Corporate Blogs

Understanding Service Design and its Principles

Reseller Club Blog -

Design is an amalgamation of several things as it draws inspiration from varied fields and areas. In today’s day and age, apart from emotions, intelligence and aesthetics, technology too plays a vital role. Service design is one such modern-day design influenced by marketing, project management and user experience to enhance services. Let us see what service design is and its principles in detail.  What is Service Design? The term ‘Service Design’ originated in the year 1991 as a design discipline by Professors Michael Erlhoff and Brigit Mager at Köln International School of Design. Service design is an evolving field with no strict definition. However, in practice, service design can be defined as – ‘The process in which the designer focuses on creating optimal service experiences.’ It can thus be said that service design is a customer-first design that takes into account the needs of the customer, so that the design is user-friendly, competitive in the market, as well as, relevant to the customer.  For example, imagine a Food Delivery App where the primary idea is to connect the restaurant to the client (the one ordering food). Here, there are a host of employees ranging from the delivery agent, head of the delivery app, manager of the restaurant, and waiter. Service design focuses on how the Food Delivery App connects to the restaurant and delivers it to the customer on time. This includes placing the order to the restaurant on behalf of the customer, to onboarding new delivery agents, communication between the delivery agent and the restaurant manager, as well as, manager and the waiter. Each segment plays an important role in the food that is delivered to the customer, even though it is not directly a part of the customer experience.  You can map service design using a service blueprint. Service blueprint helps to visualise processes to optimise how a business delivers the user experience. The 5 Principles of Service Design We’ve covered the definition of service design, let us now move on to understanding the practical application of the design and its principles. We’ll also see, what it is that differentiates service design from UX.  ‘This is Service Design Thinking’, by Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider, is one of the foremost books outlining the five basic principles that dominate service design. User-centred – users are the centre of consideration and are to be analysed through qualitative research. Here ‘Users’ are both, the organisation’s employees, as well as customers. Thus, service design considers not just the user/customer experience but also the interest of all the relevant people involved in the process. Co-creative – co-creative is essentially a combination of ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Iteration’. ‘Collaboration’ signifies the process of creation by all the contributors from different backgrounds. Whereas, ‘Iteration’ is used to define that service design is an iterative (continuous) process that’s ever-evolving to keep in-line with the changes in a business. Sequencing – dividing complex services of a customers journey into independent processes. This division of service is usually done logically, visually and rhythmically. Sequencing helps determine the timeline of a project, as it is important for the customer and helps in determining the outcome.For instance, if you have an e-commerce website selling products only in a particular region, it is important to highlight that the deliveries won’t ship internationally right at the start. This saves the customer’s time, and they won’t browse your website, as well as, you would also not need to analyse the journey of the customer who won’t purchase your product.  Evidencing – visualising the service experiences and making them real. Simply put, what this means is that service is usually invisible or intangible whereas the products are tangible items. The idea of service design is to bind the tangible and intangible together so that the invisible becomes real.For example, if you run an organic cafe with all the ingredients being local produce, how would your customer know it is organic? The answer is easy, you let them know. Until you inform your customers about the source of your ingredients, it remains an intangible service for them because they have no idea what’s on their plate or how it differs from another cafe. Evidencing ensures that you’re providing your customers with a quality experience. Which, in turn, helps you build your brand image as an ‘organic’ cafe. Holistic – service design rests on the principle of combining tangible and intangible services. Here the context is important, as well as, taking the entire experience of the service into account. What this means is, every customer is different and as such, would take a different route to complete their journey. As a service designer, it is imperative to think about each aspect, and every perspective to make sure there are no loop-holes. That whichever path the customer takes the end goal remains the same. Tools you can use Now, that we’ve seen what service design is and its principles. Let us move on to finding the right tools to map your customer journey. That being said, service design is still in its nascent stages, and it may take a while to discover specific tools. Nevertheless, the good news is that several UX and marketing tools overlap with service design. Here are our top 3 picks of the tools you can use:  Customer Journey Map: A customer journey map helps you visualise and plot the best and worst parts of a customer’s experiences. The idea is to put the customer’s perspective to paper right from the time they came to your service, to the point where they’ve decided to use your service and reach the end goal.  For example, you have an e-commerce website, and the journey in simple can be divided into – customer browsing your website, adding products to the cart, either abandoning them or purchasing them.   ‘This is Service Design Thinking’ offer a customer journey canvas for you in your design service. In fact, you can collaborate with your stakeholders and customers to ensure your map is co-creative. This is free and available in 7 different languages viz. English, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Polish, German, and French.  smaply:  Smaply is a popular web-based software tool that enables you to visualise Personas, Customer Journey Maps, and Stakeholder Maps. With smaply, you can digitise, customise, share, comment, standardise and present your results with the team in an easy and quick manner.  This is a freemium tool i.e. you can sign up and test it for free for a period of 14 days and later if you like, you can upgrade to a paid version! experiencefellow: Experiencefellow is a tool that uses mobile ethnography to research and collect customer experiences in a digital environment. Ethnography is essentially observing your customers in their natural environment to gain better insights into their overall experience.  With experiencefellow, this research is digitised as it enables customers to document their experiences with a simple smartphone app. As a business, you can then view and analyse your customers’ journey based on the data provided by them on your browser. Even though service design is in a developing phase, there are several tools out there in the market to help businesses cater to their customers better by understanding their journey. Service design is thus, not just for designers but for anyone who wishes to integrate services for a more powerful and effective approach to drive businesses, as it focuses on how customer touchpoints are connected in their journey. In a nutshell, service design aims to understand and visualise the user and their experience to improve the service experience of the user. On an endnote, you can even checkout, Service Design Toolkit and Service Design Tools Website to learn more about implementing service design. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Understanding Service Design and its Principles appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Popular Web Design Services

HostGator Blog -

The post Popular Web Design Services appeared first on HostGator Blog. One of the essential elements of your online brand is your website. It’s going to be the hub for all of your online marketing activities and the place you’re sending all your traffic back to. Whether you’re building a website for your offline business, or creating a totally new site for your online business, this post is for you. There are tons of different approaches for building a website and getting it online. You can decide to use a website builder, experiment with a CMS, or hire a professional web design service. The choice is yours. Below we’ll examine the ins and outs of hiring professional web design services to build out your business website. You’ll learn why having a professional website is so important, the benefits of hiring a professional, and finally how to find the best popular web design service for your needs. Let’s jump in! The Importance of a Well Designed Website There are a ton of reasons you’ll want to create a professional website. It will impact your user experience, SEO, your authority, and even your bottom line. Here are some of the biggest reasons a well-designed website is something worth investing in. 1. You Want to Create a Positive First Impression For Your Website Visitors You only have one chance to make a first impression. The second  website visitors open your website they’re making judgments about the quality of your site. You only have a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention before they decide to stick around or hit the back button. If you have a low-quality website, you’re immediately creating a poor first impression. Instead of building a connection with your target audience  you’re repelling them away—and decreasing the likelihood that they’ll give your site a second chance.   2. Good Web Design Builds Trust With Your Target Audience One of the main goals of your website is to build trust with your visitors. If your site looks old, spammy, unorganized, then your visitors won’t trust the content on your site, or feel comfortable purchasing any products or services you’re selling. Your design needs to inspire confidence in your visitors so they can trust the information on your site, along with feeling comfortable enough to buy things from your website, or at least opt-in to your email list.  3. You Need a Quality Site to Compete If you don’t invest in a quality website design from the start, chances are your competitors are.  If you want to compete in the increasingly crowded online space, then your website needs not only to meet your visitors’ expectations, but it needs to stand out and have a memorable online presence. If you have an outdated and clunky design, your competitors will surpass you and quickly leave you in their dust. If your competitor’s website is intuitive, easier to use, and offer a great user experience, they’ll be getting all of the leads and traffic that could be yours.  Now, there are sites like Craigslist, which have managed to achieve success and popularity even without an intuitive web design. But, there are other elements at play here, like being a very old site, and already have a massive amount of authority, trust, and traffic. But why risk it? A professional website will go a long way towards making the success of your site much more likely.  4. Design Impacts Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy There are a lot of different factors that work together to influence your search engine rankings. One of those factors is how your website is designed. This structure will either impair or make it much easier for the search engine spiders to crawl your site. It will also influence how easy it is to achieve on-site SEO standards too. The design of your site can make search engine optimization a cake walk or an uphill battle from the start.  4 Benefits of Using a Popular Web Design Service As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into creating a high quality and well-designed website. Doing all of this on your own is possible, but sometimes you’ll want to defer to the help of a professional web design team that can help you improve your online presence. Here are some of the most significant benefits you’ll enjoy by hiring professional website design services. 1. You’ll Get a High-Quality Professional Site You want a site that looks great, functions properly, and features responsive design, so it will display properly on every screen size. Having mobile responsive web design will ensure that all future customers have an enjoyable experience when visiting your site. Oh, and it should be optimized for SEO and intuitive for your visitors to use.  That’s a lot to accomplish all on your own. Sure, there are website builders and popular content management systems you can use, but these all take time to learn. For some people, these tools will be a perfect fit. But, they may not feature all the functionality you need out-of-the-box, and there’s a risk you’ll end up with a design you don’t love.  Those who demand the best and see paying a web design team as an investment in a business asset are ready to take advantage of all the benefits of working with a professional can bring. The site you’ll receive from a professional design team is guaranteed to satisfy all the conditions mentioned above—and with no added work on your end.  2. Your Site Will Be Ready to Rank When you work with a web design professional, your site will be ready to rank right of the gate.  You’ll have a website design that has clean code, is structured the right way, and only requires the addition of your content.  By building your site yourself, you’re not designing with SEO best-practices in mind. You’re just creating a website that looks good enough to launch. But, a professional design team will be able to build you a site that’s been created with SEO in mind from the very start, even during the conceptual and planning stages.  3. You’ll Gain a Competitive Advantage A lot of business owners who end up trying to build their sites do so to save money. But, if you’re willing to invest in a professional, you immediately give yourself a leg up.  Your website will stand out in a sea of crowded websites, and offer your visitors an online experience that makes them want to spend time on your site. Plus, most websites today that are built by professionals will also be crafted with online marketing principles in mind. So, your site will be ready to integrate with existing and new marketing campaigns.  4. You’ll Put Your Company in the Best Light Possible If you’re already a business owner, then you have a lot on your plate. You already have to focus on running your website, so don’t add building a website to that never-ending list of tasks. Same goes for those just starting online businesses. There’s a lot that goes into getting an online business off the ground beyond just building your website. Plus, since your website is the primary source of interaction a potential customer will have with your business, it’s crucial to get right. By working with a web design service, you can ensure that your vision for your site and your business values are properly translated into your design. This will leave you with not only a professional website design, but also one that perfectly represents your business and highlights what makes you unique.  How to Find the Best Popular Web Design Services Although using a web design service to help build a user-friendly website does cost money, there is the potential to generate a lot of revenue for your business. But, to realize this return on investment, you need to find a quality web design professional. Here’s a quick process you can follow when searching for the perfect web design team: 1. Evaluate Your Needs Everyone’s website needs will be different. Some users might be building a massive eCommerce store, while others just need a simple 5-page site for their local business. It’s important to properly define what kind of website you want built, along with the goals you have for your site, before you begin exploring professional options. Here are the three areas of need you’ll want to think about and research before moving forward with a web design agency: Website Technology Needs There are a ton of different underlying technologies that can be used to power your website. You have the option of having a site coded from scratch, or even using a CMS like WordPress. The advantage of having a custom-built theme on a CMS is that is gives you the opportunity to add content to your site, and make small modifications down the road. If you just need a simple three page site that’s completely static, then this might not be a necessity. But, if you want more power and flexibility, and plan on growing your site, then a custom theme is a great approach to take.  Website Design Needs What do you want your site to look like? Spend some time going through competitor websites, or any site in general to pick out design elements you love, and others that you could live without. This will help you communicate more easily with your web designer, and give them some direction to take when building your site.  Generally, the more specific and detailed you can be with your design requests the better the finished product will be. It’s much more difficult for a designer to translate vague requests than ideas that are backed by concrete examples.  Business Needs Next, it’s time to think about how your website is going to end up serving your business. Is your website’s main function to generate leads? Or, will you be selling products and services? Is it more of a digital brochure, or will you be creating tons of articles and blog posts? The function of your website will influence both how your website is laid out, and the technology that it’s built upon.  Also, take note of any existing software you’re using to run your business and see if this needs to be integrated into your website as well.  2. Set Project Scope Finally it’s time to think about the scope of your project. This will include everything specified above, along with your budget and how much you hope to spend. Your budget will influence the types of website designers you’ll get in contact with, along with the platforms you’ll use to find designers. Generally, the worst answer to the question, “How much will you spend?” is “as cheap as possible.” If you want a quality website that elevates you above the pack, then you should expect to pay a fair rate. That being said, no matter your budget, you’ll be able to find a professional web design service that’ll fit. 3. Explore Your Options Now, it’s time to start looking for a professional web design service. Depending on your budget and scope of your project you’ll have a handful of different options at your disposal. You can either hire a web designer via a freelance platform, decide to work with a local design agency, or even hire a web designer through your hosting provider. If you’re looking for quality for a more affordable price, then a recommended option is to go through your hosting provider. The professional web design team here at HostGator, for instance, will provide you with a custom WordPress theme, at a fraction of the cost you’ll pay elsewhere. Take a look at some of the themes we’ve designed for other clients: Since you’re already using your web host for other website services like hosting, and maybe domain management, your total web design costs will be lower. Plus, as a beginner, it can be helpful to have everything under one roof. You’ll be dealing with the same support team if any issues do arise with your site. This is a huge benefit that can’t be understated. Should You Hire a Popular Web Design Service? Ultimately, the choice is yours and depends upon the goals for your website and your budget. Generally, if you have the budget, then investing in the design of your site is always going to be beneficial.  You always have the option to build your site yourself, but you have to consider if it’s worth the time and energy spent. Evaluate your needs and what kind of end result you want from your website. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the approach you’re going to take with your website, and whether hiring a professional web design service will help you reach your business goals or not.  For further questions regarding the design process of a website or our web hosting packages, contact the experts at HostGator today.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Staying Safe on LinkedIn During Your Job Search

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Every day we’re making our professional community a place where everyone can find economic opportunity and pathways to grow their careers. And when it comes to finding that new opportunity, learning a skill or getting and giving career advice, you expect that process to be exciting and maybe a little nerve wracking, but never unsafe. Millions of people use LinkedIn to search and apply for jobs every day -- and when job searching, safety means knowing the recruiter you’re chatting with is who... .

The 2019 Black Friday Ecommerce Prep Guide

Nexcess Blog -

Every year, on the fourth Friday of November, shopping chaos unfolds. Stores cut their prices, customers flock to their nearest outlets, and deals are had by everyone. But not anymore. Thanks to ecommerce, customers no longer have to leave the comfort of their home to take part in Black Friday. Keeping an eye on advertisements and pre-event newsletters, customers can easily turn on their laptop, click add to cart, and checkout as soon as the clock strikes twelve. For customers, this is great. For merchants, it means competition has only gotten more fierce (if you thought that possible). It’s no longer just about having the best deals; it’s about having the best visibility.    Get started this Black Friday with an optimized Magento Platform.  Why Black Friday Matters Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, with American shoppers spending a record $5 billion in 2017. In 2018, this number then grew by 19%, with over 14.8 million online transactions recorded. With so much money up for grabs, Black Friday can be one of the most profitable days of the year for some businesses. In some cases, it even defines a stores annual profit.  In the jewelry industry, for example, Black Friday can account for 40% of a business’s annual revenue. With such a large percentage from only a single day, these merchants are often forced to ensure their Black Friday campaigns do better year-over-year. The alternative is something many can’t think about.  Hopefully, your sales are not so dependent on Black Friday. However, there’s still a lot of money available to those savvy enough to take advantage of the digital opportunities available to merchants.  But with more demand and more customers, the chance of something going wrong only increases. If you want to be successful this Black Friday, you can’t treat it like any other sales day, or even any other sales event.  Black Friday Ecommerce Statistics According to NRF, shoppers who took part both online and in-store were up 40% from 2017, with multi-channel shoppers outspending single-channel shoppers by $93. This year, ecommerce merchants can expect to see another huge increase in online shoppers, following on from 2018’s substantial growth. With Black Friday now online, shoppers no longer have to venture outside to chaotic shopping centers and can instead make their purchases from the comfort of their sofa.  This is despite in-store shoppers declining by roughly 1%, and 44% of consumers saying they would shop online in 2017 vs just 42% in 2018.  Industry Ecommerce Benchmarks for Black Friday Prior to the 2018 Black Friday event, Blackfriday.com questioned their users on what they planned to look for in the sales.  Clothing took top spot, with 23% of consumers aiming to score a good deal on fashion items. This was quickly followed by tech, with 22% of consumers looking for their next gadget.  Towards the bottom of the pile was travel. With it being less of an impulse buy, just 9% of consumers aimed to find some travel deals for the coming year. If you’re a clothes or tech merchants, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to be the days you want to get ready for.  Getting Your Site Ready for Black Friday Getting ready for Black Friday means getting ready for more than just the products you’re going to sell. Expect to see: An increase in traffic An increase in server strain An increase in the potential for things to go wrong We’ve seen it all too many times. Merchants who wait until the last second to address these potential pitfalls, and as a result: they fall.  Getting yourself ready for Black Friday doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. But it will mean that you’re able to maximize ROI from the event, and secure your place among the Black Friday customer go-tos for years to come.  Get Started Early The earlier you start targeting Black Friday shoppers, the better results you’re going to have. Getting started early means ramping up everything from prep work to marketing strategy.  Some merchants start their Black Friday marketing efforts as early as October, with others beginning to ramp up marketing in early September.  When considering how early you will begin your marketing strategy, take a step back and analyze these factors.   Budget: How much do you have to spend on Black Friday marketing? Where should that budget be spent? Will you increase adwords spend, ramp up email products, or instead focus on more traditional print-media? Resources: November is a resource-intensive time. Christmas is just around the corner, and depending on where you’re located, Singles Day is just a few short weeks ahead of Black Friday. Calculating ROI on resource spend is going to make a huge difference. You don’t want to run out of money before Black Friday has even started.  Potential: While it would be great if we all had unlimited products and opportunities, that’s more often not the case. Perhaps you’re limited in terms of stock or fulfillment processes. The less potential for your Black Friday campaign, the less time should be dedicated to it.    Once you’ve drawn a clear picture of these areas, it’s a good idea to outline the different channels and audiences your aiming to target and assign any associated dates.  Getting Your Ecommerce Site (and hosting) Ready for Black Friday If you’re running a Black Friday sale, that means you can all but guarantee an influx of traffic. That means more opportunities for something to go wrong. Don’t let it be your hosting platform.  As the foundation of your site, hosting problems can mean slow user experiences, broken page elements, and, in the most extreme cases, site-wide outages. Luckily, there are specific steps you can take to ensure a smooth Black Friday experience for your customers and keep those conversions rolling in.  What’s Your Limit? How much can your hosting actually take?  Every hosting package you purchase will have its limits. If your site is seeing more visitors than those limits can handle, then your site won’t crash. Instead, it will slow to a crawl, queuing page load requests until it eventually becomes long enough for the dreaded timeout.  If you’re already seeing traffic hover around your limit, it’s definitely worth upgrading your hosting to the next level. If you’re running on the Nexcess Cloud, you can also enable auto scaling in your Client Portal. Just a flick of a button and you’ll be set for any unexpected (or expected) traffic spikes.  Prepare for International Sales International sales can add a whole new level of complexity to a store. For the merchant, alternate payment options, different order fulfillment choices, and tweaks to content are only the start. On top of those, delivering digital assets to countries halfway around the world presents its own problem.  Yes, digital transfer speeds are fast, but running your website through cables located under the Atlantic is going to lead to some lag, especially if demand is high (like on Black Friday). How can you solve this? For most stores looking to serve international customers, purchasing a CDN add-on for their store will allow static assets such as images to be held in server locations around the world. This way, regardless of where your customers are coming from, they’re going to be able to access high-bandwidth assets from a local location. That means faster load times and more conversions.  Check in with Our Support Techs… Why Not? Our philosophy is that it’s always worth exploring every avenue available to you, to see if there’s something you’ve been missing. That’s why we recommend all of our clients expecting an influx of traffic during Black Friday to check in and see if there’s anything we can do to help. There may not be. Perhaps you’ve already prepared your store for any eventuality. But what if you’ve missed something and it ends up coming back to haunt you? We’ll often reach out to clients we expect to encounter a problem, so keep an eye on your inbox. Or, start the conversation yourself.  At the very least, it’s worth letting the team here know that you’re planning to run a sale over those dates, that way our team can take extra steps to keep an eye on your hosting platform and how it’s performing.  Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy Start Marketing Early Any good Black Friday ecommerce strategy means ramping up interest before Black Friday actually begins. After all, some customers spend weeks looking for deals they’re going to jump on during the sales.  Getting started early means promoting your company’s email newsletter through organic and paid channels. This will give you a lot of leads to follow up with once your really start marketing your discounts.  The earlier you start marketing your Black Friday discounts, the more customers are going to come knocking on the big day. Start promotions with enticing statements about how your sales event is unique. Statements like “Over 80% off this Black Friday, sign up to stay ahead of the curve” work well to draw in subscriptions, especially when they’re paired with tantalizing artwork.  Get Creating Niche Gift Guides You’ve got awesome products so why not let them market themselves? Your Black Friday marketing strategy doesn’t have to only be about target Black Friday shoppers. There’s a whole internet of customers you have access to.  This means creating marketing material that will draw in those interested in your niche, but not Black Friday.  Gift guides are a great way to target long tail ecommerce SEO keywords. They not only target Black Friday Shoppers, but everyone looking for your products.  One of the best ways to do this is by creating a gift guide that suits your target audience. If you sell shoes, how about creating the ultimate gift guide to Men’s Fashion in 2019? If you sell hats, do the same thing. If you have a larger product range, make your gift guide broader. The possibilities are limitless.  Prepare Upsells and Cross-sells With the average person spending $289.19 during Black Friday in 2018, it’s the perfect opportunity to push upsells and cross-sells. This may be grouping items for an improved discount, or providing recommendations for related products during checkout.  Just remember, a good upsell and cross-sell strategy revolves around providing your buyer value. Don’t just indiscriminately group items together, think of how grouping multiple items provides buyers with a benefit.  For example, if you’re selling shoes, shoe care products are a great upsell. They can potentially increase the longevity of a product, fitting perfectly within the buyer narrative of saving money.  If you’re selling a specific type of gift, think about other products that complement it. The more you think about and push the narrative of buyer benefit, the more you’re going to be successful here.  Prepare Your Email Strategy Did you know that 25% of Black Friday sales start with an email? At least, that’s what Custora says.  That means you should be jumping on the email bandwagon if you want to maximize ROI. But how? Great email campaigns start with two things: timing and subject lines.  If you haven’t already, begin testing what times are best for sending emails to your customers. Which days of the week work best and when are they going to check their inbox?  If you spend 1 hour creating the perfect email, spend 2 crafting the subject line.  Then work on your subject lines. These sentences should be the core of your content. If you spend 1 hour creating the perfect email content, spend 2 crafting the subject line. The subject line will encourage opens, click-throughs, and sales.  Learn how to tailor your emails to the customers with our guide to email personalization.  Go Beyond Black Friday There are four days of shopping to be had around Black Friday: not just Black Friday itself. Make sure to target each of these days individually. Then, think about how your Black Friday marketing strategy can continue to bring sales in even after the sales event is over. Use it as an opportunity to increase reach, and audience knowledge of your brand.  Don’t Shrug Off Black Friday in 2019 We’ve seen it all too often: merchants not preparing their stores for Black Friday and then suffering from site slowdowns and outages. Don’t let that be you.  Talking to a sales rep to ensure you’re ready is one of the most crucial steps merchants can make in the run up to November 29th this year. Interested in learning more about how Nexcess solutions can benefit you? See some more benefits we’re offering merchants this year and get 75% off of new services or upgrades with code HolidayPrep19. The post The 2019 Black Friday Ecommerce Prep Guide appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

New gTLD – August 2019

Reseller Club Blog -

With .TOP still retaining its No. 1 position, the month of August saw a 12% hike in the overall registrations. Apart from this, a 260% jump in the registrations of .LIVE in comparison to July helped it secure a spot in the top 5 along with .SITE, .ONLINE, .XYZ, the new entrants .ICU and .BEST made it to the list with impressive numbers.  Let’s take a sneak peek to find out which new gTLDs were trending during the month of August and made it to the top 15! !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=d+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); New gTLD Report – August 2019Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub It is worth noting that the top 4 new gTLDs have managed to retain their positions from July and continued to top the charts. .TOP: With a total registration share of 33% .TOP continues to outshine its performance in the month of August. This new gTLD was running at a promo price of $ 0.72 and the increase in the number of registrations can be attributed to the China market.  .SITE: .SITE was able to hold onto the second spot in the month of August, as this new gTLD witnessed a 40% spike in its registrations. Even though .SITE was running at a promo price of $4.18, it managed to occupy a 20% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .ONLINE: Following the trend with .TOP and .SITE, is .ONLINE that has been consistent in holding onto a spot in the top 5 of the new gTLDs registered this month. Despite the promo price of $6.18 this new gTLD managed to shine in the global market with a share of 11% of the total registrations for the month of August. .XYZ: With an impressive promo price of $0.68, .XYZ was able to hold onto its fourth spot in the top 5 this month. Overall, this new gTLD contributed 9% to the total registration count.  .LIVE: With a 260% spike in its registration numbers as compared to July, .LIVE was able to move up the rank and acquire a place in the top 5 new gTLDs. The whopping popularity of this new gTLD can be attributed to the promo price of $2.18 and China markets.  Apart from the top 5, there have been remarkable changes among the new gTLDs that made it to the top 15. New gTLDs like .FUN, .STORE, .LIFE and, .WEBSITE were successful in retaining their spot at 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th respectively during August. At the same time, there were new entrants like .ICU and .BEST. In fact, .ICU made it to the top 15 with a 133% jump in its registrations from the previous month.  Here’s a quick peek into the exciting domain promos we’ve got lined up for the month of September Resell  .TOP at a low price of $0.72 and make your profits. Help boost your customers’ business with .SPACE at just $1.18 Expand your customers business to cater across the globe with .WORLD at $2.18 That’s all folks! Check out all our leading domain promos here and help your customer’s get the right one for their online business. You can also head to our Facebook or Twitter pages to get all the updates about our trending domain promos. Just lookout for the posts with #domainpromos. See you there!  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post New gTLD – August 2019 appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Growth Hacking Strategies for eCommerce

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Every entrepreneur dreams of seeing his or her business grow, but business growth doesn’t happen overnight. And it won’t happen without a plan and a strategy. We’ve collaborated with experienced business owners, and gotten their tips to help you learn how to grow your business using the most effective business growth strategies for eCommerce. The growth hacking strategies that are most effective for online and eCommerce businesses are: Market Penetration Strategies Market Expansion or Development Strategy Marketing Strategy Product Expansion Strategy Diversification Strategy Acquisition Strategy Subscribe to the Liquid Web eCommerce newsletter for more ways to increase profitability for your store. Market Penetration Strategies The term “penetration” refers to how many units of a product have been sold compared to the total number of potential sales for that market. For example, if a business sells to 20 out of 100 possible people, then penetration would be 20 percent. To grow a business, you must sell to a greater number of people than you do currently. In other words, business growth is correlated to increased sales and market penetration. So if you want to increase market penetration, ultimately, you want to focus on ways to boost sales for your business. Adjusting Prices One of the most frequently used strategies for boosting sales and market penetration is to adjust the prices of your products. In most cases, this means lowering the prices of your products to make them more affordable and attractive to prospective buyers. Increasing Promotion Another way to boost market penetration is to increase brand awareness through marketing and promotion. Depending on the nature of the campaign — whether it advertises a business, a product, or a temporary promotion — these campaigns can facilitate either short-term or long-term sales growth. Broadening Distribution Besides pricing and promotion, you can increase market penetration by adding more distribution channels to your business model. For example, if your products are currently sold at one retail chain, finding another chain to sell your products will likely boost sales. Improving Products Most buyers will periodically upgrade to newer products from older ones; this purchasing behavior mirrors our innate desire for self-improvement. For this reason, bringing even small improvements to your product can also increase sales. Increasing Usage This strategy can be tricky because you don’t have control over how your buyers use your products. However, if you can find a way to increase usage rates for your products — which is easiest with consumable goods — you will likely see a sales boost from customers needing to replenish. Market Expansion/Development Strategy The purpose of expansion is to find new opportunities for growth once sales have peaked. To continue growth, market expansion strategy often sees the business move into a similar or related market. Since the new market is somewhat related to the existing one, the business can mitigate some of the risk that comes with exploring new territory. Market development, on the other hand, is when a business creates a new market or technology. More specifically, the business identifies a trend or consumer need and attempts to capitalize on it. With a market expansion or development strategy, the first step is to conduct research. From there, you can find the best opportunities for growth. After all, you don’t want to target markets that will end up costing money instead of increasing sales and revenue. Targeted Marketing Strategy Marketing is fundamental to owning and running a business so a more targeted approach can be an effective growth strategy. Consumers are bombarded with marketing material on a daily basis. Advertisements clog their inboxes, fill up their social media feels, and interrupt their YouTube videos. But the problem with most of these advertisements is that they’re incredibly generalized. They don’t tap into something with which the audience can relate so as a result, the marketing content is easy for the audience to ignore. Targeted marketing is when you tailor your marketing content to the audience. The idea is to deliver content that’s more relevant to the audience, resulting in more engagement and higher conversion. In turn, targeted marketing drives growth for your business. The best thing about using targeted marketing as a growth strategy is that it can drive growth without requiring potentially risky changes to your business model. In spite of the specificity inherent to targeted marketing, it’s actually a versatile and flexible growth strategy. But the forms of marketing that are particularly effective for driving business growth include influencer marketing, geo-targeted marketing, and affiliate marketing. Influencer Marketing In short, influencer marketing is a way to promote products or services by partnering with social media influencers. How does it work, exactly? Katie Schmidt — owner and founder of Passion Lilie, an ethical clothing boutique — explains the benefit of influencer marketing. “Work with influencers to get your products in front of a wider audience,” she says. “Because the review of your product is coming from a trusted source, followers of these influencers will be … more likely to make a purchase.” In other words, influencers have built trust with their audiences, so you tend to see much higher conversion and business growth with influencer marketing. Meanwhile, you’re targeting audiences to which you may not have had access. Many businesses that are using influencer marketing have seen immense increases in sales. In fact, Mark Tyrol, President of Battic Door Home Energy Conservation Products, saw a 50 percent sales increase from influencer marketing alone. So if you’ve not already considered influencer marketing as one of your business growth strategies, you probably should. Geo-Targeted Marketing The advanced advertising platforms available today give business owners the ability to do geo-targeted marketing. With geo-targeting, you’re able to deliver your marketing content to the right audiences. In practice, it’s about making sure that the people who see your marketing content are the people who are most likely to act on it. For instance, ads for swimwear aren’t going to convert individuals who live in cooler climates. Affiliate Programs Instead of partnering with influencers, affiliate marketing is when you partner with other businesses targeting a similar audience. The idea is to promote mutual growth by referring customers who have converted to partnered businesses while also receiving referrals from those same partners. This arrangement is attractive for those partners or affiliates, because they earn a percentage of every sale they refer to your business. Depending on the strength of your brand and your industry, you could see considerable conversion from affiliate marketing. Product Expansion Strategy There are a number of ways to approach product expansion as a source of business growth, from adding new features to a product to tapping into new audiences. However, every approach comes down to broadening the audience for a product or service. Mark Tyrol boosted sales for Battic Door Home Energy Conservation Products by adding more distribution channels for his products. “Starting initially with my website, I began adding online sales channels and grew sales dramatically,” Mark says. He cited eBay, Amazon, Rakuten, Sears, Home Depot, Walmart, Facebook, Shopify, and other sales platforms that allow retailers to “integrate, manage, and optimize their merchandise sales across hundreds of online channels.” Another approach to product expansion would be to find opportunities to appeal to new markets. A prime example is the Skin So Soft product line by Avon. After discovering the product repelled insects, Avon began marketing Skin So Soft to campers for outdoor activities. Since then, the company started a line of Skin So Soft products that are explicitly designed as insect repellents. Diversification Strategy Simply put, diversification is about not putting all your eggs in one basket. The idea is to find multiple stable income channels to drive business growth. Meanwhile, you’re increasing your reach by broadening the target audience. Mark McIntosh of LocalWear considers diversification to be the “holy grail for eCommerce.” According to Mark, “Some products can be hot at first but lose traction. So a healthy, growing business will have a few different growth drivers over time.” In addition to your products, you can diversify your customer touchpoints, too. For example, adding social media marketing or a live chat feature to your website can drive substantial sales growth. Brandon Ackroyd, Head of Customer Insight for Tiger Mobiles, used live chat to increase customer engagement and sales. In fact, Brandon noted that “the number of people using live chat increased by 400 percent over six months” and of those who use the live chat feature, “20 percent of customers ended up placing an order.” Acquisition Strategy For larger or more established businesses, growth through acquisition is an effective strategy. By taking a separate business — with its product lineup, customers, and workforce — and rolling it into a larger company, you increase your market share. Acquisition might not be a viable growth strategy for every business because it requires considerable availability of liquid capital. However, when it’s feasible, acquisition can drive growth by letting you expand into new markets, diversify your product portfolio, or increase your production capacity. Words of Advice for Growing an eCommerce Business As we wind down this overview of how to grow your business online, we want to leave you with some final advice. The following tips were provided by the helpful business owners and entrepreneurs referenced throughout this piece who have employed many of the above business strategies to great effect. Try New Things Tahnee Elliott — founder and CEO of T.C. Elli’s, a Texas-based eCommerce fashion retailer — considers willingness to experiment essential to business growth. “In 2009, the financial crisis hit my business hard,” says Tahnee. Facing a substantial decrease in foot traffic, Tahnee “shifted gears by reducing price points and opening an online store.” From there, she experimented with digital channels. Advertising on Instagram and a brand ambassador program have been particularly successful for Tahnee’s business. Ultimately, her willingness to adapt and experiment is why T.C. Elli’s continues to thrive today. Be Patient The growth you want to see isn’t going to happen overnight or without time spent creating a plan. So Keval Baxi, CEO of Codal, emphasizes patience. “Even with 100 percent determination, it can be hard without patience or a proper process” Keval says. “Without a proper process for implementation, and the patience to follow that process, businesses will not succeed.” Stability Over Trends Many entrepreneurs have made the mistake of jumping onto the latest bandwagon, but the most successful businesses are those that provide continuous value to stable, consistent markets. “To grow consistently, you need a compelling value proposition that taps into a long-term customer trend,” says Rick Watson. “Think about the things that have staying power [and] will be true for the next five or more years.” Rick owns and runs RMW Commerce Consulting, an eCommerce consulting firm. Build Trust Today’s consumers are savvier than ever and extremely skeptical of market content. For this reason, if you take the time to build trust with your audience, you’ll be rewarded with more sales. Trust is something especially important to keep in mind when it comes to content marketing. “There’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion,” Katie Schmidt says, “but shoppers grow to trust brands that offer them useful advice [instead of] just trying to sell to them. As consumers come to you for valuable content, they’ll begin to trust your site and make a purchase. Build trust and share knowledge with your audience, and you’ll win yourself some potential customers.” Are You Ready to Grow Your eCommerce Business With Liquid Web Managed WooCommerce Hosting? In addition to the growth hacking strategies we’ve listed here, a great hosting plan can be instrumental to growing your business. Fortunately, Liquid Web has you covered. Our Managed WooCommerce Hosting Plan is ideal for growing businesses. Specially designed to convert more sales, Liquid Web’s WordPress managed hosting for eCommerce is packed with cutting-edge technologies to reduce query load times and cart abandonment rates. Best of all, our plans arm you with more than 20 different performance tests so you’ll know you can accommodate tons of web traffic. To learn more about our Managed WooCommerce Hosting, visit our product page today. The post Growth Hacking Strategies for eCommerce appeared first on Liquid Web.

Getting Mailchimp to Work with Shopify again: Part 2 – Using Zapier

Reseller Club Blog -

Have you been running flawless email operations on Mailchimp by using the Mailchimp integration for Shopify? For some context, as we mentioned in the previous article, Shopify and Mailchimp have stopped the first-party support for each other’s users. You’ll need to build a new workflow for your emails to revive the operations (and improve it while you’re at it) to keep your store’s most important marketing channel at its pace. Zapier delivers smart workflows in the form of conditional workflows that are termed as ‘Paths.’ You can set conditions that will be applied by your Apps to take different paths for different conditions. Now, let us look at the process for bringing in the Zapier integration: Bringing Zapier between Mailchimp and Shopify In case you’re unaware of how Zapier works – you create a ‘Zap’ which consists of two or more apps wherein one of the apps’ actions acts as a trigger and the other is used to run a preset function triggered by the first app. For example, between Google Forms and Gmail, you could set up a ‘Zap’ on Zapier to send a confirmation email to all the people who RSVP’d ‘Yes’ to an event participation form and more still, we could add as my steps as you like with all the supported integrations Zapier has.  We’re going to walk you through how this works for connecting Mailchimp with Shopify, both of which are integrations supported by Zapier.  Setting up Shopify Triggers To automate Mailchimp operations on Shopify, we’ll have to set the events that trigger an action on Mailchimp – For example, if we want every newly registered user on your Shopify store to be automatically added to a specific list on Mailchimp, ‘New Customer’ will be a trigger on Shopify. Let’s see how to complete setting up the same function. Step 1 Create an account and log in to Zapier.  Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be greeted by the Zapier dashboard.  Once you’re in there, click on  ‘Make a Zap’ button on the top right side of the page.  You’ll be asked to input the trigger app for the Zap. In our case, we’ll keep ‘Shopify’ as the trigger app as we want the automation to be based on events happening on your Shopify store.  Start typing Shopify in the search bar below and you’ll see Shopify appear in the suggestions below – click on ‘Shopify’ to proceed. Step 2 You’ll be asked to select the trigger event, i.e. what event/activity do you want on your Shopify store to trigger the action on Mailchimp. There’s a rather long list of triggers on Shopify – we’ll use the ‘New Customer’ trigger. After selecting the trigger event, we’ll continue to a page that asks to log into your Shopify Store to be able to link your store with the Zap. Continue by clicking ‘Connect an Account’  Step 3 You’ll be redirected to Shopify’s sign-in page, where once you’ve signed in, you’ll be redirected back to Zapier showing your connected store.  Click on ‘Save + Continue’ to proceed. You’ll have to select a sample customer to continue setting up the Zap. Click on a ‘customer’ to proceed. After selecting a Sample customer, you’ll be asked to go to the next step and set an action for the trigger, in another app – in our case, Mailchimp. Step 4 On the next screen, you’ll be asked to add an action step. Click on ‘Your Zap currently lacks…’ to proceed to add Mailchimp as the action App. On the screen that proceeds, you’ll see a search box where you need to start typing in Mailchimp. Click on ‘Mailchimp’ in the suggestions as it appears while typing.  You’ll be presented with the options for actions that need to be performed on the trigger we just set on Shopify. For this tutorial, we’ll select Add/Update subscriber as the action to be performed. So the Zap once set up, will add/update a new user who just registered on your Shopify store to a setlist on Mailchimp – so you don’t need to do this manually. Step 5 On the next screen, you’ll be asked to connect your Mailchimp account. Once you click on ‘Connect an Account’ – you’ll see a Mailchimp sign-in page open up in a new window. Once you’ve signed in, you’ll see your account listed on the next page. Click on ‘Save + Continue’. In the next step, you’ll need to provide specifics with respect to the email list you want to add/update a new user with, along with opt-in, replace and update options. Note – Only two fields are required here (Audience & Subscriber Email) and the rest aren’t – we can totally skip these unless you want the Zap to function any other way. To proceed, click on ‘Continue’. You’ll see a summary of the options you’ve set for Mailchimp, and once you’ve confirmed all of it, you can go ahead and test your settings to see if everything works. Click on ‘Send Test To Mailchimp’ You’ll see the above screen once the test is successful. Once you’re here, click on ‘Finish’ Your Zap is now completely set and will automatically add a new subscriber to your set Mailchimp list when a new user ‘Signs Up’ on your Shopify store. This can be repeated for all the available triggers available on Shopify along with the supported actions on Mailchimp – including sending emails, using ‘Send Campaign’ and ‘Add subscriber to tag’ action steps, depending on how you want to send it. In case you face any problems during the setup process, you can always get the help of Zapier’s awesome customer support. In the next article, we’ll go through the steps to link your Shopify store to Mailchimp using Automate.io – stay tuned! Meanwhile – check out the first article in the series with instructions to integrate Mailchimp with Shopify using Shopsync. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Getting Mailchimp to Work with Shopify again: Part 2 – Using Zapier appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How to Speed up Your WooCommerce Store With Image Compression

Liquid Web Official Blog -

If your WooCommerce store feels slow and seems to take too long to load, it could be because your photos are way bigger than they need to be. To solve this, you could use a simple image compression plugin to speed up your WooCommerce store. The Problem If you upload original, full-size images to your WooCommerce site, then you’re forcing your site visitors to download those full-size images just to see a thumbnail. Often those original images can be 3-5 MB, which is enormous. That’s print quality, and definitely not necessary for displaying a small version on a screen. You’re making people download pixels they’ll never see. This happens because you’re a shop owner, not a Photoshop expert. So, you just upload the images you get and do not reduce a 5 MB image to a 150 KB image, which is ideal. The Solution Get a plugin! There are a lot of tools that can do this for you. Here are four image compression plugins you can try: Kraken.io TinyPNG Jetpack Imagify These are just four different solutions (and there are more options out there) that can directly connect to your store so you can upload original images—just like you’ve always done—and the plugin will compress it for you in a seamless process. Now your site loads faster… No special Photoshop skills required. How Does Image Compression Make Your Site Faster? With smaller image files, your WooCommerce store will load a lot faster. And you don’t have to sacrifice quality. A few benefits: Your home page with photos of featured products will load faster. Catalog pages with multiple photos will load faster. Product pages with multiple images of a single product will load faster. This is just one, simple thing you can do to speed up your WooCommerce store. If you’re not already compressing images, start doing it today to speed up your store. Learn more about Managed WooCommerce hosting. And psst… it already includes image compression and lots more.  The post How to Speed up Your WooCommerce Store With Image Compression appeared first on Liquid Web.

8 Unique SEM Tactics to Boost Traffic to Your Website

Pickaweb Blog -

Search engine marketing or SEM is the umbrella term for a set of tactics and strategies utilised by marketers to increase their search engine ranking. This may be critical for improving your visibility (and revenues) since you want to be high on the list of search outputs for your industry and keywords combination. As opposed The post 8 Unique SEM Tactics to Boost Traffic to Your Website appeared first on Pickaweb.

The 10 Best Chrome Extensions for SEO

Pickaweb Blog -

If you’re looking to increase your productivity when working on SEO tasks, there’s a loads of amazing Chrome extensions that will help you save time and make life much easier. We’ve listed our top 10 chrome extensions for SEO 1. Keywords Everywhere Keywords Everywhere is one of the best SEO tools that adds information about The post The 10 Best Chrome Extensions for SEO appeared first on Pickaweb.

People of WordPress: Abdullah Ramzan

WordPress.org News -

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories. Meet Abdullah Ramzan, from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Abdullah Ramzan was born and brought up in the under-developed city of ​Layyah​, which is situated in Southern Punjab, Pakistan and surrounded by desert and the river ​Sindh​. He graduated from college in his home town and started using a computer in ​2010​ when he joined ​Government College University Faisalabad​. Abdullah’s introduction to WordPress happened while he was finishing the last semester of his degree. His final project was based in WordPress. Ramzan’s late mother was the real hero in his life, helping him with his Kindergarten homework and seeing him off to school every day.  Before her heart surgery, Ramzan visited her in the hospital ICU, where she hugged him and said: ​“Don’t worry, everything will be good.” Sadly, his mother died during her surgery. However, her influence on Ramzan’s life continues. Start of Ramzan’s Career: After graduation, Ramzan struggled to get his first job. He first joined PressTigers​ as a Software Engineer and met Khawaja Fahad Shakeel​, his first mentor. Shakeel provided Ramzan with endless support. Something had always felt missing in his life, but he felt like he was on the right track for the first time in his life when he joined the WordPress community.  Community – WordCamps and Meetups: Although Ramzan had used WordPress since ​2015​, attending WordPress meetups and open source contributions turned out to be a game-changer for him. He learned a lot from the WordPress community and platform, and developed strong relationships with several individuals. One of them is ​Nidhi Jain​ from Udaipur India who he works with on WordPress development. The second is ​Jonathan Desrosiers​ who he continues to learn a lot from. In addition, Usman Khalid​, the lead organizer of WC Karachi, mentored Ramzan, helping him to develop his community skills.  With the mentorship of these contributors, Ramzan is confident supporting local WordPress groups and helped to organize ​WordCamp Karachi​, where he spoke for the first time at an international level event. He believes that WordPress has contributed much to his personal identity.  Abdullah Ramzan at WordCamp Karachi 2018 WordPress and the Future: As a ​co-organizer of WordPress Meetup Lahore,​ he would love to involve more people in the community leadership team, to provide a platform for people to gather under one roof, to learn and share something with each other. But he has loftier ambitions. Impressed by Walk to WordCamp Europe, Abdullah is seriously considering walking to WordCamp Asia. He also one day hopes for the opportunity to serve his country as a senator of Pakistan​ and intends to enter the next senate election. Words of Encouragement Abdullah Ramzan knows there is no shortcut to success. “You have to work hard to achieve your goals,” explained Ramzan. He still has much he wishes to accomplish and hopes to be remembered for his impact on the project. Abdullah believes WordPress can never die as long as people don’t stop innovating to meet new demands. The beauty of WordPress is that it is made for everyone. Ramzan encouraged, “If you seriously want to do something for yourself, do something for others first. Go for open source, you’ll surely learn how to code. You’ll learn how to work in a team. Join local meetups, meet with the folks: help them, learn from them, and share ideas.” This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard. Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

A High-Level Guide to Containerization

WP Engine -

The concept of small, lightweight execution environments, known as containers, has been a phenomenon in computer science for more than a decade. Over the past ten years, this technology has grown rapidly in popularity, and software such as Docker and Kubernetes have arrived on the scene to support the “container revolution.” Still, even with its… The post A High-Level Guide to Containerization appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Create a Media Kit for Your Website (5 Key Tips)

DreamHost Blog -

You’ve built a great website and spent hours crafting content that’s laser-focused on your target audience. Your traffic is great, the site design is impeccable, and the search engine optimization? You’re hitting every keyword, baby. But here’s the unpleasant truth: you can be doing all those things right and still not get the interest from advertisers and media outlets that you want to grow your business. You may be wondering what you can do to turn things around and deliver a comprehensive message to prospects about your services. Adding your business’ key information to your website can be a way to maintain your brand standards while bringing in new advertisers and collaborators. Collecting these details into a “media kit” can help you provide a convenient place for people to find and use them as needed. In this article, we’ll take a look at how media kits coordinate with your other content and why you might want to add one to your site. Along the way, we’ll share some stellar media kit examples. We’ll also go over how to create your own media kit in five easy steps. Whether you’re a blogger, influencer, or entrepreneur, creating a media kit for your website is a must. Let’s get you some press coverage! Shared Hosting That Powers Your PurposeWe make sure your website is fast, secure and always up so your visitors trust you. Plans start at $2.59/mo.Choose Your Plan What a Media Kit Typically Provides The terms “press kit” and “media kit” are often used interchangeably. A media kit, however, is more specifically geared towards bringing in advertisers or potential clients. Arguably, a public relations-driven press kit can also bring in advertisers. For this article, we’re going to use the term “media kit,” however, and focus on how it can help you monetize your website, bring in collaborators, and appeal to advertisers. A comprehensive media kit generally includes the following: An introduction. You can use this as an opportunity to present a very targeted message about your business. Alternatively, you can produce an approved bio for anyone to use. Site statistics. There’s no need to be humble here — it’s smart to put your best numbers out in front. For example, you can let everyone know what a great opportunity your site presents due to the volume of traffic it receives. Advertising opportunities. You can use your media kit to spell out precisely what kind of advertising you have available on your site. Your media kit is a good place to outline what you can’t accommodate as well. Audience data. The demographics of your site’s audience might not be right for every advertiser or collaborator. Supplying that information in your media kit can help eliminate any confusion. Let’s look at an online-only media outlet as an example. The popular website, BuzzFeed, has a global audience of over 650 million. It showcases its media kit information in a clean and scrollable format for potential advertisers. The kit clearly displays the most critical information and allows for opportunities to click through and learn more. Alternatively, Catherine Summers is a style blogger with a media kit that ticks off all the best practices boxes. Summers immediately jumps in and addresses why anyone would want to work with her and then lays out all the options. These examples showcase a wide variety of different approaches you might consider for your own media kit. Why You Might Want to Consider Adding a Media Kit to Your Website As we mentioned before, media kits are prime real estate for showcasing the best of what you have to offer. Plus, you can plainly state how interested advertisers or other potential clients can work with you. That said, there are are two main audiences to think about when deciding whether you should create a media kit for your website. They include: Advertisers. If you are hoping to bring in revenue by offering up space on your website, you’ll want to consider crafting your media kit with an appeal to potential advertisers. Highlighting your audience demographics and the number of views they might get on your site are important metrics to consider. Clients. If your primary goal is to bring in new clients or fill out your speaking engagement calendar, there might be other aspects to highlight in your kit as well. For instance, showcasing previous high-profile engagements can heighten your appeal to potential clients. Understanding the primary goal of creating a media kit for your website can help you prioritize your content and focus your efforts. Of course, your media kit might also have a combination of advertiser and client appeal. As we saw in the examples above, being comprehensive with your media kit is definitely a valid approach. Be Awesome on the InternetJoin our monthly newsletter for tips and tricks to build your dream website!Sign Me Up How to Create a Media Kit for Your Website (5 Key Tips) Now that you have some idea of what a media kit might include, let’s discuss how you can start building your own. In the following sections, we’ll cover five essential steps that will get you on the path to building an attention-grabbing kit. 1. Establish Your Brand When it comes to marketing, brand and brand strategy are vital. Your media kit is one opportunity to really solidify your brand and make sure it’s represented correctly. There are several ways you can help to establish your brand with your media kit. Providing downloadable documents, press releases, images, and logos or graphics is one approach. Offering these can help encourage site visitors to use your products and establish a friendly atmosphere. Visitors will know it’s OK to use the materials, and you control their quality. Another element you might consider including in your media kit is a style guide. This guide may take some investment of time to create but can pay off in the long run. A style guide makes it very clear how your brand can and should be used both on- and offline. 2. Provide Relevant Statistics We mentioned earlier that one element of a media kit to consider is statistics about your site and business. Depending on your level of experience with tracking analytics, this might seem challenging at first. If you’re using a managed web host for your website, you might want to see if it provides easily-accessible statistics. For example, here at DreamHost, all of our hosting accounts include user statistics functionality. This can help you track visitor numbers, traffic to your domain, and even referring URLs. To maximize the benefit of providing your stats, you’ll want to keep in mind who they’re relevant to. In the case of media kits, you’re not really providing these numbers for your readers, but rather for potential advertisers or clients. Therefore, you’ll want to focus on the figures that illustrate the benefits of working with you and your audience. Don’t forget to include follower demographics and engagement data from your social media platforms too! Related: How to Use Google Analytics with WordPress 3. Describe How to Collaborate With You Your media kit is also a place where you can specifically outline what opportunities you are looking for when it comes to collaboration, such as: Affiliate Marketing Opportunities Book Deal Event Appearances Giveaways Guest Posting Podcast Sponsorships Product Reviews Site Ads Social Media Promotions Sponsored Blog Posts Being specific can help increase the number of quality leads you get. For example, if you are primarily looking for guest posting or social media opportunities, outline the specifics in your media kit. The LadyBossBlogger website has an excellent example of how to present your collaboration suggestions and opportunities transparently. Alternatively, you can create forms that allow potential collaborators to give information and outline their inquiries. You’ll also want to consider whether you want to list your prices upfront or encourage prospects to contact you for more details. 4. Share What Others Have to Say About You Testimonials are used in marketing all the time and for good reason. Your media kit can leverage the power of these as well. As a form of word-of-mouth marketing, collecting strong testimonials (or just creating a list of past media coverage) is often a worthwhile investment of time. Whether you’re citing past media mentions from publications or sharing sound bites from social media followers, It’s always advisable to note in your media kit exactly where your testimonials are coming from. You can help build trust through transparency in this way. One useful example to check out is cookbook author Ren Behan’s press site. There, she displays comments and testimonials in a variety of ways. There are several methods for collecting testimonials. You can use online reviews and LinkedIn recommendations, for example. However you decide to obtain them, you’ll want to make sure it is evident in your media kit whether it is acceptable for others (such as reporters) to use them. 5. Provide Your Contact Information It may seem like a simple thing, but providing your contact information is extremely vital. In fact, the contact page is often the most-visited page on any website. You can link to this page in your media kit or simply include contact information and methods within it. Either way, providing multiple contact options is always a smart approach. Some web users prefer forms, while others will just want to know what your email address is. One good example of combining both methods comes from (not surprisingly) a UX designer’s website. The simple approach here makes critical information very clear and gives the visitor options. Your contact information is probably not where you want to implement an online scavenger hunt. Also, it’s essential to always keep this information up-to-date, with all links and forms functioning optimally. Essential Tools and Resources for Building Your Media Kit Now that you’re armed with some great ideas for your media kit, you might be wondering how to create yours. You can do this entirely from scratch, of course. However, there are also quite a few free and premium resources that can make the process easier. These include: Canva. This is an online design tool with beautiful pre-made templates and graphic elements. You can get a free template with limited access or pay to get a variety of upgrades at reasonable prices. Creative Market. An online exchange for creative work, Creative Market is like Etsy for marketing materials. You can commission a custom font, or browse other original work to find the perfect fit for your brand. WordPress. There are many options out there for building websites, but at DreamHost, we’re partial to WordPress. As a free, open-source tool, it offers immense flexibility. Plus, you’ll find many useful plugins for creating portfolios, displaying contact information, and developing contact forms. Ultimately, how you create your media kit is less important than what it includes. So you should feel free to use whatever tools you’re most comfortable with and focus on ensuring that your kit is comprehensive, easy to understand, and user-friendly. Get Those Media Contacts Bloggers, influencers, small business owners — regardless of your focus, you want to solidify your brand, bring in more work, and attract advertisers. For all those goals, a media kit is the key. Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of media kits and shared some industry-standard examples, you should be ready to launch your electronic press kit. Creating a wow-inducing media kit can take time. Here at DreamHost, we want you to be able to focus on the task at hand, and not get sidetracked by website maintenance and troubleshooting. That’s why we offer complete hosting solutions with reliable support, so you can focus on growing your business! The post How to Create a Media Kit for Your Website (5 Key Tips) appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

Women in Technology: Mandy Shepard

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Liquid Web’s Manager of Salesforce on adapting, how her husband’s support has influenced her career path, and the role music has played in her life. “Follow what makes you happy,” says Shepard. Mandy Shepard loves a plan but knows how to stay flexible. “You can only control what you can control,” she says. “Of course, everyone wants to know what to expect, but unpredictable things happen. Remembering you can only control what you can control keeps me grounded in those situations.” Shepard maintains the love of music she developed in high school, embracing an eclectic variety of artists. “My iPod on shuffle is really something. You’ll get Def Leppard or Metallica followed by Josh Groban or some musical theater. Wicked, 80’s one-hit-wonders, 90’s grunge, and Barry Manilow all together!” Performing live with a group of people, whether on the field or in the concert hall, is not so dissimilar from working with a team in the tech world. “Stuff happens,” Shepard says. “It’s how you respond and move forward that matters.” She has worked in tech for nearly 20 years, beginning her career working as a Database Specialist for a large bank, a top company as ranked by Fortune magazine, managing a database used for marketing efforts. “It could be stressful at times,” she says, “because we built a new database each month. It really grew my relational database skills, as well as giving my first taste of analytics.” It was also in this role, which Shepard considers her first job, that she learned how important it is to have colleagues you respect taking an interest in your work and job path. “I had some really incredible mentors— all of which were women— who helped me get my career off on the right foot.” But her most significant source of encouragement is her husband, Joel. “He is so supportive of me as I work through my career journey,” says Shepard. “Each time I have discussed a new opportunity with Joel, he has been objective, honest, and ultimately supports me in whatever I choose to do. His support really helps me to pursue the career I want and become the person I want to be.” Now, Shepard works as Liquid Web’s Manager of Salesforce, helping to keep customer data clean and organized. She also holds two Salesforce Certifications— Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder. “I love solving problems,” Shepard says. “ I love folks coming to me with a problem and working together to come up with a solution. That epiphany moment when you find the answer is amazing.” In her work at Liquid Web, Shepard does her best to appreciate the people she is problem-solving with and for. “If it makes the lives of my fellow Liquid Web employees easier and better, then that makes me happy.” It is this spirit of camaraderie that endears Liquid Web to Shepard. “I love working for this company. I love the culture. We work hard, but it’s a really welcoming environment.” She knows that the people around you can make or break a job. “The best advice I have to offer is to follow what makes you happy. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I just know that I want to enjoy what I am doing, where I am doing it, and who I am doing it with.” Shepard is excited about the future of women in technology. “Young women today are growing up with way more technology than I ever had,” she says. “I didn’t have a computer until my 3rd year of college.” There is infinite potential for people interested in tech, says Shepard. “Anything is possible. To quote George McFly, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” The post Women in Technology: Mandy Shepard appeared first on Liquid Web.

The Complete Guide To Livechat For Conversions

Pickaweb Blog -

Are you on a constant hunt to discover ways and means to improve conversions on your site? If so you’re at the right place. This post throws light on one of the most popular ways to improve conversions. A live chat extension is one of the best additions to your site to improve conversions. How The post The Complete Guide To Livechat For Conversions appeared first on Pickaweb.

What Is a Second-Level Domain?

HostGator Blog -

The post What Is a Second-Level Domain? appeared first on HostGator Blog. When you’re actively searching the web, you probably don’t think twice about domain names.  It’s just the name you type into your web browser, or the link you click on from the search results.   But, when you start to investigate domain names for your new website, you’ll see that there’s a lot that’s going on behind the scenes. Plus, there are a lot of technical terms and questions you’re going to have to sort between. What’s a second level domain? A top-level domain name? How do I use domain name registrations? A domain extension? A subdomain? The questions go on and on.  Luckily, these terms aren’t as complicated as you might initially think. Below we dive deep into the question what is a second level domain? By the end of this post, you’ll understand exactly what a second level domain is, why it’s important, how it relates to other parts of a domain name, and finally, some tips on choosing the perfect domain. What Is a Domain Name? First, we’ll start with a term you’re probably familiar with—a domain name. A domain name is what you type into your internet browser to access a website. Think of it as the address to your home. For people to get to your house, you’ll need to give them your home’s unique address. The same goes for your website. For people to access your site, they’re going to need the domain that’s associated with your website. On a technical level, your domain name stands in place of an IP address. Before the domain name system was created, you’d have to type in a complex series of numbers to access a website.  Today, the IP address is still technically there. However, instead of having to remember that string of numbers, you only have to remember the domain name. So, instead of typing in something like 32.55.76.77 you just type in ‘hostgator.com’, and voila, you’re transported to the site.  What Is a URL? You’ve probably heard the term URL before. It’s often used synonymously with terms like domain and domain name. But, it’s not actually the exact same thing.  URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and it refers to the entire string of letters and numbers within a web address. So, it can be simple like “https://www.hostgator.com/domains,” or it can be more complex like “https://www.hostgator.com/blog/how-to-create-a-website/”  The URL spells out the entire location of a page, post, or media file located on your server.  As you’ll soon learn, the second level domain is a small part of the overall URL.  What Is a Second Level Domain? There are multiple parts to a domain name (we break this down in more detail below). But, now let’s focus on arguably the most essential part of a domain name—the second level domain. When you’re browsing for a domain name here at HostGator (or any other domain registrar), you’ll actually be searching for a second level domain. This is the most memorable part of your domain name and is the aspect you’ll be building your brand around. In ‘hostgator.com’, ‘hostgator’ is the second level domain. The second level domain is the part of your domain that people will remember the most. It will become the hub that you build the rest of your online brand around.  Understanding All the Parts of a Domain Name As you’ve hopefully gleaned so far, there are a few moving pieces you’ll have to sort out before you do a domain registration.. The most crucial part is your second level domain, but you also need a top-level domain.  In some cases, you also might want to add a subdomain to your primary domain, so we’ll highlight this relationship as well.  1. The Second Level Domain The second level domain is the ‘hostgator’ in ‘hostgator.com.’ It’s arguably the most critical part of website names, but it won’t work on its own. For example, if you just type in ‘hostgator’ into your web browser, this will be treated as a search keyword, instead of a domain name. Only with the addition of a top-level domain name does it become an actual domain name.  2. Top-Level Domain Names The top-level domain (TLD) is the part of the domain to the right of the second level domain. With ‘hostgator.com’ the top-level domain would be ‘.com.’ You might be a little confused about why the part is called the TLD. But, it makes sense when you think about how web browsers read the domain name. When we read English, we read from left to right, so we assume that browsers do the same.  But, when reading a domain name, the web browser reads it from right from left, so the top-level domain is the first thing it reads.  Now, choosing a top-level domain is also very important, you’ll have dozens of different top-level domains to choose from. Some of these are country-specific, like .co.uk or .co.au. While others are geared towards specific organizations, like .org and .edu, and some are just plain fun, like .bike or .beer. When you search for a domain name here at HostGator, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of different domain name extensions: Even if the extension you desire isn’t available, you might be able to find one that’s a better fit! 3. The Subdomain A subdomain is an aspect of your domain name that’s related to your second level domain. For example, if you wanted to create a subdomain for your company blog, it would look like this “blog.mysite.com.” Subdomains are created for a variety of purposes, but here are some of the most common: Website redesign. You build your new website on a subdomain, so you can test it in real time. Site organization. You create a separate section of your site that requires unique organization, like a support section or knowledgebase. Blog or online store. You create a separate blog or online store that related to your main domain, but it requires a unique setup or CMS. Note that in order to use a subdomain, you’ll first need a primary domain name.  The Importance of Choosing the Right Second Level Domain Your second level domain will be the face of your online brand. Think about companies like Amazon, Google, Zillow, and Zappos. All of these brands are synonymous with their second level domains: amazon.com, google.com, zillow.com, and zappos.com. You want yours to be the same.  Here are the most significant reasons you should spend some time finding the perfect second level domain name: 1. It’s Your Visitor’s First Impression The moment a visitor lands on your site they’re making little micro-judgments about the trustworthiness of your website. Your domain plays a considerable role in this. If you have a spammy-sounding domain name or a domain that doesn’t relate to the rest of your site, then chances are high your visitors won’t stick around. Something will feel off.  Make sure that your domain name, especially your second level domain, communicates positive qualities about your site.   2. It’s Your Online Brand The name of your site is often synonymous with your URL. Think about brands like Google and Amazon above. With Google, the second level domain has even become a verb over time – just Google it. The right domain can make it easier for your brand to spread. Choose a second level domain that’s confusing and hard to remember, and it’ll be much more difficult for your brand awareness to grow around the web.  3. It Can Help With SEO In some cases, your domain name can even help your SEO. This doesn’t mean you should go crazy and find an exact match domain, as this is no longer necessary. But, you can include a keyword or two that will help visitors understand what your site is about while improving your chances of ranking.  For example, SafeHome.org is a site that offers guidance and reviews on keeping your home and family safe, while OutdoorGearLab.com is site that reviews products for getting the most out of your outdoor experience.  The domains above all include keywords which help suggest to readers what the site is about while creating a brandable domain.  Tips for Choosing the Perfect Second Level Domain Now that you know what a second level domain is and the role it plays in your URL and overall domain name, let’s dive into some tips for how you can choose the perfect domain. 1. The Shorter, the Better As a general rule, the shorter your domain name, the better. Now, almost all concise dictionary words will already be taken, but you can be creative by combining multiple words, or removing certain letters from a word, while still having it convey the same meaning. This is a very popular tactic for a lot of internet startups. If you can’t find something short, then at least make it straightforward and easy to remember.  2. Easy to Remember and Spell If you have a hard to remember domain name, or you choose a word that’s commonly misspelled you’re going to have a hard time building a memorable site. Imagine someone thinking they’re going to your website, but they end up on another entirely different website, simply because they spelled it wrong!  Think of websites like Facebook, IGN, CNN, and Twitter. All of these are words and abbreviations that stick in your mind.  As a good rule of thumb, if you frequently have to spell out your domain name to other people, then it’s too complicated.  3. Avoid Complex Characters In alignment with the above rule, your domain should only use letters. By using numbers and other special characters like hyphens, you’re making your domain that much harder to remember. Plus, it will be challenging to build an actual memorable brand if your domain is something like “best-dog-toys-2-day.com.” This goes back to having to explain your domain name to someone. If they can’t intuitively guess how they’re going to type the domain into their browser, then you really need to simplify it. 4. Choose a Long-Term Domain When you’re about to register a domain name, ask yourself, “Will you still be excited about using that domain years from now?” Think of your domain name choice as a long-term relationship. Changing your domain can be a real hassle. It’s something you’ll want to avoid doing if possible. You’ll also want to think down the road about the future of your site.  For example, if you’re thinking about starting a website dedicated to mountain biking, you could choose a domain like “bikingescape.com.” But, if you feel that down the road you’ll want to expand into other niches, like kayaking, backpacking, and other outdoor activity areas, then a domain like “outdoorescape.com” would make much more sense. Think about where you want your site to be in a few years and choose your second level domain accordingly.  5. Search for Trademarks and Social Media Accounts  The final tip has less to do with your domain and more about your overall brand.  Before you pull the trigger on a domain name check to see if you can also register any social media handles, along with any existing trademarks.  To avoid the legal headache, you can use a tool like Knowem, which will search through dozens of popular social media networks to see if your domain is available as a handle. Plus, it will search through any existing trademarks as well. You could do this all on your own, but the tool above will save you hours of time.  In Closing There’s a lot that goes into a domain name. It’s a small but vital aspect of your overall website. Although the domain contains multiple different elements, the second level domain is the part you should spend the most time thinking about. With the wrong second level domain, you can struggle to gain traction online and make it that much more difficult for your website to succeed. But, with the right second level domain, you’ll improve your chances of establishing a popular brand that virtually spreads on its own. Hopefully, by now, you have a better understanding of how second level domains work, and the role they play in a professional website. Domain names can be hard to choose; if you still haven’t picked up a second level domain yet, then you can do that right here at HostGator. Our team of professionals will help you get started with your domain name registration and your web hosting package. Not only will you be able to find your dream domain name, but also the perfect top-level domain that’ll align with your brand. Ready to have search engines find your website? Register a domain today with HostGator!  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

SEO for Startups: How to Bootstrap Your SEO and Still Get Results

Pickaweb Blog -

SEO is a must-have if you’re starting up a new business, especially if that business is operating online in any capacity. As a startup with a bootstrapped budget, is possible to still get great results with SEO? Yes! It’s not impossible to do SEO on a tight budget. Here’s how you make it work. SEO The post SEO for Startups: How to Bootstrap Your SEO and Still Get Results appeared first on Pickaweb.

The Complexities of Identity: How Verification has Been Changing with Tech

Pickaweb Blog -

Back when the Internet was still new, people enjoyed anonymity online hiding behind quirky usernames. You could be whomever you portrayed yourself to be online. However, things have changed as social media and services started emerging. You now had to authenticate yourself and prove you’re a real person to be able to do a transaction. The post The Complexities of Identity: How Verification has Been Changing with Tech appeared first on Pickaweb.

Introducing the Newest AWS Heroes – September 2019

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Leaders within the AWS technical community educate others about the latest AWS services in a variety of ways: some share knowledge in person by speaking at events or running workshops and Meetups; while others prefer to share their insights online via social media, blogs, or open source contributions. The most prominent AWS community leaders worldwide are recognized as AWS Heroes, and today we are excited to introduce to you the latest members of the AWS Hero program: Alex Schultz – Fort Wayne, USA Machine Learning Hero Alex Schultz works in the Innovation Labs at Advanced Solutions where he develops machine learning enabled products and solutions for the biomedical and product distribution industries. After receiving a DeepLens at re:Invent 2017, he dove headfirst into machine learning where he used the device to win the AWS DeepLens challenge by building a project which can read books to children. As an active advocate for AWS, he runs the Fort Wayne AWS User Group and loves to share his knowledge and experience with other developers. He also regularly contributes to the online DeepRacer community where he has helped many people who are new to machine learning get started.               Chase Douglas – Portland, USA Serverless Hero Chase Douglas is the CTO and co-founder at Stackery, where he steers engineering and technical architecture of development tools that enable individuals and teams of developers to successfully build and manage serverless applications. He is a deeply experienced software architect and a long-time engineering leader focused on building products that increase development efficiency while delighting users. Chase is also a frequent conference speaker on the topics of serverless, instrumentation, and software patterns. Most recently, he discussed the serverless development-to-production pipeline at the Chicago and New York AWS Summits, and provided insight into how the future of serverless may be functionless in his blog series.             Chris Williams – Portsmouth, USA Community Hero Chris Williams is an Enterprise Cloud Consultant for GreenPages Technology Solutions—a digital transformation and cloud enablement company. There he helps customers design and deploy the next generation of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, specializing in AWS and VMware. Chris blogs about virtualization, technology, and design at Mistwire. He is an active community leader, co-organizing the AWS Portsmouth User Group, and both hosts and presents on vBrownBag.                 Dave Stauffacher – Milwaukee, USA Community Hero Dave Stauffacher is a Principal Platform Engineer focused on cloud engineering at Direct Supply where he has helped navigate a 30,000% data growth over the last 15 years. In his current role, Dave is focused on helping drive Direct Supply’s cloud migration, combining his storage background with cloud automation and standardization practices. Dave has published his automation work for deploying AWS Storage Gateway for use with SQL Server data protection. He is a participant in the Milwaukee AWS User Group and the Milwaukee Docker User Group and has showcased his cloud experience in presentations at the AWS Midwest Community Day, AWS re:Invent, HashiConf, the Milwaukee Big Data User Group and other industry events.             Gojko Adzic – London, United Kingdom Serverless Hero Gojko Adzic is a partner at Neuri Consulting LLP and a co-founder of MindMup, a collaborative mind mapping application that has been running on AWS Lambda since 2016. He is the author of the book Running Serverless and co-author of Serverless Computing: Economic and Architectural Impact, one of the first academic papers about AWS Lambda. He is also a key contributor to Claudia.js, an open-source tool that simplifies Lambda application deployment, and is a minor contributor to the AWS SAM CLI. Gojko frequently blogs about serverless application development on Serverless.Pub and his personal blog, and he has authored numerous other books.               Liz Rice – Enfield, United Kingdom Container Hero Liz Rice is VP Open Source Engineering with cloud native security specialists Aqua Security, where she and her team look after several container-related open source projects. She is chair of the CNCF’s Technical Oversight Committee, and was Co-Chair of the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2018 events in Copenhagen, Shanghai and Seattle. She is a regular speaker at conferences including re:Invent, Velocity, DockerCon and many more. Her talks usually feature live coding or demos, and she is known for making complex technical concepts accessible.                 Lyndon Leggate – London, United Kingdom Machine Learning Hero Lyndon Leggate is a senior technology leader with extensive experience of defining and delivering complex technical solutions on large, business critical projects for consumer facing brands. Lyndon is a keen participant in the AWS DeepRacer league. Racing as Etaggel, he has regularly positioned in the top 10, features in DeepRacer TV and in May 2019 established the AWS DeepRacer Community. This vibrant and rapidly growing community provides a space for new and experienced racers to seek advice and share tips. The Community has gone on to expand the DeepRacer toolsets, making the platform more accessible and pushing the bounds of the technology. He also organises the AWS DeepRacer London Meetup series.             Maciej Lelusz – Crakow, Poland Community Hero Maciej Lelusz is Co-Founder of Chaos Gears, a company concentrated on serverless, automation, IaC and chaos engineering as a way for the improvement of system resiliency. He is focused on community development, blogging, company management, and Public/Hybrid/Private cloud design. He cares about enterprise technology, IT transformation, its culture and people involved in it. Maciej is Co-Leader of the AWS User Group Poland – Cracow Chapter, and the Founder and Leader of the InfraXstructure conference and Polish VMware User Group.                 Nathan Glover – Perth, Australia Community Hero Nathan Glover is a DevOps Consultant at Mechanical Rock in Perth, Western Australia. Prior to that he worked as a Hardware Systems Designer and Embedded Developer in the IoT space. He is passionate about Cloud Native architecture and loves sharing his successes and failures on his blog. A key focus for him is breaking down the learning barrier by building practical examples using cloud services. On top of these he has a number of online courses teaching people how to get started building with Amazon Alexa Skills and AWS IoT. In his spare time, he loves to dabble in all areas of technology; building cloud connected toasters, embedded systems vehicle tracking, and competing in online capture the flag security events.             Prashanth HN – Bengaluru, India Serverless Hero Prashanth HN is the Chief Technology Officer at WheelsBox and one of the community leaders of the AWS Users Group, Bengaluru. He mentors and consults other startups to embrace a serverless approach, frequently blogs about serverless topics for all skill levels including topics for beginners and advanced users on his personal blog and Amplify-related topics on the AWS Amplify Community Blog, and delivers talks about building using microservices and serverless. In a recent talk, he demonstrated how microservices patterns can be implemented using serverless. Prashanth maintains the open-source project Lanyard, a serverless agenda app for event organizers and attendees, which was well received at AWS Community Day India.               Ran Ribenzaft – Tel Aviv, Israel Serverless Hero Ran Ribenzaft is the Chief Technology Officer at Epsagon, an AWS Advanced Technology Partner that specializes in monitoring and tracing for serverless applications. Ran is a passionate developer that loves sharing open-source tools to make everyone’s lives easier and writing technical blog posts on the topics of serverless, microservices, cloud, and AWS on Medium and the Epsagon blog. Ran is also dedicated to educating and growing the community around serverless, organizing Serverless meetups in SF and TLV, delivering online webinars and workshops, and frequently giving talks at conferences.                 Rolf Koski – Tampere, Finland Community Hero Rolf Koski works at Cybercom, which is an AWS Premier Partner from the Nordics headquartered in Sweden. He works as the CTO at Cybercom AWS Business Group. In his role he is both technical as well as being the thought leader in the Cloud. Rolf has been one of the leading figures at the Nordic AWS Communities as one of the community leads in Helsinki and Stockholm user groups and he initially founded and organized the first ever AWS Community Days Nordics. Rolf is professionally certified and additionally works as Well-Architected Lead doing Well-Architected Reviews for customer workloads.               Learn more about AWS Heroes and connect with a Hero near you by checking out the Hero website.

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