engagements?Do you use valuable equipment that could get destroyed in an accident? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you have a higher risk profile. Take the time to consult with an independent insurance agent about insurance options.  If you answered no to all of these questions, then your risk profile is lower. This doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from insurance. It could mean you only need a small policy. What Kind of Side Gig Insurance Do I Need? Each side gig is different which means the types of policies different business owners need will vary greatly. Here is a quick review of the different types of policies you may need. After reviewing each policy, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not your business needs the respective type of insurance. Business Owner’s Policy A business owner’s policy is a packaged policy that covers all of the basics. This includes things like vehicle, property, crime insurance, liability, and more. An insurance agent will help you create a policy that is specific to you and your business. This is the most common type of business policy and a good option for every business owner to research. If you are at higher risk for certain aspects of this bundled policy, you can get a separate and more comprehensive policy. These policies include: Professional Liability Insurance – This policy covers claims due to negligence or accidents such as bodily injury or property damage to a third-party. Crime Insurance – If you need property protection from fraud and theft, this is the insurance for you.Property Insurance – Property insurance protects your own business from natural disasters, fire, storms, theft, etc.Vehicle Insurance –  If you use a car strictly for business, you need a separate business policy. These types of policies will protect your business and your personal assets in the event of damage or a lawsuit. Personal and Advertising Injury No one likes to be accused of libel, privacy invasion, copyright infringement, slander, etc. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens. If you are sued for any of these offences, a personal and advertising injury policy will cover you. Product Liability Insurance Do you make or sell a product? If so, you should look into a product liability insurance policy. This protects you in the event of a lawsuit resulting from a customer getting injured by your product. Since every business is so different, you can work with your insurance agent to customize your policy to your business. Workers’ Compensation Do you employ at least one other individual? If so, you need a worker’s compensation policy. This type of insurance protects you from lawsuits that result from injuries on the job. Keep in mind most states require workers’ compensation for any W2 employees. Cyber Liability Insurance If you store any sensitive, personal or financial information on your computer, then you need a cyber liability insurance policy. This will help you cover the costs related to any potential breach in security. Accounts Receivable One of the biggest risks when starting a side gig is the risk of clients not paying you. If you send invoices to clients, look into an accounts receivable policy. This will cover you financially when clients don’t pay up. The policies mentioned above are among the most popular types of insurance side hustlers should research. Insuring Your Side Hustle for Success Starting a side hustle is the perfect way to make extra money. If you have already researched your side hustle and settled on your business idea, it’s time for the next two most important steps.  First, make sure to set up your website with our easy to use, drag-and-drop Gator website builder. Then, take the time to protect your business and personal assets by looking into insurance. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Expert Partner Enables Cybersecurity Firm’s “Seamless” Migration 

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Jungle Disk, a cybersecurity company that protects the data and business intelligence of tens of thousands of small businesses around the globe, looks to Rackspace to manage its public cloud infrastructure, freeing its own talent to innovate for Jungle Disk customers.   The company has experienced multiple migrations. Most recently, with the assistance of Rackspace, it moved back into […] The post Expert Partner Enables Cybersecurity Firm’s “Seamless” Migration  appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

E-commerce Marketing Automation – How Much is Too Much?

Pickaweb Blog -

E-commerce marketing is on the rise as more and more consumers continue to go to the internet to make purchasing decisions. And since there are millions of online shops offering a wide variety of products and services to consumers at competitive prices, buyers are likely to patronize these e-tailers than the traditional retailing shops. Using The post E-commerce Marketing Automation – How Much is Too Much? appeared first on Pickaweb.

4 Facebook Ad Mistakes You Should Be Avoiding

Pickaweb Blog -

If you’re looking for a quick way to drive traffic to your website, you should give Facebook ads a try. They are affordable and easy to run. Also, the network has a very diverse range of users who you can reach by using Facebook’s targeting settings. Almost any business can find their target audience and The post 4 Facebook Ad Mistakes You Should Be Avoiding appeared first on Pickaweb.

5 Tips for Launching Your First Email Marketing Campaign

HostGator Blog -

The post 5 Tips for Launching Your First Email Marketing Campaign appeared first on HostGator Blog. Email marketing is far from dead. In terms of return on investment, it still holds up as a viable campaign element. The trick is to know how to use this resource to its best advantage.  Even in a world with so many options for electronic communication, email remains an affordable and effective way to connect with consumers. But the most important bit is to make sure your emails go to the right people – qualified leads and prospects.  If this is your first campaign, don’t feel overwhelmed. With a little help, you can create a plan that’s effective and brings the positive attention that you want. Here are some tips to get started.  What’s a Qualified List Anyway? The last thing you want to do is buy a list, blast out emails, and hope for the best. If you want reasonable results, that list must be qualified. What does that mean? A ”qualified” email list has email addresses of those who have expressed interest in the types of goods or services that your company sells. Those addresses may be individual consumers, buyers for other companies, department heads, or anyone else with the authority to make purchases. The tie that binds them together is they have indicated the desire to receive emails related to products they want.  How do you come up with a qualified list? One approach is to have consumers opt in to receive your emails. That often provides a list’s foundation.  Don’t overlook generating qualified recipients by using your social media accounts. A simple post that includes a link back to the opt-in page on your website allows interested parties to sign up. Combined, the list will be composed of recipients who are more likely to open and read the email than hit the delete key.  Now that you know who you’re emailing, it’s time to launch your first email campaign.  Here are the 5 tips for launching your first email campaign… 1. Create emails with a specific purpose or offer. Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/hs-fs/hub/53/file-23119214-png/blog/images/email_list_growth_tactics-resized-600.png If you’re serious about mounting an effective campaign, the email text must focus on engaging the recipients in a specific way. Offer them something in exchange for reading the email. Make a compelling case for accepting the offer.  Some of the offerings you could make include:  Notice and ability to register for an upcoming event Signing up for an email newsletter Discounts on specific goods and services Announcements of new products Can you include more than one offering? Yes, but it isn’t always the best move. One of the offers might be lost in the shuffle. You would do well to stick with one purpose for that email and follow up with a second one that contains a different offer a few days later.  Remember that your content must not contain any element that hints of a scam. Be up front and clear from start to finish. You’ll get more readers that way.  2. Write an eye-catching subject line. Remember the old axiom that was at the core of Toastmasters International training? It works with email campaigns too. The “Three S” approach – stand up, speak up, and shut up – translates well into this type of campaign.  Use the subject line to make a point or ask a question. Follow with information the recipient can use in the first paragraph. Follow with content that backs up that information. Close with a way to learn more by clicking over to your website.  That’s it. Forget about flowery phrases or trying to impress readers with a wall of text. Keep it simple and to the point. More people will read the whole thing and be inspired to ask for more.  3. Choose images and videos directly related to the email topic. It’s fine to include images or embed video in your marketing emails. Just make sure they accomplish more than taking up space.  The images must directly relate to the email topic. Unless you’re selling a new pet product, kittens are not good choices. Use an image that shows the product or at least someone using it. That creates context.  The same is true with video. Make it short, sweet, and relevant. No one has time to watch a video as long as a TV show. Use the video to make a quick point and direct the reader to the product. Do it in less than three minutes. 4. Don’t hit “send” 500 times. In the beginning, your email list may contain ten people. Maybe less. At that level, it’s no big deal to put them all on BCC using your regular email address and service and send it out. Once you have hundreds, or even thousands of names on the list, the technical aspect of simply emailing them all get complicated. Your standard Gmail account will likely be exhibiting symptoms of stress thanks to Google’s new AI spam filters. Most web hosts help newbie email marketers take the next step in technical sophistication by offering email services like autoresponders, multiple email boxes for your domain, web mail, and other handy features for a marketer. A reputable service should fully abide by GDPR data privacy requirements. Most hands-on HostGator reviews explain how to set up email in a GDPR-compliant manner, as does the HG knowledge base. As your list grows, it will eventually become too unwieldy to manage even with a web host’s resources. At that point, it’s time to look into a full-fledged email marketing service like Constant Contact.       5. Use the email format that works best for your audience. Source: https://ucarecdn.com/900cb335-6b86-4a87-a06e-54975362273f~7/nth/5/ HTML is pretty. It works a lot of the time. It may work for you. Then again, it may not.  Think about your target audience. Are they more likely to open the email on a phone or a laptop? Will the HTML slow down the load time and motivate the reader to close and delete the email? Will it add anything of value to the email itself?  Only you can answer those questions, and a lot depends on the quality of the underlying code. As you decide, be aware that poorly-executed HTML increases the odds that readers will delete the email before finishing it. That also means they won’t forward it to their associates.  The bottom line… Expect to be horrified by the perceived complexity when you first dig into the idea of email marketing. It can be overwhelming but only if you’re a rank newbie and try to implement every tool and strategy at once.  Start simple. Create a landing page, drive traffic to it, collect email addresses, and send the list emails periodically. Lots of online marketers have been very successful doing nothing more than this. Later you can figure out autoresponder sequences, list segmentation, and conversion techniques. For now, take the first step. Choose one of those email marketing services we mentioned up there and take action.  Many have a free level or trial period. Ultimately, the only thing standing between you and your first email marketing campaign is inaction. Change that by taking action now. Good luck!    Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Improve Customer Retention and What Are the Benefits

Reseller Club Blog -

Customer retention represents all kinds of efforts made by a business to boost the number of returning customers. Although traditionally marketers and business owners were more concerned with acquiring new customers, the value of having a solid base of loyal buyers is becoming more and more obvious. Companies have come to understand that a solid portion of their income comes from their regular customers and that customer loyalty is one of the crucial indicators of a trustworthy business. A good retention strategy can create numerous benefits for your company.  Let’s take a look at the most important ones.   Benefits of customer retention It will boost your brand image In order to fully grasp all the benefits of customer retention, we have to turn to the exact numbers and statistics. But it also affects some aspects of your business that may be more difficult to measure. This especially goes for your brand image. You surely want to be recognized as a brand whose customers tend to return to it over and over again. It’s a great reputation-booster. There aren’t many better ways to show people that your business is reliable and trustworthy. It will boost your numbers But let’s get back to the numbers. First of all, retention is way cheaper than acquisition. In fact, it is 7 times more expensive to bring in a new customer than to make an old one return. Besides, returning customers spend much more. Less than 15 percent of consumers tend to be loyal to a single brand, but this small chunk of the customer base is responsible for 55-70 percent of all sales. For instance, the average repeat customer tends to spend 67 percent more in months 31-36 of their relationship with a company than in the first 6 months. It will help you collect conclusive data Finally, having a large number of regular customers means getting more reliable feedback about your business and marketing efforts. You’ll be able to obtain some very valuable data which will make it easier to make sensible conclusions about reasons for certain types of customer behaviour. This can prove to be very beneficial for your business in the long run. How to improve customer retention? Understand your customer As we just mentioned, getting to know your customers is crucial. It’s probably more important than ever to give them a personalized experience based on their interests and expectations. And it’s probably easier than ever to track your customers’ activities and buying habits in order to obtain all the relevant data for this task. A  free CRM software can help you collect tons of information about your customers’ personal characteristics, preferences, and intentions. As well as, to choose the best course of action based on this data. The true power of personalization lies in the fact that it doesn’t just take your supposed average customer and then tries to appeal to this imagined person. It rather attempts to reach every single actual customer or prospect with a message designed specifically for that particular person. Source:www.statista.com Approaching your customers with tailor-made messages and offers at the exact right time can do wonders for your retention efforts. Namely, almost half of consumers have reported that they bought a product they didn’t initially intend to buy only because they received a personalized recommendation from a brand. Perks, benefits, and surprises The quality of your product or service is probably the most important factor when it comes to keeping your customers. They’ll come back because they like your stuff. But why not offer something extra to them and ensure that they never turn to your competition? Loyalty programs of all sorts can be very effective in this respect. And it makes perfect sense – if your regular customer has obtained a right for discounts or special offers, they will feel as if they already invested something in your relationship, so they won’t be giving up on you that easily.  of all sorts can be very effective in this respect.  For instance, take Sephora. They’re widely recognized as a brand that sells quite pricey products. So they introduced a classic point-based loyalty program to attract more people that tend to get discouraged by these prices. It turns out that occasional gift cards and discounts seem very attractive to an average customer, as more than 17 million people have joined Sephora’s loyalty program so far. Naturally, this makes your loyal customers even more loyal. If your regular customer has obtained a right for discounts or special offers, they will feel as if they have already invested something in your relationship, so they won’t be giving up on you that easily.   Moreover, if you manage to transform this loyalty program into a kind of a game or a competition, things can get even more interesting for your customers. If you take the financial benefits they’ll get from a program anyway, and add a sense of achievement every time they earn a right to a new perk or incentive, you can get them very involved. The mere act of collecting points and competing with others can sometimes be even more gratifying and absorbing than concrete financial benefits.     Show genuine care Apart from using a few particular tricks mentioned in the previous section, you should also show genuine care to your customers when it comes to more general issues and activities.  For instance, top-quality customer service can give you a crucial competitive advantage. As much as 93% of consumers have said that they’re more likely to be repeat customers at businesses that offered excellent customer service. It’s also vital that your customer service reps are able to resolve issues quickly. After all, we live in an era that doesn’t stand time-wasting and people will demand an immediate response. Another way to show that you care about your customers is by offering them free education and onboarding programs. This move will show them that you’re not just interested in people signing up or buying your product or service, but that you truly care about their experience. Help them find their way around and make them feel that they’re making the most of what they bought. This way you’ll undoubtedly be helping your business as well. Reaching out Source:www.omnisend.com Reaching out to your customers every now and then should definitely be a part of your customer retention strategy. Of course, you shouldn’t bother them all the time with all sorts of silly offers they don’t care about. However, sending a well-targeted email from time to time can help form a closer bond with them. Here it’s essential that you know your customers well enough. You need to choose what type of message you’ll be sending to each and every one of them, given their personal details and purchase history. This means using the right tone and language in the message, employing the right communication channel and setting the right triggers.  In other words, these messages will work only if they’re highly personalized and are of actual interest to the customer. Reminding a customer of a special discount is a good excuse to reach out to them, but only if the time, place and product you’re offering are carefully picked. Customer advocacy A genuine testimony from a satisfied customer can do great things for customer retention. Even better, it can also help you attract new prospects. People rely heavily on other people’s recommendations and assessments, as 91% of people read online reviews regularly or occasionally. In this respect, an honest review can potentially do a much better job for your company than any branded ad. So what’s in it for your old customers? It’s simple – you should be encouraging them to post reviews, ratings, and testimonies by offering them small benefits if they do so. For a little one-time discount, you can get a much-needed recommendation that could get you a new prospect, while also getting a satisfied customer that is likely to return to you.  Final thoughts Naturally, all this won’t work if your product or service is below par. If that’s the case, no discount or special offer will get you a good recommendation, and not even the best customer service rep in the world will help you keep a customer that simply finds your product terrible. But if you don’t have that kind of a problem, then the best advice would be to show actual care for your customers, 24 hours a day. All the mentioned tricks will surely give you a little boost, but to truly maximize the success of your retention efforts, you’ll need a genuine customer-centric mindset. Only by really putting your customer first you can make them want to come back.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Improve Customer Retention and What Are the Benefits appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Amazon Prime Day 2019 – Powered by AWS

Amazon Web Services Blog -

What did you buy for Prime Day? I bought a 34″ Alienware Gaming Monitor and used it to replace a pair of 25″ monitors that had served me well for the past six years:   As I have done in years past, I would like to share a few of the many ways that AWS helped to make Prime Day a reality for our customers. You can read How AWS Powered Amazon’s Biggest Day Ever and Prime Day 2017 – Powered by AWS to learn more about how we evaluate the results of each Prime Day and use what we learn to drive improvements to our systems and processes. This year I would like to focus on three ways that AWS helped to support record-breaking amounts of traffic and sales on Prime Day: Amazon Prime Video Infrastructure, AWS Database Infrastructure, and Amazon Compute Infrastructure. Let’s take a closer look at each one… Amazon Prime Video Infrastructure Amazon Prime members were able to enjoy the second Prime Day Concert (presented by Amazon Music) on July 10, 2019. Headlined by 10-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift, this live-streamed event also included performances from Dua Lipa, SZA, and Becky G. Live-streaming an event of this magnitude and complexity to an audience in over 200 countries required a considerable amount of planning and infrastructure. Our colleagues at Amazon Prime Video used multiple AWS Media Services including AWS Elemental MediaPackage and AWS Elemental live encoders to encode and package the video stream. The streaming setup made use of two AWS Regions, with a redundant pair of processing pipelines in each region. The pipelines delivered 1080p video at 30 fps to multiple content distribution networks (including Amazon CloudFront), and worked smoothly. AWS Database Infrastructure A combination of NoSQL and relational databases were used to deliver high availability and consistent performance at extreme scale during Prime Day: Amazon DynamoDB supports multiple high-traffic sites and systems including Alexa, the Amazon.com sites, and all 442 Amazon fulfillment centers. Across the 48 hours of Prime Day, these sources made 7.11 trillion calls to the DynamoDB API, peaking at 45.4 million requests per second. Amazon Aurora also supports the network of Amazon fulfillment centers. On Prime Day, 1,900 database instances processed 148 billion transactions, stored 609 terabytes of data, and transferred 306 terabytes of data. Amazon Compute Infrastructure Prime Day 2019 also relied on a massive, diverse collection of EC2 instances. The internal scaling metric for these instances is known as a server equivalent; Prime Day started off with 372K server equivalents and scaled up to 426K at peak. Those EC2 instances made great use of a massive fleet of Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes. The team added an additional 63 petabytes of storage ahead of Prime Day; the resulting fleet handled 2.1 trillion requests per day and transferred 185 petabytes of data per day. And That’s a A Wrap These are some impressive numbers, and show you the kind of scale that you can achieve with AWS. As you can see, scaling up for one-time (or periodic) events and then scaling back down afterward, is easy and straightforward, even at world scale! If you want to run your own world-scale event, I’d advise you to check out the blog posts that I linked above, and also be sure to read about AWS Infrastructure Event Management. My colleagues are ready (and eager) to help you to plan for your large-scale product or application launch, infrastructure migration, or marketing event. Here’s an overview of their process:   — Jeff;

The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts

HostGator Blog -

The post The Right Way to Tag Your Blog Posts appeared first on HostGator Blog. It’s easy to overlook the humble post tag when you’re setting up your blog. But tags are worth a second look and then some. These little labels can deliver a lot of value when you know what they do and how to use them wisely. Tags on your blog posts can make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for. They can help search engine crawlers understand the content that’s on your site. And tags can help you organize, update, and repackage your archived posts. With the right tracking tools, your tags can even show you which direction your new content should take. What a Blog Post Tag Is—and Isn’t Tags are similar to a lot of other site elements, and it can get confusing. Let’s start by clearing up what a tag is and is not. First, blog post tags are not hashtags. They have similar functions, but hashtags work across an entire platform, which is why you get results from about a million different accounts when you search for #puppies on Instagram. Post tags work within your site, so clicking the puppies tag will return only your posts about wee puppers. Post tags also aren’t the code snippets used to track marketing campaigns with Google Tag Manager. Two totally different things. Post Tags Complement Categories Tags are optional, but WordPress automatically sorts blog posts into categories. If you don’t set up your own categories and use them, your content will be “uncategorized.” That’s not helpful for your readers, you, search crawlers, or people using search engines to find the topics you write about. So please, use your categories. Some bloggers don’t tag their posts because they feel like categories take care of all their sorting needs. That can work if you have a small blog that you don’t update that often, but the more content you have, and the more varied your topics are, the more useful tags will be. Here’s why: Categories sort your posts into a top-level groups that provide a general outline of your content. For example, baking blog categories might be cakes, pies, cookies, and brownies. But you can tag posts in any of those categories with specific labels like Christmas, gluten-free, and so on, so readers can find all your Christmas or gluten free recipes in one tag search. Category and tag management menus in WordPress Post Tags and Meta Descriptions Have Different Jobs Meta keywords show up in a search results snippet for your post, and they get scanned by search engine robots. They can share some of the same words you use in your post tags, but tagging your posts doesn’t automatically generate meta descriptions. You need to enter them in the meta description box for your post. 4 Ways Post Tags Make Your Blog Better 1. Tags can help your SEO. Before you start freestyling your tag names, check out your Google Search Console data to see what keywords people are using to find your blog. By tagging with keywords, you help search engine bots find and categorize your posts. That helps new readers find your blog more easily. 2. Tags make a big blog more manageable and appealing to readers. Consider the tags on a TechCrunch post about robot food delivery. TechCrunch has been around for more than a decade, so they’ve got a huge archive. But they limit the tags to a few relevant labels. Seven of these tags lead to lists of related content that readers can scroll through. The Berkeley SkyDeck tag only applies to the Kiwi story for now. But as the startup accelerator gets more coverage, that tag may appear on more posts. You’ll notice one tag that’s not on this post is food delivery. Even though it’s central to the story, most TechCrunch readers are not there for food delivery stories. Their focus is tech. So keep your tags tied to what your readers are looking for. Resist the urge to toss in oddball tags, because you’ll end up with a bunch of one-off tags that make your site navigation harder instead of easier and don’t help your SEO. 3. Tags relate your blog posts to one another. Once you have a few posts with the same tag, you’ve got a little niche within your content that readers can explore. Behind the scenes, you can also use your tags to find related blog posts you might want to link to in new posts. You can do this manually or you can use a WordPress blog plugin that will automatically surface related posts for you. Once you have a few posts with the same tag, you’ve got a little niche within your content that readers can explore. Behind the scenes, you can also use your tags to find related blog posts you might want to link to in new posts. You can do this manually or you can use a WordPress blog plugin that will automatically surface related posts for you. You can review your tags to see if it’s time to put together a mega-post that updates and combines related content from several different posts in your archive. Tags can also help you pull together material for an eBook quickly. 4. Tags can show you which blog topics your readers like most. You can track metrics for your tags, and even your categories, but you’ll have to do a couple of workarounds for Google analytics to make it happen. One option is to create custom dimensions for your tags and categories in your analytics dashboard. If you do this yourself, you’ll also have to modify your tracking code, too. If you’d rather not mess with your tracking codes, you can use a plugin to set up your custom dimensions. The MonsterInsights Pro plugin has an add-on for exactly this purpose. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics also lets you set up custom dimensions for tags and some other post elements. Ready to set up your blog and start tagging your posts? Get started with HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

New – Trigger a Kernel Panic to Diagnose Unresponsive EC2 Instances

Amazon Web Services Blog -

When I was working on systems deployed in on-premises data centers, it sometimes happened I had to debug an unresponsive server. It usually involved asking someone to physically press a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) button on the frozen server or to send a signal to a command controller over a serial interface (yes, serial, such as in RS-232).This command triggered the system to dump the state of the frozen kernel to a file for further analysis. Such a file is usually called a core dump or a crash dump. The crash dump includes an image of the memory of the crashed process, the system registers, program counter, and other information useful in determining the root cause of the freeze. Today, we are announcing a new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) API allowing you to remotely trigger the generation of a kernel panic on EC2 instances. The EC2:SendDiagnosticInterrupt API sends a diagnostic interrupt, similar to pressing a NMI button on a physical machine, to a running EC2 instance. It causes the instance’s hypervisor to send a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) to the operating system. The behaviour of your operating system when a NMI interrupt is received depends on its configuration. Typically, it involves entering into kernel panic. The kernel panic behaviour also depends on the operating system configuration, it might trigger the generation of the crash dump data file, obtain a backtrace, load a replacement kernel or restart the system. You can control who in your organisation is authorized to use that API through IAM Policies, I will give an example below. Cloud and System Engineers, or specialists in kernel diagnosis and debugging, find in the crash dump invaluable information to analyse the causes of a kernel freeze. Tools like WinDbg (on Windows) and crash (on Linux) can be used to inspect the dump. Using Diagnostic Interrupt Using this API is a three step process. First you need to configure the behavior of your OS when it receives the interrupt. By default, our Windows Server AMIs have memory dump already turned on. Automatic restart after the memory dump has been saved is also selected. The default location for the memory dump file is %SystemRoot% which is equivalent to C:\Windows. You can access these options by going to : Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Startup and Recovery On Amazon Linux 2, you need to install and configurekdump & kexec. This is a one-time setup. $ sudo yum install kexec-tools Then edit the file /etc/default/grub to allocate the amount of memory to be reserved for the crash kernel. In this example, we reserve 160M by adding crashkernel=160M. The amount of memory to allocate depends on your instance’s memory size. The general recommendation is to test kdump to see if the allocated memory is sufficient. The kernel doc has the full syntax of the crashkernel kernel parameter. GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="crashkernel=160M console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n8 net.ifnames=0 biosdevname=0 nvme_core.io_timeout=4294967295 rd.emergency=poweroff rd.shell=0" And rebuild the grub configuration: $ sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg Finally edit /etc/sysctl.conf and add a line : kernel.unknown_nmi_panic=1. This tells the kernel to trigger a kernel panic upon receiving the interrupt. You are now ready to reboot your instance. Be sure to include these commands in your user data script or in your AMI to automatically configure this on all your instances. Once the instance is rebooted, verify that kdump is correctly started. $ systemctl status kdump.service ● kdump.service - Crash recovery kernel arming Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/kdump.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled) Active: active (exited) since Fri 2019-07-05 15:09:04 UTC; 3h 13min ago Process: 2494 ExecStart=/usr/bin/kdumpctl start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS) Main PID: 2494 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS) CGroup: /system.slice/kdump.service Jul 05 15:09:02 ip-172-31-15-244.ec2.internal systemd[1]: Starting Crash recovery kernel arming... Jul 05 15:09:04 ip-172-31-15-244.ec2.internal kdumpctl[2494]: kexec: loaded kdump kernel Jul 05 15:09:04 ip-172-31-15-244.ec2.internal kdumpctl[2494]: Starting kdump: [OK] Jul 05 15:09:04 ip-172-31-15-244.ec2.internal systemd[1]: Started Crash recovery kernel arming. Our documentation contains the instructions for other operating systems. Once this one-time configuration is done, you’re ready for the second step, to trigger the API. You can do this from any machine where the AWS CLI or SDK is configured. For example : $ aws ec2 send-diagnostic-interrupt --region us-east-1 --instance-id <value> There is no return value from the CLI, this is expected. If you have a terminal session open on that instance, it disconnects. Your instance reboots. You reconnect to your instance, you find the crash dump in /var/crash. The third and last step is to analyse the content of the crash dump. On Linux systems, you need to install the crash utility and the debugging symbols for your version of the kernel. Note that the kernel version should be the same that was captured by kdump. To find out which kernel you are currently running, use the uname -r command. $ sudo yum install crash $ sudo debuginfo-install kernel $ sudo crash /usr/lib/debug/lib/modules/4.14.128-112.105.amzn2.x86_64/vmlinux /var/crash/127.0.0.1-2019-07-05-15\:08\:43/vmcore crash 7.2.6-1.amzn2.0.1 ... output suppressed for brevity ... KERNEL: /usr/lib/debug/lib/modules/4.14.128-112.105.amzn2.x86_64/vmlinux DUMPFILE: /var/crash/127.0.0.1-2019-07-05-15:08:43/vmcore [PARTIAL DUMP] CPUS: 2 DATE: Fri Jul 5 15:08:38 2019 UPTIME: 00:07:23 LOAD AVERAGE: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00 TASKS: 104 NODENAME: ip-172-31-15-244.ec2.internal RELEASE: 4.14.128-112.105.amzn2.x86_64 VERSION: #1 SMP Wed Jun 19 16:53:40 UTC 2019 MACHINE: x86_64 (2500 Mhz) MEMORY: 7.9 GB PANIC: "Kernel panic - not syncing: NMI: Not continuing" PID: 0 COMMAND: "swapper/0" TASK: ffffffff82013480 (1 of 2) [THREAD_INFO: ffffffff82013480] CPU: 0 STATE: TASK_RUNNING (PANIC) Collecting kernel crash dumps is often the only way to collect kernel debugging information, be sure to test this procedure frequently, in particular after updating your operating system or when you will create new AMIs. Control Who Is Authorized to Send Diagnostic Interrupt You can control who in your organisation is authorized to send the Diagnostic Interrupt, and to which instances, through IAM policies with resource-level permissions, like in the example below. { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "ec2:SendDiagnosticInterrupt", "Resource": "arn:aws:ec2:region:account-id:instance/instance-id" } ] } Pricing There are no additional charges for using this feature. However, as your instance continues to be in a ‘running’ state after it receives the diagnostic interrupt, instance billing will continue as usual. Availability You can send Diagnostic Interrupts to all EC2 instances powered by the AWS Nitro System, except A1 (Arm-based). This is C5, C5d, C5n, i3.metal, I3en, M5, M5a, M5ad, M5d, p3dn.24xlarge, R5, R5a, R5ad, R5d, T3, T3a, and Z1d as I write this. The Diagnostic Interrupt API is now available in all public AWS Regions and GovCloud (US), you can start to use it today. -- seb

Upcoming Changes to Let’s Encrypt Plugin

cPanel Blog -

Earlier this year, Let’s Encrypt announced the end of life (EOL) plan for their original API. Starting this November, they will no longer allow new account registrations through the original API. After the original API reaches EOL, new account registrations must use Let’s Encrypt’s new API. Because of this, cPanel is migrating its Let’s Encrypt plugin to use that new API instead of the old API. Why change now? If we do not update our plugin, we ...

Content Not Performing On Social Media – How To Optimize Your Social Game

Pickaweb Blog -

As marketing discoveries go, it can be disappointing to realize that your social media channels aren’t having the impact you’d like. Instead of feeling disheartened, though, try seeing it as a good thing. How? Many businesses never make the discovery and spend both time and money investing in a channel that offers them no business The post Content Not Performing On Social Media – How To Optimize Your Social Game appeared first on Pickaweb.

You #AskGoogleWebmasters, we answer

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

We love to help folks make awesome websites. For a while now, we've been answering questions from developers, site-owners, webmasters, and of course SEOs in our office hours hangouts, in the help forums, and at events. Recently, we've (re-)started answering your questions in a video series called #AskGoogleWebmasters on our YouTube channel.  (At Google, behind the scenes, during the recording of one of the episodes.) When we started with the webmaster office-hours back in 2012, we thought we'd be able to get through all questions within a few months, or perhaps a year. Well ... the questions still haven't stopped -- it's great to see such engagement when it comes to making great websites!  To help make it a bit easier to find answers, we've started producing shorter videos answering individual questions. Some of the questions may seem fairly trivial to you, others don't always have simple answers, but all of them are worth answering. Curious about the first episodes? Check out the videos below and the playlist for all episodes! To ask a question, just use the hashtag #AskGoogleWebmasters on Twitter. While we can't get to all submissions, we regularly pick up the questions there to use in future episodes. We pick questions primarily about websites & websearch, which are relevant to many sites. Want to stay in the loop? Make sure to subscribe to our channel. If you'd like to discuss the questions or other important webmaster topics, feel free to drop by our webmaster help forums and chat with the awesome experts there.  Posted by John Mueller, Google Switzerland

For the 12th Time, Liquid Web is Honored as an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing U.S. Company

Liquid Web Official Blog -

LANSING, Mich., Aug, 15th 2019 – Liquid Web, LLC, (https://www.liquidweb.com), the market leader in managed hosting and managed application services to SMBs, has been announced as a 12-time honoree for the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing US Companies. Of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years, only a fraction have made the list more than once. Only 33 companies have made the list 12 times. “We certainly take great pride in this unique accomplishment,” said Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger. “Achieving this honor for the 12th time further validates our strategy to make technology more accessible and valuable for SMB entrepreneurs and the agencies, designers, and developers who create for them. We have an unwavering dedication to provide impeccable products, service, and support to power the online potential of our customers. Our growth is fueled by our vision to be the world’s most loved hosting provider and our 2019 Net Promoter Score of 69 validates that our more than 30,000 customers rely on Liquid Web as their trusted technology partner,” Geiger said. Inc. 5000 recognizes the fastest-growing companies in America, ranking each company by the rate of revenue growth over a span of three years. Factors include the number of employees, industry, location, and revenue. Liquid Web has continued its successful growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Earlier this year, Liquid Web announced the launch of its VMware Private Cloud Powered by NetApp to offer enterprise-level features and functionality at affordable prices to small to midsize businesses. They also introduced annual pricing to their VPS offering and expanded their Managed WordPress and WooCommerce offerings, by adding features such as WPMerge and AffiliateWP and expanding locations in the EU to better serve their EU customers. About Liquid Web Marking its 22nd anniversary, Liquid Web powers online content, commerce, and potential for SMB entrepreneurs and the designers, developers, and digital agencies who create for them. An industry leader in managed hosting and cloud services, Liquid Web is known for its high-performance services and exceptional customer support. Liquid Web offers a broad portfolio designed so customers can choose a hosting solution that is hands-on or hands-off or a hybrid of the two. The company owns and manages its own core data centers, providing a diverse range of offerings, including bare metal servers, fully managed hosting, Managed WordPress, and Managed WooCommerce Hosting, and continues to evolve its service offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of its web-reliant, professional customers. With more than a million sites under management, Liquid Web serves over 30,000 customers spanning 150 countries. The company has assembled a world-class team, global data centers and an expert group of 24/7/365 solution engineers. As an industry leader in customer service*, the rapidly expanding company has been recognized among INC. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies for twelve years. For more information, please visit www.liquidweb.com, or read our blog posts at https://www.liquidweb.com/blog. Stay up to date with all Liquid Web events on Twitter and LinkedIn. *2019 Net Promoter Score of 69 Contact: Mayra Pena, mpena@liquidweb.com The post For the 12th Time, Liquid Web is Honored as an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing U.S. Company appeared first on Liquid Web.

How Cloudflare can Amp up your SEO Efforts

Reseller Club Blog -

Imagine, in a sea of millions of websites, yours exists, however, you want it to do more than just exist – you want it to thrive, to be visible, to have people interact with it. And so, you decide to invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It’s a cost-effective, credible solution to get your website ranked on Google. Sounds great right? What’s even better is that you can add to your efforts by using Cloudflare – it actually helps boost your SEO efforts. So, let’s break down what that means by answering some simple questions. What is Cloudflare? Cloudflare is one of the world’s largest Content Delivery Networks (CDN). However, it does a lot more than that. Cloudflare also provides services like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) mitigation, distributed domain name services and internet security services.  How does it work? Well, between the visitor and the Cloudflare user’s hosting provider sit the Cloudflare services. These services act as a reverse proxy server for websites. What does that mean? A reverse proxy server, like Cloudflare, sits in front of web servers and basically forwards the visitor’s request to those web servers, acting as a middleman.  To go a little further into reverse proxy servers, we first need to understand proxy servers. A proxy server, also known as a forward proxy, is a server that handles the client/visitor machines. Say, for instance, there is a client and they are initiating a request to a server, the request may first go to one server (a proxy server), before being sent to the actual backend server. The backend server will process the request and send it back. However, the client is unaware that there was a server in between while sending the request to the final server – this is known as a proxy server. For the backend server, it will assume that the proxy server is the client and that the requests are coming from that particular server.  For reverse proxy server, a client might initiate a request to the intermediate, proxy server. However, the difference is there are multiple backend servers, and the request from the proxy server will go to only one of them. The backend server will process the request and redirect it back to the client. The client doesn’t know how many servers are there. Each time a request is sent, it could be to a new server. In a proxy server (or a forward proxy server) it is a single setup, of multiple clients with one server. A reverse proxy has single (or multiple) clients with multiple servers. The customers are the clients, who only see the website, however, our requests will go internally to different servers based on where we reside.  So, what are the benefits of Cloudflare?  To begin with, Cloudflare is simple and easy to install. Furthermore, Cloudflare boosts your security and enhances your protection from attacks. By acting as a reverse proxy server, your website never needs to reveal the IP address of the origin server. This means that hackers can’t attack the server. It only allows genuine users the opportunity to access your website so that the resources of your website don’t get drained and the speed of your website remains intact. It protects your website from DDoS and DoS attacks. If the speed of your website slows down, it will save the cached files until your site speed returns to normal. Finally, it provides free SSL certificates. Now, you’ve probably noticed that speed and security are 2 of Cloudflare’s largest benefits. It’s these two factors that contribute to your SEO efforts. Before we tell you how to, let’s also run through the basics of SEO.  SEO defined: SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic results via your search engine. Quality of traffic: Quality traffic basically refers to having the right audience reach your website – those who are genuinely interested in the products you offer.  Quantity of traffic: Once you’ve accessed the right kind of audience, you want to increase the numbers so that more people are engaging and interacting with your website and the services you offer. Organic Search Results: Organic traffic refers to the traffic that you didn’t have to pay for.  How does it work? Well, when you access Google (or Bing, Yahoo or any other Search Engine) and type in a request, it responds by sending you a long list of websites that could answer your request. However, there’s a method to the madness. The links that Google offers are decided on the basis of a crawler that it uses. This crawler goes out and collects the information related to what you typed in the search bar. The crawlers then bring back all that content to the search engine to build an index. The index is then run through an algorithm, which tries to match the data with your request.  The Optimisation part of SEO is when content writers on the web, design that same content to help the Search Engine find them. Optimization can take the form of title tags, meta tags, the right keywords, internal links – all of which help the crawler move through and understand your site structure quickly.  So, what would it take for your page to rank highly on the index? Here’s where we return to Cloudflare because speed and security are 2 factors that help determine your ranking on the page. Let’s see how: Speed: Google has stated that website speed is an important factor considered in its internal algorithm to rank pages. This is because slow page speed means that the crawler goes through fewer pages, which could negatively affect your place on the index.  Page speed also becomes an issue of sorts. Those with longer load times, tend to have steep bounce rates and website users spend less time on the page. Load times also have a direct impact on conversions.  How can Cloudflare CDN help?  Cloudflare is one of the largest Content Delivery Networks in the world. This means that your site will be distributed amongst a large pool of servers, all of which will handle requests for your site. As a reverse proxy server, Cloudflare will balance the incoming traffic evenly amongst the servers so that none of them become overloaded. In the event that one server fails, another can take its place. The reverse proxy server will also cache your content resulting in quicker performance. All of these factors can drastically improve your site speed – a key factor in determining your ranking on the index. Security: Google is looking to make the web a secure and safe place and has advocated for websites moving to HTTPS, by acquiring an SSL certificate. The reason is simple: data is encrypted in transit and therefore private and sensitive information isn’t misused. It is said that HTTPS websites will achieve a boost in ranking, while also gaining the optimal level of security. In essence, Google looks to reward secure and peak performance websites by increasing their ranking on the index.   Also, threats and attacks can affect your rankings. Although there are no direct penalties, your ranking does tend to suffer and with repeated attacks, Google can flag or even blacklist your website for Malware – thereby obliterating your spot on the rankings.  How do CDNs, like Cloudflare, help with these problems? Firstly, Cloudflare provides its users with SSL certificates. Secondly, CDNs like Cloudflare offer reverse proxy, which keeps a website or server’s IP address hidden. This makes it harder for attackers to target them with a DDoS attack. These threats will instead be routed to the CDN, which comes equipped with the resources to fend off an attack. Therefore, your site remains secure, safe and should rank more consistently. At ResellerClub, Cloudflare acts as a proxy between your visitors and our servers. As a result, you’ll be able to fend off malicious visitors, save bandwidth and greatly reduce page load times. We deploy high performing Cloudflare CDN and security so that you and your customers stay secure. With our packages, you can easily set up your Reseller Hosting business, because we offer robust infrastructure, a fantastic team of support executives and effective management of your web hosting accounts.  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How Cloudflare can Amp up your SEO Efforts appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How to Boost SEO on Your WordPress Website [In 15 Steps]

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Boost SEO on Your WordPress Website [In 15 Steps] appeared first on HostGator Blog. No matter how much work you put into making your WordPress website look good, it won’t pay off if you can’t get people to show up. The internet is packed full of websites vying for attention. For people to find yours, you have to put some effort into getting them there. A top tactic for doing that is search engine optimization (SEO).  SEO offers a number of important benefits: It improves your website’s visibility.It makes it easy for people already looking for what you do to find you. It increases traffic.It’s affordable.Once achieved, SEO results are long-lasting. SEO isn’t your only option for getting more eyes on your WordPress website, but it’s one of the best places to start.  15 Steps to Improving WordPress SEO SEO is competitive and can take a lot of time to do well. But many of the most important steps for WordPress SEO are actually fairly simple. Some of these you can even get done today, while for some others you’ll want to create an SEO plan to implement over the coming weeks and months.  1. Make sure you have the right hosting provider and plan. Search engine algorithms—the complex code that determines which order websites show up in when you do a search—aim to prioritize websites that provide the best experience to visitors. Now think about how you feel when you click on a website and it takes forever for the page to load.  In the fast-moving world of the high-speed internet, “forever” can actually just mean a few seconds, but that’s long enough for waiting to feel like a nuisance. Search engines are well aware of how people feel about slow loading times, so site speed is a ranking factor they’re upfront about. For your website to load quickly, choosing the right web hosting provider and plan is paramount. If your website isn’t delivering the level of speed you need, consider if it’s time for either an upgrade or a switch to an all new web hosting company. Look for one that offers managed WordPress hosting and can promise reliable service and site speed.  2. Install an SEO plugin. Choosing WordPress for your website means you don’t have to deal with HTML when making updates (thank goodness). In its place, you need to find the right plugins that provide the substitute functionality you need. Some SEO steps that you’d otherwise use HTML for can be completed via an intuitive interface with the right plugin. Some popular options include: YoastAll in One SEO PackSmartCrawl SEOThe SEO Framework Many of the next steps on our list are much easier to complete with a good WordPress SEO plugin.  3. Create a sitemap. For a page on your website to show up in a search, the search engine has to first know it’s there. The search engines have bots that continually crawl the web to find and index web pages.   You can speed up the process of getting all the pages on your website indexed by creating and submitting a sitemap. All of the plugins shared above have features to help with this step. Use the plugin of your choice to generate a sitemap for your WordPress site, then submit it to each of the main search engines.  4. Do keyword research. Keywords are the cornerstone of an SEO strategy. You don’t want to show up in the search engines for just any search, you want your website to show up when people are looking for what you do. When you optimize a web page for search, you’re optimizing it for a specific keyword. To determine which keywords to base your strategy on, use free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Answer the Public, or paid tools like Moz and SEMRush to gain data on the terms your audience is using in search. You want to identify keywords that get a decent number of monthly searches, but aren’t too competitive to rank for. For new websites and small businesses long-tail keywords—terms that are specific and tend to be longer—are usually your best bet.  5. Choose a primary keyword for each page. When you have a strong list of keywords to target, figure out the best primary keyword for each page on your website, along with a secondary keyword or two. Every page should have a different primary keyword so you aren’t competing with yourself for search engine rankings. Selecting your keyword is necessary for the next several steps. 6. Customize all your URLs. When you create a new page in WordPress, it will automatically generate a URL for it—but one that provides no useful information. It will look something like this: The URL is part of the page search engines look at to learn what the page is about. Not only is a generic URL like that not useful to your visitors, who will never remember it, it also doesn’t communicate anything to Google about what’s on the page.  Your SEO plugin should provide a field for you to customize the URL of each page, or it may even automatically generate a URL based on the page title you enter. Make sure to fill in a URL that uses your primary keyword and relates to what’s on the page.  7. Write a relevant meta description for each page. Meta descriptions don’t have an effect on a web page’s rankings, but they’re still important because they often show up on the search engine results page when you rank for a term.  The meta description is your opportunity to get someone to choose your website out of all the options that appear. Use the brief space you have here (around 155 characters) to make a case for why someone should click. And be sure to include your primary keyword. If your page starts showing up in the results when someone searches for your keyword, it will be bolded in the meta description (as in the example above), drawing more attention.  8. Use headings strategically. Another part of the page the algorithms look at to understand what it’s about is the headings you use. With HTML, you would add headings to the page using the <h2>, <h3>, and <h4> tags.  Within WordPress though, you can select a heading each time you add a text block to the page.  Headings are useful for separating the page into different sections that make it easier for your readers to skim. In terms of SEO, they give you more options to include your keywords—but you should only do so if including your keyword in a heading also makes sense for your human readers.  9. Optimize your images for search. Search engine algorithms can’t see images, but there are a few parts of an image file that they can read. That includes: The image filenameThe alt tagThe captionThe description You can fill in these sections easily in WordPress each time you add a new image to your media library, allowing you to optimize your WordPress images for SEO. Look for the Attachment Details section on the right side of the screen.  Each of these fields is another opportunity to communicate something about your web page to the search engines. Fill in this information for every image you add to your website, including your keyword where relevant. Most of these sections won’t be visible to your average visitor, but the caption will, so make sure anything you add there is useful to your human visitors. 10.  Optimize your images for speed. We already established how important speed is for SEO. Even with the right web hosting plan, if you add a lot of large, high-resolution images to your website, they can slow your page loading time. But there are a number of tips to make your images load faster, while still looking good.  Here are a few suggestions for optimizing your images for speed: Save your images as .jpg rather than .png so they’re smallerCompress your images with a compression plugin. Set up lazy load. Another option a plugin can help with.   11.  Create a blogging strategy. Blogging is good for SEO because it keeps your website current and fresh, and gives you lots of opportunities to rank for different relevant keywords. And WordPress is well designed for hosting a blog on your website.  Use your keyword research as a starting point to create a blogging strategy that targets relevant terms your audience is searching for. Create an editorial calendar to keep you consistent in your blogging and strive to make sure each piece you publish: Is useful to the readers you most want to reachIs relevant in some way to the main thing your website offers, be it products, services, or a certain type of informationIs written in a web-friendly format. That means lots of white space, short paragraphs, sections separated by headings, and bullets or numbered lists where appropriate (kind of like this one)Is optimized for search (that just means following all the rules in this post) Blog posts are a good way to increase your website’s visibility and gain the attention and trust of the category of people you want to reach.  12.  Practice internal linking. An internal link is any link on a web page that points to another page on your own website. Internal links are useful for SEO because, by showing Google which pages are related to each other, it’s yet another signal about what your page is about. And with internal links, you have the power to choose the anchor text you use—e.g. the words that are hyperlinked (those that usually show up in blue and underlined). The more context clues you give the algorithms, the better a job they do of understanding what terms your page should link for. Internal links are also a way to spread link authority around your website. When you add an internal link to a popular page that ranks well now, it makes the linked page look a little more valuable in the eyes of Google.  13.  Build backlinks. Internal links are nice, but backlinks are where your web pages start to really gain points with the algorithms. A backlink is any link to a page on your website from another website. Every backlink from a well respected, relevant website works as an endorsement for your website. Google sees it as confirmation that what’s on the page is valuable. The more high-quality backlinks a website earns, the more SEO authority the website will have. More authority = higher search results.  Link building is one of the hardest parts of SEO, but once you have all the on-site optimization covered (which is the category everything else on this list falls under), it’s the most important step for boosting SEO on your WordPress website.   14.  Learn from your analytics. This list covers all the best practices for improving SEO for your WordPress website, but the details of what will work best will depend on your particular website and audience. You can use a plugin like the Google Analyticator to put some of your most important analytics front-and-center in your WordPress dashboard to easily track how much traffic you get, and which pages are the most popular.  Supplement that information by digging deeper in Google Analytics. And if it’s in your budget, you can gain even more in-depth information with SEO tools like Moz or Ahrefs that provide rankings data. Analyze that data as you go and learn what types of pages and content you create perform best in the search engines. Then apply what you learn to your strategy moving forward.  15.  Perform regular content audits. Creating new content for SEO takes a lot of time and energy. Make that work go further by performing a content audit at least once a year to find opportunities to make your old content stronger. High-performing pieces can be updated to make them more current and keep them strong. Low-performing pieces can either be scrapped or improved based on the insights you’ve learned from your analytics.  Don’t publish and forget. Treat the content you have as a living thing—it should evolve and grow over time to strengthen your business and become ever more useful to your audience.  Build Your WordPress SEO on a Strong Foundation  For everything on this list to pay off, your website has to work consistently and load fast. For that, you need a web hosting plan that provides nearly constant uptime and promises the highest level of performance. HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting plan delivers.  It’s compatible with all WordPress websites, delivers fast loading times, and has a 99.99% uptime guarantee or your money back. Start your WordPress website stronger with the right web hosting plan.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

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