Corporate Blogs

AWS Named as a Leader in Gartner’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant for the 9th Consecutive Year

Amazon Web Services Blog -

My colleagues on the AWS service teams work to deliver what customers want today, and also do their best to anticipate what they will need tomorrow. This Customer Obsession, along with our commitment to Hire and Develop the Best (two of the fourteen Amazon Leadership Principles), helps us to figure out, and then to deliver on, our vision. It is always good to see that our hard work continues to delight customers, and to be recognized by Gartner and other leading analysts. For the ninth consecutive year, AWS has secured the top-right corner of the Leader’s quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), earning highest placement for Ability to Execute and furthest for Completeness of Vision: The full report contains a lot of detail and is a great summary of the features and factors that our customers examine when choosing a cloud provider. — Jeff; Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Transferring domains to just got better Blog -

We’re improving our transfer process once again so that our new users can enjoy more first-year perks than ever. New transfers to now include a free year of Advanced Security for every eligible domain. The product bundles Whois Privacy, Domain Lock Plus, and a free basic SSL certificate into a simple package that is […] The post Transferring domains to just got better appeared first on Blog.

A Tale of Two (APT) Transports

CloudFlare Blog -

Securing access to your APT repositories is critical. At Cloudflare, like in most organizations, we used a legacy VPN to lock down who could reach our internal software repositories. However, a network perimeter model lacks a number of features that we consider critical to a team’s security.As a company, we’ve been moving our internal infrastructure to our own zero-trust platform, Cloudflare Access. Access added SaaS-like convenience to the on-premise tools we managed. We started with web applications and then moved resources we need to reach over SSH behind the Access gateway, for example Git or user-SSH access. However, we still needed to handle how services communicate with our internal APT repository.We recently open sourced a new APT transport which allows customers to protect their private APT repositories using Cloudflare Access. In this post, we’ll outline the history of APT tooling, APT transports and introduce our new APT transport for Cloudflare Access. A brief history of APTAdvanced Package Tool, or APT, simplifies the installation and removal of software on Debian and related Linux distributions. Originally released in 1998, APT was to Debian what the App Store was to modern smartphones - a decade ahead of its time!APT sits atop the lower-level dpkg tool, which is used to install, query, and remove .deb packages - the primary software packaging format in Debian and related Linux distributions such as Ubuntu. With dpkg, packaging and managing software installed on your system became easier - but it didn’t solve for problems around distribution of packages, such as via the Internet or local media; at the time of inception, it was commonplace to install packages from a CD-ROM.APT introduced the concept of repositories - a mechanism for storing and indexing a collection of .deb packages. APT supports connecting to multiple repositories for finding packages and automatically resolving package dependencies. The way APT connects to said repositories is via a “transport” - a mechanism for communicating between the APT client and its repository source (more on this later).APT over the InternetPrior to version 1.5, APT did not include support for HTTPS - if you wanted to install a package over the Internet, your connection was not encrypted. This reduces privacy - an attacker snooping traffic could determine specific package version your system is installing. It also exposes you to man-in-the-middle attacks where an attacker could, for example, exploit a remote code execution vulnerability. Just 6 months ago, we saw an example of the latter with CVE-2019-3462.Enter the APT HTTPS transport - an optional transport you can install to add support for connecting to repositories over HTTPS. Once installed, users need to configure their APT sources.list with repositories using HTTPS.The challenge here, of course, is that the most common way to install this transport is via APT and HTTP - a classic bootstrapping problem! An alternative here is to download the .deb package via curl and install it via dpkg. You’ll find the links to apt-transport-https binaries for Stretch here - once you have the URL path for your system architecture, you can download it from the mirror-redirector over HTTPS, e.g. for amd64 (a.k.a. x86_64):curl -o apt-transport-https.deb -L HASH=c8c4366d1912ff8223615891397a78b44f313b0a2f15a970a82abe48460490cb && echo "$HASH apt-transport-https.deb" | sha256sum -c sudo dpkg -i apt-transport-https.deb To confirm which APT transports are installed on your system, you can list each “method binary” that is installed:ls /usr/lib/apt/methods With apt-transport-https installed you should now see ‘https’ in that list.The state of APT & HTTPS on DebianYou may be wondering how relevant this APT HTTPS transport is today. Given the prevalence of HTTPS on the web today, I was surprised when I found out exactly how relevant it is.Up until a couple of weeks ago, Debian Stretch (9.x) was the current stable release; 9.0 was first released in June 2017 - and the latest version (9.9) includes apt 1.4.9 by default - meaning that securing your APT communication for Debian Stretch requires installing the optional apt-transport-https package.Thankfully, on July 6 of this year, Debian released the latest version - Buster - which currently includes apt 1.8.2 with HTTPS support built-in by default, negating the need for installing the apt-transport-https package - and removing the bootstrapping challenge of installing HTTPS support via HTTPS!BYO HTTPS APT RepositoryA powerful feature of APT is the ability to run your own repository. You can mirror a public repository to improve performance or protect against an outage. And if you’re producing your own software packages, you can run your own repository to simplify distribution and installation of your software for your users.If you have your own APT repository and you’re looking to secure it with HTTPS we’ve offered free Universal SSL since 2014 and last year introduced a way to require it site-wide automatically with one click. You’ll get the benefits of DDoS attack protection, a Global CDN with Caching, and Analytics.But what if you’re looking for more than just HTTPS for your APT repository? For companies operating private APT repositories, authentication of your APT repository may be a challenge. This is where our new, custom APT transport comes in.Building custom transportsThe system design of APT is powerful in that it supports extensibility via Transport executables, but how does this mechanism work?When APT attempts to connect to a repository, it finds the executable which matches the “scheme” from the repository URL (e.g. “https://” prefix on a repository results in the “https” executable being called). APT then uses the common Linux standard streams: stdin, stdout, and stderr. It communicates via stdin/stdout using a set of plain-text Messages, which follow IETF RFC #822 (the same format that .deb “Package” files use).Examples of input message include “600 URI Acquire”, and examples of output messages include “200 URI Start” and “201 URI Done”:If you’re interested in building your own transport, check out the APT method interface spec for more implementation details. APT meets AccessCloudflare prioritizes dogfooding our own products early and often. The Access product has given our internal DevTools team a chance to work closely with the product team as we build features that help solve use cases across our organization. We’ve deployed new features internally, gathered feedback, improved them, and then released them to our customers. For example, we’ve been able to iterate on tools for Access like the Atlassian SSO plugin and the SSH feature, as collaborative efforts between DevTools and the Access team.Our DevTools team wanted to take the same dogfooding approach to protect our internal APT repository with Access. We knew this would require a custom APT transport to support generating the required tokens and passing the correct headers in HTTPS requests to our internal APT repository server. We decided to build and test our own transport that both generated the necessary tokens and passed the correct headers to allow us to place our repository behind Access.After months of internal use, we’re excited to announce that we have recently open-sourced our custom APT transport, so our customers can also secure their APT repositories by enabling authentication via Cloudflare Access. By protecting your APT repository with Cloudflare Access, you can support authenticating users via Single-Sign On (SSO) providers, defining comprehensive access-control policies, and monitoring access and change logs.Our APT transport leverages another Open Source tool we provide, cloudflared, which enables users to connect to your Cloudflare-protected domain securely.Securing your APT RepositoryTo use our APT transport, you’ll need an APT repository that’s protected by Cloudflare Access. Our instructions (below) for using our transport will use as a hostname.To use our APT transport with your own web-based APT repository, refer to our Setting Up Access guide.APT Transport InstallationTo install from source, both tools require Go - once you install Go, you can install `cloudflared` and our APT transport with four commands:go get sudo cp ${GOPATH:-~/go}/bin/cloudflared /usr/local/bin/cloudflared go get sudo cp ${GOPATH:-~/go}/bin/cfd /usr/lib/apt/methods/cfd The above commands should place the cloudflared executable in /usr/local/bin (which should be on your PATH), and the APT transport binary in the required /usr/lib/apt/methods directory.To confirm cloudflared is on your path, run:which cloudflared The above command should return /usr/local/bin/cloudflaredNow that the custom transport is installed, to start using it simply configure an APT source with the cfd:// rather than https:// e.g:$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/example.list deb [arch=amd64] cfd:// stable common Next time you do `apt-get update` and `apt-get install`, a browser window will open asking you to log-in over Cloudflare Access, and your package will be retrieved using the token returned by `cloudflared`.Fetching a GPG Key over AccessUsually, private APT repositories will use SecureApt and have their own GPG public key that users must install to verify the integrity of data retrieved from that repository.Users can also leverage cloudflared for securely downloading and installing those keys, e.g:cloudflared access login cloudflared access curl | sudo apt-key add - The first command will open your web browser allowing you to authenticate for your domain. The second command wraps curl to download the GPG key, and hands it off to `apt-key add`.Cloudflare Access on "headless" serversIf you’re looking to deploy APT repositories protected by Cloudflare Access to non-user-facing machines (a.k.a. “headless” servers), opening a browser does not work. The good news is since February, Cloudflare Access supports service tokens - and we’ve built support for them into our APT transport from day one.If you’d like to use service tokens with our APT transport, it’s as simple as placing the token in a file in the correct path; because the machine already has a token, there is also no dependency on `cloudflared` for authentication. You can find details on how to set-up a service token in the APT transport README.What’s next?As demonstrated, you can get started using our APT transport today - we’d love to hear your feedback on this! This work came out of an internal dogfooding effort, and we’re currently experimenting with additional packaging formats and tooling. If you’re interested in seeing support for another format or tool, please reach out.

Does Your Website Need Drupal?

Nexcess Blog -

At Nexcess, we host several content management systems, including WordPress, ExpressionEngine, Craft CMS, and Drupal. You can build just about any site with any of these content management system, but each has strengths that make it a better choice for some projects than others. In this article, we will focus on Drupal and the projects… Continue reading →

What Is Shared Hosting? The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

DreamHost Blog -

When you’re tackling the launch of your very first website, hosting is one of the most critical but potentially confusing aspects. Understanding the differences between various hosting types and plans is crucial for your site’s success, as well as the health of your budget. Fortunately, when you break it down, hosting isn’t as complicated as it first seems to be. After doing just a little research, you’ll be well equipped to choose the best hosting plan for you and your website. In this post, we’ll focus on shared hosting, a popular choice for first-time website owners. Then we’ll discuss some things you may want to consider when determining whether shared hosting is the right choice for you. Let’s get started! 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 Is Shared Hosting (And How Does It Work)? The secret to understanding shared hosting lies right there in the name. With this type of hosting, your site shares a physical server with one or more other websites. To understand what that means and why it’s important, let’s discuss how servers and hosting work. Every website on the internet is stored — or ‘hosted’ — on a server (a type of computer). This is how it becomes publicly available to users. When someone types a website’s URL into their browser, the browser uses that address to determine where the site is stored. Then the browser requests information about the website from the server. The server provides all the necessary data, and the web page appears in the browser. After that, the user can interact with the site by navigating to other pages, clicking on links, filling out forms, and so on. With shared hosting, one server stores all the files for several sites at once and is responsible for serving up information about them. This is the opposite of a dedicated server — a server that hosts just one specific website. Since sites on a shared hosting server take up fewer resources than those on dedicated servers, shared hosting plans tend to be a lot less expensive. The host who owns the server also takes on the responsibility of maintaining it, which means less work for you. However, there are disadvantages as well, since sites can end up essentially competing for resources. Still, shared hosting plans are a popular choice for beginners looking to host their first sites, and for good reason. The small monetary investment and lack of maintenance requirements make this type of hosting an intriguing option. Is Shared Hosting Right for You? (4 Key Considerations) Knowing what shared hosting is and how it works is one thing. Determining if it’s the best hosting solution for your website is another. Below, we’ve outlined four key considerations you should think about when deciding whether or not to go with a shared hosting plan. 1. What’s Your Budget, and Which Features Do You Need? As we mentioned earlier, shared hosting plans tend to be less expensive than other types of hosting, such as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), cloud hosting, or dedicated hosting. Since you’re only using part of a server’s storage space and resources on a shared plan, your hosting provider can afford to offer lower costs. For example, consider our shared hosting plans at DreamHost. The least expensive option starts at just $2.59 per month. This is highly affordable, even for those who have little to invest in their website upfront. Compare this with our dedicated hosting plans. While these costs are still affordable when compared to other hosts’ dedicated hosting plans, they’re much more expensive than shared hosting. If your site isn’t very large and doesn’t drive enough traffic to use up the disk space and resources on a dedicated server, it’s probably not cost-effective to purchase a dedicated plan just yet. It’s also important to consider what features are available with any hosting plan you’re considering. For example, our shared plans come with a free domain, which makes setting up your site simpler. You can also add email services for as low as $1.67 per month. When you consider the savings on these services, in addition to the low monthly cost of the hosting itself, a shared plan is by far the most budget-friendly option out there. If you don’t have a lot of money to throw at your site or you simply want to stick to a strict budget, shared hosting may be right for you. Related: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website? 2. What Are Your Technical Skills? How Easy-to-Use Is the Hosting Dashboard? As a beginner, it’s possible that you may not be very experienced when it comes to managing a server. With a shared hosting plan, this responsibility is usually handled for you. This is helpful if your technical skills aren’t very advanced, or if you simply want to devote all of your time to maintaining the site itself. You’ll also want to check out your potential web host’s control panel. It will be vital for performing troubleshooting, managing billing, upgrading your plan, and other significant tasks. Making sure yours is easy to navigate can simplify your site management process and save you from a lot of headaches down the line. At DreamHost, our clients benefit from a custom control panel. Its navigation is intuitive and easy to pick up. Even beginners shouldn’t have much trouble learning the ropes and getting their accounts set up just the way they like. Finally, another consideration to think about when it comes to ease of use is the plan upgrade process that’s provided by your host. While shared plans are a smart place for most websites to start, as they grow, they usually need to be moved to another (more robust) hosting plan. At DreamHost, we offer a simple one-click plan upgrade process. It’s accessible right from your control panel so that you can reach it at any time. Hosting is a fundamental part of running your website, and you’ll likely have to access your hosting account frequently. Choosing a hosting provider that makes managing your account and maintaining your server easy is crucial if you want to use your time efficiently. Related: When Should You Upgrade Your Hosting Plan? 3. How Large Is Your Website, and What Resources Does It Require? As you now know, shared hosting involves two or more websites sharing a single server. Unfortunately, this can lead to a few problems that may have a significant impact on your website and its ability to succeed. To start, shared hosting accounts provide limited storage space. If your website is somewhat large, shared hosting may not be right for you. What’s more, other sites on your server can grow and take up more storage space as well, pushing your website to the fringes. The same applies to your website’s traffic level. If you start getting a lot of visitors to your site all at once, it’s more likely to overload your shared server than it would on a dedicated server. Likewise, a traffic spike on another site that shares your server could temporarily put your site out of commission. Finally, other websites on your server can also affect your site’s performance. Their size and traffic levels could lead to slow loading times for your visitors, even if your pages are highly optimized. For all of these reasons, you may want to look into Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plans as well. As with a shared hosting plan, websites on a VPS share a server. However, each site has an allotted amount of space and resources, minimizing the impact other sites can have on your own. That makes it a balanced option in terms of price vs. resources. 4. What Restrictions Apply to Shared Hosting Plans? In an attempt to prevent any one site on a shared server from using up more than its fair share of resources, your hosting provider may have usage restrictions. While they’re primarily in place to help users, in some cases they can cause issues if you don’t know what your site requires. To be more specific, a website on a shared server will typically be subject to: Memory limits. Many web hosts constrict the bandwidth and other resources, such as server memory, that one site can use. If your site grows to the point where it’s taking up more than its share of resources, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan. File restrictions. In some cases, shared servers can become a security issue. If malware infects one site, it’s possible that it could spread to all the sites on the server. To prevent this, some providers place restrictions on the types of files you can upload to your site. Spam and hacker activity. Many web hosts carefully monitor activity on shared servers for security and performance reasons. If there is evidence of spam or hacker activity taking place on your site, your host may decide to temporarily or permanently disable it. These restrictions could interfere with your ability to download specific plugins or carry out tasks such as sending emails directly from your server instead of through a third-party provider. However, if your site is an ideal candidate for shared hosting, these limitations shouldn’t be too much of a problem. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that shared hosting is best for: Small business sites Blogs Portfolios Personal sites Database-driven sites If your site falls into one of these categories, the restrictions placed on shared hosting shouldn’t impact you significantly. Selecting a Shared Hosting Package As a beginner, it can be confusing to sort out all the different kinds of web hosting that are available. Learning more about shared hosting providers and how this particular type of hosting works is essential if you want to make an informed decision when purchasing your first hosting plan. Do you think a shared hosting plan is right for you and your site? Whether you’re a small-business owner, blogger, web designer, or developer, DreamHost offers one of the best low-cost, secure, and high-performing shared hosting solution on the market. Our robust features include unlimited bandwidth and storage, access to our powerful 1-click installer, free privacy protection, a free SSL certificate, automated backups, and an instant WordPress setup. And if you upgrade to Shared Unlimited, we’ll also throw in a free domain name and a personalized email address to match. Choose your plan today! The post What Is Shared Hosting? The Ultimate Guide for Beginners appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

Facebook Ads vs. YouTube Ads – Which One Is best?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Videos are now the most consumed form of media, and using them for your website marketing is not only a good idea but a necessity. When it comes to video marketing, there are two powerhouses: Facebook and YouTube.   It’s not hard to see why either why these platforms rule the video roost: YouTube is the most popular video streaming service around, and Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with videos becoming a large part of its user’s timelines. Continue reading Facebook Ads vs. YouTube Ads – Which One Is best? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Make Money with Reseller Hosting

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Make Money with Reseller Hosting appeared first on HostGator Blog. There are dozens of different online businesses you can start from the comfort of your own home. One online business that isn’t covered a lot is reseller hosting. With the right niche and dedication, you can turn reseller hosting services into a very profitable business. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own reseller hosting business, then this post is for you. Below we look at what reseller hosting is, what it takes to run a reseller business, as well as a step by step plan to get your reseller hosting business off the ground. What Is Reseller Hosting? First, we’ll start with what reseller hosting actually is. With reseller hosting services, you’re not running or managing any of the hosting server’s yourself. Instead, you’re renting out these servers, branding them with your own company, and then selling that server space to customers. Since everything is white label, it’s as if you’re running your own web hosting services company. Your customers will never know that it isn’t you. You’ll be able to create your own hosting plans, take payments, offer additional features like email and website backups, and more. Requirements for Running a Reseller Hosting Business Web hosting is a very competitive market. It’s dominated by larger hosts that generally compete on price. However, running your own hosting company can be profitable if it’s done the right way. At the core, you’ll be renting customers a certain amount of storage space for a certain amount of time. Your profit will come in the difference between the cost of renting servers and the price you’re charging your customers. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own hosting business, then there are a few things you’ll need to take into account. Namely, your motivations for starting a hosting business, your technical skills, and business and marketing know-how. Keep in mind that starting a hosting business is going to take a lot of work, so your motivations are going to need to be clear from the start. Since you’re essentially running a service business, it’s going to require a lot of work on your end, so you’ll need a clear goal that you’re working towards to sustain you during difficult times. Next, are your existing technical skills. If you’re starting a reseller hosting business completely solo, then you’re going to need some basic technical skills. You don’t need to be a programmer yourself, but it helps to have a deep understanding of how servers work, and basic web design and development skills. The reseller host you decide to work with might actually handle things like customer support, maintenance, and more. But, you’ll still need to have some marketing and business skills to handle things like online marketing, payment processing, and more. Understanding The Reseller Hosting Landscape As a reseller host, you won’t be competing with the top dogs of the hosting space. These companies are simply too large and they can offer price points and other competitive advantages that you won’t be able to offer. However, these are the companies that you’ll probably be getting your reseller hosting from. Instead, your goal should be to create a more niche hosting company. Think the small to medium-sized business space. Hosting companies in this space can still have hundreds of servers and thousands of customers, but you might actually be able to compete with them. The one thing that’ll help improve your chances of success is finding a niche or a small target market. This will help you stand out in a crowded field and give yourself a fighting chance of success to earn money. Your niche focus, or unique offering, along with extensive marketing will help build brand recognition and position yourself as the go-to host for a specific niche. The Niche Market Approach Being a leader in a niche market is going to be how you’ll find customers as a reseller. There are a variety of benefits to choosing a niche. Here are some of the most common: You make it easier to market and speak to the deep needs of your niche. You can keep costs low by not having to meet the needs of everyone.You’ll have a lower level of competition since you’re not directly competing with massive hosting companies.You can provide better customer service as you’ll understand the unique needs of your market. Even though success will be easier by focusing on a specific niche, there are still a few downsides that you’ll want to be aware of as well. For example, by only focusing on a specific niche you’re limiting how much your reseller hosting company can grow. However, this can be remedied by slowing expanding out to related niches once you’re effectively dominating the niche you’ve started in. Pros of Reseller Hosting As a business. reseller hosting has a lot of advantages. Here are some of the biggest benefits that reseller hosting offers you: It doesn’t take much effort. Signing up for a reseller account is easy, and comes equipped with bundled tools like automated billing and support.It doesn’t take a ton of technical knowledge. For a technology oriented business, the bar is actually pretty low.Support can be included. Some parent hosts will offer support, which can help to free up your time to focus on other areas of your business.Can be a simple add-on service. If you have an existing digital business or design agency, you can easily add hosting as an additional service, helping you add a recurring revenue stream to your business.   Cons of Reseller Hosting Still, reseller hosting isn’t perfect. Here are a few drawbacks to starting a reseller hosting business: Services are limited by parent host. Ultimately, all of your offerings and services will be limited by your parent host, so make sure you choose a hosting company with solid servers and a variety of add-on services. It’s difficult to compete on price. Since you’re going to be reselling hosting, you won’t be able to offer the incredibly cheap prices that most hosts are able to offer. So, you’ll need to figure out other differentiating factors. Perhaps you can include hosting setup for free or offer outstanding customer service. You don’t have full server control. Since you don’t own the servers you’re renting, you’ll never have full server control. So, make sure you choose a host that places value on their server hardware components. Features Included With Reseller Hosting The host you decide to partner with will influence the reseller hosting features you have access to and can pass on to your customers. Here are some of the most common features that the best reseller hosting providers will offer: White-label hosting. This lets you brand your own hosting company, while still using the hosting services of a parent company, like HostGator. Plan customization. This allows you to manage your own plans and even customize and bring together certain features for a unique hosting offering. Bundled features. This allows you to offer other features like email hosting, domain management, cPanel access, website builders, and more.High-quality servers. By choosing a high-quality host you can offer a variety of different hosting types, and a range of bandwidth and storage. How to Make Money With Reseller Hosting Now that you have a better understanding of how reseller hosting works as a business. It’s time to dive into how you can make money with reseller hosting. Here’s a basic process that you can follow to get started with your own reseller hosting business: 1. Do Your Research By now you should have a few ideas in mind for the hosting niche you’re going to focus on. For example, maybe you’re going to become the go-to host in your local area? Or, you’re going to focus on a specific niche like plumbers or lawyers? Or, maybe you’re just going to offer web hosting as an add-on service for your digital agency? Whatever your focus, make sure you have some sort of direction before you jump into the rest of the steps below. Then, you’re going to want to dive deeper into your niche to get an idea of the competitive landscape. Try to find at least five different competitors who will either be offering a similar service or are targeting the same niche as you. As you look through their website’s look for the following information: Their core offerings. For example, the type of hosting they offer, or additional services and features. Their price point. How much are they charging for hosting? What about other services? Can you compete on price, or do you need to take the premium angle?Their marketing methods. You can gauge this by seeing if they maintain a blog, social media accounts, or run paid advertising. Run their sites through a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs to see if they’re picking up any organic traffic, or are bidding for any keywords. Doing this for a handful of competitors will give you a solid understanding of your niche and what you need to do to compete. 2. Determine Your Core Offerings Your research above will help you determine what style of hosting, and add-on features, you’ll need to offer your customers. With reseller hosting you’ll generally have a few different types of hosting you’ll be able to offer, as well as bundled features offered by your parent hosting company. For example, maybe you’ll want to offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated server plans? Or, maybe you only want to offer WordPress hosting to a specific niche? Depending on the parent hosting company you’re using, you might be able to offer additional services like domain name management, email features, and more. In some cases, you might be able to stand out in your niche by being a one-stop-shop for all of your customer’s needs. 3. Get Your Business in Order To actually start your reseller hosting business there are a few things you’re going to need in place. Here are three things you’ll need to have in place before you launch your reseller hosting business: A Reseller That Matches Your Desired Offerings In your research above you determined the types of services and products you want to offer your customers. Now, it’s time to find a parent hosting company that matches up with these services. For example, are you just going to offer shared hosting, or will you include VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting as well? Do you want to offer different packages of each hosting type? Do you want a reseller that provides support for hosting? Do you want to be able to offer domain name management as well? Once you’ve figured out your needs it’s time to find a reseller that aligns with these. A Reseller Hosting Package Once you’ve found the host you want to work with it’s time to sign up for reseller hosting. The process will differ depending on the host you’re working with. But, here’s how it works if you’re signing up for a reseller account here at HostGator. Navigate to the hosting reseller page.Sign up for a reseller account.Purchase hosting and service credits. Sign up customers to your server. A Company Website Now it’s time to create your website. As a hosting reseller, your website is incredibly important. It needs to speak directly to your target market, be easy to use, contain useful and helpful information related to your products and services, and have readily accessible support. Depending on your parent host you might be able to integrate payment processing and additional features into your site, like live chat, support materials, and more. 3. Offer Stellar Customer Support As a smaller host, the support you’re able to provide will make or break your company. Providing stellar customer support is a great way to make your company stand out. In fact, a large group of satisfied customers can end up being your best advertising. Customer support starts the very moment someone lands on your website. If they have any questions about your services they should be able to reach an agent via live chat right away. Your website should be very easy to use and seamlessly guide your visitors through the process of signing up for web hosting services. Once your customers have signed up for web hosting they should receive a welcome email and be able to easily set up their hosting account. If they have any questions they should be able to reach a representative through email, live chat, or phone, whenever the need arises. Some hosting parent companies will include support as part of their reseller packages. This means that they’ll handle any and all support requests. You can either let them handle all of the support requests, supplement their support with your own team, or let them handle technical support, while you handle all other requests. The approach you take doesn’t matter as much as providing outstanding support to your customers. 4. Set Up Marketing By focusing on a specific niche it’ll be much easier for you to focus your marketing efforts. Instead of marketing to anyone and everyone (which rarely works), you’ll be focused on reaching a small segment of a larger market. First, determine how you’re going to reach these customers. For example, will you create a blog to rank for organic search terms? Do you have a budget for search engine and social media advertising? Will you run an affiliate campaign with non-competitive sites in your niche send leads your way? Figure out the approach you’re going to take and create measurable campaigns. If your budget is lower, just starting out consider taking more organic approaches until you have the funds to invest in paid marketing and advertising campaigns. 5. Profit and Scale By now you should be ready to launch your reseller hosting program.You’ve found your niche, done market research, nailed your service offerings, found a rock-solid hosting reseller, built your website, and started marketing your services. Once you’ve acquired your first few customers you should start to break even. This all depends on the price you’re paying for reseller hosting, how much you’re selling your web hosting packages for and your initial startup costs. After you’ve recouped your initial expenses you can start to reinvest these back into your business to attract even more customers and start to turn a profit. One of the beautiful things about offering reseller hosting is that your target audience will have a high customer lifetime value. As long as you provide a stellar service they’ll stick with you for a very long time. This allows you to pay more up front for customer acquisition, as every new customer is worth a lot to your business. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what reseller hosting is, and how you can start your very own reseller hosting business. By choosing a niche and placing a focus on delighting your customers you’ll make it that much easier to actually earn money with a reseller hosting program. Get started with HostGator reseller and web hosting services today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

One Dedicated Server Can Swoop in and Save Your Visitors Like Superman

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Think you don’t need a dedicated server? Think again. These days, your website needs to be perfect. It needs to look great and offer an amazing user experience. It needs to be fast and load quickly. And, most of all, it needs to always to be up and running. Why? Because there are hundreds of other business websites out there, all competing for the same audience. And if your website doesn’t perform well, your visitors will quickly move on to one that does. Continue reading One Dedicated Server Can Swoop in and Save Your Visitors Like Superman at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

5 Photography Tips for Bloggers

HostGator Blog -

The post 5 Photography Tips for Bloggers appeared first on HostGator Blog. Visual content opens the door to retaining your readers’ attention. Creative photography can have a positive impact on building strong audience connections. With only 81% of people skimming the content they read online, pictures give your visitors another reason to stay longer on your blog. It’s another way to communicate without adding an extra block of boring text. Be bold in your blog marketing by using photography to your advantage. Try these five tips below. 1. Set Up a Simple Studio As a blogger, you’re checking off your to-do list with the essential blogging tools you need to be successful. Those tools may include a quiet place to write, a website builder, and a social media account. But what about the photos for your blog? Right now, stock photos aren’t satisfying most readers. Your audience craves original images to capture their attention. For bloggers, your studio may be your smartphone and a blank wall in a room. When you feel more comfortable, you may want to purchase a backdrop, tripod, and starter lighting kit. “Setting up a home photography studio is a relatively simple process with minimum start up costs. You can choose to create your studio in its own specific room or block off areas of an existing space and dedicate it to your photography,” says Shannon Ciricillo, an American fashion, lifestyle, and travel photographer. To boost your blog’s presence, it may be time to invest in photography. That means setting up a simple studio in your home or office to take photos.   2. Use Natural Light Light is a primary element for any photographer. The right amount of light can drastically influence your images. When there is too much light, the subject in the image becomes distorted. When there is too little light, the subject becomes impossible to see. Natural light is the sunlight. It doesn’t come from your lighting equipment. Because the light source is coming from the sun, it’s important to learn how to use it properly. The light’s direction, the weather, and the time of day can impact your photos. Plus, the direction of the light determines how the shadows fall on your subject. Here’s a short video showing how to use natural light: If you decide to shoot outside on a sunny day, try taking the subject of your photo into the shade. You want the light to shine at your subject, not behind. If you want to stay indoors, move towards a window and test out different angles. Natural light is an effective resource for bloggers. Learn as you go, and in no time, you’ll be mastering this new skill.   3. Experiment with Different Angles Seeing things differently sparks your followers’ curiosity. Shooting a photo from multiple angles provides the reader with a diverse perspective. When you’re starting out, you will discover there are several types of angles. There’s the bird’s eye view, the low angle, the eye level, and the oblique angle. Don’t feel overwhelmed to learn every angle; your goal should be to try what works for your blog. For instance, decide the emotion you want to convey in the photo. Chamira Young, an art nerd and photographer, offers advice: “Positioning yourself above your subject often results in a flattering shot. When your subject is looking slightly up at you, it can add a sense of vulnerability, intimacy, and approachability.” In the image below, the photographer takes a close up of a plant. To mimic this shot, you’ll want to get as close to the subject as possible. And if necessary, use your camera’s zoom feature to get even closer. Depending on your subject, every angle won’t be pleasing to the eye. If you want to take a photo of a burger, you would not use a bird’s eye view angle. So, always consider your blog visitors’ point of view and their expectations.   4. Add Creative Props A photo is more than just its main subject. If you’re looking to enhance your pictures, you’ll want to invest in props. The smallest addition to an image can make a huge difference. Relevant props spark originality. They also give the image more context and character as it relates to your text. When describing specific concepts, it’s better for your blog audience to see what you’re explaining. In the photo below, the pastries are next to flowers and slices of fruit. Visitors can infer that these tasty treats are fresh with these natural props. While props can improve your photos, it’s also critical not to overuse them. Too many props can dominate your picture, taking away from the main purpose of the shot. Your props should complement your photo, too. Think about the colors, the sizes, and the placement of the props. Readers should know exactly what to focus on in the image.   The right prop provides personality to your already beautiful images. Use them strategically to get the most benefit.   5. Shoot Photos in Advance Preparation is key when developing unique photos for your blog. While some of your pictures may happen on a whim, your best work comes from advance planning. For starters, consider your editorial calendar to map out your photo shoots. If you’re publishing only carrot dishes for your food blog next week, you should plan to get several photos using the vegetable. “It pays off to have everything planned and prepared in advance. That way, you don’t need to think up new poses and compositions or look for clothing or other props at the last minute. This will not only save you time, but also make you trustworthy,” writes photographer Majo Elias. It’s also helpful to create a checklist of what you may need. From people to props, it’ll give you a sense of how to manage your time during a shoot. Planning your photos ahead of time also alleviates the stress of the entire process. When you know your specific goals, you can take action and move on to another blog task.   Picture Perfecta Visual content adds a vivid layer of sophistication to your blog. With photography, you can transform a 100-word description into a beautiful work of art. For more tips on getting more out of your blog, check out our articles on SEO best practices for blogs, networking tips for bloggers, and improving your blog load time. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Cloudflare em Lisboa

CloudFlare Blog -

Eu fui o 24.º funcionário da Cloudflare e o primeiro a trabalhar fora de São Francisco. A trabalhar num escritório improvisado na minha casa, e escrevi um pedaço grande do software da Cloudflare antes de ter contratato uma equipa em Londres. Hoje, Cloudflare London, a nossa a sede da EMEA a região da Europa, Médio Oriente e África tem mais de 200 pessoas a trabalhar no edifício histórico County Hall à frente do Parlamento Britânico. O meu escritório improvisado é agora história antiga.CC BY-SA 2.0 image by Sridhar SarafCloudflare não parou em Londres. Temos pessoas em Munique, Singapura, Pequim, Austin, Texas, Chicago e Champaign, Illinois, Nova York, Washington e DC, São José, Califórnia, Miami, Florida, Sydney, Austrália e também em São Francisco e Londres. Hoje estamos a anunciar o estabelecimento de um novo escritório em Lisboa, Portugal. Como parte da abertura do escritório este verão irei-me deslocar para Lisboa juntamente com um pequeno número de pessoal técnico de outros escritórios da Cloudflare. Estamos a recrutar em Lisboa neste momento. Pode visitar este link para ver todas as oportunidades atuais. Estamos á procura de candidatos para preencher os cargos de Engenheiro, Segurança, Produto, Produto de Estratégia, Investigação Tecnológica e Atendimento ao Cliente.Se está interessado num cargo que não está actualmente listado na nossa página de carreiras profissionais, também poderá enviar-nos um email para a nossa equipa de recrutamento pelo para expressar o seu interesse.CC BY-SA 2.0 Image by Rustam AliyevA minha primeira ideia realista de Lisboa formou-se há 30 anos com a publicação de 1989 do John Le Carré, The Russia House (A casa da Rússia). Tão real, claro, como qualquer Le Carré’s visão do mundo:[...] dez anos atrás, por um capricho qualquer, Barley Blair, tido herdado uns quantos milhares por uma tia distante, comprou para si um pé de terra mais modesto em Lisboa, onde costumava ter descansos regulares com o peso de uma alma multilateral. Poderia ter sido Cornwall, poderia ter sido a Provença ou mesmo até Timbuktu. Contudo, Lisboa por um acidente agarrou-o [...]A escolha da Clouflare por Lisboa, não aconteceu por um acaso, mas sim por uma pesquisa cuidadosa de uma nova cidade continental Europeia para localizar um escritório. Fui convidado novamente para ir a Lisboa em 2014 para ser um dos oradores na Sapo Codebits e fiquei impressionado com o tamanho e a variedade de talento técnico presente no evento. Subsequentemente, visitámos 45 cidades por 29 países, reduzindo a uma lista final de três.A combinação de um elevado e crescente ecossistema de tecnologia existente em Lisboa, uma política de imigração atraente, estabilidade política, alto padrão de vida, assim como todos os factores logísticos como o fuso horário (o mesmo que na Grã-Bretanha) e os voos diretos para São Francisco fizeram com que fosse o vencedor evidente. Eu comecei a aprender Português há três meses…e estou desejoso para descobrir este país e a cultura, e criar um escritório para a Cloudflare.Encontrámos um ecossistema tecnológico local próspero, apoiado tanto pelo governo como por uma miríade de startups empolgantes, e esperamos colaborar com eles para continuar a elevar o perfil de Lisboa.

Cloudflare's new Lisbon office

CloudFlare Blog -

I was the 24th employee of Cloudflare and the first outside of San Francisco. Working out of my spare bedroom, I wrote a chunk of Cloudflare’s software before starting to recruit a team in London. Today, Cloudflare London, our EMEA headquarters, has more than 200 people working in the historic County Hall building opposite the Houses of Parliament. My spare bedroom is ancient history.CC BY-SA 2.0 image by Sridhar SarafAnd Cloudflare didn’t stop at London. We now have people in Munich, Singapore, Beijing, Austin, TX, Chicago and Champaign, IL, New York, Washington, DC, San Jose, CA, Miami, FL, and Sydney, Australia, as well as San Francisco and London. And today we’re announcing the establishment of a new technical hub in Lisbon, Portugal. As part of that office opening I will be relocating to Lisbon this summer along with a small number of technical folks from other Cloudflare offices.We’re recruiting in Lisbon starting today. Go here to see all the current opportunities. We’re looking for people to fill roles in Engineering, Security, Product, Product Strategy, Technology Research, and Customer Support.CC BY-SA 2.0 Image by Rustam AliyevMy first real idea of Lisbon dates to 30 years ago with the 1989 publication of John Le Carré’s The Russia House. As real, of course, as any Le Carré view of the world:[...] ten years ago on a whim Barley Blair, having inherited a stray couple of thousand from a remote aunt, bought himself a scruffy pied-a-terre in Lisbon, where he was accustomed to take periodic rests from the burden of his many-sided soul. It could have been Cornwall, it could have been Provence or Timbuktu. But Lisbon by an accident had got him [...]Cloudflare’s choice of Lisbon, however, came not by way of an accident but a careful search for a new continental European city in which to locate a technical office. I had been invited to Lisbon back in 2014 to speak at SAPO Codebits and been impressed by the size and range of technical talent present at the event. Subsequently, we looked at 45 cities across 29 countries, narrowing down to a final list of three.Lisbon’s combination of a large and growing existing tech ecosystem, attractive immigration policy, political stability, high standard of living, as well as logistical factors like time zone (the same as the UK) and direct flights to San Francisco made it the clear winner.Eu começei a aprender Português há três meses... and I’m looking forward to discovering a country and a culture, and building a new technical hub for Cloudflare. We have found a thriving local technology ecosystem, supported both by the government and a myriad of exciting startups, and we look forward to collaborating with them to continue to raise Lisbon's profile.

Meet the Newest AWS News Bloggers!

Amazon Web Services Blog -

I wrote my first post for this blog way back in 2004! Over the course of the first decade, the amount of time that I devoted to the blog grew from a small fraction of my day to a full day. In the early days my email inbox was my primary source of information about upcoming launches, and also my primary tool for managing my work backlog. When that proved to be unscalable, Ana came onboard and immediately built a ticketing system and set up a process for teams to request blog posts. Today, a very capable team (Greg, Devin, and Robin) takes care of tickets, platforms, comments, metrics, and so forth so that I can focus on what I like to do best: using new services and writing about them! Over the years we have experimented with a couple of different strategies to scale the actual writing process. If you are a long-time reader you may have seen posts from Mike, Jinesh, Randall, Tara, Shaun, and a revolving slate of guest bloggers. News Bloggers I would like to introduce you to our current lineup of AWS News Bloggers. Like me, the bloggers have a technical background and are prepared to go hands-on with every new service and feature. Here’s our roster: Steve Roberts (@bellevuesteve) – Steve focuses on .NET tools and technologies. Julien Simon (@julsimon) – Julien likes to help developers and enterprises to bring their ideas to life. Brandon West (@bwest) – Brandon leads our developer relations team in the Americas, and has written a book on the topic. Martin Beeby (@thebeebs) – Martin focuses on .NET applications, and has worked as a C# and VB developer since 2001. Danilo Poccia (@danilop) – Danilo works with companies of any size to support innovation. He is the author of AWS Lambda in Action. Sébastien Stormacq (@sebesto) – Sébastien works with builders to unlock the value of the AWS cloud, using his secret blend of passion, enthusiasm, customer advocacy, curiosity, and creativity. We are already gearing up for re:Invent 2019, and can’t wait to bring you a rich set of blog posts. Stay tuned! — Jeff;

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

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Join us this July to learn about AWS services and solutions. The AWS Online Tech Talks are live, online presentations that cover a broad range of topics at varying technical levels. These tech talks, led by AWS solutions architects and engineers, feature technical deep dives, live demonstrations, customer examples, and Q&A with AWS experts. Register Now! Note – All sessions are free and in Pacific Time. Tech talks this month: Blockchain July 24, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Building System of Record Applications with Amazon QLDB – Dive deep into the features and functionality of our first-of-its-kind, purpose-built ledger database, Amazon QLDB. Containers July 31, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Machine Learning on Amazon EKS – Learn how to use KubeFlow and TensorFlow on Amazon EKS for your machine learning needs. Data Lakes & Analytics July 31, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – How to Build Serverless Data Lake Analytics with Amazon Athena – Learn how to use Amazon Athena for serverless SQL analytics on your data lake, transform data with AWS Glue, and manage access with AWS Lake Formation. August 1, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Enhancing Your Apps with Embedded Analytics – Learn how to add powerful embedded analytics capabilities to your applications, portals and websites with Amazon QuickSight. Databases July 25, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – MySQL Options on AWS: Self-Managed, Managed, Serverless – Understand different self-managed and managed MySQL deployment options on AWS, and watch a demonstration of creating a serverless MySQL-compatible database using Amazon Aurora. DevOps July 30, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Build a Serverless App in Under 20 Minutes with Machine Learning Functionality Using AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code – Get a live demo on how to create a new, ready-to-deploy serverless application. End-User Computing July 23, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – A Security-First Approach to Delivering End User Computing Services – Learn how AWS improves security and reduces cost by moving data to the cloud while providing secure, fast access to desktop applications and data. IoT July 30, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Security Spotlight: Best Practices for Edge Security with Amazon FreeRTOS – Learn best practices for building a secure embedded IoT project with Amazon FreeRTOS. Machine Learning July 23, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT– Get Started with Machine Learning: Introducing AWS DeepLens, 2019 Edition – Learn the basics of machine learning through building computer vision apps with the new AWS DeepLens. August 1, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Implementing Machine Learning Solutions with Amazon SageMaker – Learn how machine learning with Amazon SageMaker can be used to solve industry problems. Mobile July 31, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Best Practices for Android Authentication on AWS with AWS Amplify – Learn the basics of Android authentication on AWS and leverage the built in AWS Amplify Authentication modules to provide user authentication in just a few lines of code. Networking & Content Delivery July 23, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Simplify Traffic Monitoring and Visibility with Amazon VPC Traffic Mirroring – Learn to easily mirror your VPC traffic to monitor and secure traffic in real-time with monitoring appliances of your choice. Productivity & Business Solutions July 30, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Get Started in Minutes with Amazon Connect in Your Contact Center – See how easy it is to get started with Amazon Connect, based on the same technology used by Amazon Customer Service to power millions of customer conversations. Robotics July 25, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Deploying Robotic Simulations Using Machine Learning with Nvidia JetBot and AWS RoboMaker – Learn how to deploy robotic simulations (and find dinosaurs along the way) using machine learning with Nvidia JetBot and AWS RoboMaker. Security, Identity & Compliance July 24, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Deep Dive on AWS Certificate Manager Private CA – Creating and Managing Root and Subordinate Certificate Authorities – Learn how to quickly and easily create a complete CA hierarchy, including root and subordinate CAs, with no need for external CAs. Serverless July 24, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Getting Started with AWS Lambda and Serverless Computing – Learn how to run code without provisioning or managing servers with AWS Lambda.

Web Accessibility and WordPress [Webinar]

WP Engine -

According to the World Wide Web Consortium, one in five people in the United States have a disability. That number is projected to grow; the Census Bureau projects that in 2030, people 65 and older will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. If you are creating content that more than a fifth of Americans… The post Web Accessibility and WordPress [Webinar] appeared first on WP Engine.

Why Does .design Matter?

The Blog -

What do you think of when you hear the word “design?” No matter where you look, design is all around you. It’s central to everything — from the way we navigate a commute to work all the way to every aspect of the technology and software that we interact with. There’s no doubt that design informs everything that we see or experience. Many companies, cities, and individuals have made design their unique differentiator, thinking about and planning around details that others do not. Just one frustrating shopping cart experience online can remind us that successful modern companies have prioritized user experiences to survive and grow. More “traditional” designers might be folks working in graphics, web design, UX design, fashion design, landscape design, and others that wed the practical with the artistic. But “design” has become such a catch-all word that if often means that your services are intentional and easy to use. For example, a stay-at-home mommy blogger may consider herself a lifestyle designer, helping others navigate their own paths with intention and elegance. Given that design is so pervasive in our lives and such a powerful commercial differentiator, it should be no surprise that .design is one of the most widely used new domain extensions. It’s also obvious that the sites and brands using .design tend to hold themselves to a higher caliber, showcasing truly inspirational work and unique visions. .design is the home of creative studios, digital storefronts, freelancing professionals, and everyone in between. Why use a .design domain name when you could use something like .com? When the .design TLD was created in 2014, design was THE most popular word in .com domain names. Imagine taking a long, clunky domain name like and turning that into DeesDaring.Design — it’s shorter, catchier, and makes the words on both sides of the dot work for you. Indeed, the .design makes your branding pop, using the dot to separate who you are (your chosen domain/brand name) and what you do (.design!). It looks great on resumes, business cards, and is the first building block for a professional and unique email address. Despite what you may have heard about a certain domain name being “king,” it’s not about what others are doing and using, it’s about having the most memorable, relevant domain name. And with .design being a newer domain extension, chances are, you’ll have better odds of scoring the exact name you want. Get your .design domain name today! Build your brand and showcase your talents with a .design domain name. Of course, .design is the perfect domain name for your online portfolio. Looking for a new career? Or perhaps you’re not actively looking, but want to keep your work public for potential opportunities? Use a .design domain name to display your accomplishments, what you’ve created, and what you’re capable of. But remember, when launching your portfolio, don’t make perfect the enemy of good. Sometimes, all you need is one great image or rendering with a professional .design email address to look credible. When beginning a career in design, people feel they need to show every project they’ve done, when in fact the best and most successful designers know that their work and their portfolios are all about curation and editing. A .design domain name may be the kick in the pants you need to create an engaging website. Sometimes just picking up the perfect domain name (before someone else does!) is the first bit of momentum you need. The word design lends itself to creative thinking and problem solving. What part of over-used stock images and blasé text is creative? What about that is inspiring? Using a .design name will challenge you to live up to your domain name’s and website’s potential. Starting with the right domain name and brand vision will inspire you to flesh your site out with thoughtful content and engaging copy. What are you waiting for?! Get your .design domain name today! Whether you’re a graphic designer, UX researcher, or work-from-anywhere blogger, a .design name may work for you. They’re catchy, they’re relevant, and they’ll challenge you to create the best-looking website around. Don’t wait too long though, .design domain names are catching on — in fact, it’s the only new domain extension “to have major adoption by household brands.” Major companies known for their smart design and marketing are showcasing it on .design, giving their design departments a platform and making themselves that much more prestigious. There are more than two dozen brands like,, and even leading the way! Take a page out of the big players’ books by posting interesting content on your .design site and building a community of your own dedicated followers. Design touches our lives in some way nearly every moment of every day, so you can imagine how vast the industry is. here is a sampling of professionals that would relate to and benefit from the .design TLD. Get your .design today! The post Why Does .design Matter? appeared first on | Blog.

More Stats, Better Stats, Faster Stats: A Whole New Mobile Experience News -

If you’re like me, Stats is one of your most-visited screens in your WordPress app — we all want to know people are reading! Whether you use iOS or Android, the latest versions have Stat updates that bring you more useful data, faster. Updates to the layout, available statistics, and how they’re handled behind the scenes mean you can hone in what’s most important to you and to your site’s growth. What’s new? All-new design Stats got a facelift! The numbers are easier to read, easier to compare, and easier to track over time. Customise your stats Blogger who wants to keep an eye on your follower count, a business owner who wants a quick update on daily views? Insights Management lets you choose what stats to include so your at-a-glance updates include what’s most important to you. (This feature is only available on Android at the moment, and is coming soon to iOS.) Zero in on time periods Use the new dedicated date bar on the days, weeks, months and years tabs, to explore date ranges. Stats at a glance Your Insights tab is now optimised for quick updates so you can get key information about your site’s performance all on one screen. How do I find this? Update your app to the latest version. You can find them here, or in your Apple Store or Google Play. And that’s it! Head to Stats for any of your site for a new and improved analytics experience. We understand how important stats are — we run websites, too! — so we’re always working to develop and improve them. We’d love to hear about your experience with the latest and greatest!

Four Of The Best WordPress and WooCommerce Backup Plugins

Nexcess Blog -

WordPress sites and WooCommerce stores should be backed up. Every byte of data should exist in more than one location, including the files in the site’s WordPress directory and the data in its database. Sites that aren’t backed up are vulnerable to user error and security issues. Sites with an off-site backup are robust. If… Continue reading →

How to Write Meta Descriptions That Get Clicks (5 Key Tips)

DreamHost Blog -

Search engines can make or break websites. Getting your site to show up on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) often isn’t enough. You also have to get people’s attention, so they’ll click on your links over the hundreds of other options. At their core, meta descriptions give potential visitors an overview of what kind of content they can expect. They tend to be just a few lines long, so small differences in the way you write your meta descriptions can be enough to boost your click-through rate significantly. In this article, we’re going to talk about what meta descriptions are, why they’re necessary, and what elements they should include. Then we’ll walk you through five tips to ensure that your meta descriptions hit home every time. Let’s get to it! 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 An Introduction to Meta Descriptions Meta descriptions are the snippets of text you see underneath the title within SERPs, as in the example below. The main goal of a good meta description is to give you an idea of what the page is all about. Naturally, titles also play a vital role here, but there’s only so much information you can fit into a single headline. Meta descriptions provide you with up to a couple of sentences to expand on your page’s content. You can either write them yourself or have search engines generate them automatically based on each user’s search query. As convenient as having search engines do the work for you sounds, however, we strongly recommend that you write your own meta descriptions. That way, you get full control over what shows up on the SERPs and on social media sites while also increasing your chances of engaging users. Let’s take a look at some meta description examples for a specific line of shoes. You can tell the meta description below was generated automatically, and it doesn’t give you much to go on. Here’s another result for the same product search, this one using a stronger meta description. It’s important to understand that meta descriptions only give you a limited number of characters to play with. On desktops, that can be up to 158 characters, whereas mobile users will only see 120 of them. Roughly speaking, that means you get about two lines of text. Why Meta Descriptions Are Important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about competition. You compete against every other site that appears within the results pages for a given search, each hoping to get the lion’s share of the clicks. When it comes to the SERPs, several factors determine how many views your links get, including: The title you use Whether it’s a rich snippet or not If it appears within an answer box The position of your pages Your meta descriptions Out of all those factors, you get full control over three of them: your title, schema markup, and meta descriptions. It’s only logical that you should optimize those elements as much as possible. If you take another look at the previous section, you’ll notice just how much of a difference a good meta description can make. Letting search engines generate yours will often result in descriptions that look like gibberish. Related: SEO Trends to Improve Your Ranking in 2019 What to Include in a Meta Description Two lines of text aren’t much, but more often than not, it’s enough to cover a few key elements. Most often, this should include: What your page is about How it can benefit the reader If a meta description is too vague, then you’re not selling users on the idea of visiting your website. You’ll still get clicks, of course, but not as many as you might have otherwise. Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to write a meta description for this article. Here’s a not-so-good example: Have you ever wondered what meta descriptions are? Wonder no more, because we’ll tell you everything you need to know. While it hits on the article’s primary topic, it doesn’t do a good job of previewing the page’s actual content. Now let’s give it another go, keeping in mind the fundamental elements we want to include: Meta descriptions are key to any site’s SEO. In this article, we’ll break down why and help you optimize your own descriptions. Read on to find out more! This is short and to the point, and we even had enough characters left over to include a simple Call to Action (CTA). It may not win any literary awards, but it will get the job done. Related: 7 Tips for Writing Winning Calls to Action for Your Website How to Write Meta Descriptions That Get Clicks (5 Key Tips) At this point, you know the basics of what a meta description should include. However, if you want your descriptions to really hit home, here are five tips to help you optimize them further. 1. Use Relevant Keywords If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the concept of keywords. Ideally, you’ll use them organically throughout all of your content, and that includes metadata such as your descriptions. Let’s say, for example, that you’re writing a recipe and you want to optimize it for the search term “how to cook a healthy lasagna.” That’s an easy to term to work into a meta description: Learning how to cook a healthy lasagna is easier than you might imagine. Let’s go over a recipe you can cook in under two hours! Including keywords within your meta descriptions is a smart SEO practice. It gives search engines a better idea of what your content is all about. However, as always, make sure to work those meta keywords in organically. That means not stuffing your descriptions full of keywords; make your description still reads like something a human (not a bot) would write. Related: 10 SEO Tools to Optimize Your Website for Success in 2019 2. Don’t Obsess Over the Character Count So far, most of the examples we’ve shown you have come in well under the maximum character count for the major search engines. You want to get some mileage out of your meta descriptions, but in practice, obsessing over the character count isn’t as serious as you might think. To build on our earlier example of a healthy lasagna recipe, you could easily expand on its description to cover more information: Learning how to cook a healthy lasagna is easier than you might imagine. For this recipe, we’re substituting meat with eggplants, which means it will cook faster and feed up to four people. That example goes over the character limit for both desktop and mobile meta descriptions in Google. In practice, it would get cut off and look something like this: Learning how to cook a healthy lasagna is easier than you might imagine. For this recipe, we’re substituting meat with eggplants, which means it will cook … That snippet still provides plenty of information, so you don’t necessarily need to change it. What matters is that you include the essential details early on, so whatever does get cut off is just supplementary information. 3. Optimize for Rich Snippets Most search results look pretty dull — a sea of titles, meta descriptions, and URLs. However, in some cases, your results will look a bit more lively. Those are examples of rich snippets. To create them, you add structured data markup to your pages, providing more information on what their content includes. Search engines can recognize that information and structure your results accordingly. This practice offers two key benefits: Your pages will look more engaging within the SERPs. You get to add a ton of extra information to your results, without needing to count characters. For a real example, let’s take a look at the results for “how to cook a healthy lasagna.” Two of the top results are featured snippets. Without even clicking on them, you can see an image, cooking time, rating, and even the number of calories in the recipe. Keep in mind that not all types of content lend themselves well to rich snippets. However, they’re pretty easy to implement, once you know how to add the right structured data markup to your pages. 4. Avoid Duplicates When it comes to meta descriptions, there are two kinds of potential duplicates. It’s good practice to avoid both of them: Mimicking other sites’ descriptions Having several of your pages use the same description Overall, duplicate content is almost always bad news when it comes to SEO. Moreover, it can hurt your click-through rate if you have several pages competing for the same search terms. For practical purposes, there’s no reason all of your pages shouldn’t have unique meta descriptions. If it takes you more than a couple of minutes to write one, then you’re probably overthinking it. 5. Use Interesting Words Most meta descriptions are pretty boring, at least linguistically speaking. The need to cover so much information in such a limited space doesn’t lend itself well to innovation. One way to make your meta descriptions stand out is by using compelling language. To do that, take a look at what other websites are writing for the keywords you want to rank for. Let’s say, for example, that you’re looking for a cast iron pizza recipe. A lot of the content will be similar, which means their meta descriptions will share elements as well. However, not all descriptions are equally effective. Some of our favorite hits from the above example include the words ‘crispy,’ ‘buttery,’ and ‘chewy.’ There are five results here, but the first and last stand out due to their word choices. Think about it this way — if you’re staring at that page trying to decide which recipe to follow, you’ll probably pick the one that sounds more delicious. At that stage, you don’t know how good the recipe will be, so your only indicators are the title tag, picture, and word choice in the meta description. Search Result Focus When you boil it down, SEO is a competition. You’ll never be the only website within a niche, so you need to look for ways to make your pages stand out in the SERPs. Fortunately, an informative, unique meta description is a great way to catch potential visitors’ eyes. Are you looking for a hosting plan that can handle all the traffic your improved meta descriptions will send your way? Check out our shared hosting options! The post How to Write Meta Descriptions That Get Clicks (5 Key Tips) appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

Backing Up Your Website is Easier Than Making an Ice Cream Cone…For Some!

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Not quite sure how to backup your website? You’re not alone. For many business owners, it seems like a daunting task. They incorrectly assume that it will take them hours to complete, or that they need ridiculous amounts of tech knowledge to finish the job. But here’s the thing: with the right tools, backing up your website can be easy as pie. No coding experience necessary, and no additional time added to your day. Continue reading Backing Up Your Website is Easier Than Making an Ice Cream Cone…For Some! at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

5 Best WordPress Email Plugins

HostGator Blog -

The post 5 Best WordPress Email Plugins appeared first on HostGator Blog. It’s 2019, and email still rules when it comes to marketing. No other channel can match email’s 4400% return on investment, which means email campaigns earn an average of $44 for every dollar spent. And email marketing is more accessible than ever for businesses and blogs of all sizes.  When people can give you their email addresses right on your site, it makes a lot of marketing functions easier. These include building your list, targeting your email marketing to different segments of your list, and growing your business. All these things are possible with the right WordPress email plugin. The Best Email Plugins on WordPress Right Now Let’s look at some of the most popular options to see how they can help your business or blog. 1. MailPoet MailPoet lets your site visitors sign up for your newsletters, set up automated welcome emails to new list members, build newsletters right in your WordPress dashboard, and automatically notify your list when you publish new posts. Not sure how to design your newsletters? MailPoet has dozens of templates you can use. You can also set up automatic updates on a daily, weekly, or monthly cadence to keep your list members engaged and drive traffic to your site.  A few of MailPoet’s newsletter templates You can segment your list in MailPoet for targeted updates and promotions. If you have subscribers in the EU, you’re covered—MailPoet is GDPR compliant. Deliverability is a plus for MailPoet, too. The team tracks every message sent to optimize your deliverability and open rates. The premium version integrates with WooCommerce for opt-in at checkout, automated personalized recommendations, and easy product promotions. The optional sending service lets you send out as many emails as you wish each day, which can be helpful if your hosting plan caps your daily email traffic.  Pricing: MailPoet Premium plus sending service is free for accounts with under 1,000 subscribers. For larger lists, monthly rates start at $13. For MailPoet Premium alone, site licenses start at $149. 2. Newsletter Newsletter is another all-in-one email marketing plugin that’s consistently popular with WordPress users. Like MailPoet, Newsletter lets you build your list, manage it, and create newsletters in your dashboard. Drag-and-drop tools make it easy to create a good-looking newsletter using media from your site. You can customize Newsletter’s themes for your email campaigns, too.  Newsletter’s drag-and-drop composer tool The free add-ons for Newsletter give you useful extras, like premium content settings that only unlock for subscribers and an automatically generated archive page with a list of all your newsletters.  Pricing: Free. For automation and reporting add-ons and integrations with platforms like Facebook, WooCommerce, and Google Analytics, Newsletter Premium subscriptions start at $65 per year for a 3-site license.  3. SendInBlue SendInBlue goes above and beyond. The Paris-based WordPress plugin gives you GDPR-compliant email building and personalization tools, along with list management, real-time reports on your campaigns, and marketing automation tools. You can choose from more than 70 responsive templates, and then preview your messages to see how they’ll appear on different devices and with different email clients before you hit send.  A sample SendInBlue drag-and-drop email template With a SendInBlue account and a paid plan, you can also build landing pages for your website and manage your marketing, live customer service chat, and Facebook ads all in one place. Advanced segmentation tools let you get granular with your targeting. For example, “contacts who are less than 45 years who clicked links in my last 3 campaigns.” Pricing: SendInBlue’s free plan lets you send up to 300 emails each day and build an unlimited contact list. Paid plans with additional features start at US$25 per month. 4. SendPress With SendPress, you get a lot of features in the free version, including a simple newsletter editor in the WordPress dashboard, customizable templates, email tracking and reporting, unlimited subscribers, unlimited newsletters, customizable opt-in widgets and forms, and scheduled sending tools.  SendPress email editor With a personal paid SendPress plan, you can also get advanced reports with subscriber-level detail, automated post updates for your subscribers, tools for managing bounced messages, and tools for custom HTML-based templates and form fields. With a standard plan, SendPress users get easy spam testing tools to raise deliverability rates. They also get Autocron service from SendPress’ servers to check your newsletter delivery speed and help you get your messages out faster.   Pricing: Free for basic features. Paid plans start at $39 per year for a personal, one-site license. Plans that include all pro modules and services start at $99 per year for one site. 5. Sumo Sumo combines email subscription pop-ups, GDPR-compliant email marketing tools, and e-commerce integrations to help you reduce cart abandonment, increase your typical order value, and convert more customers. Sumo’s free tools include customizable, automated welcome emails for each new subscriber. You can create one-time email blasts as well as pre-scheduled email drip campaigns to create more touchpoints with your list members.  Sumo’s share button tools let your visitors raise your WooCommerce store’s visibility on social media. And Sumo offers free customer support, including one-on-one help when you’re just getting started.  Sumo pop-up form builder Pricing: Sumo’s free plan covers an unlimited number of email subscribers and up to 10,000 emails each month. Sumo’s pro plan ($39 per month) adds A/B testing tools, advanced site visitor targeting, e-commerce design templates, and advanced analytics.  Not Sure Which WordPress Email Plugin to Choose? You can try them all out for free. That way you can decide which interface you like best and which tools you’d prefer to work with. (For security and site management best practices, be sure to uninstall the plugins you decide not to use.) Ready to step up your email marketing game? Start with super-fast WordPress Hosting that includes advanced security tools, free site migration, and a free SSL certificate to protect the information your visitors share with you. Find the post on the HostGator Blog


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