Industry Buzz

How to Convert Leads Using Instagram Stories

Social Media Examiner -

Want to add an email signup link to your Instagram stories? Wondering how to access the swipe-up feature, even without having 10K followers? In this article, you’ll discover how to reach, warm up, and convert new leads into becoming email subscribers via Instagram Stories. #1: Leverage Your Followers and Tag Other Accounts to Reach a […] The post How to Convert Leads Using Instagram Stories appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

How to Create a Great Blog Post in 5 Smart Steps

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Create a Great Blog Post in 5 Smart Steps appeared first on HostGator Blog. When blogging platforms first launched, they became a popular way for people to journal about the details of their lives to an anonymous audience. We all know how quickly “mommy blogging” took off, and what a hit it was (and is even today). I still regularly read blogs like Scary Mommy and Rockin Mama. Who doesn’t? Since the early days, blogging has evolved to become, not only a way to connect with an audience (be they moms or business owners), but also a crucial element for any business to survive.  There are several reasons why blogging is essential to the success of your large or small business, but here are three big reasons: Blogs drive traffic to your website. The more blog posts you publish, the more traffic your website receives. Once you publish 21-54 blog posts, your traffic can soar by as much as 30%, according to Traffic Generation Cafe. Your audience engages in meaningful ways with your brand via blog posts. 77% of Internet users regularly read blog posts, according to research by Impact. And, internet users in the US spend 3x more time on blogs than they do on email. Blogs help establish you as a thought leader and help people find you. 71% of business bloggers say their blogs have increased their visibility within their industries. And, 56% of business bloggers report their blog has helped their company establish a position as a thought leader. Blogging helps you establish credibility, drive traffic to your website, and acts as a marketing tool to help you make sales. But, blogging is more than just hopping online every so often and jotting down your thoughts. Writing a genuinely excellent blog post—a post that gets results—is an art and a science. This post will cover exactly what you need to do to write a blog post that knocks it out of the park. The Ultimate Checklist for Creating a Terrific Blog Post 1. Identify your audience Before you even start writing, it’s integral that you know everything you can about your audience. Ask the following questions: What are their basic demographics?What are their preferences?What are their interests?How do they like to consume content?  If you have robust data capabilities, you can leverage data for insights. If not, you can brainstorm ideas, talk to a few people that represent your target consumer, and create a customer profile. Understanding your audience will give you insight into what you should write about, what tone and voice your blogs should take, and even how often you should post. 2. Conduct basic keyword research and optimize your blog post for search (SEO) accordingly Don’t let the idea of keyword research scare you off if you’re a beginner. While there are plenty of high-tech paid tools to help large corporations identify keywords and optimal strategy to stand out in the search results (e.g., Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz Pro), there are also several free tools and tactics smaller businesses and bloggers can use. Let’s start with the basics. When an internet user types a keyword into Google, Google uses an algorithm that searches through all web pages and ranks them based on relevancy. Google’s goal is to show internet searchers the most relevant results based on their search terms. The first bit of good news is this. Every blog post doesn’t have to rank for every single keyword that is relevant to your business. It only needs to rank for the most relevant keyword to that particular blog post. The second bit of good news is Google’s algorithm mostly works on sentiment. This means if you’re writing helpful content on just one topic, you’re probably already hitting the mark. Here are some basic SEO strategies to follow every time you write a blog post: 1. Choose a keyword. You can use a free keyword difficulty tool to identify the best keyword. Choose something that has some search volume, relates to your website, and isn’t too difficult to rank for. The Google Keyword Planner is free, and there are a handful of other free tools that will tell you what you need to know. 2. Put your keyword in your title and headlines. If your keyword is “unicorns on the loose,” then make sure your title (H1 tag) is something like “7 Reasons Unicorns are on the Loose,” or something. You’ll also want to include your keyword in some of your subheadings (H2 tags). 3. Insert your keyword naturally in your text a few times. Google’s algorithm won’t know what your post is about unless you stay consistent. You don’t want to use your keyword too many times, but use your primary keyword in context when it makes sense. For example, say “unicorns on the loose,” instead of creatively switching it up and saying “horned wonders running around.” 4. Include an alt text tag in your images. Hate to break it to you, but Google’s algorithms don’t have eyes. If you want Google to know what your picture is, you have to label it with text. In other words, name the picture your primary keyword.  5. Include a few internal and external links in your text. Backing up your claims with links to other credible external sources is a great SEO strategy. Adding internal links is another surefire way to help keep people on your website, provide valuable content, and improve your search engine ranking. 6. Write over 300 words. 300 words is the bare minimum amount of words you should write in a blog post. When it comes to blog posts, it’s like Thanksgiving dinner…the more, the merrier. The most important thing you can do for SEO is to write on the topic and provide helpful content that sounds natural. Google’s algorithms are smart, will comb through your text, and if you’ve done the SEO basics, you’ll be in good shape. Here’s a little insider secret for WordPress users: You don’t have to remember any of this, because WordPress has an incredible SEO plugin called Yoast that does all the hard work for you. If you download this plugin, Yoast will guide you through the proper SEO steps. 3. Write how internet users like to read Think about the last blog post you read. Did it read like a novel or more like a quick, scannable document? Chances are if you paid attention to the blog post, it was easy to scan and read zero percent like a novel. Successfully writing for the internet means forgetting everything your high school and college English teachers taught you about writing. You don’t write five structured paragraphs to get your point across. Instead, it’s critical that you break up your text into scannable bits, written at an 8th-grade reading level. Shorten your sentences and paragraphs. It’s also vital to include headings, subheadings, and bullet points. This makes it easy for your audience to consume your content quickly. Don’t think it’s important? Consider this: 37 seconds is the average time a reader spends reading a blog post, according to NewsCred. It’s also wise to put the most important information first, because of the whole 37 seconds thing mentioned above. 4. Include images and videos It’s said that pictures are worth a thousand words, and it’s true. What would take hundreds of words to explain, your brain can understand in less than a second when presented in image form.  Need extra convincing? Open up James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of The Mohicans and read one of his daunting description passages. Then, time how long it takes you to visualize the scenery. Next, turn on the movie and take a quick glance at the screen. You’ll be able to understand exactly what the scenery is based on images alone.  I’m not saying movies are better than books (except for the example mentioned above, IMO). I’m just saying images are one more opportunity to get your message across to your audience.  If you want to go the extra mile, include a video as well. 5. Write to benefit your audience There is a reason why “how-to” content, data-driven stories, and well-researched insightful blog posts are some of the highest performing articles on the internet.  People take to the internet when they want to learn something. This means you don’t want to just write about anything. You want to write answers to the questions that people are seeking. If you are an expert in a particular field or industry and can write a post that makes a complex topic digestible and easy to understand, your posts will get read, shared, and you’ll see conversions.  Allow me to toot my own horn for a minute. I’ve been optimizing blog posts for SEO for over 10 years. I’ve read hundreds of books and blogs on SEO, conducted hours of research, and used various SEO tools. With all that knowledge, I can confidently tell you what the six most powerful things you can do to optimize your blog posts for search are (above), and you don’t have to do any hard work. There is value in that. TOOT TOOT! Similarly, if I want to learn how to make my grass green, make a quiche, or change a tire (things I don’t know how to do), I consult the expert bloggers on Google.  Start your blog with HostGator today! If you’ve already purchased your web hosting from HostGator and created your website, it’s time to write your first post. Follow the checklist items above, and you can rest assured you’re doing a fine job. To start your blog, sign up with HostGator today. HostGator provides an easy drag-and-drop website builder to get you up and running in no time. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

WP Engine to Match Employee Donations Supporting BLM, ACLU, and Black Girls Code

WP Engine -

In the midst of the current events surrounding racial injustice around the world, WP Engine is dedicated to doing the work required to combat systemic racism, bias, and violence experienced by the Black community.  As discussed in companywide meetings and conversations, each of us has a role to play, and these systemic problems require a… The post WP Engine to Match Employee Donations Supporting BLM, ACLU, and Black Girls Code appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Use Instagram as a Sales Funnel Without Ads

Social Media Examiner -

Wondering how to use Instagram for sales? Looking for ways to promote your products without using ads? To explore how to use Instagram as an organic sales funnel, I interview Elise Darma on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Elise is an Instagram marketing expert who specializes in helping business owners scale with Instagram. Her courses […] The post How to Use Instagram as a Sales Funnel Without Ads appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

Meet a Helpful Human – Francesca Compau

Liquid Web Official Blog -

We’re the employees you would hire if you could. Responsive, helpful, and dedicated in ways automation simply can’t be. We’re your team. Each month we recognize one of our Most Helpful Humans in Hosting.  Meet Francesca Compau From as early as she can remember, Francesca has always been a big fan of technology. She spent a lot of time as a kid on the family computer, teaching herself HTML and CSS so she could make cool websites with glitter cursors and blaring MIDIs in the background. Eventually she chose to turn that hobby into a career as a Web and Graphic Designer. Francesca graduated from Michigan State University in 2013 with a BA degree in Games and Interactive Media. After a few different positions, she landed a role with Liquid Web in 2017. We wanted to find out what fuels her passion at Liquid Web. Why did you join Liquid Web?  Funnily enough, I used to be a customer of Liquid Web. I worked for a small non-profit that didn’t have server admins on staff, so as the web designer, I was also responsible for managing servers. I spent a lot of time on the Liquid Web Knowledge Base trying to learn the ropes, but when things got messy, I’d call Liquid Web support in a panic. Luckily, there was always a calm, helpful person on the other end who could help get things working again! I always admired how friendly and knowledgeable the staff at Liquid Web were. When a position for web design opened up at Liquid Web, I just had to jump on board. What draws you to the hosting industry as a career?  As a web designer, I am always curious about where the websites I make actually live and what makes them work. I take a sense of pride in knowing I work at a place that powers business, entertainment, and content for our customers. To be at the forefront of technology is pretty neat. Also, I’ve learned a lot about hosting since joining Liquid Web three years ago, and I’m constantly amazed at how fast the industry is changing. Is there something specific at Liquid Web that you just love? One of my favorite teams to work alongside is the Managed Hosting Product Team, which includes Jake Fellows. A few months back, we collaborated on a launch of our new flagship product for off-server backups, Acronis Cyber Backup, for our Dedicated and VMware Private Cloud customers. It’s amazing to be part of the public-facing side of a product launch, especially when that product is one that is the #1 remote backup service globally. In your eyes, what’s the difference between Liquid Web and other employers? Liquid Web truly cares about the well-being of its staff. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Liquid Web put together a Response Plan quickly to ensure staff would feel safe and supported while working from home. And leadership has continued to communicate with all of us about any changes that are coming, their viewpoints on the shift in the economic landscape, and what to expect moving forward. With all of the noise coming from the media constantly, it is amazing to be grounded in weekly knowledge that our company stands alongside its employees and customers during these trying times. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that my employer supports me and my family’s health. Not only that, but we have an outstanding Culture Committee that has been putting on so many interesting and wonderful virtual events for us, including virtual happy hours, Euchre tournaments, virtual yoga (my favorite), gaming clubs, and more.  What is the biggest milestone you’ve accomplished? I was part of the team that launched Liquid Web’s new site in 2017, which was a huge accomplishment. I was hired on in the middle of the project and it was “go go go” from day one. It was a busy few months, but I really got to know my team and work hard alongside them to make our launch date. And seeing the reaction to the new design, both internal and external, was so rewarding! Both our customers and employees were ecstatic about the changes. Tell us about the most positive experience you have had at Liquid Web. The most positive experiences for me at Liquid Web are when I’m able to help others with their projects. I love being a resource for others and helping to empower them to succeed. At Liquid Web, I’ve found that people take the mantra of being the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting pretty seriously, both for customers and colleagues alike.  What are you known for at Liquid Web? What do people specifically come to you for? I work on the Marketing team as the Web/Graphic Designer, so usually people come to me with questions about our website, to help make an image more appealing, or put some pizazz into a project. My all-time favorite project at Liquid Web was designing our 20 Year Anniversary logo. We placed the new logo on hoodies and gave each and every employee one. It was very rewarding to see the logo I helped to create virtually come to life physically on clothing worn by others around me at the office. It was also extremely satisfying to know that the logo I had a hand in designing was worn around the country and displayed at trade shows for our customers to see! What is one thing you wish our customers knew about their hosting? Backups, backups, backups.  If you don’t have backups of your site or data, you are tempting fate. There were several times that I was running what seemed like routine server updates at the nonprofit I worked at while a customer with Liquid Web, and everything started going wrong. Luckily, we had been keeping backups of our data and I was able to restore everything successfully. Without backups, it would have been a nightmare. Liquid Web offers local cloud backups for VPS Hosting customers as well as off-server backups from Acronis Cyber Backup for our Dedicated Hosting and VMware Private Cloud customers. And with backups, it’s best to have at least two in case something goes wrong with the first one. Work aside, what are some of your hobbies? You can usually find me playing games on my PC or Nintendo Switch. My favorite games are Heroes of the Storm, Animal Crossing, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and The Witcher 3. I’m also an avid traveler, and have been to Japan, New Zealand, Australia, England, and Italy. Francesca and her husband on vaca at Eglinton Valley, New Zealand. What is your favorite TV show? Probably not the most original answer, but The Office. It’s such a timeless classic. Hilarious, relatable, and gives you the warm fuzzies every time. My favorite episode is the “Dinner Party.” You can follow Francesca Compau on LinkedIn. We hope you enjoyed our series, and stay tuned for the next Most Helpful Human in Hosting profile. The post Meet a Helpful Human – Francesca Compau appeared first on Liquid Web.

The Most In-demand Jobs: Where the Opportunity Is Now

LinkedIn Official Blog -

The jobs landscape has changed significantly over the past few months, there’s been increasing demand for healthcare, retail and logistics workers due to COVID-19, as well as jobs that can be done remotely like software engineers and accountants. To help you understand where the opportunities are now, we’ll be sharing monthly insights into the most in-demand jobs around the world. As economies around the world begin to reopen, we’re seeing demand for a wide range of jobs that will continue to... .

All Lanes Open on the Internet Superhighway

cPanel Blog -

While the asphalt highways were silent and working from home became the norm, the internet superhighway expanded.  In the first half of 2020, everything quickly ground to a halt worldwide, and the internet became our lifeline to the outside world. Throughout the past 20 years, we have seen the internet grow in times of crisis, but never in history have we as a planet used the internet as much for our day to day lives.   ...

What is PWA? Using Progressive Web Apps for your Magento Store

Nexcess Blog -

What are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)? Let’s begin by answering the question – what is PWA? PWA stands for Progressive Web Apps. Progressive Web Apps are a pattern for building web applications using HTML, CSS, JS and modern web browser APIs to bring a native-like experience. PWAs combine the best of 2 worlds: web and native apps. Like other mobile applications, PWAs are easily installable and make development work simpler for any merchant trying to reach as many customers as possible. While the feature parity between Progressive Web Apps and native apps is not 1:1 just yet, PWAs have come a long way since inception. Features like instant loading, push notifications and offline navigation/purchase are now widely available no matter which PWA implementation you choose.  They won’t be the right approach in every case – for example, if you need a feature that’s not available on a Web browser or through an API, you will likely need to go the native route. But PWA capabilities are continuing to expand and what may require a native app today, might be PWA-worthy tomorrow. Project Fugu is a good place to see what’s coming and what’s being worked on right now. Why are PWAs such a big deal? PWAs come with an incredible set of features that were once reserved for native mobile apps alone. While regular web apps have tremendous reach in every device with a browser, at the end of the day these apps are just a webpage in a browser.  Native apps are another way to reach mobile users but they must be developed for one platform / operating system at a time. PWAs enable development of a single app for multiple platforms. This streamlined approach is something mobile developers have been anxiously waiting for – easily reaching every potential customer no matter what operating system they are using.  They also solve one of the most challenging issues developers face: distribution. Since you don’t need to publish these apps in a marketplace, you can just add a few lines to your manifest and make PWAs easily installable with a couple of clicks. Results drive a consistent customer experience that they expect through a native application but with PWA, they get a standalone experience, completely separated from the Web browser.  This means a full-screen experience with no URL bar, the ability to install the PWA and dock it to your device home screen instead of visiting a regular webpage plus everything a Service Worker has to offer.  Instead of the legacy way of updating via form submission and waiting for approval and publishing of the new version to the App Marketplace, changes made into any PWA are immediately available the next time you are connected to the Internet and open the app. PWA installation is now a standard feature available in all major mobile browsers, as well as Chrome and Edge on desktop. How does PWA help Magento merchants? Let’s face it: the Magento 2 frontend was already old when it was released and we’ve seen how that plays with frameworks like Prototype.js and Knockout.js.  The JavaScript ecosystem evolves quickly and constantly following the hottest frameworks, developer trends, and updated best practices. This makes it challenging to keep up when having to maintain separated codebases.  PWAs are particularly attractive to merchants using Magento 2 because it reduces front-end development complexity, giving you flexibility, extensibility, and opportunity to deploy resources to develop new features. Developers can implement almost everything in the regular Magento 2 frontend at a fraction of the cost and time by using any of the available APIs. How can customers run a PWA on Nexcess? We’ve made it easy to run PWA on the Nexcess platform. We’ve created a step-by-step guide for how to install Magento’s official PWA PoC, Venia storefront. This resource outlines how to build, compile and transfer this PoC to one of our servers without the need to start and maintain middleware services. The post What is PWA? Using Progressive Web Apps for your Magento Store appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

How to Make a Personal Website: A Guide for Job Searching During COVID-19

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Make a Personal Website: A Guide for Job Searching During COVID-19 appeared first on HostGator Blog. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 40 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment benefits. That means a lot of people are on the job search right now. And it’s a particularly hard time to be looking for a job.  Positions are competitive. Networking options are limited. And many people are trying to balance a job search with childcare duties, fears of illness, and the many mental and emotional distractions that come from living in such uncertain times.  Finding a new job is hard in the best of times. But anything you can do right now to stand out and set yourself apart from other candidates is likely to work to your advantage. One tactic worth considering is to make a personal website you can use to represent yourself in the professional world.  Why Make a Personal Website for Your Job Search? Making a personal website requires a (small) upfront investment in time and money. When you have a lot of competing distractions, you want to know it’s a tactic worth your time. There are a few reasons it’s a move worth considering for those looking for work. It’s a way to demonstrate initiative and creativity. When a hiring manager is faced with a stack of applications from attractive candidates, how do you think they start the process of narrowing them down? At least some of them will turn to Google.  If you’ve put together a website that demonstrates your skills and shows some of your creativity, you’re showing them that you have that extra bit of initiative that makes you worth considering.  It helps you raise your personal profile. In the age of social media, most people now have some kind of profile online.  Creating a website gives you a chance to build more of one—and specifically create one designed at presenting yourself professionally. It gives potential employers one more place to find and learn about you, and you one more way to promote yourself.  It shows you understand branding. However you may feel about the idea of having a personal brand (it’s OK to feel a little weird about it), it’s a part of life in 2020. The way you look to people online is part of how you’ll be perceived in the professional world.  By creating a website that puts forward a version of yourself that matches the kind of job you want, you’re showing potential employers that you know how personal branding works and how to present yourself in a way that fits their company.  It gives you control over how you present yourself. On your own website, you control how you talk about yourself. You decide which work samples to include. And you get to choose the keywords, colors, and images that feel the most you.  You can’t control everything about how a hiring manager or potential client will perceive you, but by creating your own website, you can take some control over the narrative.  It’s easier today than it’s ever been. A few years ago, the idea of building a website just to promote yourself felt out of reach for most people.  But now, it’s possible for just about anybody to pull off. You don’t have to know web design or coding to build a personal website. All you need is access to an intuitive website builder, and enough time to put together a website that represents you in a professional and accurate way. It’s a job you can potentially check off your to-do list within a matter of hours. How to Make a Personal Website Now that you’re on board with the why, here are ten steps to help ensure you create a truly useful personal website to aid you in your job search.  1. Create a strategy for your site. Before you do anything else, take a little time to clarify what you want to accomplish with your website. Figure out the answer to questions like: Who’s your target audience? Put another way, what kind of companies would you most like to work with, and who’s likely to be in charge of hiring for the roles you want?What type of role do you want? What job titles and position types are you vying for? Knowing that will help you clarify what your website should look like and the information to include. How do you want to position yourself? What makes you unique? Which of your skills do you most want to highlight?What type of style and tone should your site have? Do you want to keep it formal and professional, or let more of your personality shine through?What pages should you include? A personal website can be fairly basic, but you likely want at least a home and about page. You may also want to include a separate page for each of the primary skills you have, and one devoted to your portfolio or work samples. Do you want a blog? Creating a blog gives you more of an opportunity to display your ideas and skills, but it means more work. Consider if the extra effort is worth it. If you’re hoping to rank in the search engines for relevant terms eventually, then a blog is important for search engine optimization (SEO). But if you hope your site will be a tool to help you find a good job in the short term, it may not be necessary.   If you could use some help visualizing what you want your site to be, spend some time looking at other websites for inspiration. Google the types of professional titles you’d like to have and see what comes up. Take notes on what you like and don’t like from other personal branding sites, and use that to help shape your own.  2. Find the right domain. Your domain is your address on the web, it’s what someone types into the browser if they want to head directly to your website. For a personal site, you have a couple of main options for finding a good domain name: Use your own name. See if any version of a domain with your name is available. If your name was Jane Doe, you’d start with If that’s not available, then try other variations and top-level domains like,,  Using your own name makes it more likely that your site will show up for anyone looking for you specifically, such as a potential employer that reviewed your application and wants to learn more before deciding whether to set up an interview. Use relevant keywords. Brainstorm some of the main keywords someone looking for a professional like you would be inclined to search. If you’re a professional interior designer, you could look for a domain that included terms like Although something with popular keywords like that is unlikely to be available, so consider ways to get more specific like or  Admittedly, this route is harder since most domains that employ popular keywords will be taken. But it can be valuable from an SEO perspective, since you’ll be found by more people searching for the type of work you do, whether or not they know your name already.   Once you’ve found an available domain name you like, go ahead and register it. You never know when someone else will want it, so laying your claim sooner rather than later is smart.  3. Choose the platform to build your site on. Now decide how you’ll build your site. For anyone that’s not a skilled web designer, that probably means either choosing a website builder or using WordPress.  WordPress is a popular content management system that many people and businesses build websites on, and for good reason. But it’s a bit more complicated to use than most simple website builders designed for beginners. If you want to get something basic up fast, look for a website builder that promotes being easily accessible for anyone to use.  4. Invest in web hosting. For any website to go live on the web, it has to have web hosting. Luckily, this step is easy! All you have to do is pick your plan (and a shared hosting plan should be enough for most personal websites), and sign up.  5. Pick your keywords. If you want a potential employer to find your website—including those who don’t know your name already—then it’s important to start thinking about SEO from day one. Even if you don’t invest in more advanced SEO tactics like link building and content marketing, it’s still worth doing some basic keyword research and making sure your web pages are optimized for the terms you choose.  Think about the words a prospective employer is likely to use for the kind of role you want to do. And use a free SEO tool to find related terms, and figure out which keywords people are searching for the most. Most website builders will include SEO features that make it easy to add your chosen keywords to the most important parts of the page for on-site optimization, such as the title tag and H1.  6. Write your website copy. What do you want potential employers to know about you? The whole point of building a personal website for your job search is to put the best version of yourself forward to anyone than lands on the page. So choose your words carefully. Emphasize the skills and experience you have, and what makes you special.  It’s harder talking about ourselves than it is others, so if you’re feeling stuck here, talk to some close friends and colleagues about what they appreciate about you. Do you have an amazing work ethic? Do you always get things in on deadline? Do you bring creative, innovative ideas to the table?  Consider asking for testimonials or reviews from people you’ve worked with before. They add social proof to your website, which can be more powerful for a prospective employer than the words you use about yourself.  7. Select your images. Your website will be more powerful if it includes images. If you don’t already have professional headshots, try to get some taken to add to your web design.  Admittedly, that’s harder to pull off during a pandemic, especially if you have a limited budget to work with. If you can’t hire a professional photographer at this time, see if you can find a good friend or colleague to help you take some photos to use on the site. You can do a social distancing photo shoot, if it’s not someone from your household. Having images of yourself will help to humanize you on the website. You can round out those images with graphics or stock photos. If your website builder provides a photo library, then finding some to include will be easy:  If not, just make sure you only use images that you have the rights for. You could incur serious penalties if you use someone else’s image without permission. 8. Build your website. Now you’re ready to create the website. If you’re using a website builder, select the template that comes closest to what you want your website to look like.  Then sub in your own copy and images for the ones in the template. You can use the drag-and-drop functionality to move things around, and add elements to the page using the website builder’s menu. The details of how all this works will vary depending on the website builder you chose, but you can find instructions on using HostGator’s website builder here. 9. Promote your site. Once you’ve put in the work to create a personal website that you’re proud of, let people know!  Share it on your social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Email it to colleagues you think would appreciate it. And if you really want to extend its reach, consider investing in paid promotion channels like Google Ads or social advertising.  10. Keep it updated. You’re not done yet. Make sure you update your personal website with anything new you have to add. If you gain some new experience, whether via a course you took, freelance work, or a volunteer position, add it to your site. Revisit what you’ve written there periodically to consider if you can make it better, or expand on it. Add testimonials as they come in from colleagues you contacted.  And if you started a blog, commit to adding to it on a regular basis with new posts and insights. If you keep it fresh, it will be more useful to anyone that comes across it and increase your chances of making a good first impression. Start Your Personal Site Today with HostGator When you’re job hunting, there are a lot of competing tasks you feel pressure to complete. Starting a website to showcase your personal brand takes time, but it’s a fairly simple way to set yourself apart and create something to impress people in your field. And with an easy-to-use website builder, it doesn’t have to cost you much in terms of time or money.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Building an eCommerce Website

HostGator Blog -

The post Building an eCommerce Website appeared first on HostGator Blog. Lots of people dream of entrepreneurship, but before the internet, actually starting a business was a difficult prospect. Now, building an eCommerce website and selling products online is within reach for anyone with the time and gumption.  Building a business of any sort is work. Coming up with your product idea, and sourcing or creating your products is a big early step you’ll have to tackle. But the work of website building itself can potentially be done within a day or two.  Even if you’ve never built a website before, the tools now available ensure anyone can create an online store with ease. By the end of this post you’ll know how to find a good product and niche for your store, how to build out your site, and the approaches you can take to generate sales. Before we jump into the how, let’s take a look at the why. What You’ll Learn… [hide] Why You Should Sell Products On a Website1. People spend money online.2. An eCommerce website costs less than a storefront.3. Online shopping provides convenience.4. An online presence gets your products found in search.5. The growth in mobile means people can buy from anywhere.Before You Build Out Your StoreWhat You Need to Build an eCommerce WebsiteBuilding an eCommerce Website the Easy Way1. Market Research and Finding Your Niche2. Getting Ready to Sell3. Choosing Your Platform4. Building Your Store5. Launching Your Store and Selling ProductsMarketing Your eCommerce WebsiteBuilding Your eCommerce Website Why You Should Sell Products On a Website Before anyone can purchase a product from you, they need a way to discover your brand and the products you’re selling. For brands that only sell products through a storefront, that limits the number of people that can learn about you to begin with, much less come to your store to make a purchase.  That was already true before the Coronavirus pandemic started, but is much more the case now that customers sheltering in place have shifted almost all their shopping to online. If you don’t start an eCommerce website, there’s a huge market you miss out on. If you’ve been hesitant to sell products online, here are a few good reasons setting up an online store is a good idea. 1. People spend money online. People in the United States spent $602 billion online in 2019. And that was before the Coronavirus changed everyone’s shopping habits. In the first month after the pandemic started, eCommerce sales grew by 49%. Any business owner that stays offline is missing out on their piece of those profits.   While some shoppers still prefer the experience of buying clothes in a store and will eagerly get back to doing so when it’s safe to, many prefer to skip the trip and do their shopping from a computer screen or mobile device.  If your competitors make their items available online and you don’t, you’ll lose that business. 2. An eCommerce website costs less than a storefront. Running a storefront requires paying:       Rent for the space      The paychecks of staff that man the store during business hours      Proper licensing and permits      Utility bills      Furniture and decorations      Building maintenance      Cleaning supplies      Selling supplies like a point-of-sale (POS) system and cash registers All of that adds up to a lot of expenses – and most of them are ongoing. Selling products on a website, on the other hand, cuts out most of those costs. You will still need to pay for things like web hosting and marketing. And you may still need to hire some staff, depending on the size of the eCommerce store you run, but the costs are overall more manageable and easy to plan for. 3. Online shopping provides convenience. When you’re tired, busy, sick, or just feeling a little lazy – you probably don’t want to spend time driving somewhere and browsing a store for the items you want to buy. People have a lot going on and sometimes there just isn’t room in their lives for a trip to the store. By comparison, browsing an eCommerce site online and making selections is easier, faster, and requires a lot less energy. People are more likely to spend their money when it doesn’t feel like work to do so. Online shopping isn’t 100% effortless – but it’s pretty close.  When you sell your products through an online store, you remove a lot of the barriers to buying that exist with a physical store. 4. An online presence gets your products found in search. 85% of people turn to Google for product discovery and shopping.  Without an eCommerce website, your products have no chance of showing up when potential customers start looking for what you sell online. But when every product you sell is listed on a page on your eCommerce site, all of them will be indexed by Google. That’s the first step to your products showing up in search results. If you want those product pages to show up on the first page of Google, that requires an investment in SEO best practices. But before you can even start thinking about that, you need an eCommerce website for your products. 5. The growth in mobile means people can buy from anywhere. Mobile purchasing trends show that over a quarter of all eCommerce purchases now occur on mobile devices. Mobile shopping makes it possible for people to make purchases at the exact moment they decide they want something. Whether they’re on the couch watching TV, strolling through the park, or lounging on the beach – if they think of something they want, they can make the purchase right then. That creates more opportunities for sales. You don’t face the risk of a potential customer deciding they want an item you sell, only to forget about it by the time they get home to their computer. That’s good for your customers, and it’s good for your bottom line. Now it’s time to jump into the how! Before You Build Out Your eCommerce Store Before you start the process of building your eCommerce store there are some foundational things you need first. To start, you need a domain name and web hosting plan. Without these, there’s no way to actually have a live eCommerce website. There are dozens of different providers and services you can use to secure a domain name and hosting, and you can either purchase them together or separately. If this is your first time building a website, the easiest course of action is purchasing them together from the same provider. This minimizes the number of technical tasks you need to complete and speeds up the process of getting your site online. If you’re looking for the fastest and most beginner-friendly way to secure a domain name and hosting, then consider purchasing them both right here at HostGator. Just select your web hosting package and add a domain name to your order before you check out. You might not be ready to name your store and purchase a domain name just yet, so feel free to return to this section later once you’ve come up with the perfect website name for your business.   What You Need to Build an eCommerce Website Building an eCommerce website will be a little different than creating a standard website or starting a blog. Beyond securing a domain name and hosting you’ll also need to consider tools and software for processing payments, along with actually creating and manufacturing your products. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s required to build a website from scratch for an eCommerce store: A domain nameA web hosting providerAn integrated payment processorA platform or tool to build your storeInitial capital to create your productsPackaging for product shipping While building an eCommerce store is much cheaper and easier than building a storefront, it does still require some upfront capital and work. Make sure you work out a budget that makes sense for your goals.  Building an eCommerce Website the Easy Way Building an eCommerce website is similar to the process of building other websites, except that it needs to be set up to sell physical products. You should anticipate a bit more work upfront to get your website ready.  Here’s the process of discovering your market, finding out what you’re going to sell, and finally building out your store. 1. Market Research and Finding Your Niche Before you start your eCommerce business, you need a physical product to sell. But you definitely don’t want to put the work into building an online store only to find out that no one wants to buy what you’re selling. To avoid this fate, spend time upfront finding the right market and products to sell. You might already know exactly what you want to sell. But if not, no worries, this post will walk you through the process of conducting market research for a small business. Ideally, you want to uncover a pressing need in the marketplace and fill it with your product. Look for Trending Products One way to ensure that you’ll start selling products right out of the gate is to align yourself with products that are currently trending. By getting into a trending niche at the right time, you can ride the wave in the short-term and long-term. However, you don’t want to hop into a trending market when it’s on the decline. Instead, you want to find a product or a niche for products that are growing in popularity. There are tons of different tools you can use to spot trending products and niches, but here are some of the most common. Google Trends: This Google tool allows you to look into the past and future of certain product keywords. By using the data this tool provides, you’ll be able to see if a market is growing or waning in popularity. TrendHunter: This site showcases a lot of different niches and products that are currently trending across the globe. Plus, there’s a nifty filter that lets you sort by different industries.Instagram influencers: If you spend time on Instagram, then you probably follow a few influencers who regularly promote products. The chances are pretty high that the products they promote tend to sell well and can suggest a viable niche. Align With Your Passion Hopefully, the resources above will point you toward a handful of products or potential niches to consider. To narrow down that list even further, do some self-evaluation. You’ll find it much easier to sustain momentum with your store if you actually care about what you’re selling. Consider the following questions to determine if you have what it takes to sustain yourself in the niche: Do you care about the market you’ve chosen?Do you have any pre-existing knowledge you can rely on?Can you see yourself working in this space for 5 years or more?Do you care about the people that you’re serving? Explore What’s Currently Selling Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential products and niches to a group you actually care about, go one step further and validate your ideas in the marketplace. The most effective ways to do this are using the Amazon product marketplace and a keyword research tool. First, head over to the Amazon bestseller list in the product category of your choice. Then, spend some time digging through the products to see what kinds of things people are actually buying. Look for product multiples and dig through the reviews to see if there are any glaring issues with the existing products. Second, head over to the tool Ubersuggest. This is a free keyword research tool that provides lots of actionable keyword data. Input your target keyword, and you’ll receive a list of related keywords and their search volume. This will help you determine the overall size of the market and maybe even give you a few ideas of products you can sell. 2. Getting Ready to Sell Before you settle on the product you want to sell there are a few more considerations to take into account. First, make sure the product is light enough that it’s easy to ship. During the early days of your eCommerce store, you’ll be handling most of the packaging and shipping yourself. Sticking with products that don’t weigh much will not only make your life easier, but you’ll be able to maintain better product margins, which can be crucial in the early days of your store. Finally, consider creating a prototype for your product. That means starting with a sample of the product you have in mind that you can test out in the market. If you’re building a new product, you probably won’t make it perfect on the first time. Prototyping gives you room to iterate and improve based on feedback—before you make a huge investment in inventory. This will help you get to market faster and build a better product over time. 3. Choosing Your eCommerce Platform When the time comes to choose the platform for your eCommerce store you’re going to have a lot of different options at your disposal. For first-time eCommerce entrepreneurs, some of the most popular options include: WordPress/WooCommerceMagentoWebsite Builders WordPress/WooCommerce WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and for good reason. It’s relatively easy to use (although still requires a learning curve for beginners), but is both powerful and versatile because of the massive library of plugins available. To build an eCommerce website on WordPress, you’ll need to choose an eCommerce plugin to provide the proper functionality. The most popular option is WooCommerce, which is free and powered by the team that owns WordPress. That means you’ll never have to worry about compatibility issues, and can count on access to plenty of compatible themes and add-ons. WooCommerce will walk you through the process of getting your online store set up, so it’s mostly a matter of following the steps in the plugin’s setup wizard. Interested in building your online store using WooCommerce? Read our guide. Magento Magento is another popular eCommerce CMS, but one that requires more skill and knowledge. The tradeoff is that it can be more powerful and give you more options for customizing and building out functionality within your eCommerce store. But unless you’re a pretty skilled developer or willing to hire someone that is, it will take a lot more work to learn and use.  Website builders For many new eCommerce owners, the easiest option by far is using a website builder that includes eCommerce options. Most website builders are designed with beginners top of mind, so anyone should be able to put a website together quickly and easily. With a website builder, you start with a pre-designed template, then can easily add in original images, move things around  on the page with drag-and-drop functionality, and fill in your copy. As long as you choose a website builder that supports eCommerce, you should also be able to easily add product pages that include photography, basic SEO fields, a product description, and inventory status information. HostGator’s website builder includes all these options, along with a library of stock photography you can use for free. If you want to get a basic eCommerce site up fast, you can potentially put one together within a matter of hours.  Interested in building your online store using the Gator Website Builder? Read our guide. 4. Building Your Online Store The step-by-step details of building your online store will vary based on the platform you choose. But in each case, creating product pages that effectively highlight the items you’re selling is the most important part.  If you’re building your website using the Gator Website Builder, start by making sure you have the eCommerce plan. Once you do, Store will be an option in the menu on the left-side of the screen. When you select it, you’ll see a button labeled Manage Products and Orders.  The website builder will walk you through creating your online store, providing you with the specific fields you need to fill in for each step of the process. Part of the process will include adding products to your store. For each product you add, you’ll see all the most important fields to fill in for that page. That includes your product image, price, description, inventory status, and any product options like size and color.  Once your store’s set up, you can customize your product pages. When creating a new page, you’ll have the option to select Product Page from the dropdown menu.  To change the style of the product page, select Change Design from the dropdown menu on the top right. You’ll see a number of different design styles show up in the left side of the screen for you to choose from.    Because the basic structure of an online store is already set up for you, dropping the details of your products into what’s already there is a relatively fast and easy process.  5. Launching Your Store and Selling Products If you’ve done everything above, then congratulations, you’re just about ready to launch your store. However, it’s important not to launch your store before it’s fully polished. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Spend some time double-checking every page on your site for typos, broken links, or other things that don’t work. You’ll also want to run through a few sample purchases to make sure the checkout process works smoothly. Now that you’ve learned to create a website to sell products, it’s time to launch your store and start selling! Marketing Your eCommerce Website The internet is vast, and you have a lot of competition. If you don’t make an effort to get your website in front of people, they’re unlikely to find you at all, much less buy from you. To be successful, you need to invest in marketing your eCommerce store to the world. Here are a few of the most common eCommerce marketing methods: 1. Content Marketing Content marketing is a valuable marketing tactic for building up your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) authority, attracting more relevant traffic to your site, and building trust with your target audience. Content marketing requires a considerable investment in time and money, but it’s a good way to grow the online influence of your business. Content marketing can take a number of different forms: Blog posts – A blog is usually the go-to starting place for content marketing. Regularly publishing high-value blog posts about topics important to your audience is a great way to raise your profile and demonstrate your trustworthiness. Longform content – Longform content like in-depth guides or ebooks can be published to your website as a way to build up SEO, or placed behind a form as a lead generation tactic. If you create something valuable enough that your audience is willing to give you their address in return for it, that’s a good way to build up your email list and identify potential customers.   Videos – In the age of YouTube, video content is one of the main ways many consumers like to get their information. You can create video tutorials or educational videos on topics your audience cares about.  Audio content – In the past few years, podcasts have become a huge part of how people consume information. But they’re still largely underused by brands. Consider if your audience is the podcast-listening type, and whether you can provide value to them in an audio format.Visual content – Visual content formats like infographics and high-quality graphics can be a way to either supplement your written content, or provide value on their own.  Content marketing doesn’t deliver immediate results, but if you care about the long game, it’s a good way to build up an audience of followers who care about your brand. And over time, it will strengthen how visible you are in your field and in the search engines.  Here are a few great resources on building a content marketing strategy from scratch: How to Make eCommerce Content Marketing Work for YouTop 5 Tips for a Successful Blog Content Marketing Strategy 2. Social Media Marketing Social media can be a great way to increase brand awareness while driving traffic back to your eCommerce site. For eCommerce businesses, some of the best channels to grow your audience and promote your products are Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Instagram and Pinterest are image-driven platforms, so they align well with selling products. Instagram will give you a way to showcase your product and demonstrate how it’s commonly used. And Pinterest gives you the opportunity to create and share content that’s related to your niche and drive targeted traffic back to your site.   Twitter and Facebook are better for growing your community and promoting your content. You can use them to tap into the community that’s talking about your industry, connect with influencers in the space, and directly reach your audience. You can also get a lot out of community-building tools like Facebook groups and Twitter chats.  In addition, you can monitor social channels to stay on top of what people are saying about your products. Negative tweets are useful for learning how to improve your products. And positive ones are powerful social proof.  Get the guide: HostGator Web Pros break down everything you need to know about Facebook and Instagram Stories for your online business. Read now! 3. Influencer Marketing Influencer marketing has been used to build some wildly successful eCommerce stores. It’s the process of reaching out to influencers (most often on social media channels like Instagram) and having them promote your brand and products to their audience. You have the option of doing paid shoutouts, but you might also be able to find accounts who will mention you for free in exchange for your product. Influencer marketing plays on the idea that these people have already built a loyal following, so your product gains exposure and trustworthiness by association.  If you’re interested in exploring this further, then check out the resources below: 5 Excellent Influencer Marketing Ideas for Any eCommerce StoreThe Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Business with Influencer Marketing 4. SEO Search engine optimization is the collection of tactics that increase your website’s authority according to the factors valued by search engine algorithms. If that definition sounds a bit technical, it just means that SEO is how you increase your chances of showing up on the first page of Google (and Bing and Yahoo, but mostly Google). SEO consists of doing a few main things: Keyword research – All of SEO is based on targeting the specific keywords you want to rank for, so this is an important step to start with. Use SEO tools to learn what terms your audience is commonly searching for. On-site optimization – This step includes making sure your website works on all the important technical levels, like loading quickly. It also means ensuring that each page is optimized for your chosen keyword.  Content marketing – Content marketing involves creating a lot of great content that keeps your website fresh, useful, and gives you the chance to target more keywords. For all those reasons, it helps with SEO.Link building – The search engine algorithms see links as a measure of how valuable other people see your website. As such, they’re an important ranking factor. Link building involves encouraging other websites to link back to yours. For some good starting guides on SEO, read: The ABC’s of SEO: A Beginner’s Guide to SEOBeyond the Basics: Advanced SEO Tips for Businesses 5. Email marketing Email marketing is arguably the best way to turn website visits into relationships. Every consumer that opts into your email list is telling you they want to hear from you. It’s an invitation to keep the relationship going, which is a big deal! Email marketing gives you a good way to keep driving traffic back to your site by promoting new content and sharing company announcements. And it gives you a loyal audience to promote special deals to. For eCommerce stores, earning new customers is definitely important. But getting those customers to come back again and again is how you really build a sustainable business. For more information on how to use email marketing to grow your business, check out: 5 Tips for Launching Your First Email Marketing Campaign7 Powerful Strategies to Fine-Tune Your Email Marketing 6. PPC advertising All of the marketing tactics we’ve described so far are useful, but require a significant amount of time and work before you start seeing results. They’re all about playing the long game. If you want to start driving traffic to your website sooner rather than later, adding paid advertising methods to your list will help with that. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising describes any marketing you do on platforms that charge for ads based on how often people click on them, rather than how many times they’re shown. Most of the ads you see on Google employ this model, as do most social media platforms.  With PPC advertising you can set your budget, target the audiences and keywords most relevant to you, and design your ads with copy and images most likely to appeal to your ideal customer. And PPC campaigns produce a lot of data, which helps you learn what your customers respond to and improve your marketing efforts over time. To learn more about using PPC advertising in your marketing mix, read more here: What is PPC?How Does PPC Work? Building Your eCommerce Website Hopefully, by now, you have a better understanding of what it takes to build your own eCommerce store from the ground up. It’s a lot of work to make an online business, but with the eCommerce market continuing to grow you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the long-run. If you truly want to create your own eCommerce website, all it takes is ambition, time, work, and a little bit of startup capital. The most important step is deciding to get started. You’re not going to get everything right your first go around. Be willing to experiment, fail, and keep moving forward. That’s the path to successful entrepreneurship. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Cloudflare and Rackspace Technology Expand Partnership with Managed Services

CloudFlare Blog -

Last year, Cloudflare announced the planned expansion of our partner program to help managed and professional service partners efficiently engage with Cloudflare and join us in our mission to help build a better Internet. We’ve been hard at work growing and expanding our partnerships with some amazing global teams that help us support digital transformation and security needs around the world, and today we’d like to highlight one of our Elite global partners, Rackspace Technology. Today, we are announcing the expansion of our worldwide reseller partnership with Rackspace Technology to include a series of managed services offerings for Cloudflare. As a result, with Cloudflare Security, Performance, and Reliability with Rackspace Managed Services, customers will not only have access to and the scalability of Cloudflare’s global network and integrated cloud platform of security, performance, and reliability solutions but also benefit from a team of certified, enabled Rackspace experts to configure, onboard, and deploy Cloudflare solutions. Because more than 1 billion unique IP addresses pass through Cloudflare's global network every day, Cloudflare, together with its solutions providers, can build real-world intelligence on the communications occurring over the Internet, and how well they perform. We’ve enjoyed enabling their teams to leverage this scope of information and we’re excited that Rackspace is ready to deliver this support to our shared customers.Rackspace engineers are now trained on the features and configuration of Cloudflare to manage our capabilities alongside customers’ Rackspace-hosted websites. These managed services make it easy for Rackspace customers to have an Internet presence that is secure, performant, and reliable, with no tradeoffs. Cloudflare Security, Performance, and Reliability with Rackspace Managed Services includes:Onboarding support for customers consuming Cloudflare Managed DNS, Content Delivery Network (CDN), Advanced DDoS Protection, and Web Application Firewall (WAF).Configuration and consultation for additional Cloudflare products and services, such as Bot Management, Load Balancing, Argo Smart Routing, Argo Tunnel, and Rate Limiting.Ongoing management of Cloudflare services and products in the form of incident triage, troubleshooting and diagnostics, whitelisting, cache and security settings, and access rules.Review and management of Cloudflare Analytics and Logs to optimize Cloudflare features.With this announcement, we are building on strong existing field engagement and momentum across all of our geographies. We encourage you to read more about how our global partnerships are securing and accelerating business-critical Internet properties for our shared customers, and check out this short video clip from Rackspace Technology’s VP of Alliances and Channel Chief, Lisa McLin.This new facet of our partnership will allow us to provide additional value to our global customers, while allowing Rackspace customers to benefit from Cloudflare’s industry-leading technology. As we evolve this new phase of our partnership, Rackspace and Cloudflare will continue to explore opportunities that expand our services while aligning to our core value of reducing the complexity of Internet security, performance, and reliability.Our diverse network of partners is essential to our mission of helping to build a better Internet, and we are dedicated to the success of our partners. Cloudflare is committed to making our service partners successful. We ensure our shared customers have the best technology and expertise available to them as they look for solutions to protect their critical applications, infrastructure, and teams. We’re looking forward to further strengthening our global alliance with Rackspace Technology and other partners around the world. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with Cloudflare and Rackspace.

Why is there a "V" in SIGSEGV Segmentation Fault?

CloudFlare Blog -

Another long night. I was working on my perfect, bug-free program in C, when the predictable thing happened: $ clang skynet.c -o skynet $ ./skynet.out Segmentation fault (core dumped) Oh, well... Maybe I'll be more lucky taking over the world another night. But then it struck me. My program received a SIGSEGV signal and crashed with "Segmentation Fault" message. Where does the "V" come from? Did I read it wrong? Was there a "Segmentation Vault?"? Or did Linux authors make a mistake? Shouldn't the signal be named SIGSEGF? I asked my colleagues and David Wragg quickly told me that the signal name stands for "Segmentation Violation". I guess that makes sense. Long long time ago, computers used to have memory segmentation. Each memory segment had defined length - called Segment Limit. Accessing data over this limit caused a processor fault. This error code got re-used by newer systems that used paging. I think the Intel manuals call this error "Invalid Page Fault". When it's triggered it gets reported to the userspace as a SIGSEGV signal. End of story. Or is it? Martin Levy pointed me to an ancient Version 6th UNIX documentation on "signal". This is from around 1978: Look carefully. There is no SIGSEGV signal! Signal number 11 is called SIGSEG! It seems that userspace parts of the UNIX tree (i.e. /usr/include/signal.h) switched to SIGSEGV fairly early on. But the kernel internals continued to use the name SIGSEG for much longer. Looking deeper David found that PDP11 trap vector used wording "segmentation violation". This shows up in Research V4 Edition in the UNIX history repo, but it doesn't mean it was introduced in V4 - it's just because V4 is the first version with code still available. This trap was converted into SIGSEG signal in trap.c file. The file /usr/include/signal.h appears in the tree for Research V7, with the name SIGSEGV. But the kernel still called it SIGSEG at the time It seems the kernel side was renamed to SIGSEGV in BSD-4. Here you go. Originally the signal was called SIGSEG. It was subsequently renamed SIGSEGV in the userspace and a bit later - around 1980 - to SIGSEGV on the kernel side. Apparently there are still no Segmentation Vaults found on UNIX systems. As for my original crash, I fixed it - of course - by catching the signal and jumping over the offending instruction. On Linux it is totally possible to catch and handle SIGSEGV. With that fix, my code will never again crash. For sure. #define _GNU_SOURCE #include <signal.h> #include <stdio.h> #include <ucontext.h> static void sighandler(int signo, siginfo_t *si, void* v_context) { ucontext_t *context = v_context; context->uc_mcontext.gregs[REG_RIP] += 10; } int *totally_null_pointer = NULL; int main() { struct sigaction psa; psa.sa_sigaction = sighandler; sigaction(SIGSEGV, &psa, NULL); printf("Before NULL pointer dereference\n"); *totally_null_pointer = 1; __asm__ __volatile__("nop;nop;nop;nop;nop;nop;nop;nop;nop;nop;"); printf("After NULL pointer. Still here!\n"); return 0; }

Employee Spotlight: Haidee McMahon

WP Engine -

In this ongoing blog series, we speak with WP Engine employees around the globe to learn more about their roles, what they love about the cities they work in, and what they like most about working at WP Engine.  In this interview, we speak to Director of Engineering, Haidee McMahon, who’s been with WP Engine… The post Employee Spotlight: Haidee McMahon appeared first on WP Engine.

Introducing AWS Snowcone – A Small, Lightweight, Rugged, Secure Edge Computing, Edge Storage, and Data Transfer Device

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Last month I published my AWS Snowball Edge Update and told you about the latest updates to Snowball Edge, including faster storage-optimized devices with more memory & vCPUs, the AWS OpsHub for Snow Family GUI-based management tool, IAM for Snowball Edge, and Snowball Edge Support for AWS Systems Manager. AWS Snowcone Today I would like to introduce you to the newest and smallest member of the AWS Snow Family of physical edge computing, edge storage, and data transfer devices for rugged or disconnected environments, AWS Snowcone: AWS Snowcone weighs 4.5 pounds and includes 8 terabytes of usable storage. It is small (9″ long, 6″ wide, and 3″ tall) and rugged, and can be used in a variety of environments including desktops, data centers, messenger bags, vehicles, and in conjunction with drones. Snowcone runs on either AC power or an optional battery, making it great for many different types of use cases where self-sufficiency is vital. The device enclosure is both tamper-evident and tamper-resistant, and also uses a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) designed to ensure both security and full chain-of-custody for your data. The device encrypts data at rest and in transit using keys that are managed by AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and are never stored on the device. Like other Snow Family devices, Snowcone includes an E Ink shipping label designed to ensure the device is automatically sent to the correct AWS facility and to aid in tracking. It also includes 2 CPUs, 4 GB of memory, wired or wireless access, and USB-C power using a cord or the optional battery. There’s enough compute power for you to launch EC2 instances and to use AWS IoT Greengrass. You can use Snowcone for data migration, content distribution, tactical edge computing, healthcare IoT, industrial IoT, transportation, logistics, and autonomous vehicle use cases. You can ship data-laden devices to AWS for offline data transfer, or you can use AWS DataSync for online data transfer. Ordering a Snowcone The ordering process for Snowcone is similar to that for Snowball Edge. I open the Snow Family Console, and click Create Job: I select the Import into Amazon S3 job type and click Next: I choose my address (or enter a new one), and a shipping speed: Next, I give my job a name (Snowcone2) and indicate that I want a Snowcone. I also acknowledge that I will provide my own power supply: Deeper into the page, I choose an S3 bucket for my data, opt-in to WiFi connectivity, and choose an EC2 AMI that will be loaded on the device before it is shipped to me: As you can see from the image, I can choose multiple buckets and/or multiple AMIs. The AMIs must be made from an instance launched from a CentOS or Ubuntu product in AWS Marketplace, and it must contain a SSH key. On successive pages (not shown), I specify permissions (an IAM role), choose an AWS Key Management Service (KMS) key to encrypt my data, and set up a SNS topic for job notifications. Then I confirm my choices and click Create job: Then I await delivery of my device! I can check the status at any time: As noted in one of the earlier screens, I will also need a suitable power supply or battery (you can find several on the Snowcone Accessories page). Time passes, the doorbell rings, Luna barks, and my device is delivered… The console also updates to show that my device has been delivered: On that page, I click Get credentials, copy the client unlock code, and download the manifest file: Setting up My Snowcone I connect the Snowcone to the power supply and to my network, and power up! After a few seconds of initialization, the device shows its IP address and invites me to connect: The IP address was supplied by the DHCP server on my home network, and should be fine. If not, I can touch Network and configure a static IP address or log in to my WiFi network. Next, I download AWS OpsHub for Snow Family, install it, and then configure it to access the device. I select Snowcone and click Next: I enter the IP address as shown on the display: Then I enter the unlock code, upload the manifest file, and click Unlock device: After a minute or two, the device is unlocked and ready. I enter a name (Snowcone1) that I’ll use within AWS OpsHub and click Save profile name: I’m all set: AWS OpsHub for Snow Family Now that I have ordered & received my device, installed AWS OpsHub for Snow Family, and unlocked my device, I am ready to start managing some file storage and doing some edge computing! I click on Get started within Manage file storage, and Start NFS. I have several network options, and I’ll use the defaults: The NFS server is ready within a minute or so, and it has its own IP address: Once it is ready I can mount the NFS volume and copy files to the Snowcone: I can store process these files locally, or I can use AWS DataSync to transfer them to the cloud. As I showed you earlier in this post, I selected an EC2 AMI when I created my job. I can launch instances on the Snowcone using this AMI. I click on Compute, and Launch instance: I have three instance types to choose from: Instance Name CPUs RAM snc1.micro 1 1 GiB snc1.small 1 2 GiB snc1.medium 2 4 GiB I select my AMI & instance type, confirm the networking options, and click Launch: I can also create storage volumes and attach them to the instance. The ability to build AMIs and run them on Snowcones gives you the power to build applications that do all sorts of interesting filtering, pre-processing, and analysis at the edge. I can use AWS DataSync to transfer data from the device to a wide variety of AWS storage services including Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), or Amazon FSx for Windows File Server. I click on Get started, then Start DataSync Agent, confirm my network settings, and click Start agent: Once the agent is up and running, I copy the IP address: Then I follow the link and create a DataSync agent (the deploy step is not necessary because the agent is already running). I choose an endpoint and paste the IP address of the agent, then click Get key: I give my agent a name (SnowAgent), tag it, and click Create agent: Then I configure the NFS server in the Snowcone as a DataSync location, and use it to transfer data in or out using a DataSync Task. API / CLI While AWS OpsHub is going to be the primary access method for most users, the device can also be accessed programmatically. I can use the Snow Family tools to retrieve the AWS Access Key and Secret Key from the device, create a CLI profile (region is snow), and run commands (or issue API calls) as usual: C:\>aws ec2 \ --endpoint describe-images \ --profile snowcone1 { "Images": [ { "ImageId": "s.ami-0581034c71faf08d9", "Public": false, "State": "AVAILABLE", "BlockDeviceMappings": [ { "DeviceName": "/dev/sda1", "Ebs": { "DeleteOnTermination": false, "Iops": 0, "SnapshotId": "s.snap-01f2a33baebb50f0e", "VolumeSize": 8 } } ], "Description": "Image for Snowcone delivery #1", "EnaSupport": false, "Name": "Snowcone v1", "RootDeviceName": "/dev/sda1" }, { "ImageId": "s.ami-0bb6828757f6a23cf", "Public": false, "State": "AVAILABLE", "BlockDeviceMappings": [ { "DeviceName": "/dev/sda", "Ebs": { "DeleteOnTermination": true, "Iops": 0, "SnapshotId": "s.snap-003d9042a046f11f9", "VolumeSize": 20 } } ], "Description": "AWS DataSync AMI for online data transfer", "EnaSupport": false, "Name": "scn-datasync-ami", "RootDeviceName": "/dev/sda" } ] } Get One Today You can order a Snowcone today for use in US locations, including here in Seattle: — Jeff;

8 More Features You Need To Know About cPanel & WHM® Version 88

cPanel Blog -

We have released cPanel & WHM® Version 88 and it’s packed with some exciting long-awaited updates. These include MySQL® 8 support, upgrading to Roundcube 1.4 webmail with responsive mobile themes and Calendar and Contacts Support (CCS) and the inclusion of free ImunifyAV protection for your server. We’re going to take a deeper dive into some of the other useful updates included in Version 88 in this article.  Here’s a list of other improvements in Version ...

What are the Benefits of VPS Hosting?

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Wondering what the benefits of VPS Hosting are for your business? Every business today is striving to gain market share, customer base, and see overall growth. And one of the best pathways is to ensure your development cycle is lightning-fast. Businesses that see an online presence as a necessity are looking to quickly develop their site, update frequently and stay ahead of trends. For the developer looking to quickly and efficiently start a project, mock-up a site for a client, or administer the online component for a company, nothing beats the ease and speed of Virtual Private Servers (VPS). A VPS server is the perfect tool if your team is looking to start a new project, quickly test out an idea, or have a sandbox/playground to try new technologies. Below I’ll talk about the five benefits of using a Virtual Private Server for your next project: Speed of machine creation Ease of growth/expandability Cheap cost/low barrier of entry Snapshotting/backups Add-ons and additional features But first, what is VPS Hosting? What is VPS Hosting? Virtual Private Server Hosting, or VPS Hosting for short, is a virtualized hosting solution with specific memory, space, and CPU cores allocated to a single-tenant, and is located on a single parent server or cluster of parent servers. It is one of the most instantly scalable and affordable web solutions available on the market today, and needs to be strongly considered for your next web project vs Dedicated Hosting. The Five Benefits of VPS Hosting 1. Speed of Machine Creation Dedicated servers are custom built by hand from individual components that a customer specifies. This is a slow process that requires communicating with your account manager, the delivery team, and the time necessary to actually build and deploy the server. One of the most significant benefits of using VPS Hosting is that virtual servers can be deployed within minutes with the click of a few buttons. This puts you in the position to get started on your projects faster, present your creation to clients sooner, and profit from the increase in business you can generate by not losing out on time waiting for a server to be built. All of this is possible due to the nature of virtual servers: pre-built machines with pre-defined specifications waiting to be activated. You may think that due to their being pre-built/pre-specified that you will have limited options; the exact opposite is true. Virtual servers today are extremely flexible and offer numerous options/customizations on-demand, such as: The amount of memory (RAM) needed Hard disk space required CPU cores allotted That is why VPS Hosting is so easy to expand and scale as needed. 2. Ease of Growth and Expandability One of the most frustrating parts of a business is being unable to keep up with the growth needed to satisfy customer demand. With traditional dedicated servers, if you need to increase the amount of memory or disk space, you face long delays while communicating your needs, downtime while the hardware is upgraded, and potential issues with your site or project if data migration is required. Upgrading CPUs may even require full chassis swaps, which can cause even more delays and downtime. The main difference between VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting is that VPS Hosting allows you to increase memory, disk space, or add CPU cores almost instantly with the click of a button. As your traffic and business grow, you are able to quickly and easily alter the specifications of your server to keep up with the increase in traffic. You may think that all of these features and automated components are going to make this virtual technology more expensive, but the very opposite is true. VPS Hosting is much more affordable than Dedicated Hosting. 3. Affordable and Low Barrier to Entry One of the major benefits of utilizing VPS Hosting is the reduced cost for getting your project off the ground. By their nature, a VPS Server is cheaper than a Dedicated Server due to shared hardware components and lack of manpower needed to get them running. These cost savings get passed on to you, which enables you to provide a lower cost to your clients. This also means that if you’re looking to test out new technology, have a testbed machine with which you can experiment, or a staging area for client sites, you can easily use a VPS without worrying about the cost skyrocketing and being a financial drain. You can choose the OS you want and the level of support management up front, and within minutes you can be online with root access, able to begin developing your application, uploading files, and getting your project online. All of this can be handled directly within the control panel used to create your VPS and requires no interaction with another human, no delay in getting hardware assembled, or software installed. When you need to be online as fast as possible, the fastest option is a VPS. But simply getting online quickly is not enough. You need to be sure that what you’re working on is safe, secure, and your time not wasted. That’s where backups and snapshots come into play. 4. Snapshotting and Backups Nothing can be more detrimental to your online business than your site being inaccessible. There are a large number of concerns when hosting your project that can bring your online presence offline: malware and viruses from hackers, incidental hardware failure, or human error when changing or altering files. Any time offline or correcting mistakes is a potential loss in earnings and reputation. Another benefit of VPS Hosting is that it makes automated backups as easy as the creation of the server itself: point and click. Scheduling backups, retaining multiple backups, and restoring from them is fast and simple, ensuring that even in the worst case scenarios, your data can be protected. Backups are stored on remote servers, physically separated from your virtual server so that even physical hardware malfunction doesn’t cause you to lose data. All of this is performed behind the scenes without you worrying about what is taking place, so you can spend your time focusing on the project at hand. Also, simply backing up your data is only one factor that virtual servers have simplified. A virtual server allows you to easily create a base “template” or snapshot for a server that you would like to use repeatedly. You can then save this template and create new servers based on it at a later date. Just be wary of changes that were made after the snapshot was performed. If you need a server for a short period of time you can save the server as an “image” for reuse later on, or you can create a server multiple times for different projects or splitting traffic in a load balanced environment. These snapshot features allow you to quickly create consistent servers and ensure that your environment is configured exactly how you need it for the project you’re working on. 5. Add-Ons and Additional Features The driving component of virtual servers is the automation behind the scenes that allows them to be easily created, altered, and destroyed. This automated nature means that we can easily tie in additional services by using the same point and click concept, making it easy to add these features to a virtual server. Being able to quickly add a load balancer in front of your servers, configure a firewall for single or multiple machines, maintain control over your public IP addresses for use between machines, and even create a private network for use with only your servers are all possible. That’s not all though. VPS can also include: Built-in monitoring of your server’s health A connection from your servers to object or block storage pools A history of tasks and changes As new products and features are created, they’re easily added and integrated into your virtual server thanks to the automation of how they work. Automation is why VPS Hosting is chosen for web projects, time and time again. Whereas traditional dedicated servers need additional software updates or production impacting software updates, virtual servers are easily able to adapt and update to take advantage of the latest technologies. Virtual Servers are Here to Stay Virtual servers are a mainstay product in the hosting world for development. The cheap cost and ease-of-use are the primary benefits for individuals looking to get projects off the ground quickly, but the automation and add-ons make VPS Hosting a fully-featured hosting solution for growing SMBs in 2020. Still Undecided on VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting? Find out more about the specific difference between Dedicated Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Shared Hosting. The post What are the Benefits of VPS Hosting? appeared first on Liquid Web.


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