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How to Create Your Freelance Writing Website

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Create Your Freelance Writing Website appeared first on HostGator Blog. Nasdaq predicts that 43% of the workforce will be freelancers by 2020. Additionally, Upwork expects the number of freelance workers will continue to grow year-by-year, and that the majority of the workforce will be freelancers by 2027. With rapid advances in technology making freelance work more plausible, it’s no surprise that more of the workforce is moving towards freelancing. In fact, from 2014 to 2018, there was an increase of 3.7 million more freelancers, and that number is skyrocketing. If you have a special skill and a desire to make extra cash, freelancing may just be the side hustle for you. While there are several different options for freelancing, this article will focus on everything you need to know to break into one lucrative type of side gig—freelance writing.  Why Is Freelance Writing a Good Side Hustle? Before diving too deep into how to get your freelance writing side hustle up and running, you may be wondering, “is freelance writing even worth it?” The answer is a resounding yes. Let’s look at some of the top reasons freelance writing is a good side hustle as well as some insight from successful freelance writers. You can start out slowly, and scale when you’re ready. If you have the freelancing writing itch, you’ll be happy to know it’s easy to scratch. There are so many ways to build a freelance writing portfolio including participating in SEO writing, signing up for a content mill, reaching out to your current network to ask for clients, and building your own copywriting website.  You can even start out moonlighting on the side as a way to make extra money, and scale when you are ready, just like Amanda Ashcraft did.  Amanda Ashcraft is a seasoned professional who felt she had “zero career or retirement options 5 years ago.” Now, she says, “I’m an independent business owner who makes my own hours, has time to be a mom, and doesn’t fall asleep at night scared about how I’m going to make it when I’m too old to work anymore. My side hustle changed my life.” But how did it all happen?  Amanda Ashcraft originally started a home business to teach English as a Second Language, but that wasn’t a strong enough income source. So, she started writing more SEO content. Unfortunately, she became ill back in August of 2018, and didn’t have the energy required for both teaching English and freelance writing. By this time, she already had over 500 articles, blogs, and web pages for her portfolio. As a result, she decided to scale her business and make her freelance writing side hustle her full-time career. Ashcraft says, “It’s ironic as I’m a published author but never thought of writing as a full-time career. Boy, was I wrong about that! Now I will eventually have a career I adore in a field I’ve had a passion for since I was a small child.” Like Ashcraft, you can take your freelance writing business slow and use it as a side source of additional income. When your portfolio is ready and you’re making more money, you can scale your business, take on more clients, and start doing what you love 100% of the time. Freelance writing requires only a small investment for a large return. If you’re a talented writer and want to try your hand at writing, it’s easy to get started. The best part? It’s virtually risk-free as it requires little financial investment on your part. Amanda Ashcraft agrees. She says, “My side hustle did not require a big investment. I spend less than $100 a month for everything I need including internet, advertising, and my website. Additionally, I was able to devote more time to developing my business than I realized I had because of the tools available through HostGator.” When it comes to expenses, starting a freelance writing side gig isn’t going to break the bank. In fact, all you really need to get started is a love for writing and a website. The crazy thing is, though, as you become more and more successful, you’ll notice your return on investment is significant. Matt Weik has been writing in the health and fitness niche for the past 15+ years.  Like Ashcraft, he started out slowly with the goal of making some extra income. However, he quickly experience high enough returns that it made more financial sense to turn his side hustle into his full-time career. Wiek says, “My side hustle started making me more money than my actual ‘job,’ so I started my writing business and said goodbye to the 9-5 for 80 hour work weeks (yes, I’m working more but I’m also having WAY more fun than I was at my old job).” He continues, “My side hustle started out as a couple hundred extra dollars each month (writing around 3-5 articles per month), and has now turned into an extremely profitable business seeing huge profits and growth year-over-year. The 3-5 articles per month has now grown to around 5-10 articles per week, which does not include the added ghostwriting and copywriting work I do for clients.” Starting a freelance writing business isn’t expensive, but it provides the opportunity to drastically increase your ROI. Why You Need Your Own Freelance Writing Website We’ve already said it. To get started with freelance writing, you need a website. It’s true. A freelance writing website is potentially the single most important tool you can have in your back pocket as you start freelance writing. Here are some top reasons why you can’t do without a freelance writing website. 1. Your website is your portfolio. When you land a new client, the first thing they will ask you for is writing samples. Your website is the perfect place to build an online portfolio to show off your best work.  It’s easy to add an online portfolio to your website. All you need to do is create an extra “portfolio” or “samples” page, and provide links or PDFs to your work. This helps potential clients see first-hand how good you are at writing and what you can do for them. 2. Your website showcases you as a professional. It may be standard practice in other industries to send a resume to a potential client. That’s not how things work in the world of freelance writing. Clients want to see who you are, learn about you, understand your services, and read your writing samples. With the help of a killer website, you can provide all the desired information in one branded, beautiful website that shows you’re a true professional. 3. Your website will help you land clients. The first place a client is going to look for help with content marketing or copywriting is the internet. If you don’t have an online presence, you can kiss work from potential clients goodbye.  Furthermore, keep in mind your website works for you, even when you’re off enjoying coffee with friends or retiring early for the night. Your website is up around the clock. This means potential clients can browse your website anytime and send you an email via your contact form expressing their desire to work with you. How to Create Your Freelance Writing Website Now that you know how lucrative freelance writing can be and why you need a website, let’s talk about how to get a website up and running with Gator Website Builder. If you’re intimidated by the idea of building a website on your own, you’re not alone, but also don’t need to worry. HostGator has you covered. Don’t believe it? Amanda Ashcraft was nervous about creating her website, but found it easy with the help of HostGator. She said, “the biggest issue I had was creating a website that gives background about myself, offers an updated portfolio with live linking, and that is easy to incorporate SEO and EAT principles. I found all of that with HostGator’s many hosting options and tools. It made life a lot easier.” The goal of Gator Website Builder is to make creating a website easy. To get up and running, all you have to do is follow six intuitive steps. Step 1: Pick a hosting plan for your freelance writing website. Gator Website Builder includes three plans: a starter plan, a premium plan, and an eCommerce plan. If you’re starting a freelance writing website, the starter plan is the best option. It includes a free domain, 200+ templates, a drag-and-drop editor, cloud hosting, and website analytics. If you are nervous about building your own website and want priority support, then opt for the premium plan. Once you’ve picked a plan, click “buy now” and you can set up your account. Step 2: Pick a domain name for your business. Every Gator Website Builder package includes a free domain. To pick your domain, all you have to do is type something in the “get domain” box. If your top choice isn’t available, select another. When it comes to building a freelance writing website, it’s smart to use your own name as your domain name. Many freelancers will build their own personal brands. In the event your name is common and already taken, and you need help selecting a domain name, here is a list of ideas for how to choose the perfect domain name for your business. If you already have a domain name, you can connect it to your HostGator account by clicking “connect it here.”  Step 3: Create your account. Once you have a domain name, you’re ready to connect your account. All you need is an email address or Facebook account to connect. Then, enter your payment information, and you can get started. Step 4: Pick a template that matches your niche. Of of the biggest draws of Gator Website Builder is it comes with over 200 templates. This means you don’t have to know how to code to get your website up and running. All you need to do is pick the theme that you like best. To pick a template, go to the “choose a template” page. You can scroll through the professionally-designed templates, and select a template. Step 5: Add content to your website. After you have decided on your template, click “start editing.” This is the step where you can add content, edit content, and add or delete pages. Gator Website Builder’s drag and drop builder makes it easy to make your website look exactly how you want it to look without needing to code.  In the event you have any questions, consult the free and easy step-by-step guide that explains how you how to set up the different sections of your site.  Step 6: Review your content and launch your website. The last step is to review and launch your website. By clicking “preview,” you can see your freelance writing website in full. If you need to make any changes, go back to your dashboard and make the necessary changes. If everything looks great, then click the “finish preview” button at the top. When you are ready, you can select “publish website” at the top of the dashboard, and you’ll be ready to go live.  Build Your Freelance Writing Website Freelance writing is a killer side hustle. It’s flexible, it pays well, you get to be your own boss, and it’s fun. Not to mention, you can easily scale a freelancing side hustle into a full-time job. To experience true success as a freelance writer, it’s critical you have a strong online presence, and that starts with building a website. For more information on how to get started, check out Gator Website Builder today.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Join us in a Digital Climate Strike

WordPress.com News -

With fires raging in the Amazon, hurricanes ripping across the Atlantic, and typhoons flooding Japan, our planet and our climate are sending us a message: We can no longer continue with business as usual. The week starting September 20th, 350.org is organizing a Global Climate Strike, in association with Fridays For Future, to show global leaders that the time to act is now. Alongside the people walking out of workplaces, schools, and homes around the world, 350.org is organizing a digital climate strike. Websites participating in the digital strike will promote the physical strikes in the lead-up to the date, and partially block themselves to users on September 20th itself. That is where you come in! Starting today, you can opt into the digital climate strike with your WordPress.com site, showing your commitment to this critical topic and spreading the word about the event. Between now and September 20th, your site will display a small climate strike banner. On the 20th, it will transform into a dismissible full-screen overlay. WordPress.com site owners can head to My Site > Settings. At the top of the Settings menu, you will see a toggle switch — flip it on to join the digital climate strike. Other WordPress sites can also join the movement by installing the Digital Climate Strike plugin from the WordPress.org plugin repository. After the day of action, the banner will automatically disappear (or if you’ve installed the plugin, it will automatically disable) and your site will return to normal. Together we can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting this movement.

What is cPanel and How to use it?

BigRock Blog -

cPanel is one of the most sought after web-based control panels for managing websites and hosting orders. In this article, we’ll cover what cPanel is and how to use cPanel. So without further ado, let us begin! What is cPanel? cPanel is a control panel that allows you to manage your websites and hosting orders through a web interface. cPanel has a visually appealing and graphical interface that helps in simplifying the process of managing your orders. Using cPanel you can access and manage your add-on domains, enable backup for your files, get timely updates, ensure the security of your files, FTP connections and much more. We at BigRock offer free cPanel for ease of management with a host of our products: Shared Hosting Cloud Hosting Dedicated Server Hosting VPS Hosting  Reseller Hosting  There are several products you can manage via your cPanel, namely: Email, Security, Files, Databases, Domains, various 3rd-Party Softwares, Metrics.  5 Reasons to use cPanel Let us see the top 5 reasons for you to choose cPanel: It has a graphical interface and is easy to navigate Allows easy backup of files Enables to set up and manage Email accounts  Various software modules available Easy to upload and manage files How to use cPanel? Now that we’ve covered the basics of cPanel viz. what cPanel is and the reasons to use it, let us move on to understanding how to use it. In this section, we will cover the following: How to login to your cPanel How to change your password How to update your contact information How to manage/edit/remove your domains How to set up an email account How to manage your files How to backup your website   How to login to your cPanel: To login to your cPanel, follow the following steps: Type in your websites or server’s IP address in the URL bar followed by 2082 or 2083. Example: https://192.168.0.1:2082   Enter your username and password (you must have received it on email from your service provider) Click ‘Log in’  After logging in, you can see the homepage of the dashboard.  How to change your password To change your password head to the top of the dashboard and click on your Username. In the drop-down list click on ‘Password & Security‘ A new window opens. Here you will need to enter your ‘old password’ and ‘new password’ and click on ‘Change your password now!’ How to update your contact information To update your contact information, in the same username drop-down list, click on ‘Contact Information’ A new page opens with the following information (as shown in the pic below) All the boxes are ticked by default, however, you can tick/untick based on your preference.   How to manage/edit/remove your domains cPanel allows you to add multiple domains, manage, as well as remove them.  To Add Domains, go to the section ‘Domains’ here click on ‘Addon Domains’ if you want to add an entirely new website.  Enter the details of the new domain: The ‘New Domain Name’ is the name you’ve registered ‘www’ The ‘Subdomain’ is created automatically The ‘Document Root’ is the location of your domain’s files on the server The first field viz. New Domain Name needs to be filled by you, the rest are auto-populated. Should you want to create an FTP account with this domain, tick the checkbox.  Next, click on ‘Add Domain’ and with this, you’ve successfully added a new domain. You can even modify your newly added domain. In the same section, i.e. below ‘Create an Addon Domain’ you will find ‘Modify Addon Domain.’ Here you can: Edit the ‘Document Root’ Manage Redirection Remove the Addon Domain How to manage your email accounts Under ‘Emails’ click on ‘Email Accounts’. The following page loads.  You can add a new email account as well as manage your existing email account. To manage your existing email account, click on ‘Manage’ for the desired email account.  To add a new email account, click on ‘Create’. This option is available on the ‘Email Accounts’ page. A new page opens, here: Select the Domain Name you want to link the email account to (for example demodomain.com) Enter the Username and password Enter the storage space you would require for your email account Click on ‘Create’. To access your webmail account, type https://demodomain.com/webmail in the address bar and log in using your credentials. How to manage your files ‘Files’ enables you to upload your files, manage your FTP Accounts & Connections, and take website backup. Practise caution as it is important that you do not modify or delete anything accidentally.  How to back up your website Backup Wizard used to back up your website can be found in Files. Click on Backup Wizard A new window opens, asking whether you want to ‘Back Up’ or ‘Restore’ your website.  Since we want to back up, we will click on the ‘Back Up’ button Next, select the type of backup you wish to take viz. Partial or Full Next, go to Download. Type in your backup destination and email ID for receiving completion notification and click on ‘Generate Backup’.  Conclusion: We hope this post helped you understand what cPanel is and how to use cPanel better. If you have any queries, feel free to mention them in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you!

WordFence Now Works on WP Engine

WP Engine -

At WP Engine, we maintain a list of plugins that are disallowed on our platform for various reasons. We do this to ensure the security and performance of our WordPress Digital Experience Platform and to prevent redundancies between certain plugins and our platform.  WordFence, which is a highly popular security plugin used by more than… The post WordFence Now Works on WP Engine appeared first on WP Engine.

Hampton Roads WordPress Meet Up Group Member Spotlight – How Carson

InMotion Hosting Blog -

How Carson When you’re talking with How Carson, you can sense the long history of his experience with WordPress. How worked in Philadelphia for many years as a site administrator and trainer through a co-operative(co-op) called US Server Net. He describes the co-op as, “…a place where if you have a problem with graphics, then you can talk with a graphics expert. Or, if you need help with developing a front end, then you would be directed to an experienced developer who was also a member of the co-op.” They would bring your particular problem to a person who had the skills and experience to give you an answer. Continue reading Hampton Roads WordPress Meet Up Group Member Spotlight – How Carson at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Learn about AWS Services & Solutions – September AWS Online Tech Talks

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Learn about AWS Services & Solutions – September AWS Online Tech Talks Join us this September to learn about AWS services and solutions. The AWS Online Tech Talks are live, online presentations that cover a broad range of topics at varying technical levels. These tech talks, led by AWS solutions architects and engineers, feature technical deep dives, live demonstrations, customer examples, and Q&A with AWS experts. Register Now! Note – All sessions are free and in Pacific Time. Tech talks this month:   Compute: September 23, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Build Your Hybrid Cloud Architecture with AWS – Learn about the extensive range of services AWS offers to help you build a hybrid cloud architecture best suited for your use case. September 26, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Self-Hosted WordPress: It’s Easier Than You Think – Learn how you can easily build a fault-tolerant WordPress site using Amazon Lightsail. October 3, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Lower Costs by Right Sizing Your Instance with Amazon EC2 T3 General Purpose Burstable Instances – Get an overview of T3 instances, understand what workloads are ideal for them, and understand how the T3 credit system works so that you can lower your EC2 instance costs today.   Containers: September 26, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Develop a Web App Using Amazon ECS and AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) – Learn how to build your first app using CDK and AWS container services.   Data Lakes & Analytics: September 26, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Best Practices for Provisioning Amazon MSK Clusters and Using Popular Apache Kafka-Compatible Tooling – Learn best practices on running Apache Kafka production workloads at a lower cost on Amazon MSK.   Databases: September 25, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – What’s New in Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) – Learn what’s new in Amazon DocumentDB, a fully managed MongoDB compatible database service designed from the ground up to be fast, scalable, and highly available. October 3, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Best Practices for Enterprise-Class Security, High-Availability, and Scalability with Amazon ElastiCache – Learn about new enterprise-friendly Amazon ElastiCache enhancements like customer managed key and online scaling up or down to make your critical workloads more secure, scalable and available.   DevOps: October 1, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – CI/CD for Containers: A Way Forward for Your DevOps Pipeline – Learn how to build CI/CD pipelines using AWS services to get the most out of the agility afforded by containers.   Enterprise & Hybrid: September 24, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM PT – Virtual Workshop: How to Monitor and Manage Your AWS Costs – Learn how to visualize and manage your AWS cost and usage in this virtual hands-on workshop. October 2, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Accelerate Cloud Adoption and Reduce Operational Risk with AWS Managed Services – Learn how AMS accelerates your migration to AWS, reduces your operating costs, improves security and compliance, and enables you to focus on your differentiating business priorities.   IoT: September 25, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Complex Monitoring for Industrial with AWS IoT Data Services – Learn how to solve your complex event monitoring challenges with AWS IoT Data Services.   Machine Learning: September 23, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Training Machine Learning Models Faster – Learn how to train machine learning models quickly and with a single click using Amazon SageMaker. September 30, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Using Containers for Deep Learning Workflows – Learn how containers can help address challenges in deploying deep learning environments. October 3, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM PT – Virtual Workshop: Getting Hands-On with Machine Learning and Ready to Race in the AWS DeepRacer League – Join DeClercq Wentzel, Senior Product Manager for AWS DeepRacer, for a presentation on the basics of machine learning and how to build a reinforcement learning model that you can use to join the AWS DeepRacer League.   AWS Marketplace: September 30, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Advancing Software Procurement in a Containerized World – Learn how to deploy applications faster with third-party container products.   Migration: September 24, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Application Migrations Using AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) – Learn how to use AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) for automating application migration and scheduling continuous replication, from your on-premises data centers or Microsoft Azure to AWS.   Networking & Content Delivery: September 25, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Building Highly Available and Performant Applications using AWS Global Accelerator – Learn how to build highly available and performant architectures for your applications with AWS Global Accelerator, now with source IP preservation. September 30, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – AWS Office Hours: Amazon CloudFront – Just getting started with Amazon CloudFront and Lambda@Edge? Get answers directly from our experts during AWS Office Hours.   Robotics: October 1, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Robots and STEM: AWS RoboMaker and AWS Educate Unite! – Come join members of the AWS RoboMaker and AWS Educate teams as we provide an overview of our education initiatives and walk you through the newly launched RoboMaker Badge.   Security, Identity & Compliance: October 1, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Deep Dive on Running Active Directory on AWS – Learn how to deploy Active Directory on AWS and start migrating your windows workloads.   Serverless: October 2, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Deep Dive on Amazon EventBridge – Learn how to optimize event-driven applications, and use rules and policies to route, transform, and control access to these events that react to data from SaaS apps.   Storage: September 24, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Optimize Your Amazon S3 Data Lake with S3 Storage Classes and Management Tools – Learn how to use the Amazon S3 Storage Classes and management tools to better manage your data lake at scale and to optimize storage costs and resources. October 2, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – The Great Migration to Cloud Storage: Choosing the Right Storage Solution for Your Workload – Learn more about AWS storage services and identify which service is the right fit for your business.    

Learn From Your VPC Flow Logs With Additional Meta-Data

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Flow Logs for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud enables you to capture information about the IP traffic going to and from network interfaces in your VPC. Flow Logs data can be published to Amazon CloudWatch Logs or Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Since we launched VPC Flow Logs in 2015, you have been using it for variety of use-cases like troubleshooting connectivity issues across your VPCs, intrusion detection, anomaly detection, or archival for compliance purposes. Until today, VPC Flow Logs provided information that included source IP, source port, destination IP, destination port, action (accept, reject) and status. Once enabled, a VPC Flow Log entry looks like the one below. While this information was sufficient to understand most flows, it required additional computation and lookup to match IP addresses to instance IDs or to guess the directionality of the flow to come to meaningful conclusions. Today we are announcing the availability of additional meta data to include in your Flow Logs records to better understand network flows. The enriched Flow Logs will allow you to simplify your scripts or remove the need for postprocessing altogether, by reducing the number of computations or lookups required to extract meaningful information from the log data. When you create a new VPC Flow Log, in addition to existing fields, you can now choose to add the following meta-data: vpc-id : the ID of the VPC containing the source Elastic Network Interface (ENI). subnet-id : the ID of the subnet containing the source ENI. instance-id : the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance ID of the instance associated with the source interface. When the ENI is placed by AWS services (for example, AWS PrivateLink, NAT Gateway, Network Load Balancer etc) this field will be “-“ tcp-flags : the bitmask for TCP Flags observed within the aggregation period. For example, FIN is 0x01 (1), SYN is 0x02 (2), ACK is 0x10 (16), SYN + ACK is 0x12 (18), etc. (the bits are specified in “Control Bits” section of RFC793 “Transmission Control Protocol Specification”). This allows to understand who initiated or terminated the connection. TCP uses a three way handshake to establish a connection. The connecting machine sends a SYN packet to the destination, the destination replies with a SYN + ACK and, finally, the connecting machine sends an ACK. In the Flow Logs, the handshake is shown as two lines, with tcp-flags values of 2 (SYN), 18 (SYN + ACK).  ACK is reported only when it is accompanied with SYN (otherwise it would be too much noise for you to filter out). type : the type of traffic : IPV4, IPV6 or Elastic Fabric Adapter. pkt-srcaddr : the packet-level IP address of the source. You typically use this field in conjunction with srcaddr to distinguish between the IP address of an intermediate layer through which traffic flows, such as a NAT gateway. pkt-dstaddr : the packet-level destination IP address, similar to the previous one, but for destination IP addresses. To create a VPC Flow Log, you can use the AWS Management Console, the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) or the CreateFlowLogs API and select which additional information and the order you want to consume the fields, for example: Or using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) as below: $ aws ec2 create-flow-logs --resource-type VPC \ --region eu-west-1 \ --resource-ids vpc-12345678 \ --traffic-type ALL \ --log-destination-type s3 \ --log-destination arn:aws:s3:::sst-vpc-demo \ --log-format '${version} ${vpc-id} ${subnet-id} ${instance-id} ${interface-id} ${account-id} ${type} ${srcaddr} ${dstaddr} ${srcport} ${dstport} ${pkt-srcaddr} ${pkt-dstaddr} ${protocol} ${bytes} ${packets} ${start} ${end} ${action} ${tcp-flags} ${log-status}' # be sure to replace the bucket name and VPC ID ! { "ClientToken": "1A....HoP=", "FlowLogIds": [ "fl-12345678123456789" ], "Unsuccessful": [] } Enriched VPC Flow Logs are delivered to S3. We will automatically add the required S3 Bucket Policy to authorize VPC Flow Logs to write to your S3 bucket. VPC Flow Logs does not capture real-time log streams for your network interface, it might take several minutes to begin collecting and publishing data to the chosen destinations. Your logs will eventually be available on S3 at s3://<bucket name>/AWSLogs/<account id>/vpcflowlogs/<region>/<year>/<month>/<day>/ An SSH connection from my laptop with IP address 90.90.0.200 to an EC2 instance would appear like this : 3 vpc-exxxxxx2 subnet-8xxxxf3 i-0bfxxxxxxaf eni-08xxxxxxa5 48xxxxxx93 IPv4 172.31.22.145 90.90.0.200 22 62897 172.31.22.145 90.90.0.200 6 5225 24 1566328660 1566328672 ACCEPT 18 OK 3 vpc-exxxxxx2 subnet-8xxxxf3 i-0bfxxxxxxaf eni-08xxxxxxa5 48xxxxxx93 IPv4 90.90.0.200 172.31.22.145 62897 22 90.90.0.200 172.31.22.145 6 4877 29 1566328660 1566328672 ACCEPT 2 OK 172.31.22.145 is the private IP address of the EC2 instance, the one you see when you type ifconfig on the instance.  All flags are “OR”ed during aggregation period. When connection is short, probably both SYN and FIN (3), as well as SYN+ACK and FIN (19) will be set for the same lines. Once a Flow Log is created, you can not add additional fields or modify the structure of the log to ensure you will not accidently break scripts consuming this data. Any modification will require you to delete and recreate the VPC Flow Logs. There is no additional cost to capture the extra information in the VPC Flow Logs, normal VPC Flow Log pricing applies, remember that Enriched VPC Flow Log records might consume more storage when selecting all fields.  We do recommend to select only the fields relevant to your use-cases. Enriched VPC Flow Logs is available in all regions where VPC Flow logs is available, you can start to use it today. -- seb PS: I heard from the team they are working on adding additional meta-data to the logs, stay tuned for updates.

6 Ways to Secure Your Web Activity From Your Computer

InMotion Hosting Blog -

We’re not a computer repair company. But there are many daily tasks that blur the line between your IT helpdesk, or tech savvy friend, and our 24/7 web hosting technical support. Think about how much of what you do daily relates to web hosting. You interact with email, websites, and mobile applications every day. When you have issues regarding any of these, we’re able to at least give you guidance on how to get the right answer if we can’t resolve the issue. Continue reading 6 Ways to Secure Your Web Activity From Your Computer at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Pro Projects That Require A Dedicated Server

InMotion Hosting Blog -

You may be wondering, do I need a dedicated server? Deciding whether or not to make a jump up to dedicated is not a life-altering decision. It comes down to data and dollars. If your business is growing, your hosting needs will change. Dedicated hosting is just another way to serve the best possible experience and add the most value for your prospects.  Here are a handful of situations that warrant dedicated hosting: Hosting A Podcast The marketing effects of a successful podcast is very tempting. Continue reading Pro Projects That Require A Dedicated Server at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

#WebProsSummit19 Guest Blog: WLVPN

cPanel Blog -

Note from benny: WebPros Summit is an annual gathering of the web hosting community, and we want everyone to stay secure online for this year’s event. That’s why we’ve partnered with WLVPN to provide free VPN service to all of this year’s attendees. Here’s everything you need to know. WLVPN is here to keep you and your customers safe by protecting your internet privacy. We’re proud to be the official VPN sponsor of WebPros Summit. ...

Installing BigCommerce for WordPress, Step by Step

Nexcess Blog -

In this post we’re going to go through installing the BigCommerce for WordPress plugin, starting with a mostly empty WordPress install. But before we begin, I want to briefly note that if you’re new to Nexcess and/or want to add a BigCommerce for WordPress retail plan to your existing Nexcess hosting account, you can do so by visiting this page, selecting a plan and auto-installing BigCommerce for WordPress in one click. For those who need an enterprise-level solution, you’ll follow the steps outlined in this blog to manually install. The BigCommerce for WordPress plugin is available on WordPress.org, like most plugins. This makes it easy to install, right from within the WordPress admin interface. Start by logging into WordPress and in the left admin menu, choose Plugins ➞ Add New.   Then in the top right search area search for BigCommerce. When the results appear, click on Install Now on the BigCommerce plugin. Once it’s installed you’ll need to activate it. As soon as the plugin is activated it will take you to an Onboarding Wizard to help you configure it properly. Your first step will be to either connect your WordPress site to an existing BigCommerce store or create a new BigCommerce store from right within WordPress. For this post we’ll choose Create New Account. The form is longer than what you see in the screenshot, but it asks for normal contact information like address, city, state, zip, phone, etc. When creating a new account like this it’s creating a free 15-day trial. If you decide you don’t like it, you can simply let it expire. If you decide you’d like to sign up for BigCommerce you may do that in your Account page in the BigCommerce admin area. Once you’ve created an account you’ll need to make a Channel.  Channels in BigCommerce allow you to specify what products appear in what storefront.  For example, Amazon can be a channel, and you can say “These products appear in Amazon”. With WordPress, each WordPress instance in a channel, so you can show certain products on one WordPress site, and other products on another WordPress site. Of course if you wish you may show all products on your WordPress site, but this Channel we’re making is the method by which that happens. As shown in the screenshot above you may choose to have all products immediately imported or have none so that you may go back later and specifically choose which products get imported. The next option is to choose a Full Featured Store or set up a Blogging store. If you choose Simple Blogging then it will skip helping you set up a Navigation Menu and disable the Cart and the Embedded Checkout. So customers will click to Buy a product and it will send them to the BigCommerce store. If you choose this and change your mind it’s easy to switch back later. For this post we’re going to choose Full Featured Store. Once you’ve chosen Full Featured Store, the next step is to optionally set up a WordPress Navigation Menu. Checkboxes are provided for all of the pages that BigCommerce creates during this install, including Product Listing Pages, Brand Pages, Category Pages, Shopping Cart, Checkout, etc. You can also choose a Menu Location, exactly like in the default WordPress menu builder. After you complete the Navigation configuration you’re essentially done with setting up WordPress.  If you wish you can go into BigCommerce ➞ Settings and make some changes, but that’s not required. The final page of the Setup Wizard offers some links to finish setting up your store, and these must be done before your store will function properly.  These things include setting up your payment gateway, taxes, and shipping. Once these last admin things have been set up you’re ready to sell! Learn more about the BC4WP plugin with Nexcess here. The post Installing BigCommerce for WordPress, Step by Step appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

SSL: How Does it Keep Your Website Secure?

The Domain.com Blog -

SSL: Just another silly acronym? Hardly. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and you need it if you want your website visitors and potential customers to trust you and your site. Stick around as we dive into the details regarding SSL — you’ll learn what it does, how it can affect your SEO efforts, and how it influences people’s trust in your site.  What is SSL and how does it work? What exactly is a Secure Sockets Layer? Dictionary.com defines SSL as “… a protocol that uses encryption to ensure the secure transfer of data over the Internet.” In a nutshell, SSL is a technology that keeps your website visitors’ personal information private (and away from hackers) when they submit it on your website.  Fun fact: The original SSL technology has since been replaced by an updated version, called TLS or Transport Layer Security, but the collective Internet is so used to the term SSL that we keep using it. Think of it this way: Whenever someone fills out a form or submits information on a website their information has to digitally travel from point A (where they submitted it) to point B (where it’s stored). Getting from point A to point B. If the website they’re using isn’t secure, or doesn’t use SSL, then hackers can intercept and read the information being transmitted. This is called a man-in-the-middle attack and you won’t know it’s happened until it’s too late.  Secure websites, or those that have an SSL certificate, are less likely to fall prey to any MITM attacks. When SSL is used, the connection between your computer and the other site is secured and heavily encrypted, making it nearly impossible for hackers to snag any information being passed back and forth.  Put yourself in your site visitors’ shoes. If you like to do online shopping or banking, wouldn’t you feel better knowing your information is transmitted via a secure connection? We sure would. And a survey by GlobalSign found that “85% of online shoppers avoid unsecure websites.” That’s a lot of business you could be missing out on.  How to identify a secure site.  Websites can’t hide their security status. In fact, most browsers will alert you to a site’s security status in the URL bar.  How do you know if a site isn’t secure? If you use Chrome, you’ll see an alert that looks like this: If you click on the information icon, you’ll get the following message: What will you see on a site that has SSL enabled? On Chrome, you’ll see a little padlock icon to indicate a secure site.  If you click on the padlock icon, you’ll receive the following message: Alternately, you can look to the website’s full URL in the browser’s address bar to find out whether or not it uses SSL. Not secure websites: URLs will start with “HTTP://…” Secure websites: URLs start with “HTTPS://…,” where the S stands for secure. Secure websites perform better in search engine results Since 2014, Google has said that they use HTTPS as a ranking signal in search results.  What does that mean for you? If your website has SSL then it’s more likely to show up higher in SERPs (search engine result pages) than a site that isn’t secure. Even if you’re not collecting visitors’ information on your website, you need SSL so you aren’t penalized in search results.  Google has pledged to “continue working towards a web that’s secure by default,” so we don’t think HTTPS importance will decrease any time soon.  How can you add SSL to your site? It’s easy with Domain.com — we offer a variety of SSL certificates to fit your needs. Here are the plans and details so you can identify the best option for your site.  LetsEncrypt Free SSL – If you have a basic website and don’t collect any sensitive information from your visitors, then this option should suffice. Search engines and visitors will see that your site is secure and that will increase their trust in you. Before getting SSL for your site, you’ll need to make sure you have your domain name and hosting. Then, you can log into your account to turn on your free LetsEncrypt SSL.  If you actively collect customer information (even if it’s just an email address) on your site or manage an e-commerce site then consider purchasing a more advanced SSL offering, like one of the following, all powered by Comodo SSL. Domain Validated SSL – Secure your customer information, help boost your Google search rankings, and receive the TrustLogo® Site Seal to display on your site. You’ll also be backed by a warranty from Comodo SSL for up to $10,000 to protect the end user. Wildcard SSL – Our Wildcard offering will give you all the features of the previous plan along with the ability to protect multiple subdomains. You’ll receive a warranty of up to $250,000 to protect the end user with this plan. E-Commerce SSL – This is our best SSL plan and is ideal for those with e-commerce websites, and offers a green “trust” visual bar for your site, like you see in the image below, and up to a $1,750,000 warranty for the end user.  Rest easy knowing you’re secure with SSL The importance of having SSL on your website is only going to increase.  Google is without a doubt the most popular search engine, and they aren’t pulling any punches when it comes to making the Internet a safer place for all of us. If you don’t have SSL you risk having your site pushed down in search engine results and losing your site visitors’ trust. Get SSL today, and turn your site into a trusted resource.  The post SSL: How Does it Keep Your Website Secure? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

How to Design Better Buttons

Reseller Club Blog -

The sole purpose of any promotional copy – be it the copy of an ad, an email, or a website, is to lead the reader towards that shiny, interactive, and most often, a rectangular clickable UI element i.e., the button. Call-to-action (CTA) buttons not only hold every marketer’s hopes of winning at conversion techniques, but also a psychological effect that has the potential of reflecting your brand’s image. How can a mere button do that, you ask? Well, CTA buttons being one of the most crucial elements of any user interface can convey sophistication and class through its intelligent design. Long story short – the most basic purpose of an effective CTA button is to be click-worthy. CTA buttons vary in shapes, sizes and also messaging basis the end goal associated with them. Read on further to learn about some simple design tricks to get the most out of these click magnets! #1: Make them discoverable As a result of long exposure to specific shapes that are associated with specific colours, our minds tend to get used to reacting to them in specific ways. Our perception of colours and shapes have the capacity to affect our moods and emotions. A traditional CTA button would ideally be a horizontal rectangle. While it may be a little too ambitious to experiment with abstract shapes to denote a button, it shouldn’t mean that you stick to the good old rectangle.  When it comes to colours, it is recommended that designers use contrasting colours for the buttons, and stick to shapes that can be easily identified as buttons. Having said that, tweaking them to a safe extent so as to make them look contemporary is definitely a safe path to tread. For example, designers can try softening the corners or curving the sides of a rectangle to make the button look sleeker. #2: Add some shadow  Buttons have existed in different types of design – three-dimensional design, skeuomorphic design, flat design and drop shadows, to name a few. The interplay of light and shadow has inspired several streams of design, making them look more alive. Adding a soft, blurred drop shadow to a button gives it more depth and prominence. However (and this is a pretty big ‘however’), it is much too easy to overdo these light-shadow effects. Designers tend to add one effect after the other without pausing to think whether these effects are simply good-looking or truly necessary. So, add your shadows, but keep them subtle. The best practice is to match the colour of the shadow to that of the button, keep the opacity under 40%, and let the shadow be smaller than the button #3: Lay emphasis where it’s required People typically follow the Z-pattern while scanning website content as they scroll down. Same goes for buttons that are placed adjacent to each other. The button that you want your website visitors to click must be placed towards the right-hand side. That’s where the user’s gaze ends and stays. For buttons that are vertically stacked, it makes more sense to place the high priority button at the bottom, for the same reason stated in the previous sentence.  When these high priority buttons are placed at the left-hand side or at the top, it can disturb the readers’ natural scanning direction, and ultimately, the flow of their attention. Designers also generally use ghost buttons to deter users from clicking those. #4: Let the icons help a little Buttons don’t have to be an arrangement of two words written on a solid coloured rectangle. Much like pictures, icons too can speak a thousand words. It is completely okay for text buttons to make use of icons in addition to text. No, it doesn’t mean that you are adding too much in too little space. It simply means that you are making your message more emphatic. However, make sure that you don’t go overboard with the colours. It is necessary to ensure that the colour of the icon matches the colour of the text. Also, it may be safe to stray from icons that have a colour fill or too many details. Again, the key is to keep it simple and stick to outline icons. #5: Remember the 8-point rule Leave your buttons some breathing space. Avoid leaving too much or too little blank space around your buttons. The ideal way to go about this is to follow the 8-point rule. Essentially, the 8-point rule states that all the elements in a design, including the height, width as well as the space around, follow multiples of 8. You may be wondering why 8 specifically? The explanation is that the average screen size of a majority of popular devices is easily divisible by 8. Hence, scaling the design (size and spacing) by increments of 8 helps in maintaining a consistent rhythm across all the design elements. This, in turn, ensures consistency across all your website pages. You can read more about this concept here. For buttons that are placed adjacently or stacked vertically, maintain the same 8-point distance on all sides of the button. Since we are talking about space, designers must also remember to pay close attention to the letter-spacing. Maintain optimum spacing between each letter of your text, depending on the density of the letters, to ensure ease of reading. #6: Buttons exist in different states  No, we don’t mean geographically, of course! But it is important to remember that any CTA button goes through different states of appearance – idle, hover, and clicked. Making use of visual effects such as adding a drop shadow, a glow effect, a change of colour, etc. can help achieve a distinction between each of these states. A lot of brands are pushing the envelope with this aspect of UI button design and it is going to be amazing to see where this goes.  These are just a few of the many ways of making the button really shine on your website pages. But no matter how well-designed your buttons may be, it all comes down to two ultimate requirements – placement and messaging. If your copy has brought your website visitor to a point where he/she is ready to make a decision, but the button is spaced too far away from reach, or worse, it doesn’t speak just the right words for making him/her click, then you’ve lost your deal right there. There are a hundred things that can go wrong with poorly designed buttons. However, designers can only learn through trial and error. To make this learning journey easier for you, we will continue to write more of these UI design-specific articles. We hope that you keep reading! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Design Better Buttons appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How to Start Your Own Food Blog: An Expert Guide

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Admit it — you know your way around the kitchen. Whether you’re wielding a whisk, perfecting paella, or creating the next culinary chef-d’oeuvre, it’s clear: Food is your gift, talent, and passion. And if you’re ready to take your compliments-to-the-chef recipes online, it’s time to set up your own blog. But where to start? Don’t get your garlic in a knot. We’ve got you covered. In this handy food blogging guide, we provide all the technical know-how you need to get your own food blog up and running, plus first-class advice from experts in the blogging biz. What’s more, we’ll share the best website builder tools for WordPress and all kinds of resources, so you can start showcasing your culinary chops and drool-worthy photography to bring in some dough. You provide the ingredients, and we’ll make your food blog restaurant-ready. Blog More with Managed WordPress HostingOur automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on creating great content.Check Out Plans Why Start a Food Blog? Food bloggers are some of the most influential people on the internet. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the stats: More and more, people are ditching grandma’s recipe box and seeking food info on the web. It’s estimated that 50% of consumers now use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to learn about food, while another 40% learn from websites, apps, or blogs. A massive 89% of consumers go online for recipes; 79% trust blogs for recipes and food information. Food bloggers are the cool kids on the block, boasting four times as many followers than any other niche. 59% of 25- to 34-year-olds head to the kitchen with either their smartphones or tablets. Consumers are not only consuming food content online — they’re sharing it. Fifty-four percent say they share info and recipes with friends, family, and strangers. Food blogs have rapidly become popular, credible, and sharable ways for talented, passionate (and normal) people to share their passion for food and recipe creation — and to make big $$$. Food bloggers influence consumer food trends and social discussion and are pioneering the modern food experience. Many have even used their taste-ful content to ink cookbook deals, score cooking show hosting gigs, and amass large and loyal followings that share their content globally. So if you’re a dish-developing foodie who wants to own a digital presence while becoming an influential voice in food conversation, there’s potential for you. It’s time to bring your kitchen online. How to Start a Food Blog (8 Steps) Let’s break it down. What do you even need to create a food blog, grow your traffic, and start making money with your recipes? Consult our handy guide below! 1. Determine Your Niche When you’re ready to get busy in the kitchen, what’s your go-to creation? Do you specialize in vegan creations? Excel in gluten-free goodies? Are you the queen of 30-minute Instant Pot meals for busy moms? Whatever you do best — and what you enjoy most — is where you want to start. Finding your niche allows you to distinguish yourself from the millions of other bloggers out there and identify a target audience — which, in turn, helps you understand how to market your content and build a following. Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman discovered her niche and developed a wildly-popular blog following by appealing to down-home, comfort-food eaters. “… blog about what you are passionate about. Don’t start your blog because you want to make money off it. Start your blog because you feel like you have something unique to share with the world. If you truly have the passion and drive, and you are constantly looking for ways to make it better, your blog will eventually succeed and hopefully, turn into a career.” — Tieghan, blogger at Half Baked Harvest 2. Create a Blog Name Time to get those creative juices flowing. What do you want to call your blog? Take time to brainstorm ideas, keeping in mind some typical internet behavior. Your best bet is something memorable and unique, but easy to find (and type) online. It should be related to your niche or help establish your brand. Dana Shultz of The Minimalist Baker distinguishes herself as a food blogger by choosing a blog name that clearly identifies her target audience — cooking enthusiasts who want simple, easy-to-follow recipes. 3. Choose your CMS A content management system, (as the name implies) manages the creation and modification of digital content, making your dream of running a food blog dream a hassle-free reality. As far as CMS options go, we heartily recommend WordPress — and the love is mutual. At DreamHost, we wear our own WordPress-approved badge with pride. This powerhouse blogging platform fuels more than 30% of the internet and can power your blog, too. Related: What Is WordPress? 4. Purchase your Domain Name and Hosting Listen up. Getting a domain and choosing a web host are some of the most crucial decisions you’ll make when you start a blog. Your domain is an essential building block of search engine optimization (SEO), and a good domain name helps you get found online. Domains should match your blog name and can be purchased through a registrar. Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Domain Registration Or better yet: pair the purchase of your domain name with web hosting service. Your hosting plan will provide you with server space to store your files so online browsers can visit your site. WordPress hosting plans through DreamHost combine the best of tech, tools, and service at a budget-friendly price to help make creating your food blog a snap. Plus, DreamHost isn’t just a smart option for all the behind-the-scenes setup. Our customers get access to WP Website Builder an easy-to-use drag-and-drop site builder tool for WordPress that simplifies the process, allowing you to customize without coding and make the perfect food blog fast. *chef’s kiss* With WP Website Builder, we include a suite of premium themes, tools, and plugins — built by our friends at BoldGrid — to help simplify the start-up process and make it easier to edit and manage your website as it grows. Rest easy because you don’t need to start from scratch. Starter content is packed into every beautiful, responsive, and customizable design. 5. Setup To get started, you’ll need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option during your DreamHost purchase. Then, we’ll automatically install WordPress and website builder tools, BoldGrid’s Inspirations and Page and Post Builder, for you.  Once you’re logged into WordPress, you’ll see the Inspirations setup page. Three simple steps? We knew you’d like the sound of that. And it really is that simple! Click Let’s Get Started! to continue. At this stage, you’ll select a theme. You can narrow your options by specific industry-related categories or browse them all to find your perfect starter site. (Hint: There’s even a collection of food-tailored themes under the Restaurant category.) For this guide, we selected the “Hifidel” theme. Related: Tutorial: How to Install a WordPress Child Theme Next, you’ll decide on basic pages and add the functionality you want. You can also view how this theme looks on other devices, like smartphones and tablets. The easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editing paired with design blocks (over 100 options!) helps you build faster and edit easier. It’s simple for beginners, with advanced options for seasoned professionals, making it possible to create the perfect site. Now, you’ll click Next and enter additional details that help populate your website with social media icons and contact info. Then, click Finish and Install. Easy as (your famous cherry) pie, right? Installation is now set up on your WordPress account. From your dashboard, you can continue customizing your website. You’ll want to adjust your site design and add essential elements. For increased functionality, you’ll also want to install useful plugins. We install a handful of valuable plugins, like SEO, Gallery, and Backup, but you should consider additional tools, like plugins for controlling spam or building forms. (There’s even one for recipes!) Be sure to check out our list of the most essential plugins this year. With a form-building plugin, you can set up a simple contact form to help you turn your traffic into an email list — a powerful (and critical) way to market your blog content to readers. Related: How to Create Your First WordPress Plugin (With a Minimal Amount of Coding) 6. Create Content This step is where it gets really gets good. Time to enrich your website with your one-of-a-kind recipes, heartfelt blog posts, and gorgeous food photography. Your food blog isn’t going to do you much good if it’s empty, so prioritize high-quality content. Set up a blogging schedule to continually outfit your blog with fresh, consistent, relevant, and yes, delicious content — and to keep yourself organized. Content is what’s going to draw readers to your site, so make it good and keep it coming. When it comes to content, you should always be cooking up a fresh post (or repurposing an oldie but goodie). Hint: Kate of Cookie + Kate has a bunch of excellent food blogging resources here. “You have to publish high-quality content every single day. Readers hitting your site for the first time should see consistently updated, fresh content, and they should know that if they come back the next day, there will be something new to read. That’s the only way to get people returning to your site several times a day, checking to see if you’ve updated yet. These can’t be throwaway posts, either; everything you publish to your site needs to be a carefully crafted, professionally-photographed piece of content that will either teach or inform. Then, the next day, you need to do it all over again, and be comfortable with pushing the previous day’s work out of the spotlight after just a brief 24 hours.” — Julie, blogger at MealHack 7. Spread the Word Promote your blog by creating content that’s optimized for search engines. Market your content through an email list and social media, such as an Instagram account, Twitter, Facebook, and even a YouTube Channel. You can also consider pay-per-click (PPC) ads. And don’t forget about increasing traffic through SEO improvements (we can help with this — the WordPress website builder has on-page SEO tips built right in!) There are lots of hungry people out there looking for your unique expertise — plan a marketing strategy that helps them find you. “SEO isn’t black magic; it’s about making your quality content findable. It’s important to understand and implement the basics. Here is Google’s SEO starter guide [PDF] and Bake Your Day’s SEO For Food Bloggers Guide.” — Kate, Cookie + Kate 8. Monetize It’s true — your blog posts can make you money. But likely, it will take time and lots of stellar content. So keep producing. Advertising, networking, affiliate marketing programs, and pitching are all ways you can bring in $$ from your blog. Hint: Julie of MealHack has great info on monetizing your blog. Related: 25 Legit Ways You Can Make Money Online “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to make money off your blog, but don’t align yourself with a brand or project that isn’t a good fit. You are the company you keep. Focus on producing your best content and building your audience, and the opportunities will come.” — Kate, blogger at Cookie + Kate Starting a Food Blog: The Last Course For all you foodies looking to share your culinary talents with the world, it’s time to get blogging! We make starting a blog easy. Sign up for WordPress hosting through DreamHost and take advantage of WP Website Builder to enter the food blogging scene with an appetizing (and easy-to-whip-up) site. The post How to Start Your Own Food Blog: An Expert Guide appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

How to Set Up an eCommerce Site in WordPress

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Set Up an eCommerce Site in WordPress appeared first on HostGator Blog. You’re finally doing it. You’re turning all those dreams of entrepreneurship into a reality and starting an eCommerce store. With consumers spending over $2.3 trillion on products online, it’s a lucrative industry. And if you use an intuitive content management system (CMS) like WordPress, the barrier to entry is low. You don’t have to learn to code or train on any complicated software to get started, you can dive right in. For anyone building an eCommerce site in WordPress, this guide covers all the main information you need to know to get your website up and running.  Phase 1: Start Your Website. Before you can get into the website building phase, you need to complete a few preliminary steps that provide the basis to getting started.  1. Create your brand. The first step to starting an eCommerce business is working out the basic details of your brand. A lot of the decisions you’ll make when building your eCommerce website will depend on the choices you make during this stage, so do this part first.  Clarifying your brand includes: Selecting your products What are you going to sell on your eCommerce website? Will it be items you craft by hand, or products you buy wholesale and resell through the website? Figure out what you want to sell, and how you’re going to get the inventory that will become the basis of your website.  When choosing your products, make sure there’s a throughline in everything you select. Selling t-shirts for skateboarders alongside dinosaur toys for little kids would make for a weird mix. Choose inventory that makes sense to group under one brand. Amazon can get away with selling a huge variety of products now, but even they started out with a focus on books and grew over time.  Researching competitors Competitor research is important for figuring out how to position your brand and determine your pricing. And it can provide useful inspiration for marketing tactics and approaches to use. Your competitors have already done the work of researching your audience and testing out what works for them, you can borrow some of their insights and start out ahead.  Choosing a name What’s your business going to be called? Go with something easy to remember that you like the sound of. Bonus points if it communicates what your business does, and includes a popular keyword for it. This step is a good one to combine with our #2, choosing your domain.   Developing your unique value proposition (UVP) Your UVP is what sets you apart from other brands in the space. It’s a brief statement that encapsulates what you offer to customers, and why they should choose you over similar options. A good UVP is the foundation you’ll build the rest of your website and marketing on.  2. Register your domain. If possible, don’t settle on a name for your brand until you’ve confirmed the domain for it is available. You can find available domains using HostGator’s free domain search tool. A .com is ideal if you can get it, but if it’s easier to grab a relevant domain at .net or .biz, that can work too. Once you’ve found the one you like, it only takes a couple of minutes and a few bucks to register it.  3. Sign up for web hosting. Web hosting is a prerequisite for having any website online. All the files that make up your website must live on a hosting server that delivers them up to each person that visits a web page.  eCommerce web hosting plans cost around $5-$20 a month. When choosing your provider, look for a company that promises consistent uptime, compatibility with WordPress, and reliable customer service. In eCommerce, how accessible your website is ties directly to how profitable it is. A provider with inconsistent service will cost you in lost sales.  4. Install WordPress. The particular details for this step will depend on which web hosting provider you chose. For HostGator clients, follow our one-click install instructions for WordPress. For other providers, check their support materials and follow the instructions provided.  Phase 2: Build Your Website. Now you have everything in place to move into the next phase of building your WordPress eCommerce site.  5. Create a design plan. You have two main options for designing your ecommerce website: Hire a professional designerDo it yourself  Hiring a professional is a good idea for anyone that has a specific vision for their eCommerce site, but limited skills to pull it off on their own. Doing it yourself may seem intimidating if you don’t know anything about web design, but using WordPress means you can skip learning code and still create your own website. With a good website builder, you can even create a professional website within hours—and some of the premium themes we highlight below function much like website builders. Even simpler themes give you a good starting point, you’ll just need to change up the text, images, and colors to match your brand.  Whichever approach you decide on, use this stage to figure out what tools, training, or people you’ll need to design your website. Figure out a rough idea of what you want it to look like, and sketch out a plan for bringing your design to fruition.  6. Choose and install your eCommerce software. WordPress doesn’t provide all the features you need to run an eCommerce website out of the box. For that, you need to install an eCommerce plugin that provides necessary eCommerce functionality. That includes: A shopping cartSecure payment processingInventory managementeCommerce themes Add-ons that provide any additional functionality you wantIntegration with marketing, accounting, and analytics products There are a lot of different ecommerce software options compatible with WordPress.  3 Top WordPress eCommerce Plugins to Consider WooCommerce – The most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce is run by the same company that owns WordPress. WooCommerce is free and easy for beginners to use. Because of how ubiquitous it is, you can take advantage of a lot of compatible themes, add-ons, and integrations. WP eCommerce – Another free and popular option, WP eCommerce is also open source, which means developers are always working to create improvements and add-ons that extend the functionality. It’s easy to use, but they also offer dedicated support for a fee for any website owners that could use the extra hand holding. Easy Digital Downloads – For any infopreneurs planning to sell digital products rather than physical ones, Easy Digital Downloads is the primary eCommerce platform designed for that express purpose. Since it pares down features to just those you need for information products, it’s simpler to use for that purpose than the other options. Since WooCommerce is by far the most popular option for setting up an eCommerce store in WordPress, most of our instructions below will cover how to use it to build your website. If you opt for another eCommerce plugin, the vendor should provide clear instructions for how to complete these steps within it.  7. Choose your WordPress eCommerce theme. WordPress themes are the basic design template you build a WordPress site on. And because WordPress is such a popular CMS, you have thousands of eCommerce theme options to choose from. Some are free, and some come at a cost.  When perusing themes for your website make sure you find one that’s compatible with the eCommerce software you chose, responsive, and well suited to the website you have in mind. If you work with a graphic designer to build your website, they’ll likely have favorite themes to recommend. Where to Find WordPress eCommerce Themes The easiest place to find WordPress themes is within WordPress. Click on Appearance in the menu on the left side of the screen, then on Themes right beneath it. You can search for “ecommerce” to limit your options to themes built for ecommerce stores.  If you want to go with a free WordPress theme for your website, it’s imperative that you choose a theme from within the WordPress library. All of these have been vetted to ensure they’re legitimate and secure. Choosing another free option could put your website at risk of getting hacked.  In addition to the many themes available within the WordPress library, a number of companies offer premium themes. Some of the best places to find premium WordPress eCommerce themes are: Envato MarketElegant ThemesAthemesCSS IgniterThemeFuseThemeIsle 3 Great Free WordPress eCommerce Themes If you’d like to skip browsing, here are a few popular options to consider. Astra The Astra theme has a perfect 5-star rating, with over 2,000 votes from users. It’s WooCommerce compatible and touted as the “fastest-growing theme of all time.” OceanWP OceanWP is free, has a perfect 5-star rating from nearly 2500 users, and provides WooCommerce compatibility.  Rife The Rife free theme offers 7 demo layouts to choose from. It works with WooCommerce, and has a perfect 5-star rating from over 70 users. 3 Great Premium WordPress Ecommerce Themes  Divi Divi from Elegant Themes is one of the most popular themes in the world due to its intuitive visual editor. It has drag-and-drop functionality and makes it easy to build a responsive web store. Customers get access to ecommerce layout packs that provide specific templates for different types of stores.  Shoppe Shoppe from Themify comes with a drag-and-drop website builder and useful ecommerce features, like a wishlist function and gallery option. You can choose from different “skins” that provide a particular look and feel to start you with.  Avada Avada bills itself as the #1 selling theme of all time. While it’s not exclusively for eCommerce websites, it can absolutely be put to that use. It comes with a number of pre-made web page designs and a website builder that makes customization easy.  Those are a tiny sampling of the many eCommerce themes available, so if they don’t meet your needs, get out and do some browsing. But if you’re overwhelmed by all the options available, they’re a good place to start. 8. Determine your site structure. A well organized website is important for providing an intuitive experience to visitors. And that counts extra for eCommerce websites. You want it to be as easy as possible for visitors to find the products they like—since that’s the first step to buying them. Developing a good site hierarchy also helps with search engine optimization (SEO), which increases the likelihood of people finding your website in Google when they search for what you sell.  By defining your site structure from day one, you can keep it simple and straightforward. Figure out the main categories and subcategories (if needed) to divide your products into. Decide which pages and categories are the most important, and should be highlighted in your main menu. For an eCommerce website, that may include your Home page, About page, top product categories, and possibly a blog or Resources category for content you create.  9. Create your main pages.  The theme you chose will supply a basic look and feel for your pages that you can customize for your brand. Two of the most important pages to create for your eCommerce website are Home and About.  Your Home page should quickly communicate to visitors what your brand is and the types of products you sell. This is a good place to put your UVP, alongside high-quality images that communicate something about your brand. It can also be used to promote your best products and highlight any promotions you have going on.  The About page is your chance to humanize the brand. You can share information about the people behind the brand, and why you do what you do. It gives you a way to connect with customers, which makes them more likely to come back and keep buying from you.  Pro tip: Optimize both pages for SEO. Give particular attention to your Home page, since it’s the most important one to rank. 10. Create your store. The specific steps to take here will depend on which eCommerce software you chose. For those using WooCommerce, the plugin wizard takes you through the setup process step by step.  Simply provide the requested information on each page of the setup process. This will include: Choosing your preferred payment method. The main options are PayPal and Stripe.Providing shipping details. You can choose between offering free shipping or charging a flat rate within the WooCommerce app. If you want to charge full price for shipping, an additional extension is required. You’ll also get the chance at this stage to easily link your WooCommerce with some recommended integrations, including an automated tax calculation app, MailChimp (for email marketing), Facebook, and Jetpack.  11. Add your product pages.  Each product page on your website has an important job to do: it’s where your customers decide whether or not to click that “Buy” button (or more likely, an “Add to Cart” one, but same idea). Within WooCommerce, as soon as you finish setting up your store, the plugin suggests creating product pages as your next step. If you have your product information already saved in a csv file, you can import them. Otherwise, click the pink “Create a Product” button. That will take you to the backend of your product page, where you’ll find fields for: Adding your product nameLoading images (the “Add Media” button)Filling in the text of the pagePrice informationSKU numberStock statusShipping details (weight and dimensions) If you’re already familiar with WordPress, the page to create a product will look similar to what you use to create a new page or blog post, with an added section toward the bottom for specific product details.  Fill in all the relevant information for each product. Pro tips: Optimize for SEO – Figure out the best keyword for each product and optimize the page to rank for that keyword. Write customer-focused product descriptions – Find out what your customers care about by reading reviews of similar products. Add high-quality images – In eCommerce, people can’t see and touch items in person before buying, so a photo is the next best thing. Always include at least one high-quality image for each product. More is better. 12. Cover your bases. As a new entrepreneur, it’s easy to get excited and overlook some of the more legal aspects of running a business. Don’t do that! Meet with a lawyer to help you get the wording right for a Terms of Service page on your website, as well as a privacy policy. Also work on a shipping and return policy to add to the site, so your customers know what to expect anytime they want to send an item back.  And absolutely invest in the proper tools to keep your website secure. Get an SSL certificate (they come free with many hosting plans). Purchase security software, such as Sitelock, that adds an extra level of protection. And make sure the payment processing option you choose delivers top-notch protection.  Any website that accepts sensitive data from customers like credit card information is a potential target for hackers. Do what you can to protect your business and the customers that trust you.  13. Set up Google Analytics. Running an eCommerce business is an ongoing learning experience. Each new visitor and purchase tells you something about what works. In order to learn and improve as you go, you need access to rich analytics. Luckily, Google Analytics is entirely free and provides extensive data on how people interact with your website.  Adding Google Analytics to a WordPress site is simple. Simply set up your Google Analytics account to get your tracking code, install a Google Analytics plugin like MonsterInsights, and make the connection.  Phase 3: Launch! The first two phases involve a lot of work, but you’re just getting started. Running an ecommerce website can be profitable and rewarding, but only if you’re prepared to put the time and effort into it.  Once you publish your ecommerce store to the web, making it successful means committing to a whole new list of steps.  Pro tips: Stay on top of WordPress updates – Both WordPress itself and most of its plugins release new versions every so often. These usually provide security updates, as well as new features. Make a habit out of updating every time a new version’s available to protect your website. Do price testing – Pricing is one of the hardest parts of a new eCommerce business to get right. But there are a few different testing strategies you can try out to see what pricing level produces the most profit.Figure out the best shipping options – In the age of Amazon, finding the right shipping strategy is also important. If your shipping costs look too high to customers, it can lead to cart abandonment. Test out different shipping options to find the right combination of affordability and speed that keeps customers buying, but still leaves profit margins. Create an online marketing plan – Selling online is competitive. People will only find your website if you do online marketing. Put together a strategy using tactics like SEO, PPC (pay per click), social media, and content marketing to ensure your website reaches the right people. Provide customer support – Making the sale isn’t the end of your job—you want that customer to keep coming back. Make it easy for customers to get in touch when they have questions or problems and hold yourself to a high standard for customer support.Use your analytics to improve – A great benefit of eCommerce is that it’s easy to track things online. Regularly check Google Analytics, along with the analytics of any marketing tools you use. Use the insights they provide to improve your website design and refine your marketing strategy. Start Making Money with Your WordPress eCommerce Site Being an entrepreneur used to require a much bigger investment in upstart capital. The rise of eCommerce, combined with the accessibility of tools like WordPress and WooCommerce has lowered the barrier to entry.  That doesn’t mean running a successful eCommerce business is easy. You have to be willing to do your research and put in the work required to get your new business off the ground, then keep it successful over time. But if you have the gumption, work ethic, and at least a little money to invest to start out with, you can build an eCommerce website with WordPress and start selling.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

WordPress.com and Fiverr Partner to Launch “WordPress.com Fundamentals” Course

WordPress.com News -

Getting your new business website ready for launch? Want a little hand-holding — a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a WordPress.com site from start to finish, that you can work on at your own pace and on your own time? “WordPress.com Fundamentals,” a comprehensive video course created with our friends over at Fiverr, walks you through all the fundamentals in 90 minutes. The course covers the basics of setting up a business website, but anyone new to WordPress.com can benefit from lessons on how to create an account, set up a site, customize a theme, publish content, and share it on social media. It was developed by WordPress.com Happiness Engineers with years of experience guiding thousands of new WordPress.com customers in chat, email, forums, and concierge sessions, so you know you’re getting expert guidance from people who know every WordPress.com tip and trick. The entire course is just $31, which includes unlimited access to all the course materials, quizzes, and downloadable resources. Take it all at once, or learn at the pace that works for you — the course is divided into bite-sized chapters that you can refer to as many times as you need. Students are also eligible for a discount of 25% on WordPress.com plan upgrades! So if you’ve been hesitating to explore the advanced features in the Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans, the course gives you both a great introduction to the ease and power of WordPress.com and a lower-cost way to try them out. To get started, head over to the course page on the Learn from Fiverr website. Click on the green “Buy Course” button, and follow the prompts to create an account and purchase the course. And until the end of September, get 30% off the course fee by entering coupon code learnwordpress at checkout. And if you do take the class, let us know what you think. Fiverr will send out a survey to all students after completing the class, so be sure to fill it out. We want to know what works for you, what you’d like to see more of, and where we can improve.

Now Available – Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB)

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Given the wide range of data types, query models, indexing options, scaling expectations, and performance requirements, databases are definitely not one size fits all products. That’s why there are many different AWS database offerings, each one purpose-built to meet the needs of a different type of application. Introducing QLDB Today I would like to tell you about Amazon QLDB, the newest member of the AWS database family. First announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 and made available in preview form, it is now available in production form in five AWS regions. As a ledger database, QLDB is designed to provide an authoritative data source (often known as a system of record) for stored data. It maintains a complete, immutable history of all committed changes to the data that cannot be updated, altered, or deleted. QLDB supports PartiQL SQL queries to the historical data, and also provides an API that allows you to cryptographically verify that the history is accurate and legitimate. These features make QLDB a great fit for banking & finance, ecommerce, transportation & logistics, HR & payroll, manufacturing, and government applications and many other use cases that need to maintain the integrity and history of stored data. Important QLDB Concepts Let’s review the most important QLDB concepts before diving in: Ledger – A QLDB ledger consists of a set of QLDB tables and a journal that maintains the complete, immutable history of changes to the tables. Ledgers are named and can be tagged. Journal – A journal consists of a sequence of blocks, each cryptographically chained to the previous block so that changes can be verified. Blocks, in turn, contain the actual changes that were made to the tables, indexed for efficient retrieval. This append-only model ensures that previous data cannot be edited or deleted, and makes the ledgers immutable. QLDB allows you to export all or part of a journal to S3. Table – Tables exist within a ledger, and contain a collection of document revisions. Tables support optional indexes on document fields; the indexes can improve performance for queries that make use of the equality (=) predicate. Documents – Documents exist within tables, and must be in Amazon Ion form. Ion is a superset of JSON that adds additional data types, type annotations, and comments. QLDB supports documents that contain nested JSON elements, and gives you the ability to write queries that reference and include these elements. Documents need not conform to any particular schema, giving you the flexibility to build applications that can easily adapt to changes. PartiQL – PartiQL is a new open standard query language that supports SQL-compatible access to relational, semi-structured, and nested data while remaining independent of any particular data source. To learn more, read Announcing PartiQL: One Query Languge for All Your Data. Serverless – You don’t have to worry about provisioning capacity or configuring read & write throughput. You create a ledger, define your tables, and QLDB will automatically scale to meet the needs of your application. Using QLDB You can create QLDB ledgers and tables from the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), a CloudFormation template, or by making calls to the QLDB API. I’ll use the QLDB Console and I will follow the steps in Getting Started with Amazon QLDB. I open the console and click Start tutorial to get started: The Getting Started page outlines the first three steps; I click Create ledger to proceed (this opens in a fresh browser tab): I enter a name for my ledger (vehicle-registration), tag it, and (again) click Create ledger to proceed: My ledger starts out in Creating status, and transitions to Active within a minute or two: I return to the Getting Started page, refresh the list of ledgers, choose my new ledger, and click Load sample data: This takes a second or so, and creates four tables & six indexes: I could also use PartiQL statements such as CREATE TABLE, CREATE INDEX, and INSERT INTO to accomplish the same task. With my tables, indexes, and sample data loaded, I click on Editor and run my first query (a single-table SELECT): This returns a single row, and also benefits from the index on the VIN field. I can also run a more complex query that joins two tables: I can obtain the ID of a document (using a query from here), and then update the document: I can query the modification history of a table or a specific document in a table, with the ability to find modifications within a certain range and on a particular document (read Querying Revision History to learn more). Here’s a simple query that returns the history of modifications to all of the documents in the VehicleRegistration table that were made on the day that I wrote this post: As you can see, each row is a structured JSON object. I can select any desired rows and click View JSON for further inspection: Earlier, I mentioned that PartiQL can deal with nested data. The VehicleRegistration table contains ownership information that looks like this: { "Owners":{ "PrimaryOwner":{ "PersonId":"6bs0SQs1QFx7qN1gL2SE5G" }, "SecondaryOwners":[ ] } PartiQL lets me reference the nested data using “.” notation: I can also verify the integrity of a document that is stored within my ledger’s journal. This is fully described in Verify a Document in a Ledger, and is a great example of the power (and value) of cryptographic verification. Each QLDB ledger has an associated digest. The digest is a 256-bit hash value that uniquely represents the ledger’s entire history of document revisions as of a point in time. To access the digest, I select a ledger and click Get digest: When I click Save, the console provides me with a short file that contains all of the information needed to verify the ledger. I save this file in a safe place, for use when I want to verify a document in the ledger. When that time comes, I get the file, click on Verification in the left-navigation, and enter the values needed to perform the verification. This includes the block address of a document revision, and the ID of the document. I also choose the digest that I saved earlier, and click Verify: QLDB recomputes the hashes to ensure that the document has not been surreptitiously changed, and displays the verification: In a production environment, you would use the QLDB APIs to periodically download digests and to verify the integrity of your documents. Building Applications with QLDB You can use the Amazon QLDB Driver for Java to write code that accesses and manipulates your ledger database. This is a Java driver that allows you to create sessions, execute PartiQL commands within the scope of a transaction, and retrieve results. Drivers for other languages are in the works; stay tuned for more information. Available Now Amazon QLDB is available now in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Regions. Pricing is based on the following factors, and is detailed on the Amazon QLDB Pricing page, including some real-world examples: Write operations Read operations Journal storage Indexed storage Data transfer — Jeff;

Here’s How to Earn More Holiday Traffic to Your Blog

HostGator Blog -

The post Here’s How to Earn More Holiday Traffic to Your Blog appeared first on HostGator Blog. It may feel like the winter holidays are a long way off, but in marketing terms, they’re almost here. If you want more visitors to stop by your blog this holiday season, it’s time to get your place ready. Here are five things to do now for more traffic to your blog during the holidays.  1. Define Your Goals Before You Start Before you work on boosting your traffic, know your benchmarks. What’s your average daily/weekly/monthly traffic now? What’s your holiday traffic history? Find these numbers now so you’ll know if your traffic-boosting efforts are working.  Next, decide what you want your new visitors to do. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Are you hoping they’ll buy your products? Figure out your primary goal now, so you can create calls to action for holiday visitors.Fix up the place 2. Fix Up the Place Next, make your blog space feel welcoming to visitors. It’s a lot like sprucing up your home before a big holiday party. Check your blog’s Mobile-friendliness and page-load speed. About 40% of visitors will bounce if your pages take more than three seconds to load, according to Think with Google research. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and PageSpeed Insights tool get usability and load-time scores for your homepage, landing pages and most popular holiday posts. Then make improvements if you need to, based on the recommendations Google generates for you.Hosting plan. Can your plan accommodate seasonal spikes in site traffic to your blog? If your plan doesn’t let you scale up automatically or host the kind of traffic you expect, it’s time to upgrade. Post tags and categories. Categories and tags help visitors find what they want. They also encourage new visitors to delve deeper into your content, like when a visitor lands on your post about sugar cookies and clicks the “holiday desserts” category to see what else you’ve got. We’ve got you covered if you want to make sure you’re getting the most use from your blog tags and categories. Holiday “décor.” Just like wreaths and bows can get a little stale-looking in the attic, your seasonal graphics and landing page designs from last year may feel a little dated this time around. Now’s the time to dust them off and update or replace them. 3. Update Your Old Holiday Posts Traditions make the holidays special. If you have popular holiday posts from seasons past, don’t be shy about bring them back out for another year. Freshening up old content is a good move for SEO, and revisiting old posts gives you a chance to update and improve the keywords you include—another way to boost your search results ranking. Here’s an example: Last year, your most popular holiday post was your Sugar Cookies for Christmas recipe. Pull it up, make sure it’s got the right categories and tags, and then reread it. Has any of the information changed? Maybe the brand of flour you recommended is discontinued, or you’ve tweaked the baking temperature based on reader feedback. Make those changes in the copy. Next, see if there are keywords you can add for more search traffic. Lately I’ve been using the free Keywords Everywhere extension for Firefox and Chrome. With it, you can do a Google search and get the most relevant keyword phrases on the results page. You can export them as a CSV file, too. Here’s what our “sugar cookies for Christmas” search delivered: You don’t need to include all these keywords into your post. (Keyword stuffing is an SEO no-no.) Pick one that you can work into the first paragraph naturally, like “this is the perfect sugar cookie recipe for easy holiday baking.” Or replace the “Decorate” subheading in your post with “Decorating sugar cookies for Christmas.”  4. Plan Your New Holiday Content and Promotions New holiday-related content will draw visitors if it gives them what they’re looking for. During the holiday season that’s usually either treats, holiday tips or a look at the year to come. Here are a few types of content to consider: Giveaways. Free stuff is always a draw. If you have product samples or coupon codes from your sponsors, copies of your new book or a new downloadable guide to having an awesome holiday on a budget, start writing those promo posts now, complete with a landing page or opt-in box to collect email addresses for your list.  Tutorials. Last year’s sugar cookie recipe was a hit? Follow it up this year with a new holiday dessert recipe. Did your tech blog get a ton of shares from your post on creating an animatronic holiday yard display with? Maybe this year you write a how-to on creating a “forest” of LED Christmas trees on your lawn. Looking ahead. A lot of us start thinking about the year ahead during time between Christmas and New Year’s. Now’s the time to put on your prognosticator hat and plan a post on the top home automation trends for 2020, resolutions to be a better baker in 2020 or something else that draws on your expertise to help your audience. Start writing your holiday blog content now and your own holidays will be less hectic. 5. Extend and Track Your Blog’s Reach As the holidays get closer, let your readers and potential new fans know about your awesome seasonal content. Promote your holiday posts on social media. Create a holiday-themed email campaign to let the people on your list know what’s in store for them. You’re investing a lot of time and effort in your holiday content. Make sure people know it’s there. During the holidays–and especially after the season wraps up–take a look at your traffic. Compare this year’s numbers to your benchmarks to see which content did best, which social media posts or emails generated the most click-throughs and how much your holiday traffic changes this year. This information will help you plan for next year’s holiday season, which will be here sooner than you think. Ready to start getting your blog ready for the holidays? Talk to the SEO experts at HostGator about optimizing your site for faster loading and more traffic. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

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