Industry Buzz

New LinkedIn Ad Targeting Audiences

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 the updated Facebook Ad Library and the newest LinkedIn product and ad targeting tools with special guests […] The post New LinkedIn Ad Targeting Audiences appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

An Early Look at the 2019 WP Engine Summit

WP Engine -

Developers, marketers, and technologists will head to Austin in June for the annual WP Engine Digital Breakthrough Summit. This event brings together some of the most prominent marketers and innovative thinkers who use WordPress for two days of knowledge, collaboration, and networking. Last year’s summit was chock-full of cutting-edge topics including AI, voice technology, AMP,… The post An Early Look at the 2019 WP Engine Summit appeared first on WP Engine.

Benefits of Cloud VPS vs. Managed VPS

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Cloud VPS hosting and Managed VPS each have their own distinct advantages, so it can be difficult to know which one to choose. You may find yourself tempted to just go with the first option you look at, just to get the decision off your plate. But when it comes to choosing a hosting service for your business website, it pays to avoid a hasty decision. Why? Because your hosting service directly impacts both the performance of your website and customer satisfaction. Continue reading Benefits of Cloud VPS vs. Managed VPS at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Building Your Drupal 8 Site

Nexcess Blog -

Welcome to Part 3 of our series, Getting Started with Drupal 8. Go here for Part 2. Last entry, you learned the basics of creating content, adding images, and dabbled in your first themes and modules. Before we start adding more your content — and we will in Part 4 — let’s look at some… Continue reading →

Is Shared Hosting Right for My Business?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

In today’s fast-paced world of internet business, many people realize that they must have an online presence to survive. To that end, many people starting out online are not sure if a shared hosting provider is the right choice for them or if they should choose another package such as a VPS or dedicated server. If you are running a small business and you have decided to take the plunge and set up a website, here’s what you need to know when you decide what type of server you will need. Continue reading Is Shared Hosting Right for My Business? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Add Live Chat to Your Website for Free

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Add Live Chat to Your Website for Free appeared first on HostGator Blog. A few years ago, a live chat service on your website was often considered a luxury. Now that the age of technology is here and customers are always able to access our sites from their smartphone, laptop, or tablet, a chat box is more important than ever before. Customer Think estimated that live chat use will grow a staggering 87 percent from 2017 until the end of 2018. If you’ve visited virtually any website that sells a product or service in the past year, it’s easy to see that they were spot on. Everyone is offering live chat as a way to retain customers, boost sales, and improve the overall customer experience. If you’re looking for a way to install live chat on your website, you’re in the right place. There’s a wide selection of paid live chat applications out there, but we are going to show you the best way to add a free chat software to your website. Picking Your Live Chat Application Before you can add live chat to your website, it’s important that you decide on the chat program you would like to use on your site. There are plenty of software types to choose from, but we are going to use Fresh Chat for this example. Fresh Chat offers free chat software for your website with increasingly useful versions for business owners who want to get more from their chat service. We are going to show you how to add the ‘sprout’ version today. The free version allows you to add 10 team members to your chat program so you can handle customer requests with ease. The other tiers allow you to add additional members and really flesh out your live chat functionality as your business grows. Here’s how to get started. Step 1: Sign up for Fresh Chat The first thing you should do is sign up for an account on the website. After landing on their homepage you can sign up by entering your email address on the top right side of the screen. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your account while getting redirected to the Fresh Chat Inbox. Check your email and activate your account to continue. Once activating your account, you’ll get redirected to a page that asks for some basic information to get your account set up. Enter in your information in each text box like your name, phone number, company name, and your password. Click activate and login to continue. Step 2: Integrate Fresh Chat Now that you’ve activated your account, it’s time to link your Fresh Chat account to your website. If you click ‘integrate now’ on the top of your Fresh Chat dashboard, you’ll get simple directions on how to integrate the chat service on your company website. Here’s how it works. From your website back end, copy and paste the provided code into the <Head> section in order to allow Fresh Chat to communicate with your site (and your users!). Next, you’ll need to add this code snippet before </BODY> The last step here is optional, but if you would like to add the ability to track individual users, use the code before in your </BODY> text. Step 3: Add Team Members Now that you have connected your website to your Fresh Chat account, it’s time to start adding team members. As previously mentioned, you can have up to 10 team members on the Sprout account. From the Fresh Chat dashboard, click on the gear icon labeled Settings on the bottom left side of your navigation panel. This will open up all of your account settings. Under configure, click on team members to open up the team manager menu. Now you can add up to 10 agents by clicking the blue ‘add a team member’ button on the top of the team management page. You’ll have to enter in information such as their name, email address, and role on Fresh Chat. Here is an example team member we added. Once you’ve entered in all of the information for your new team member, click save to add them to your account. They will receive their own confirmation email letting them know that you’ve added them to the team. Step 4: Customize Your Chat Window Now that you’ve added Fresh Chat to your website and set up your team, you can now customize how your chat window looks on your website. Simply go back to the settings page from your dashboard and click on ‘web messenger settings’ and click the customize appearance tab to change the appearance of your chat window. After tweaking the customization options, you’ll be able to preview your new chat box on the right side of the screen. Here is one that we put together. Get Started with Live chat That’s all there is to it! If you follow these steps you’ll have a functioning chat function available on your website for your customers. There are plenty of great benefits to adding live chat to your website. The ability to directly communicate with customers can improve your lead generation efforts and help bring customers down your sales funnel. As your website grows, you may want to consider upgrading to a premium Fresh Chat plan. The additional tiers allow you to add more team members, gives you more freedom to expand on the chat framework you’ve created here, and makes it easy to track your analytics for improved customer experience. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Create Your Website Navigation Menu

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Create Your Website Navigation Menu appeared first on HostGator Blog. Are you building your first website? Or maybe you’ve had a website for a long time and it’s time for a refresh. Either way, pay special attention to the navigation menu, as the navigation menu can be the most important part of your website – even more important than the design. A website navigation menu can be the most important element of your website because it is the main index or digital catalog that people will use to find content on your website. A navigation menu is often organized as a tool bar at the top of a website or on a sidebar, or as a drop-down navigation menu that nests topics under main categories. Often times the website navigation menu gets overlooked as an important tool that requires strategy. Instead, it’s often a “dumping ground” for every page of your website. Some people will argue that every page on your website should be listed in the navigation menu. But the main point is that you should spend time organizing your navigation menu so website visitors can easily find their way around your website. 4 Steps to Create a Successful Website Navigation Menu 1. Determine the goals of your website. Ultimately, your website should reflect your business’ goals. The biggest piece of strategy to consider for your website is: What do you want people to know or do as a result of visiting your website? Every website is unique so your answer to this question will be unique as well. But your website visitors should be able to easily understand what you want them to do, and they should be able to easily access that information. For example: If you run a website for non profit organization, you may want people to sign up to volunteer, or donate money to a fundraiser. If your main goal is for people to sign up to volunteer, add a big “volunteer” button on the navigation menu that is visible on all pages of your website. If you have an online store, you may want them to browse your online catalog and purchase at least one item. If you are a restaurant, you may want them to view the menu and call to book a reservation. Whatever it is that you want visitors to know or do as a result of visiting your website, make sure that “action” is easy to find and easy to complete. The Texas 4-H organization implemented this strategy by adding a “volunteer” button to the main navigation and a highlighted button for “Join Texas 4-H” so website visitors can quickly find the action to sign up to join or sign up to volunteer. Consider writing the button text or navigation menu item as an action item such as ‘browse online catalog’, ‘shop online’, ‘sign up to volunteer’, or ‘donate today.’ 2. Create an “about us” page Every website should have an “about us” page for a few different reasons. First, people will use the “about us” page to learn more about your business, who you are, and what you do. Second, the “about us” page is important for your search engine ranking since the page will include an overview of your business with important search keywords. Make sure you include important words or services that people would be searching for in order to find a business like yours. The “about us” page is often the longest page on a website, and gives you the biggest opportunity to maximize your chance for search engine ranking. Your “about us” page should tell your story, establish credibility, showcase your work, and quickly review the services or products you offer. Click to read more about how to create an awesome about page for your website. 3. Create a “contact us” page Every website should also have a “contact us” page. A contact us page is an easy way for people to find important information on how to reach you – either by email, phone, or a physical address. Make sure that this information is cohesive across all of your online entities. For example, you should reference your physical address online in exactly the same way on your website, Facebook page, and your Google My Business page. Cohesive information will help search engines verify your business and identify that each page (website, Facebook, Google My Business) should be attributed to your business. The HostGator contact page includes the various ways someone might be interested in contacting us, but the main header prominently features a phone number and chat as those are the primary contact methods for our customers. 4. Organize a catalog for your business type Does your business sell products or offer services? Maybe you do both… For example, a jewelry store could offer jewelry products for sale, and also services such as jewelry design or jewelry appraisals. Either way, make a list of all the things you do or sell and organize them by categories based on how people would shop. Read more ideas on how to organize product categories for your online store. You can also use these ideas to help organize your services categories. Designing Your Website Navigation Menu The website navigation bar is the main method people will use to browse your website, if you do it well. If you don’t take the time to organize your naivation menu, website visitors can quickly become confused or frustrated and leave your website for a competitor. No matter what type of website you have, the main navigation menu should quickly highlight your business so website visitors can see what you do, what you offer, and what you want them to know or do as a result of visiting your website. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

New gTLD Report – March 2019

Reseller Club Blog -

The new gTLDs that contributed to a 33% spike in the total registration numbers during the March Madness promo made their presence known in a big way in the month of March. A 299% jump in the registrations of .FUN helped it score a spot in the top 5 along with .ONLINE, .TOP and .XYZ, the new entrants .TECH and .SHOP made it to the top 15 list with a 500% and 127% climb in its registration numbers respectively. Let’s dive in further to find out which new gTLDs were trending during the month and made it to the top 15! New gTLD Report – March 2019 Infogram   *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .ONLINE: With a 25% spike in its registrations, .ONLINE was able to retain its top spot in the trending list of new gTLDs. This radix new gTLD which has shown consistent growth in the global market grabbed a 16% share of the total new gTLDs registered in the month of March. .ONLINE was being sold at a promo price of $6.99. .TOP: .TOP was able to hold onto the second spot in the month of March, as this new gTLD witnessed a 22% jump in its registrations. .TOP that was running at a promo price of $0.99 occupied a 12% share of the total new gTLDs registered. The increase in number of registration of this new gTLD can be attributed to the global markets. .XYZ:  Similar to .ONLINE and .TOP, this new gTLD was also able to hold on to its spot in the list of trending new gTLDs during the month of March. .XYZ that has been successful in connecting with the generation of internet users witnessed a 20% spike in its registration numbers. This new gTLD that was running at a promo price of $0.99 was able to grab an 11% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .FUN: Registrations for .FUN rocketed 299% during the month of March. It was due to this huge leap in its registration numbers that helped .FUN secure a spot in the top 5 in the list of trending new gTLDs for the first time. This new gTLD that was being sold at a promo price of $0.99 was able to grab a 10% share of the total new gTLDs registered in the global markets. .SPACE: This Radix new gTLD that was able to secure a spot in the top 5 after quite a while, witnessed a jump in its registrations to a whopping 90% during the month of March..SPACE occupied a 7% share of the total new gTLDs registered while being sold at a promo price of $4.99. The registrations of the new entrants .TECH and .SHOP saw a massive jump of 500% and 127% respectively in the month of March . Along with these new gTLDs, .LIVE was also able to retains its sixth spot with a 40% jump in its registrations, followed by .SITE that saw a 16% growth in its registration numbers. Here’s a peek into the exciting domain promos we’ve got lined up for the month of April: Get your customer’s business online with a .SHOP domain extension at just $6.99. Resell the all time trending domain extension .ONLINE at just $3.99. Connect your customer’s business with the different generations with a .XYZ domain at just $0.99. And that’s it folks! Check out all our trending domain promos here and get the right one for your customer’s 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!  

Facebook Groups: New Features for Businesses

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to do more with Facebook Groups? Wondering how to use the newest Facebook Groups features? To explore what’s new with Facebook Groups and how the changes benefit marketers, I interview Bella Vasta. Bella is a Facebook Groups expert, author of The Four Types of Dogs Every Business Needs, and host of the […] The post Facebook Groups: New Features for Businesses appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

4 Great Examples of Video Content that Converts on Social Media

HostGator Blog -

The post 4 Great Examples of Video Content that Converts on Social Media appeared first on HostGator Blog. They say, “Content is king,” but that’s only true if you are creating the right type of content for your target audience. And when it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about video content. Text and blog content will always have a value and place of its own, but video is getting all of the attention, buzz and engagement when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram users. When used correctly, it’s also been a huge influencer in higher site conversions as well. With this in mind, today we are going to be looking at four different ways to create video content for your social audiences, while also growing your reach, conversions, and engagement in the process. 1. Create Videos Based on Current Events and Existing Viral Content One of the many benefits to focusing your efforts on video content, is that most of the time a lot of the work is already done for you. With blogging, whall of your content has to be original, but things are completely different with video and images. Everyone is always sharing the same stuff, and making memes, and we often really never know who the original creator or uploader was. A perfect example of this can be seen here. We’ve probably all seen the video of the people in the boat, who aren’t sitting down and are going way too fast. End result, they fly all over the place and the video goes viral. But the reason why this particular example is so perfect, is because “Rick Lax’s Favorite Videos” (which currently has 1.6 million Facebook fans) is killing it with videos that have already gone viral. They simply add their own text and commentary to each and republish them under their own channel. This video example alone has more than 50k shares and over 17 million views. 2. Grab Attention with Whiteboard and Text Animation Videos As wonderful as video can be for social media, it’s not simply a matter of uploading a video and then seeing results. When the thought of video comes to mind, many people shy away because they either have no idea how to create them, or they don’t want to spend a lot of money on a design team. Just like anything else, you need to create content that grabs the attention of your audience and makes them want to stop scrolling through their news feed. An excellent way to accomplish this is through the use of whiteboard and text animation videos. These types of videos are also very affordable and easy to make. Using a tool like mysimpleshow makes the video creation quite simple, as you just need to grab images, add text, and then move them around to your liking. Then, once you find an idea and concept that works with an audience, you can continue to tweak and customize it until it’s perfect. If there was ever an example for how important and effective animation and explainer videos are, this video is it. I don’t know many people that actually care how deep the ocean is, or would even spend 10 second to read about it… but when it’s in visual form, it can result in millions of views and new social followers or customers. If you aren’t too familiar with the concept of whiteboard and animation video, or how you can start using them for your own brand or business, check out this article with 17 great examples. 3. Develop Brand Mentions with Industry Experts and Video Interviews How many times have you visit a top influencer blog or online marketing guru site and then started seeing their advertisements and videos on Facebook? It happens all the time, and we will actually cover this in more detail in the next point. What I want to focus on now however, is the importance of video branding and visual association with other experts and trusted brands within a given niche. These videos work well for many reasons. They improve brand awareness and build reputation points as well. It’s not just about people searching for your videos. It’s also about them searching for who you might be doing an interview with. There are a number of tools out there to help with the tracking of social media mentions, while also providing you with some valuable data on who the top experts are within your space — which could lead to more interview and partnering opportunities. The best examples of these co-branded videos are often seen with one-to-one video interviews and webinars, which are then turned into sponsored content on social media. It’s usually Q&A for the first half, then upselling for something in the second portion. If you see someone interviewing or having a chat with someone else you know and trust, you are also more likely to follow and trust them as well. Plus, think about how many people you could be reaching when the person you are interviewing also shares it with their audience. This is something Russell Brunson has been doing for a while to grow his company. Head over to his YouTube account and you can see one of his interviews with Tony Robbins. Once you have something like that in place, you can keep marketing it and milking it for all it’s worth — since Tony is such a well-known and trusted name. Also, once you start to secure bigger names for interviews and JV opportunities, it will make the process of bringing in other influencers much easier. By using social media to host and promote this content, you are also growing a community forum around the content with comments, questions, and sharing. 4. Set Up a Remarketing Video Campaign We’ve covered a bunch of different ways to create video content, but not so much on how to effectively target your audience. As with all advertising, it’s ideal to show your best advertisements and ad copies to audiences that are already familiar with your brand or what you have to offer. Once again, this is where the magic of social media advertising comes into play once again. Through the use of remarketing, one can create an ad campaign that will deliver specific advertisements to audiences that have either been to your site and left, subscribed to your mailing list, or are already a follower of your social accounts. These types of video campaigns are ideal with upselling and bringing users back to complete a process they might not have acted on. These are commonly used with webinars as well, often being reminders that a webinar offer is closing and to act soon. There are many different methods for setting these types of campaigns up, and Adespresso has an excellent guide on the different options available. Through the use of custom audiences, you can even create campaigns and retarget users based on how much of your video they watched. Another great thing about remarketing ads is that your advertising dollars are spent more efficiently. Since your ads are being seen by people that are already interested in something you offer, they are more likely to click and buy. Not only can this lead to increased conversions, but also lower ad costs as a result of a much higher click through rate. Video is Here and It’s Also the Future! After skimming through each of the video creation and marketing examples laid out above, you should have some nice ideas for implement similar concepts into your own business and brand. The concept of using video to create content and target your audience is nothing new, but the methods in which you are reach, engage and upsell your video marketing is. Be sure to start using these methods today, as video isn’t just here right now… it’s also the future of all online, offline, and social media engagement. Get started with these 7 video ideas every business should feature on their website. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How To Create Your Own Website with Website Creator

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Wondering how to create your own website? You’re not alone! Countless small business owners understand the need for a website but feel like they either can’t pay to have one built or they don’t have the skills to do it themselves. We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to be a design professional to create a beautiful website – and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, either. Continue reading How To Create Your Own Website with Website Creator at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

The Wide World of Microsoft Windows on AWS

Amazon Web Services Blog -

You have been able to run Microsoft Windows on AWS since 2008 (my ancient post, Big Day for Amazon EC2: Production, SLA, Windows, and 4 New Capabilities, shows you just how far AWS come in a little over a decade). According to IDC, AWS has nearly twice as many Windows Server instances in the cloud as the next largest cloud provider. Today, we believe that AWS is the best place to run Windows and Windows applications in the cloud. You can run the full Windows stack on AWS, including Active Directory, SQL Server, and System Center, while taking advantage of 61 Availability Zones across 20 AWS Regions. You can run existing .NET applications and you can use Visual Studio or VS Code build new, cloud-native Windows applications using the AWS SDK for .NET. Wide World of Windows Starting from this amazing diagram drawn by my colleague Jerry Hargrove, I’d like to explore the Windows-on-AWS ecosystem in detail: 1 – SQL Server Upgrades AWS provides first-class support for SQL Server, encompassing all four Editions (Express, Web, Standard, and Enterprise), with multiple version of each edition. This wide-ranging support has helped SQL Server to become one of the most popular Windows workloads on AWS. The SQL Server Upgrade Tool (an AWS Systems Manager script) makes it easy for you to upgrade an EC2 instance that is running SQL Server 2008 R2 SP3 to SQL Server 2016. The tool creates an AMI from a running instance, upgrades the AMI to SQL Server 2016, and launches the new AMI. To learn more, read about the AWSEC2-CloneInstanceAndUpgradeSQLServer action. Amazon RDS makes it easy for you to upgrade your DB Instances to new major or minor upgrades to SQL Server. The upgrade is performed in-place, and can be initiated with a couple of clicks. For example, if you are currently running SQL Server 2014, you have the following upgrades available: You can also opt-in to automatic upgrades to new minor versions that take place within your preferred maintenance window: Before you upgrade a production DB Instance, you can create a snapshot backup, use it to create a test DB Instance, upgrade that instance to the desired new version, and perform acceptance testing. To learn more, about upgrades, read Upgrading the Microsoft SQL Server DB Engine. 2 – SQL Server on Linux If your organization prefers Linux, you can run SQL Server on Ubuntu, Amazon Linux 2, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux using our License Included (LI) Amazon Machine Images. Read the most recent launch announcement or search for the AMIs in AWS Marketplace using the EC2 Launch Instance Wizard: This is a very cost-effective option since you do not need to pay for Windows licenses. You can use the new re-platforming tool (another AWS Systems Manager script) to move your existing SQL Server databases (2008 and above, either in the cloud or on-premises) from Windows to Linux. 3 – Always-On Availability Groups (Amazon RDS for SQL Server) If you are running enterprise-grade production workloads on Amazon RDS (our managed database service), you should definitely enable this feature! It enhances availability and durability by replicating your database between two AWS Availability Zones, with a primary instance in one and a hot standby in another, with fast, automatic failover in the event of planned maintenance or a service disruption. You can enable this option for an existing DB Instance, and you can also specify it when you create a new one: To learn more, read Multi-AZ Deployments Using Microsoft SQL Mirroring or Always On. 4 – Lambda Support Let’s talk about some features for developers! Launched in 2014, and the subject of continuous innovation ever since, AWS Lambda lets you run code in the cloud without having to own, manage, or even think about servers. You can choose from several .NET Core runtimes for your Lambda functions, and then write your code in either C# or PowerShell: To learn more, read Working with C# and Working with PowerShell in the AWS Lambda Developer Guide. Your code has access to the full set of AWS services, and can make use of the AWS SDK for .NET; read the Developing .NET Core AWS Lambda Functions post for more info. 5 – CDK for .NET The AWS CDK (Cloud Development Kit) for .NET lets you define your cloud infrastructure as code and then deploy it using AWS CloudFormation. For example, this code (stolen from this post) will generate a template that creates an Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) queue and an Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) topic: var queue = new Queue(this, "MyFirstQueue", new QueueProps { VisibilityTimeoutSec = 300 } var topic = new Topic(this, "MyFirstTopic", new TopicProps { DisplayName = "My First Topic Yeah" }); 6 – EC2 AMIs for .NET Core If you are building Linux applications that make use of .NET Core, you can use use our Amazon Linux 2 and Ubuntu AMIs. With .NET Core, PowerShell Core, and the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) preinstalled, you’ll be up and running— and ready to deploy applications—in minutes. You can find the AMIs by searching for core when you launch an EC2 instance: 7 – .NET Dev Center The AWS .Net Dev Center contains materials that will help you to learn how design, build, and run .NET Applications on AWS. You’ll find articles, sample code, 10-minute tutorials, projects, and lots more: 8 – AWS License Manager We want to help you to manage and optimize your Windows and SQL Server applications in new ways. For example,  AWS License Manager helps you to manage the licenses for the software that you run in the cloud or on-premises (read my post, New AWS License Manager – Manage Software Licenses and Enforce Licensing Rules, to learn more). You can create custom rules that emulate those in your licensing agreements, and enforce them when an EC2 instance is launched: The License Manager also provides you with information on license utilization so that you can fine-tune your license portfolio, possibly saving some money in the process! 9 – Import, Export, and Migration You have lots of options and choices when it comes to moving your code and data into and out of AWS. Here’s a very brief summary: TSO Logic – This new member of the AWS family (we acquired the company earlier this year) offers an analytics solution that helps you to plan, optimize, and save money as you make your journey to the cloud. VM Import/Export – This service allows you to import existing virtual machine images to EC2 instances, and export them back to your on-premises environment. Read Importing a VM as an Image Using VM Import/Export to learn more. AWS Snowball – This service lets you move petabyte scale data sets into and out of AWS. If you are at exabyte scale, check out the AWS Snowmobile. AWS Migration Acceleration Program – This program encompasses AWS Professional Services and teams from our partners. It is based on a three step migration model that includes a readiness assessment, a planning phase, and the actual migration. 10 – 21st Century Applications AWS gives you a full-featured, rock-solid foundation and a rich set of services so that you can build tomorrow’s applications today! You can go serverless with the .NET Core support in Lambda, make use of our Deep Learning AMIs for Windows, host containerized apps on Amazon ECS or eks], and write code that makes use of the latest AI-powered services. Your applications can make use of recommendations, forecasting, image analysis, video analysis, text analytics, document analysis, text to speech, translation, transcription, and more. 11 – AWS Integration Your existing Windows Applications, both cloud-based and on-premises, can make use of Windows file system and directory services within AWS: Amazon FSx for Windows Server – This fully managed native Windows file system is compatible with the SMB protocol and NTFS. It provides shared file storage for Windows applications, backed by SSD storage for fast & reliable performance. To learn more, read my blog post. AWS Directory Service – Your directory-aware workloads and AWS Enterprise IT applications can use this managed Active Directory that runs in the AWS Cloud. Join our Team If you would like to build, manage, or market new AWS offerings for the Windows market, be sure to check out our current openings. Here’s a sampling: Senior Digital Campaign Marketing Manager – Own the digital tactics for product awareness and run adoption campaigns. Senior Product Marketing Manager – Drive communications and marketing, create compelling content, and build awareness. Developer Advocate – Drive adoption and community engagement for SQL Server on EC2. Learn More Our freshly updated Windows on AWS and SQL Server on AWS pages contain case studies, quick starts, and lots of other useful information. — Jeff;

What is a Website Builder?

The Blog -

If your small business or brand is coming together, the next crucial and somewhat scary step ahead of you is to create a website. But what do you if you can’t afford to hire a developer and have no knowledge of coding? Fortunately for you, there is the website builder: a tool that allows anyone and everyone to build and create beautiful website design for a personal or e-commerce website. Want to learn more? In our thorough guide we’ll answer: What exactly is a website builder? Why do people use them? What characteristics are found in a good website builder?How do I get started? It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at What Is a Website Builder? A website builder is as it sounds; an apparatus that allows you to craft your very own site. This platform or software is typically engineered to have a user-friendly interface, with plenty of drag and drop functionality and preset styles and website templates to choose from. They allow you to build a website from scratch by using prebuilt structures. In this way, with a bit of invested time and some pointed tutorials, you can start creating your layout, style, and then integrating your brand’s elements and content. The code runs on the backend, but the frontend is a platform of digestible, easy-to-learn features which allow you to build your home on the internet landscape. This can be done in two ways: Online Website Builder An online website builder is a platform that you access through your web browser. Instead of downloading the builder’s software, it’s hosted on the cloud, which you can access anywhere there’s internet.   Offline Website Builder An offline website builder requires the user to download software and host the files locally on their computer. It’s a general rule of thumb that offline website builders take a bit more technical knowhow and experience, seeing as the files will have to be uploaded onto a web hosting platform once the buildout is finished. Why Do People Use Website Builders? To put it in perspective, many renowned web developers use website builders, like WordPress, to put together websites. These tools are not reserved simply for novice users within the web development space. Of course, if the website is going to need extensive coding with complex functionality and advanced security, then a standard website builder might not be the recommended option. But website builders are the perfect option for most small businesses and fresh enterprises. Here are some of the main reasons people use website builders: Creates a website in a snapLess room for errorThey don’t require technical knowhowAffordabilityLow Maintenance 24/7 Technical Support (offered by companies like A Snap of the Fingers In many circumstances, a small business needs scant more than a functional, good-looking website that is easy to navigate. Any web developer will tell you that a website builder can do this in the blink of an eye. They’re right. A website builder can create a good-looking, viable and functional site in a matter of hours. Less Room for Error Being that the website builder is pre-coded, there’s less room for error. The pieces you build, layer, and add together will work because they were designed to complement one another. You’re not creating new “pieces of a website” hoping they integrate perfectly, you’re integrating pieces that have been tested countless times before. Caters to Low Technical Skill Sets You don’t need to be a graphic design guru, web dev pro, or even understand HTML to use a website builder. One facet of website builders is their template catalogue. These templates come integrated with color theory, crisp designs, and functional processes. They do the work so that you don’t have to. Affordability It should be no surprise that it’s far cheaper to utilize a savvy website builder instead of hiring a web developer to do the work on your behalf. Truth be told, most of the web developers you hire will be using some sort of templatized platform—especially if your website does not require custom coding. Hint: most don’t. Little Maintenance Since website templates are pre-coded in website builders, there’s little need for upkeep and maintenance. Of course, the website should be continuously updated with fresh content for your audience to engage with, but this is another “plug-n-play” process of a good website builder. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Support Many small business owners or brand creators want to go the DIY method when it comes to their website. They want to learn how the process works and maintain full creative control, and that’s understandable. For many online website builders, companies like offer technical support along with the builder. This means if you run into any issues, you can call them for free. Now that you have a general understanding of why people utilize website builders, when you start your hunt, what features and characteristics should you be looking for? It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at What Makes for A Good Website Builder? What makes for a good website builder is often subjective due to the needs and experience of the user. What one web developer may qualify as “good” can differ from the opinion of another. Yet, there are some ubiquitous characteristics shared by website builders which most everyone agrees are measurements of their quality. You’ll find the most important features below:   User Friendliness The entire point of utilizing a website builder is for its ease of use. This is part of the “drag and drop” experience, as little else is required in reshaping your website other than dragging and dropping the pre-coded elements where you want them to be. These are also known as WYSIWYG web builders, which stands for “What You See Is What You Get.” offers one of the best website builders that: Complements beginners and pros – The novice can learn how to navigate the platform quickly, and the pro can utilize its wide offering of features and functionalities.Allows the user to drag and drop nearly every element – This includes text, video, pictures, your logo, and more.Removes the necessity of plugins – You won’t need to download or install any 3rd party software. This further eases the process seeing as the entire platform is hosted by Templates & Customization A common fear with website builders is that the site is going to end up looking cheap. Another fear is that websites created using the same website builder might look too similar. Let’s put those worries to rest. Website builders allow you to customize a large wealth of templates so your website will look and feel unique to your business or brand. Features should include: A fully customizable design stack – This includes fonts, colors, layering, and graphic design.A fully customizable template catalogue – You don’t want to have static, stale templates — ones that seem to have been developed without the help of a professional graphic designer. This can indeed create a cheap looking website. Instead, you want a large selection of templates to choose from. Each one should be customizable (to an extent).Customizable images – You’re going to want to utilize a website builder that comes with an image editor. It should be obvious that the images on your website need to be purposefully selected, immersive, and engaging to the eye. Having a one-stop-shop image editor is the perfect way to simplify the process.Mobile responsive customization – It’s more likely that your audience will view your website via their smartphone than their computer, meaning it’s imperative to format a website for mobile. It is critical that the website builder you choose caters to mobile formats.   Analytics and SEO Tools One of the most important facets of a company’s growth is keeping track of their performance on the web. Today, with analytical tools, users can track every interaction a potential customer has with their website. Additionally, SEO (search engine optimization) tools assist with visibility on search engines, meaning a company has a higher likelihood of “popping up” on a given search. You may be reading this and thinking, “SEO? Analytics? This stuff is jargon to me.” Which brings us to our next point: a great website builder will integrate these elements as well as work to explain them to the user. In which case, a website builder should integrate: Analytic Tools – The most common you’ll see is Google Analytics, being that Google is the search engine every company wants to rank on.SEO Tools – A basic keyword generator and the integration of metadata with the possibility for further expansion. Extras Additionally, if you plan on shifting your business into an ecommerce platform or if it’s one from the start, then be sure that the website builder you choose includes tools to support your transactions. This includes but is not limited to: A shopping cart – You’ll want your website to support the shopping cart feature, as that’s the easiest way to purchase a given product.Inventory management – You’ll want your backend to have a one-stop-shop to track your inventory and stock.Payments – From Stripe, PayPal, to credit cards, you’re going to want your website to support online payments. While the ecommerce features mentioned above are standard, the integration of them is not. The key is to find a website builder that seamlessly integrates each feature, seeing as they will be the pillars of your ecommerce platform. How Do I Get Started? Before building your professional website, there are a few steps that must first be completed. For instance, for your website to exist on the internet you’re going to need a domain name, which will also be the name of your website. And before you purchase this domain, you’re going to need to choose a hosting platform and website builder. We’ll explain below. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Starting with the Domain Name If you go to, there’s a search bar in the center of the page. Just enter the name of your business or the domain you want and will assess its availability and then provide pricing. Once you’ve found an available name, you’ll need to enter: Both the domain name and the extensionYour first and last nameYour email addressYour phone numberYour physical addressBilling informationAdministrative contact information Choose A Host Once you’ve obtained your domain, you’re going to have to choose a hosting plan based on your specific needs. Create, Create, Create Once you’ve settled on a domain name and chosen your host provider, now it’s time to utilize the website builder and start creating the website itself. Explore the large library of templates and then customize them. Try to evaluate exactly how you want to position your brand and what you’re trying to showcase, then find the perfect base template that complements your vision. Customize and Integrate Images Once you’ve laid a solid foundation for your website, it’s time to customize. Create a standout website by integrating stellar images that are brand-specific and original. Steer clear of anything “stock” or “filler-focused” and try to, if you can, place original content anywhere possible. This will further showcase your brand and add to the uniqueness of your platform. Add in Analytics Once your website is finished, adding an analytics tool is a fantastic way to measure its success on the internet. The data generated by these tools will allow you to understand how well you’ve positioned your brand, where to make changes, and where you’re succeeding. In today’s digital climate, it’s nearly impossible to compete with other brands without some sort of analytics tool. Build Your Own Website! A website builder is a tool that allows both novices and pros alike to create a professionally designed website. With pre-coded templates, user-friendliness, image editors, analytical tools, SEO tools, and more, it’s never been easier for someone with zero technical knowhow to build their own block of real estate on the internet. At you can buy your domain, set up your web hosting service, and utilize their powerful website builder all in the same place. Better yet, they’re available to answer any questions you may have and guide your through the building process. Reach out today to get started on building your online presence! Sources: Services WebSavvy Marketing. What is a Website Builder? June, 2017. What is a Website Builder? Website Builder Expert. Website Builders. Website Builders Debunked | What Are They And Who Uses Them? Website Builders The post What is a Website Builder? appeared first on | Blog.

Introducing LinkedIn Reactions: More Ways to Express Yourself

LinkedIn Official Blog -

People come to LinkedIn every day to discover what’s happening in their professional communities and talk to one another about topics and ideas related to their work. These conversations cover a wide range, whether it’s discussing industry news, celebrating a company milestone, giving advice on someone’s job search journey, or sharing thoughts on important workplace topics like being a working parent. One of the things we regularly hear from all of you is that you want more expressive ways than... .

How To Prevent Data Leaks On Your eCommerce Store

Nexcess Blog -

Data is one of your eCommerce business’s most valuable assets. But it’s not only valuable to your business. It’s also valuable to criminals, who use personal data for identity theft and credit card numbers to commit fraud. Over the last few months, several major eCommerce retailers and many smaller stores were targeted by Magecart, a… Continue reading →

Choosing the Right Web Hosting

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Sifting between the different web hosting services available can be a daunting and sometimes frustrating task. Luckily, we’re here to help you make sense of it all and, in turn, help you choose the right hosting for you. What is hosting? Web hosting is the act of storing data from a website on a server. Depending on the type of hosting plan, this can be one server or many. Types of Hosting There are three major types of hosting: dedicated, shared, and cloud. Continue reading Choosing the Right Web Hosting at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Mobile vs Desktop Traffic in 2019

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

Latest update April 4, 2019 — This is the latest edition of our study on the state of the mobile web. This update demonstrates the growth of the mobile web last year (2018) versus the desktop. I’ll also compare the latest data to usage levels in 2016 and 2017. The stats in this and our prior studies were pulled from SimilarWeb and reflect U.S. traffic across the web. Where is the Mobile vs. Desktop Story Heading? In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices. Mobile devices made up 42% of total time spent online. Mobile Bounce Rate came in at 50%. The details are in the charts below. For reference, here are our prior years’ studies: Mobile vs. Desktop 2017 (published 2018) Mobile vs. Desktop 2016 (published 2017) Changes to Our Data Collection Methodology for 2018 During 2018, SimilarWeb made some shifts in their data sources. For that reason, the charts below show the 2018 data separated from the 2016 and 2017 data. The new sources in 2018 have slightly lower mobile usage, but this does not reflect an actual drop in mobile usage—just a change in the data sources used. Nonetheless, SimilarWeb has one of the largest data samples on the web, and was picked by Rand Fishkin as the best tool for getting data on web traffic. For that reason, we will continue to use SimilarWeb as the data source for this study on an annual basis. Aggregated Stats: Desktop vs. Mobile The most common stat that people talk about is the percentage of their visits that comes from mobile devices. Here is a look at the percentage of visits sites get from mobile vs. desktop for 2016, 2017, and 2018: The data continues to show that for most sites, the majority of their traffic comes from mobile devices. This is a critical fact of life for all business and media web sites. It’s also interesting to consider total time on site. Here is what we see across the three years: Bear in mind, that’s the percentage of total aggregated time across all visits for mobile, compared with that of desktop. The total time users spend on sites when using desktop devices is still larger than the total time for mobile. This suggests that the time per visit must be longer, as we see here: Next, let’s take a look at bounce rate. Here is what we saw for 2016, 2017, and 2018: With the new data sources from SimilarWeb, the mobile bounce rate is back up a bit, but still higher than it was in 2016. As I said in last year’s study, I believe that mobile site experiences are improving, and users are getting more comfortable with it. However, desktop still has the lead over mobile as it relates to bounce rate, and that’s not likely to change. For one thing, the use cases for people on mobile devices often involve the need to look something up quickly while they are on the go. Let’s now take a look at the total page views between desktop and mobile devices: Because of the new data sources from SimilarWeb, we see a drop in the percentage of total page views from mobile devices vs desktop, but this number is still higher than it was in 2016. To wrap this section up, let’s also take a look at page views per visitor: The page views per visitor remain significantly higher on desktop than mobile. This is consistent with the differences in time on site and bounce rate data shown above. Stats by Industry Category As we did in the last two years’ studies, we also broke the data down by industry category, to determine which industries are the most mobile-centric. The variance between categories remains significant: In 2016, the adult industry was the leader, with 73% of the visits coming from mobile devices. In spite of that, it was the biggest gainer this year, jumping up to 86% of all traffic coming from mobile. The other fascinating thing is that the finance category and arts & entertainment categories are the only industries that still see more traffic on desktop, by narrow 52% to 48% and 51% to 49% margins, respectively. By next year, these should also get most of their traffic from mobile. Next up, let’s look at time on site by industry category: Here we see that every industry has a longer time on site for desktop over mobile, except for books and literature. The latter is probably due to people reading on mobile devices such as tablets. Let’s look at bounce rate next: The desktop bounce rate is lower than the mobile bounce rate in every single industry, though the margin is quite small for these two categories: Recreation and Hobbies Books and Literature. Last, but not least, let’s look at page views per visitor: Page views per visitor remained higher in every industry for desktop than mobile. Four Takeaway Recommendations How can we use this data to inform our digital marketing strategy? Here are four of my top observations and ideas: Mobile Experiences are Continuing to Improve: Mobile user interfaces are improving, and users are getting more accustomed to them. Being mobile friendly is important in all industries—it’s the largest source of traffic in nearly all of them. This means designing your mobile site before you design the desktop site. Instead of coding your desktop site and then writing style sheets to shrink it into a smartphone form factor, design your mobile site first. Then you can figure out how to leverage the larger screen real estate available on a desktop platform as a second step. Important note: I’m not saying this because desktop is dead; it’s not. It’s still very important, but it’s far easier to take a mobile UI to the desktop than take a desktop one to a smartphone. Desktop Remains Very Important: Other industry data still suggests that more conversions continue to happen on desktop in most industries, so continuing to pay a lot of attention to your desktop site makes a great deal of sense. And, if you’re in an industry where 75% or more of your conversions come from desktop, you may even want to offer users on mobile devices the option to provide contact information, save shopping carts, or implement other functionality that allows them to defer the actual completion of a conversion to a later time (perhaps on a desktop). The rationale is that users may not want to deal with complicated forms on a mobile device, and/or may not want to enter their credit card there. Following up with them later lets them come back on a desktop device and convert at a more convenient time. If you’re open to this idea, I’d urge you to test it thoroughly first, to see which gets better results for you. Compare Your Site’s Behavior to Industry Norms: If the average percentage of mobile visitors in your industry is 60%, and your site is at 35%, that may indicate a problem like a very slow mobile site. See how you compare to industry norms; if there is a large delta with your site, take the time to understand why. Pay Attention to Site Speed: Consider implementing AMP. Here is our study on AMP, which thoroughly explains how effective AMP is in accelerating site speed, as well as our detailed guide to implementing AMP. AMP is not the only way to speed up your site, of course, but it’s an open source standardized way to do it, so it deserves consideration. Wonder why page speed is so important? See our Page Speed Guide.  


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