Industry Buzz

Facebook Messenger Changes Bot Policies: What It Means for Marketers

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore changes to business tools for Facebook Messenger with Kelly Noble Mirabella and YouTube’s Q4 2019 earnings reports […] The post Facebook Messenger Changes Bot Policies: What It Means for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

3 Ways to Create a Local PHP Development Environment

InMotion Hosting Blog -

For many users just starting out in web development, one of the greatest challenges is not learning the code itself but simply seeing your results in the browser. The problem is, you need to first set up a proper PHP development environment in order to get your code to run in the browser. If you use PHP Composer, no worries, it’s available in all InMotion Hosting accounts. PHP Is a Server-side Scripting Language As you’re just starting out in coding for the web, you are probably already aware that the web code you write locally must be run in a web browser. Continue reading 3 Ways to Create a Local PHP Development Environment at InMotion Hosting Blog.

Slow Speeds Can Ruin Your Site–UltraStack Can Help

InMotion Hosting Blog -

You may not know much about your cache. And really, you don’t want to know about your cache. When it comes to your website, caching should be a set-it-and-forget-it operation. A cache is typically defined as an inaccessible storage location.  In this sense, “inaccessible” is quite true; you will never need to access your web cache, but it will work independently if set up correctly. No one who visits your site will know whether or not they are looking at a cached page; they will only be enjoying a faster user experience. Continue reading Slow Speeds Can Ruin Your Site–UltraStack Can Help at InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Make Your WordPress Site Secure from Hackers

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Make Your WordPress Site Secure from Hackers appeared first on HostGator Blog. A lot of website owners don’t think about keeping their WordPress sites secure until it’s too late. The best time to do something about a hack is before one takes place. Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to your WordPress site to elevate your levels of security. Taking a proactive approach to website security is one of the best things you can do for your website and your sanity. No one wants to wake up in the morning, only to find that their sites have been compromised. Below we’re going to show you seven different ways that you can make your WordPress site more secure from hackers, including installing some of the best WordPress security plugins out there today.  Just How Secure is WordPress? In general, WordPress is a pretty secure platform. The biggest reason it gets a bad rap is that site owners aren’t following website security best practices. As it currently stands, WordPress does lead as the most commonly hacked website platform. However, this data is skewed a bit, because WordPress is also one of the most popular website building platforms out there–it currently powers over 30% of the web! Here are some of the most common ways that WordPress sites are hacked: Failing to update the WordPress core or plugins consistentlyUsing nulled plugins or themes (i.e., illegally obtained software)Having poor user admin practicesUsing a low-quality theme or plugin As you can see, a lot of these security risks can be managed just by keeping your site and plugins up to date and only downloading themes and plugins from reputable sources.  With the vast nature of WordPress, security holes do exist. The thousands of different themes and plugin combinations are near impossible to test. But, by implementing the WordPress site security tips below, you’ll significantly elevate your levels of site security across the board.  7 Ways to Keep Your WordPress Site Secure There are a ton of different factors that go into keeping your WordPress site secure. Just running a clean installation of WordPress isn’t enough. Below you’ll find seven WordPress security tips that you can implement today to strengthen the security of your site: 1. Use Strong Passwords A lot of websites are hacked because hackers will use password generation tools to brute force attack the admin area. If you’re using a weak password or a password that you use other places online, then you’re significantly increasing your risks of suffering from a brute force attack. One simple fix to keep this from happening is to use a strong password. When you’re setting up your WordPress site, there are a few different places you’ll need to create a password: admin access, when creating WordPress databases, and when connecting to your website via FTP. Creating a strong password is one thing, but remembering that password can be even more challenging. One great way around this is to use a password manager. A password manager is a secure and encrypted tool that stores your website passwords. Then whenever you need to input a password for a particular site or application, the tool will input the password for you. There are a variety of password managers out there, but here are a few worth checking out: LastPassDashlaneKeeper Security 2. Keep Your Core, Themes, and Plugins Up to Date A straightforward way to keep your site secure is keeping everything up to date; this includes your WordPress core, your theme, and the plugins you’re using. At the core, WordPress is incredibly secure and has a team of expert developers who are continuously working to patch security holes and improve the platform. Like most software, updates and patches are released after security risks are discovered. So, if you’re running an older version of the software, you’re basically leaving your back door open.  Installing too many plugins can also make your site more vulnerable to hackers. Plugins can add a ton of useful functionality and features to your WordPress website, but this comes with the added risk of potentially installing a poorly coded (and therefore vulnerable) plugin. Whenever you install a plugin, you should take additional time to vet the quality of the plugin and the team behind it. You also need to update plugins whenever an update is released. You might not know if an update has been released, so it’s essential to log in to your dashboard regularly to look for updates.  A poorly coded theme can also leave your site open to security backdoors. Installing a theme from a quality source can decrease your chances of your theme becoming hacked, but you also need to keep your themes updated and running the latest version.  3. Restrict Site Access and User Roles WordPress allows you to create multiple different user accounts. This can be helpful if you have a team running your site, or you’d like your writers to upload articles directly into WordPress. However, the more logins and passwords you have floating around, the higher the chances of a single user having a weak password—or their account becoming compromised in other ways. When you’re creating new user roles for your WordPress site, you should only give them access to the parts of your website, they need to do the job effectively. For example, you could provide a writer access to the posts section, but not the plugins, themes, or site settings areas. It’s also helpful to enable two-factor authentication across your site. This is a process using an app or plugin that verifies the identity of the user who’s logging into the website.  4. Enable a Website Firewall A WordPress firewall will essentially create a forcefield around your site. Think of it as a failsafe for if you forget to update your site for several months. In some cases, you might not be able to update individual plugins due to a specific software configuration.  In these situations, a website firewall will keep your site secure, even when specific plugins or themes aren’t running the latest software version. One common version of a firewall is known as a website application firewall. This acts like a filtering mechanism that all your website traffic passes through before reaching your site. It will filter out bad traffic or even hacking attempts and only let the good traffic reach your site. As a benefit, this can also help to keep your site online when you’re experiencing a traffic surge, or are undergoing a DDoS attack on your website.  Here are the biggest benefits of running a WordPress firewall: Hackers and bots are automatically blacklisted, so they’ll never reach your siteMalware infections, DDoS attacks, and SQL injections will all be preventedBrute force attacks will be a thing of the pastYour site could run faster and perform betterYou’ll sleep better knowing your website is protected 24/7 Below we’ll highlight some great WordPress plugins that also have built-in firewall protection.  Even configuring your site to work with a CDN like Cloudflare will help to protect your site from DDoS attacks, because your website’s traffic will be routed through their network of servers instead of directly going to your website.  If you’re currently hosting your site here at HostGator, you’ll be able to integrate your site with Cloudflare directly from your website control panel.  5. Have a System for Site Backups Website backups won’t help to keep your site more secure, but they can help you if your website does get taken offline during an attack. With a backup system in place, you can ensure that you’ll always have an operational site that you can restore from. Having a backup is always helpful when you’re experiencing any issues with your site. If you’ve been hacked, or your site is malfunctioning for some reason, you can always restore your site to a previous version. Some hosts will include bundled backups with your hosting plan. But, there are a number of WordPress backup plugins that can help you with backups as well. It can also be helpful to create multiple website backups and store them in different locations. Here are some popular backup plugins worth exploring: UpdraftPlusBlogVaultBackupBuddy A WordPress backup plugin can help you from losing all of your hard work. Plus, you’ll always have a backup plan if your site ever does experience a hack.  6. Limit Login Attempts The login screen on WordPress is especially vulnerable. Having a strong password will help a lot in ensuring a hacker won’t gain access to your site via a brute force attempt. But, if you want to harden the security even further, then you should consider limiting the number of times a user can input their password before locking them out. For example, you can limit the number of login attempts to 4 times. So, after the fourth attempt, you’ll receive a notification of that user and their IP addresses. You can even ban specific IP addresses if it becomes a persistent issue. One of the best plugins for this is aptly named Limit Login Attempts Reloaded.  Best of all, this plugin is entirely free and currently trusted by over one million other WordPress site. Just install the plugin, configure the settings, and your WordPress login screen will be much more secure.  7. Install a WordPress Security Plugin A lot of WordPress security plugins will have most of the features highlighted above. WordPress security plugins are great, because you just have to install the plugin, configure it, and your site will now be secure from most risks lurking online.  A lot of WordPress security plugins will have features like: Malware scanningBuilt-in firewall protectionLogin screen protectionLetting you know what plugins and themes are out of dateDDos and protection from other online attacksAnti-spam protection for a clean comments section Here are a few WordPress security plugins worth installing: WordFenceMalCareiThemes Security ProVaultPressBulletProof Security Most of the security plugins highlighted above have free versions available, but if you’re serious about securing your site, then upgrading to the premium version is a worthwhile investment.  You can always start with a free version of the plugin and upgrade to premium once you’ve been able to explore all the features and see how well it protects your site.  The Importance of a Secure Host With everything above your WordPress site should be incredibly secure. But, beyond securing your actual website you’ll want to host it with a secure hosting provider. Your hosting provider needs to value security and have your site hosted on a server that’s up to the latest security standards. Some solid features to look for in a secure hosting company include: Multiple methods of keeping your server secure, including redundant backups, on-site security and backup generatorsServers that are running the latest server hardware and softwareCertifications that show the facility has been vetted by third-party security providers No matter if you’re choosing a shared hosting, VPS, cloud, or dedicated server, the security standards should be the same. In Closing: Keeping Your WordPress Site Secure Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the steps you can take to elevate the security of your WordPress site and make it hacker-proof. It’s important to implement the security tips above sooner rather than later. You never know when an attack might occur, and you want to be protected and prepared. The easiest course of action is to install one of the WordPress security plugins mentioned earlier in this post. Think of it as your one stop shop for WordPress security. This will add a firewall to your site, lockdown your login screen, include a regular malware scanner, protect you from malware and DDoS attacks, and more. Finally, even by working through every tip in this post, it will all be for naught if you don’t have a secure hosting environment. Your host will act as the foundation for your website’s security. So, make sure you invest in a hosting company who values the security of your hosting environment and website.   Find the post on the HostGator Blog

7 Software Testing Strategies Every Tester Should Know About

Reseller Club Blog -

Software as a Service (SaaS) has earned a high reputation in the market owing to which startups are joining the software industry on a wide scale. However, when it comes to developing software and releasing it in the market, having a simple idea is not sufficient. There are a bunch of failed software products in the market. But not all of them are successful in satisfying the target audience. Owing to this, software companies are suffering from hefty losses. In accordance with CISQ reports, the cost of development of poor quality of software in the market amounts to more than $2.84 trillion in the United States. There is deterioration in the quality of the software for a plethora of reasons. One of the top reasons which can contribute to the cost is the failure of the software. The tech start-up industry is rapidly progressing whereas the competition is at its peak. In such a condition, launching a product of top quality is considered to be a start-up survival kit. If a product, launched in the market is filled with bugs, a lot of time is wasted in the marketing of the product and a lot of money is spent from the pocket. Thus, software companies have to push the deadline for fixing the bugs. Such kind of issues are not affordable for start-ups and newbies in the market. Immaculate Software Testing Quality Assurance after the development of the software is useful to the team in detecting a bunch of potential defects which, in turn, helps in avoiding extra loss. Development of detailed software testing plans along with the effective strategies offers a wide array of advantages such as saving resources and time and ensuring the development of a quality product at the same time. Development of strategies for software testing depends on the process which is adopted for software development. At present, the majority of the products are developed with the aid of microservices architecture which is known to be a variant of SOA. In such a scenario, it is recommended to opt for microservices testing strategies that are suitable for the product. Third-party services might slow you down Owing to the innovative technologies such as API integrations, it is possible to hook the website up with a plethora of service of your choice. For instance, you might use a plugin which is helpful in developing a promotional banner or customer analytics. Owing to these services, your website might start malfunctioning or slow down. Though it might not be apparent on the devices, real users with various geographical locations and browsers might get affected. Here is a list of the software testing strategies which helps in ensuring that a perfect and high-end  product is being released in the market: Let’s look at software testing strategies to boost business growth. Aligning the Quality Assurance strategies with the objectives of the business Specific software is releasing in the market while keeping specific achievements in mind. The growth of the business is generally determined through various achievements. It is essential that the business owners ask different questions like the objective of software testing, the effect of the process on the achievement of the goals of the business. It is necessary to communicate such goals to the whole company which are inclusive of QA services, as well as, the software development team. 2. Developing a detailed plan for Quality Assurance and testing processes It is a prerequisite that the QA companies devise unique strategies which are aligned with the objectives of the business. It is possible to execute the strategy effectively if the whole process of testing is documented completely. Documentation is considered to be the key to the maintenance of consistency in quality. Thus, it is possible to divide the plan into four segments, which include a quality management plan, testing strategies, test plan, and test case. 3. Creating an ideal work environment for the software testing team Developing a quality work environment is known to have a positive effect on the attitude of the testers. To ensure a healthy and sound work environment for the team, you require opening communication, expanding the knowledge base, involving Quality assurance team during the product development. 4. Testing for user acceptance Good quality software is developed while keeping the requirements of the potential audience in mind. The quality assurance team should have a prerequisite understanding of the defined user persona for the test and product, on the basis of user types. In this scenario, it is possible to engage the end-users in the last stage of development. It is also necessary to conduct user acceptance during the time. To achieve the same, you require defining a method for the User Acceptance Testing procedure. After this, you need to conduct the testing in a proper and organized way. After this, you require documenting the process. There are a plethora of applications which are known to include user onboarding prior to its entry into the app. In addition to this, it also provides a brief about different functionalities and how to use the app. 5. Measuring the quality of the code Ensuring the quality of code is vital for software testing, there are specific metrics which play a vital role in ensuring the same. The code is free from bugs and errors and is running smoothly. According to the CISQ software quality model, there are certain metrics which are effective in measuring the quality of the code which include security, performance efficiency, rate of delivery, and reliability. In Summation The above-mentioned metrics play a vital role in ensuring that the code is up to the market. As code is considered to be the backbone of the software, it is regarded as one of the most critical testing strategies. There are a plethora of guidelines which play a vital role in ensuring an end product of great quality. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post 7 Software Testing Strategies Every Tester Should Know About appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Developing Loyal Fans: The Future of Marketing

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want loyal fans for your business? Want to know how to build a fanbase of loyal customers? To explore how to develop loyal fans, I interview David Meerman Scott on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. David is a marketer, speaker, and best-selling author. His latest book is called Fanocracy: How to Turn Fans […] The post Developing Loyal Fans: The Future of Marketing appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

DreamHost Blog -

When it comes to digital marketing, the goal is to generate traffic and leads that can then be converted into sales. While the focus is usually on developing ways to drive more traffic to your site, you may be wondering if there’s more you can do to encourage conversions. Enter Conversion Rate Optimization! Rather than focusing on traffic generation, CRO looks at what can be done on your website after you’ve reeled in those leads. Ultimately, CRO is an ongoing process of observation, analysis, and improvement. In this how-to guide, we’ll give you a comprehensive overview of CRO and answer some important questions you might have: What is CRO? How should I calculate my website’s conversion rate? Is CRO the right strategy for my website? What is a CRO framework? How do I use one? Where should I implement CRO best practices? Which CRO tools and resources can I use? Long story short, we’re going to get you set up with everything you need to know about increasing conversions. Let’s get started! Optimize Your Site with Managed WordPress HostingOur automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on conversions.Check Out Plans What Conversion Rate Optimization Is (And How it Differs from Traditional Marketing) When we talk about conversions, we’re referring to the process of getting a lead to take a desired action. This might be submitting an email address, purchasing a product, or downloading an article. It’s easy to rely heavily on strategies that might be too simple in scope. For example, you might be solely focused on getting visitors to submit their email addresses on your website and miss out on other potential conversion opportunities. However, if CRO is implemented correctly, it can help you manage the entire process from start to finish. This includes all of your channels and every part of your conversion funnel, rather than just that one lead generation tactic. Regardless of where they originate from, conversions of any kind can be calculated with a formula. Since CRO is a continuous process that aims to increase conversions and can employ several different techniques, it’s important to understand how to calculate different kinds of conversion rates. So, put on your glasses, because we’re about to get real nerdy. Related: 5 WordPress Plugins to Improve Your Website Conversion Rate How to Calculate Conversion Rates Calculating your current conversion rates will give you a benchmark prior to implementing CRO and can later help you determine whether or not your efforts are working. There are several different ways to approach this task. Before you get started with the number-crunching, you’ll need to define a few things that are specific to your business, including: Website Visitors. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to track your website’s traffic. This will be the basis for many CRO calculations. Leads. Make sure you know exactly what counts as a lead for your situation. For example, this could be anyone who clicks on a specific button or submits their email address. Conversion. Making a purchase is the most common kind of conversion we’ll discuss. However, there are several kinds of conversions, so you’ll need to establish how you’re defining the term. These three elements are critical components of your marketing funnel. The better you understand your funnel, the easier it will be to implement key CRO tactics. Now, let’s look at the most fundamental way to calculate conversion rates. You’ll take the total number of conversions (such as purchases), and divide it by the number of “interactions” or completed actions (clicks on an ad, for example) during a specific time frame. For example, if you had 10 sales from 1,000 interactions in one month, your conversion rate for that month would be 1%. However, you’ll have to decide what you are considering a valuable interaction, as calculating all potential actions together can result in skewed rates. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you sift through some of the different ways to do this. Specifically, Google offers conversion tracking for use with Google Ads. This enables you to create specific conversion actions that are unique to your business. Now, let’s take a step back and look at conversion rates in the context of implementing CRO. To do this, you’ll want to calculate your conversion rate based on the number of website visitors you have and how many of them become leads. To get your visitor-to-lead conversion rate, divide the number of leads created by the number of website visitors within a set time frame: If you have 1,000 site visitors in one month and 10 leads, your visitor-to-lead conversion rate is 1%. In terms of setting goals, you might be inclined to think you need more website traffic. In reality, this is where CRO can be beneficial. In our example, there are a lot of website visitors who did not become leads. This means there might be areas you can optimize in order to increase your visitor-to-lead conversions. In turn, your lead-to-customer conversions should also increase. In fact, that lead-to-customer conversion rate is the last calculation we’ll touch on. This is determined by dividing your total conversions (where a lead becomes a paying customer) by the number of total leads in a given time frame: If we revisit our previous example, we had a total of 10 leads. Let’s assume that three of those leads convert in the same month. Our lead-to-customer conversion would be 3%. These are all necessary formulas to keep in mind. They can help you set goals and compare monthly totals to see if your CRO strategies are working to boost the specific conversion rates you decide to target. Related: 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Your Small Business Should You Be Using CRO? (4 Key Questions to Ask Yourself) It seems obvious to say, “Yes! I want more leads from my existing traffic.” However, there are some other questions to consider before you dive into a CRO planning session. While CRO concepts and techniques can benefit just about anyone, there are some specific elements of your existing practices to consider beforehand. 1. Do You Understand Your Audience? To implement a solid CRO plan, you’ll need to have a decent amount of target market data. Marketing personas are a great place to start, and you can enhance their usefulness through CRO. If you’re lacking this kind of information but still want to use CRO, there are tools available to get you started. For example, the ThinkWithGoogle suite includes an application called Market Finder. This is an application that can help you determine what the actual market is for your business. Additionally, you can identify new potential markets, or fine-tune your approach according to geographic locations. All of this data is vital to utilizing CRO. If you’re missing this component, you might want to invest some time into filling the gaps first. 2. Are You Tracking Key Metrics? We mentioned previously how important it is to track different business metrics. CRO can only deliver the desired results if you’re already tracking metrics like bounce rate, page loading times, user experience, page views, and traffic. Just as we saw in the conversion rate calculations, data is the key to understanding whether optimizations are working. 3. Do You Already Have Good Traffic Numbers? While mathematical logic tells us that the more traffic you have, the better your conversion numbers should be, that’s not necessarily the approach CRO emphasizes. The optimizations suggested — along with using CRO best practices — are designed to take your existing traffic even further. So if you’re already happy with your current traffic, that’s a good starting point. If not, you might first want to look at what could be preventing you from reaching your audience. 4. Do You Need to Stretch Your Marketing Budget? Just like we discussed regarding traffic numbers, CRO aims to get you more with what you have already. If you have the other elements in place, such as data tracking, decent website traffic, and lead funnels, CRO is a logical next step. However, obtaining those other items can be costly, so it makes sense to look at where you can optimize what you have in place to bring about better results. Fortunately, most CRO practices are not going to break the bank. Be Awesome on the InternetJoin our monthly newsletter for tips and tricks to build your dream website!Sign Me Up Understanding the CRO Process and How to Make It Work For You We mentioned earlier that some approaches to calculating conversion rates can be too isolated. However, when implemented correctly, CRO can take those individual elements and create a comprehensive process that offers greater depth and value. In that regard, CRO is also a multifaceted approach that does not focus on just one element of a website or marketing campaign. There are several different CRO frameworks out there that you can adopt for your process. Each framework puts its own spin on five basic categories, including: Research Hypothesis Prioritization Testing Learning On their own, these can be used as a basic CRO framework, but there are more in-depth and specific frameworks out there that you can try as well. We’ll go over three of the most popular, to give you an idea for how they differ. Moz’ 5-Step Framework Moz offers SEO tools for website developers and businesses, and they’re considered one of the top experts on SEO. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they’ve developed a CRO framework as well. Their approach has five steps that fall into three broad phases: Discovery, Experiments, and Review. To get started, let’s look at the Discovery phase. This is where steps one and two of the Moz framework live. There, you’ll look first at gathering data and formulating your hypotheses. The Discovery phase is essential to creating a strong foundation for all the work you’ll do next in the Experiment phase. This is where you’ll encounter steps three and four. They cover wireframing your new design, so you’re addressing the hypotheses formed in the previous step. This should match your brand and be realistic in terms of your technical resources. The fourth step in this framework focuses specifically on implementing Optimizely. This is a platform we’ll discuss in greater detail later. However, broadly speaking, it’s built to help you test and build digital experiences in a variety of different categories, such as marketing, engineering, and product development. In the Review phase, you’ll be looking to see if your hypothesis was correct. If not, you’ll be able to determine what you can learn from that failure. The LIFT Model Developed by Chris Goward, Founder and CEO of WiderFunnel, the LIFT Model is another CRO framework to consider. While this approach retains some of the same fundamentals of scientific testing that the Moz framework introduced, it has a much different structure. The Lift Model enables you to evaluate experiences from the perspective of your page visitors, using these six factors: Value Proposition Clarity Relevance Distraction Urgency Anxiety Goward offers a visualization of this model using an airplane as the value proposition. What makes the airplane lift is when the value proposition is relevant, clear, and presented with urgency. As a website user, distractions and anxiety are what can bring the plane down. With the LIFT Model, your value proposition is what determines your potential conversion rate, making it the most vital part of the framework. All the other factors in the model either drive or inhibit your value proposition and are used to develop your hypothesis and testing strategy. The LIFT Model has quite a few success stories. For example, a case study on Magento demonstrates how they were able to create an 88% “lift” in qualified leads using this framework. The Data36 Model Created by data analyst Tomi Mester, the Data36 model is an excellent option for anyone more comfortable with traditional scientific research terminology. This framework uses six steps to work through both qualitative and quantitative research methods that inform the CRO process. Steps one and two of the Data36 approach are similar to the Moz framework — you’ll be focused on gathering valuable data. However, in this case, it might be anecdotal or historical data. The key is to focus on qualitative information at the start. According to Mester, this concept is the first step, so you can form “hunches” before diving into the numerical data. To gather this information, you can conduct user interviews or Five Second Tests, which we’ll talk more about later. Your qualitative data can help dictate the direction of your search for quantitative data. This is where you’ll start to confirm your hunches. For the most part, this is similar to the steps in other frameworks where you form a hypothesis and then test it. The Data36 framework also has a brainstorming step that is much like wireframing in other CRO frameworks. Once you’ve created optimized content, you’ll engage in another round of qualitative testing. To round out the framework, you’ll work through A/B testing of the versions that performed well in the second round of qualitative research. The winner of this step can be moved to the sixth and final step. If used correctly, this framework can help you avoid unnecessary coding projects and potentially speed up the optimization process by weeding out options that might not work. 6 Areas Where You Can Implement CRO Best Practices Now that we’ve covered some of the frameworks you can use to implement a CRO strategy, let’s take a look at the specific areas of your website where these techniques can have a noticeable impact. 1. Call-To-Actions (CTAs) Your CTAs are of prime importance. If your website visitors don’t know what it is you want them to do, it’s unlikely that they’ll do it. Remember that in the LIFT Model, clarity is one of the elements that can help your value proposition take off. You might be familiar with some of the more traditional best practices, such as CTA button design, placement, and copy. However, when it comes to CRO, the approach is slightly different. In fact, this is where you’re more likely to find recommendations for using text-based CTAs. A text-based or anchor text CTA is designed in a larger format, such as an H3 or H4 heading, and is often styled in a different color. It is meant to stand out, but still be part of your web page’s copy. Hubspot conducted a study that compared end-of-page CTA banners to CTA anchor text and found that 43 to 97% of their leads came from the anchor text. Since only 6% of leads came from the end-of-page banner, anchor text CTAs were the clear winner. One of the main reasons this approach works is that it can help avoid banner-blindness. This happens when website users simply ignore certain design elements. Additionally, since a high percentage of readers won’t ever make it to the end of a post, implementing anchor text CTAs might be a useful technique to explore on your website. 2. Website Copy Many experts view writing strong website copy as a mashup of art and science. However, CRO has a more formulaic approach for improving conversion rates through optimizing specific areas of your website’s copy. For example, applying optimization formulas to your headline is a great place to start. This is likely the first, and potentially only, thing your visitors will see. If the headline is not optimized, they may not even click on it in the first place! If your headline passes the test, you’ll want to make sure your page copy follows a few more rules. This is where the relevance of your copy really matters. It’s crucial to CRO that your copy matches or is relevant to your CTA. For instance, you wouldn’t want to focus all your copy on website hosting and then have your CTA mention signing up for an email marketing service. That might be an extreme example, but it drives home a vital point: copy matters! You’ll also want to assess whether your copy uses too much passive voice, stays on topic, and makes claims you can actually deliver on. 3. Navigation and Site Structure Your website’s structure can be a critical factor in a successful approach to traditional SEO. Plus, there are lots of ways to optimize it. A well-executed site structure also plays a pivotal role in CRO. In fact, SEO expert Neil Patel calls good site architecture the “older brother” of CRO. Basically, navigation and site structure impact conversions because they are how users find and purchase things on your website. If the path to your CTA does not make sense or is hard to follow, your conversion numbers will probably reflect that. This is where some standard practices for building better User Experiences (UX) can be helpful. Peter Morville’s Honeycomb Model is a widely-accepted lens through which to view your website’s structure and begin making improvements. The seven segments of the honeycomb represent all the elements that should be present to provide users with a meaningful and valuable experience. Ultimately, if your website structure and navigation are meeting all the standards in the honeycomb, you’ll have naturally optimized your website for better conversion rates. 4. Page Speed It’s a well-cited fact that if a user has to wait just a few seconds for your page to load, they are more likely to leave and not come back. This, of course, can have a negative impact on your bottom line. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your website’s speed. One significant factor when it comes to page speed is your web host. A quality web host with the right features can be a big help when it comes to CRO. For example, built-in caching is one feature to look for when evaluating potential web hosts. This enables you to create static versions of individual web pages, so the server has less to load when a user requests the page through their web browser. Related: 12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow and How to Fix It 5. Forms Getting your visitors to fill out lead generation forms can be a challenge. Style and length are both factors that can impact the success of your forms. Additionally, where to place them on your site is a hotly-debated topic. Whether you place your opt-in forms above or below “the fold,” there are some practices backed by data that seem to yield higher conversion rates. For example, the BrokerNotes lead generation form has a tool-like experience that took their conversion rate from 11% to 46%. This is a good example of how revamping your lead generation form to look and feel less like a form can assist with CRO. However, there are many other form elements to consider when optimizing for conversions. This includes how much and how personal the information is that you ask for. For example, asking for a phone number has been shown to cause a 5% drop in conversions. 6. Landing Page Design While many of the items on our list often live together on a landing page, there are steps you can take using CRO to improve the overall experience. From the headline to the CTA, every element of your landing page matters and provides opportunities for optimization. An excellent example of an optimized landing page is Airbnb. Not only is the page simple and visually appealing, but it also gets right to the point with a clear headline and useful information. There is no question about what this page is saying, and it speaks right to a potential host’s wallet. In terms of a CTA, it also cleverly offers the user valuable information before asking for anything in return. 6 Conversion Rate Optimization Tools & Resources Once you have a basic grasp on what CRO involves, it’s time to dive in and put it to the test. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you get started. For example, we’ve created a guide to using typography to increase conversions on your website. Let’s take a look at six other resources you can leverage to launch your CRO initiative! 1. Google Marketing Platform When it comes to optimizing for search engines, Google is usually a top priority. Fortunately, the search engine also offers an entire suite of tools that can be used with your CRO framework. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses, as they can access these tools for free. Another benefit of using Google’s resources is that they are designed to work together, making your data accessible across all the available applications. The Google Marketing Platform provides an integrated approach to using the best tools for optimizing your website. For instance, you can gather all the tracking data you need for the beginning steps of most CRO frameworks using Google Analytics. Once you’re ready to run some tests, Google Optimize offers applications that can set up experiments based on your data. 2. Visual Web Optimizer Visual Web Optimizer (VWO) is an application with a diverse feature set, geared towards making website optimization easy. The Research, Hypothesize, Experiment, and Measure approach to many of the CRO frameworks we’ve discussed is operationalized with VWO’s digital toolset. Essentially, you can use VWO’s services to provide extra support and expertise to the CRO framework you decide to employ. This includes tools for every step of the process. VWO also offers many plans to choose from, including pricing options for individual applications starting at $99 per month. 3. Optimizely Optimizely is the platform used explicitly in the Moz 5-Step CRO Framework. It is one of the top CRO platforms out there, with clientele that includes 24 of the top Fortune 100 global businesses. This is one of the premium CRO services on the market. You’ll have to contact the sales team directly to get pricing on Optimizely plans. Whatever you choose, you’ll get some options in terms of how you can approach the platform. For example, you can choose services based on team (marketing, product, engineering, or data) or industry. You can also choose between a Web platform for creating experiments and personalizations with a visual editor and a Full Stack platform geared more towards application and back-end development. This is where you’ll find high-powered A/B testing options and feature flags for product development. 4. Five Second Tests Five Second Tests is an easy-to-use web-based service that enables you to gather data on what a website user’s first impression of your design is. This process gives testers only five seconds to view a page. Then, they are asked a series of questions to determine if the design is achieving what you intended. You can use this application for free in a limited capacity. You’ll be constrained to a total of two minutes of testing per month and you won’t be able to brand your tests with your own logo. For $79 per month, you can increase your testing time, remove the branding, and implement split testing. There are also Pro and Team plans with many more features for $99 and $396 per month, respectively. 5. Case Studies Research and data are both essential components when it comes to CRO. So we wanted to include some excellent resources for your own information gathering. Learning from others can save you time, frustration, and in some cases, money. With that in mind, Neil Patel has 100 conversion rate optimization case studies available for free on his website. You can use this as a directory to find situations that are similar to your own to learn from. You’ll be able to review what was optimized, in addition to what the results and key findings were. If you’re trying to kickstart a CRO effort with your team, sharing case studies can often serve as a tangible motivator. 6. CRO Blogs To learn more about CRO and keep your skills sharp with the latest optimization tools, following the blogs of CRO experts can be a worthwhile (and often entertaining) strategy. However, if you look for CRO blogs in a Google search, you’re likely to get millions of results. So we’ve picked a few of the best to give you a more manageable reading list. To keep up on the latest CRO trends, you might want to follow some of these blogs: The WiderFunnel Blog: CEO Chris Goward created the LIFT Model for CRO. Unbounce: This is a blog brought to you by one of the leaders in A/B testing and landing page optimization tools. Conversion Optimization Blog: A well-researched blog that comes from the Conversion Sciences team. Neil Patel’s Blog: Neil Patel, the creator of KISSMetrics, brings his readers some of the most data-packed posts out there about marketing and optimization. As our technology landscape shifts and changes, following expert blogs can help you stay informed and up-to-speed on the most effective CRO practices. Let’s Increase Your Conversion Rate With some basic elements in place, a well-structured CRO strategy will almost always yield positive results. If you’ve already calculated your conversion rates and are tracking key metrics, then you’re off to a good start. Choosing and implementing a CRO framework is another major component of developing a successful strategy. While no one framework is the “right” one, they all require gathering quality data, developing hypotheses, and testing to determine the best optimization tactics for your website. Of course, you won’t want to get distracted by an unreliable web host when you could be focusing on a higher conversion rate. Here at DreamHost, we can keep your website’s server in prime condition with our managed hosting plans, so you can get back to building a conversion machine! The post The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death appeared first on HostGator Blog. The WordPress white screen of death is something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. One minute your site works, the next you’re greeted by nothing but a white screen. This can be a scary experience, but it’s more common than you might think. Nearly every single WordPress site owner has experienced this sometime during the life of their site.  Although this isn’t the most fun situation in the world, it can be remedied, and usually, it’s a pretty quick fix. There are a few common reasons for this to occur. Below we dive into the most common causes of the WordPress white screen of death and what you can do to fix the problem.  What is the WordPress White Screen of Death? The WordPress white screen of death is an error that occurs with your WordPress site. You can tell this has happened to your website because when you visit it, you’ll see nothing but a white screen! Sometimes, you’ll see an error message, but often it’s just a white screen. Some of the most common reasons this error occurs are due to: Running into a memory limitEditing a core file like functions.phpA plugin conflict which breaks your siteUsing a WordPress theme with faulty code If those scenarios sound confusing, don’t worry. We’ll get into how you can diagnose and fix these issues below.  How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death Below we’ll cover the main reasons the white screen of death occurs and what you can do to troubleshoot and fix the issue. Before we move forward, you’re going to need to access and edit your WordPress files. You can do this via an FTP client like Filezilla, or via the File Manager within your hosting control panel.  If you’re a beginner, then the easiest option is going to be using the File Manager. It operates similar to accessing your site via FTP, but instead you’ll just login to your server via cPanel and open the ‘File Manager’ app. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like: When you’re experiencing the white screen of death you probably won’t be able to access the backend of your site via the WordPress dashboard. So, you’ll need to feel comfortable editing and removing website files. It might look a little complex, but it’s a pretty straightforward process.  That being said, here’s how you can fix the WordPress white screen of death depending on the error that caused it:  1. Resolve a Browser Issue We’ll start with the easiest fix. Sometimes it might not even be an issue with your site at all, but instead an issue you’re experiencing with your browser. This is common when you’re making changes to your WordPress site, and you don’t see the changes reflected live until you empty your cache. To do this open up your browser of choice and locate the browsing and history section. This will allow you to view and clear your history, cookies, and cached images and files. Clear all of the existing data and wait for the process to run its course. Then, close and reopen the browser and see if the issue disappeared.  2. Increase WordPress Memory Limit If your WordPress site is large and growing, then you might have run into a WordPress memory issue. The more traffic your website receives the more memory you’ll need for your site to function correctly (and to avoid the white screen of death). To increase your memory limit, you’ll need to open up your wp-config.php file.  Then add or edit the line of code that looks like: define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT,’ ‘64M’); For most sites, 64 MB of memory will be more than enough. However, if the problem still exists after making this change, then it could be an issue with your host as well. So, it can be helpful to reach out to your web host’s support team and see if they can upgrade your memory internally, or upgrade you to a higher hosting plan.  3. Disable All WordPress Plugins A lot of times, the issue can be with one of your plugins. Not every WordPress plugin is going to be high-quality. In some cases, there will be an issue with the plugin’s code that conflicts with your current theme.  Sometimes, when the WordPress core gets updated, plugin developers may not have updated their plugin to remain compatible, resulting in a conflict with the code that brings your site offline.  In this case, you’ll need to manually deactivate all of your installed plugins, then activate them one by one until you’ve found the culprit. If you disable all of your plugins and your site is back online, then you’ve found the issue! Congratulations! Then, you can systematically narrow down the plugin that caused the problem.  Here’s how you deactivate your WordPress plugins automatically: Navigate to your wp-content folder.Find the plugins folder inside and rename it something different like plugins-off. This makes WordPress think that the folder doesn’t exist, so it’ll disable any active plugins. Now, load your website. If the white screen of death goes away, then that means it was due to a faulty plugin. Here’s what to do to figure out which one caused it: Rename the plugins folder back to the original plugins name.Open up the folder and go through each plugin, one by one, by renaming each folder. Each time you rename a plugin folder, try loading your site.If your site loads, then you’ve found the plugin. Now delete that plugin’s folder, and the problem is solved! Going forward, make sure that you avoid that plugin like the plague. See if you can find another similar plugin that provides the same features instead, or ask yourself if you can make do without the plugin’s functionality? 4. Deactivate Your Current WordPress Theme If it wasn’t a memory or plugin issue, then there’s a good chance it’s an issue with your WordPress theme. If you recently installed a new theme, or updated your theme, and this issue started, then there’s a good chance it’s your theme. To deactivate your current theme, we’re going to follow the same approach as the plugins section above. Here’s how you disable your current theme: Navigate to your WordPress theme’s folder by going to wp-content/themes.Locate your currently installed theme and deactivate it by renaming the theme’s folder, so instead of themename, it’ll be themename-bad. This will automatically disable the plugin, and WordPress will revert to the default theme. If this worked, then it was an issue with your theme! Now, it’s time to find a quality WordPress theme that won’t lead to this issue in the future.  5. Fix an Error in a Core WordPress File If you were recently editing any WordPress core files before you experienced this error, then the likely culprit is going to be an error in the file that was being edited. Fixing this is going to depend on the file that was being edited. But, you can generally resolve this issue by uploading a fresh version of the file you were editing. If you were editing a theme file, then you can locate a new version of that file by downloading a new version from the theme repository, or wherever you purchased your theme. If you were editing a WordPress core file, then download a fresh version of WordPress from WordPress.org. Once you’ve downloaded the new WordPress core, or a fresh version of your theme, unzip it and locate the file. Then access your site via File Manager or FTP, delete the file you changed, and upload the brand the new version. Next, load your website to see if this removed the white screen of death. Recovering from the WordPress White Screen of Death? Experiencing the WordPress white screen of death can be a pretty scary experience, but thankfully the situation isn’t as bad as it seems. Usually, deactivating your plugins or activating a different WordPress theme will fix the issue. The above five tips will account for 99% percent of the time you experience the white screen of death.  To avoid this from happening in the future, keep the following best practices in mind: Only install WordPress themes and plugins from reputable sourcesRegularly backup your site, so you can install from a previously working version of your website if need be. (One excellent solution for this is CodeGuard, a service that automatically backs up your website on a daily basis.)Never edit WordPress core or theme files on a live site. Always use a test environment.Make sure any hosting or other web services you use offer high-quality support, in case you need the assistance of technical staff. Hopefully, by now you’ve resolved the WordPress white screen of death issue you were experiencing, and you’re well-equipped to handle this issue if it ever occurs again in the future. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

New gTLD Report – January 2020

Reseller Club Blog -

It is a new year and a new decade! 2020, indeed seems like a year of change, a welcoming one! We had some eye-catching promos lined up for the month of January 2020. .XYZ climbed the charts and made it to the top position of the new gTLD leaderboard. Followed by .SITE, .ONLINE, .ICU and .SPACE that managed to secure a sweet spot in the top 5 of the month. Along with this, we launched two new gTLDs .APP and .BUZZ and they both managed to secure a place in our top 15. .XYZ and .LIFE contributed to the total registrations with 82% and 73% spike respectively in the month of January. Let’s dive in further and learn about the new gTLDs that were trending and made it to the top 15! New gTLD Report – January 2020Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .XYZ: .XYZ scored the top spot with a 36% share of the total registered new gTLDs in the month of January. The China market contributed to this increase in the number of registrations of this new gTLD. .XYZ was being sold at a promo price of $0.99 and it’s not a surprise that this new gTLD grabbed the top spot.  .SITE: With a 20% share in the total registration count, .SITE managed to retain its spot during the month of January. This new gTLD was running at a promo price of $5.99. The increase in registration count can be attributed to the China market. .ONLINE: Registrations of .ONLINE tripled in January and it was able to move to the third spot. This new gTLD witnessed an increase of 64% in the total registration count. .ONLINE was running at a promo price of $6.99. The Global markets* can be credited for the maximum registrations. .ICU: Similar to .SITE, .ICU was able to hold on to its spot in the new gTLD list during the month of January. This new gTLD that was running at a promo price of $6.99 was able to grab a 4% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .SPACE: The promo price of $0.99 helped boost registrations of .SPACE in the month of January. .SPACE grabbed a 4% share of the total new gTLDs registered in January. This can be credited to the Global markets*. .APP and .BUZZ, the newly launched new gTLDs made it to the top 15 list. This can be attributed to high registrations in the Global* and China markets respectively. Along with this, .WEBSITE and .STORE were able to retain their 12th and 13th spot respectively. Moreover, .CLUB climbed the charts securing the 6th spot with 50% spike in its registrations. Here is a quick glance into the exciting domain promos we’ve lined up for February 2020! Get the newly launched domain .BUZZ creating a buzz for your customers’ business at just $0.99 Reach out to various artists with a .ART domain extension at just $2.99 Go green and grow your customers business with a .GREEN domain at just $11.49 That’s all folks! Check out all our leading domain promos 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 look out for the posts with #domainpromos. See you there!  *Global market – US, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Thailand and others fall under the global markets.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post New gTLD Report – January 2020 appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

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