These days, it seems like every wedding has its own site. It makes sense — if you have a website, guests can find all the information they need in one place. However, weddings are stressful enough without having to worry about creating a site.
That’s where WordPress comes in. You can easily use the platform to create a gorgeous wedding website. It even enables you to add some key features such as wish registries, guestbooks, and more. The customization options are endless!
In this article, we’ll discuss why you should use WordPress for your wedding site, and teach you how to make one in four steps (no wedding planner required). We have a lot of information to cover, so let’s dig in!
Why You Should Use WordPress for Your Wedding Website
WordPress isn’t the first platform that comes to mind when people think of a wedding website. However, the Content Management System (CMS) is perfect for more than just blogging. To give you an idea, right now WordPress powers over 30 percent of the web, so you know it’s doing something right.
For wedding websites, you need a platform that’s easy to customize with the details of your special day. It also doesn’t hurt to have access to features that will take a load off your shoulders when it comes to planning. That includes keeping track of RSVPs, guest accommodations, gift registries, and more. You’ll also want a tool that makes responsive design easy.
WordPress can easily handle these necessities. On top of that, the platform itself is free. So your upfront costs for setting up a website can be pretty cheap, particularly if you do it yourself.
Related: How Much Does It Actually Cost to Set Up a WordPress Website?
How to Make a Wedding Website With WordPress (In 4 Steps)
Building a wedding site with WordPress may not require many steps, but some of them may take you a while. If your wedding is on the horizon, now would be a great moment to start working on its website!
Step 1: Choose a Web Host and Install WordPress
The first step of creating any website is to register a domain name and choose a web host.
Registering a domain name is pretty simple, so we won’t take up much of your time with it. Likewise, choosing which name to use shouldn’t take long. If your name is Jack and you’re marrying Susan, give jackandsusanaregettinghitched.com a go.
Choosing a web host, on the other hand, can get tricky. Since you’re probably looking to build a website on a budget, you’ll want to stick to shared plans. Whichever provider you choose should offer good performance and an excellent support system. It should also play nicely with WordPress.
With that in mind, we’re going to throw our hat into the ring with our own WordPress shared hosting plans. The basic tier starts at just $2.59 per month, and it’s more than powerful enough for a wedding website.
Once you sign up for a hosting plan, you’ll want to install WordPress. If you choose one of our plans, WordPress should be up and running already, so you can get started right away.
Love at First SiteWedding planning just got simpler — build your website with WordPress and DreamHost.Get Started
Step 2: Pick the Perfect WordPress Wedding Event Theme
The foundation of any great WordPress site is the perfect theme. WordPress themes are essentially a template for the layout of your website, complete with everything you need to design a beautiful site — think fonts, menu structure, etc. As far as wedding websites go, you need a responsive WordPress theme that enables photographs to shine. After all, most wedding websites are filled to the brim with photos of the bride and groom.
On top of that, any theme you choose should meet these three criteria:
It gets constant updates.
It has good ratings.
The developers answer support queries.
You’ll also want a theme that’s easy to customize. There are thousands of theme options to choose from, including free and premium themes, but we recommend you go with something that was built with weddings in mind.
Take Jack & Rose, for example.
This premium WordPress theme ($50) enables you to put photographs and videos front and center, which is perfect. It also makes excellent use of pastel colors and elegant design — which are perfect for a wedding website — and includes a countdown timer (we’ll let you guess to which date).
Another great option would be the Moments premium theme ($59). This one isn’t just for weddings — it also works well for other types of events.
The wedding templates this theme includes are gorgeous. They all feature a minimalist design that’s perfect if you want to put together a simple, understated wedding website.
Keep in mind — these aren’t the only choices out there. A quick Google search for ‘wordpress wedding themes’ will reveal hundreds of options, including free wedding themes on the WordPress directory. Take your time to find the perfect one, and then install it on your site.
Related: How This DreamHost Customer Grew a Photography Business with a Vibrant Website
Step 3: Add Advanced Features to Your Website Using Plugins
If you want to take your wedding website to the next level, you’ll want to use WordPress plugins. In this section, we’ll explore different features you might like to include, and introduce you to plugins you can use to implement them.
A digital contact form enables visitors to your website to send their best wishes, ask questions without blowing up your phone, and more. We recommend trying out the Gwolle Guestbook plugin.
With this plugin, you can add a dedicated guest book section to any of your pages. Visitors won’t need to sign up to use it, and you get the chance to review comments before they go public.
The best part of any wedding — aside from marrying the person you love, of course — is that you get lots of presents. These days, online shops have made it easier to set up wedding registries. With a wedding website of your own, you can dedicate a whole page just to the gift registry, so everyone knows what to buy for the happy couple.
For this particular purpose, we recommend the WPGiftRegistry plugin.
Using WPGiftRegistry, you can set up lists of all the items you want and include images, URLs, descriptions, and prices. Best of all, it works for almost any item you want, as long as you can find a URL to buy it.
Including a map on your wedding website is a smart move to make sure no bridesmaids and groomsmen get left behind. Just adding the location in plain text also works, but why settle when you can showcase a fancy map as well?
There are plenty of online map services you can use to integrate maps on your website. However, we’re big fans of Google Maps, which means we’ll focus on plugins that work with it.
First off, we recommend the WP Google Maps plugin, which enables you to ‘create’ multiple maps and add them anywhere on your site by pasting in a shortcode.
If you’re more of a widgets person, you might prefer using the Google Maps Widget. This plugin enables you to add a map to your sidebar or footer.
Regardless of which plugin you use, you’ll end up with a smart-looking Google map on your website.
One hallmark of wedding websites is a countdown timer that ticks the seconds away until you get to the altar. It’s easy to implement and adds a bit of fun to your website.
There are plenty of plugins you can use to add countdown timers to WordPress. One of our favorites is Countdown Timer Ultimate, which enables you to add timers with fun designs.
If you want something a little more classy, T(-) Countdown features some more toned-down styles, and it’s just as easy to use.
In any case, you want to make sure your countdown timer is placed near the top of your home page. That way it’s easy to see, and everyone can keep track of the date.
Last but not least, we have a photo album. Every wedding website needs a place where you can show off all your pictures in a convenient gallery format.
WordPress supports image galleries out of the box. However, if you want to have a little fun with yours, we recommend using a plugin such as Photo Gallery by 10web.
You might also want to give Image Gallery by Robo a chance. This plugin also supports multiple gallery formats and enables you to add social media sharing options.
As far as WordPress plugins go, photo galleries are one of the most popular subjects. That means you have dozens of options to choose from, so feel free to look around at some more if you want to!
Step 4: Customize Your Wedding Website’s Pages
Now comes the hard part, which is putting together all the pages you want your wedding website to include. You should now have all the tools you need to make that happen.
To get you started, we’ll go over some of the most common pages wedding websites include, talk about their elements, and show you some examples. That way, you can narrow down what you want and get to work on it.
No wedding website is complete without a little backstory on the couple. An Our Story page is the perfect place to share how you met, how long you’ve been together for, and other details about your relationship.
Earlier, we talked about how to add a map to your wedding website. A Venue or Location page is the perfect place to include that map, as well as the full address for the location, and what time guests should arrive.
A lot of people choose to get married in out-of-the-way spots. If you’re one of them, your guests will need someplace to stay. Usually, it’s your job to point them to the most convenient hotels.
An Accommodations page is where you put all that information, including any special rates hotels are willing to give members of your wedding party.
We also showed you how to add a guestbook to your wedding website. Ideally, that guestbook should have its own page, so visitors can browse through the comments at their leisure.
Something as fun as your wish list deserves its own little corner on your website. A Gift Registry page should include all the items you want and where to buy them. You can also enable guests to purchase items online from your site, using the plugin we showed you earlier.
One of the most important parts of any wedding is the guest list. With an RSVP page, people can fill out a form to let you know if they’re going to attend and if they’re bringing a guest.
Photo galleries are so versatile, yours doesn’t need its own page — it can go anywhere you want!
Some great places to include a photo gallery include your site’s home page, and your Our Story page.
If you want your site’s visitors to accompany you through your entire journey, you can provide updates on a blog. Luckily for you, WordPress is the best blogging platform around. You’ll have no problem writing and formatting posts using its editor.
Tie The Knot
If you want to create a wedding website on a budget, WordPress is a great choice. It’s is easy to pick up, and combined with the right theme and plugins, it makes building (and customizing!) a beautiful wedding website much simpler.
Do you have any questions about how to make a website using WordPress for your wedding day? Follow us on Twitter and let’s talk!
The post How to Make a Wedding Website with WordPress appeared first on Welcome to the Official DreamHost Blog.
Last year, we shared “7 Ways We’ve Improved Email Hosting on cPanel & WHM” and we looked at some cool features for email accounts. After much improvement, we felt that Plus Addressing was an interesting enough feature to include as a blog post! So what is plus addressing? Known officially as subaddressing, plus addressing delivers mail in a particular way so that you can better organize incoming mail. Additionally, plus addressing is used as a method to ...
The post How to Find an Affordable Website Builder appeared first on HostGator Blog.
You’ve had a great idea for a website for a while and you’re finally ready to take the first steps to getting it built. Congratulations! But you’re a little worried about figuring out how to get started and, even more importantly, how to pay for building a new website.
The good news is that you no longer have to choose between spending a lot of money on a professional website designer or learning how to code to do it yourself. You can build a website all on your own with limited to no web design skills by using a website builder.
Even if your budget is especially limited, you can still find an inexpensive website builder that’s within your price range.
Should I Use a Free Website Builder?
Before we get into how to find a good affordable website builder, you may notice in your early research that there are actually some free website builders on the market. Even better than cheap ones, right?
Any company that offers a website builder has to make money in some way, so free website builders usually have trade offs or limitations that make them less useful than paying for an affordable website builder. There are a few common forms this takes:
Ads – If they’re not making money from you directly, a website builder company may make their money by serving ads on your site. That could make your site look more cluttered and tacky, and distract your visitors from the messaging you want them paying attention to.Shared branding – In addition to serving ads, some website builders treat your website as a way to promote their brand. That could mean their logo somewhere on your page, or even right there in your URL, which would look something like yourname.theirname.com. This sets your own branding back by making it hard for visitors to differentiate you from the website builder’s brand and see your website as having a memorable, unique identity.Limited pages – This is a common limitation with free plans. In some cases, the most you can build on a free plan is a one-page website. That doesn’t give you much room to work with. Limited bandwidth – This is another big one. The amount of bandwidth you have affects how long your site takes to load and is especially an issue on sites that have media elements like audio, video, social media displays, or animation, which require more bandwidth to load. Visitors won’t wait around for a slow site to load, so if your website builder doesn’t offer enough or unlimited bandwidth, you’ll lose visitors because of it.Important features require a paid upgrade – For a lot of the companies that offer a free website builder plan, it’s a way to get your foot through the door so they can, eventually, convince you to upgrade to one of their paid plans. They do this by limiting the features in the free plan so that you’re likely to realize over time that actually you do need one of the paid plans.
If none of that sounds like an issue for you, keep in mind that there’s still a catch: for most of these free website builders, if you create a website and decide down the line you want to switch to a different website builder, you can’t take what you’ve already built with you. You’ll have to start from scratch.
If your website’s URL is a subdomain of the website builder’s URL (e.g. the yoursite.theirsite.com situation we described earlier), any visibility you’ve built for your initial website will be lost as well in the move to a new URL.
In other words, if your website is a personal passion project and you’re sure you won’t ever care about personal branding, ecommerce website options, or other brands’ ads on your site, then a free website builder could make sense. For everyone else, you’ll be better off starting with the right affordable website builder so you can stick with it as you grow.
How Much Do Affordable Website Builders Actually Cost?
Paying for a good website builder doesn’t have to break your budget. The most affordable website builders cost in the range of $4-$25 a month.
Most companies offer several web builder packages, so pay attention to how the costs and features compare for the different plans. If there are any features you’re okay without now, but you may want in coming years, be aware now what the cost of an upgrade will be. You don’t want to pick the option that seems the cheapest now, only to pay more over the long-term when you need to upgrade to a business website and switch out your basic plan.
Also pay attention to the deals you sign. In many cases, a lower cost comes with a longer-term commitment. That could be fine if you do enough research going in to be sure of your choice, but you don’t want to feel stuck with a website builder you don’t like because you agreed to a three-year commitment to save a couple of bucks a month.
What Features Should I Look for in an Inexpensive Website Builder?
When you’re weighing your options, be sure to consider the features each website builder has to offer, not just the cost. The cheapest plans may be missing key features you need, especially if you run a business website, and paying just a little bit more could get a website builder with all the functional benefits you need both now and in the long term. While there are many benefits of using a simple website builder, it’s still important that you outline your future site goals so you choose the best website builder plan for your future.
Here are some of the top features to consider when browsing different website builders.
To start, there are a few features you definitely don’t want to skimp on. Consider these a necessity when perusing your options. A website builder that doesn’t offer them won’t provide what you need for a successful website.
Ease of use – If you have to spend hours learning how to use a new website builder, then it’s not providing a great value—even if it didn’t cost much. Your time is worth something too. Look for a website builder that boasts drag-and-drop functionality and intuitive editing tools. Ideally, you should be able to jump right in and start building your website the same day you purchase. Educational resources – While a good website builder shouldn’t require you to spend much time learning the ropes, a good library of educational resources (tutorials and articles) will ensure that you know all the different features available, are able to make the most of them, and have access to easy answers whenever you have a question.Customer Support – Just as importantly, any time you run into confusion and need assistance from an actual human being, you should be able to trust someone will be available and helpful at the moment you need them. Check that your website builder offers customer service and has a good reputation for it. Website Templates – Building a website with a website builder usually starts with design templates. By having a well designed starting point, all the other changes you make come much easier. And having a good looking template to start with really makes a difference in the quality of the end result. Look for a website builder that offers multiple templates for you to choose from, and you’ll have no problem creating a beautiful site. Mobile-friendly compatibility – People now do more of their browsing on mobile devices than on their computers, which is exactly why you need a mobile responsive website. If your website does not have a responsive design, you’ll lose visitors. Plain and simple. For a website that all your visitors can interact with, go with a website builder that makes it easy to make your website mobile friendly.
Along with the essentials, there’s a good chance you’ll want your website builder to offer some useful additional options. These won’t necessarily be required for all websites, but they’ll be important for some to have and useful for others.
Multiple pages – Before you choose a website builder, consider how many pages you’ll want your website to have. And not just right now, will you need room for it to grow in the months and years to come? Some of the most affordable website builder plans put a limit on the number of pages you can create. That will be fine for some sites, but become a big problem for others. Custom domain – Most website builders that you pay for will offer the option of having a custom domain. With many, you’ll need to pay separately for the domain name, but some will include it in the cost. Confirm if you’ll be able to use a custom domain at all, and whether or not you should anticipate it costing extra.SEO (search engine optimization) features – Creating a website is one thing, getting people to see and interact with it is another. If you care about people finding your website, then you should start thinking about SEO now. Check for helpful SEO features that make it easy to perform on-site optimization for your pages (customizing the fields that matter to Google, such as your URL, title, and image tags).Media features – Will your website ever include media like audio or video? If so, make sure the website builder you choose is set up for the bandwidth those feature require and make it easy to load them to your site. Security features – Hackers abound, which is why you must protect your website from hackers at all costs. If your website isn’t secure, you risk hackers taking it over or stealing sensitive information your customers provide you. Security features like an SSL certificate or compatibility with security hardware are crucial if you’ll be accepting payment information through your ecommerce store, and are still useful to have if you’re not. E-commerce functionality – Will you be using your website to sell items on an online store? If so, a website builder that allows you to add a shopping cart and secure checkout process is a must.
Your costs when investing in a website builder will have a lot to do with which of these features you need, and which you can easily live without. Even if you need some advanced features though, you can still save money when looking for an inexpensive website builder.
4 Ways to Save Money When Investing in a Website Builder
If looking at your options still has you worried about the costs of getting the website builder you need, there are some potential ways to make the money you spend go further.
1. Only pay for what you need.
If your website will be fairly simple and you don’t expect much traffic from day one (most people won’t get a lot of traffic right away), then you don’t need to invest in a high-level website builder plan with lots of different features. Figure out what features you actually need now, and find the most affordable website builder that offers those.
But do also consider the features you anticipate needing in the coming years as you grow, and consider the cost of future upgrades when making your decision. The most affordable option for the long term may be different than the one that’s cheapest for right now, and you may be better off spending a little more now to save later.
2. Look for bundles or packages.
Some website builders include other services you’ll need in the price. For example, HostGator’s website builder comes with free web hosting—something every website requires to go live on the web. Web hosting is another monthly cost, so saving that money pays off for you in the long term.
Similarly, if a website builder package allows you to register a domain name for free or includes free ecommerce features, that could save you money on services you’d be paying extra for anyways. Pay attention to what’s included in the website builder packages you consider before making a final decision.
3. Wait for specials.
Like any other type of business, the companies that provide website builders often offer specials and sales. Making your purchase at the right time could earn you a discount. Often these fall at the times of year that sales are common for other companies, like Black Friday, Labor Day, or Memorial Day.
If you have your eye on a particular website builder, or a few, sign up for the company’s email list so you’ll be alerted if the company’s plans go on sale.
Many website builders offer referral or affiliate programs, so you may be able to score a discount at any time of year if you have a friend that’s a current customer or you learn about the website builder from an affiliate who provides a discount code. And you can save money on your renewals over time by taking advantage of those programs yourself and sharing your discount code with others.
4. Pay for a couple of years upfront.
Many website builders offer a different monthly price to customers that sign up for a long-term commitment. If you’re not entirely sure about the website builder you choose, this option could be risky.
But if you’re confident you’ll be sticking with your website builder for years to come, then agreeing to be a customer for one, two, or three years and paying upfront can save you a considerable percentage versus paying month to month and reserving the right to cancel at any time.
Get Started with an Affordable Website Builder
You could easily spend weeks studying up on all the different features and options available in different website builders. Or you can cut the process short by checking out HostGator’s website builder to see if it matches everything you need. If you have any questions about how it all works and what’s included, our support team is available 24/7 to provide answers. And you won’t have to worry about finding and buying web hosting separately, as it comes included (and from one of the most well respected web hosting companies out there).
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Do you attend live events? Wondering how to maximize your prospecting efforts at events? In this article, you’ll find a strategic plan for identifying and connecting with prospects via social media before, during, and after an event. Why Social Media Matters for Live Event Prospecting Events, expos, and tradeshows were the pinnacle of prospect outreach […]
The post How to Get More Leads From a Live Event Using Social Media appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Rackspace is proud to announce the joint signing of a memorandum of understanding between Rackspace, KDDI Corporation and iret, Inc. toward the provision of world-class quality multi-cloud professional and managed services in Japan. Migration from legacy IT to the cloud is fueling growth in Japanese markets, as a growing number of mid-market and enterprise organizations […]
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If you’re not familiar with it, PHP is the background scripting language that powers WordPress.
And if you want the fastest and most secure WordPress on the market, you need to be on the latest and greatest PHP version.
PHP 5.6 Is The New Minimum Requirement For WordPress
Recently, WordPress bumped the minimum PHP requirement to version 5.6.
This means older versions of PHP will not receive the same level of WordPress support.
Continue reading It’s Time to Upgrade Your PHP Version For WordPress at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
InMotion Hosting is your go-to shared hosting provider. We started out as a small business ourselves, so we understand the struggle: you’re on a budget, you don’t want to spend money on products or services you don’t need, and it seems like everyone out there is just trying to sell you something.
We’re not about that game. When you talk to our service reps, they’ll help you assess your business needs and determine the product that’s actually best suited for you – not the one that costs the most money.
Continue reading Tips On Choosing the Right Shared Hosting Provider at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
Despite overall strong hiring and job creation around the country in March, the natural disasters across the Midwest had a negative impact on hiring over the last month. Historically, we know this may take months for the impact to rectify itself. We saw a significant decrease in hiring rates across metro areas in the Midwest impacted by catastrophic flooding, including: Omaha (-7.6%), Fargo (-13.6%,) and Kansas City (-0.6%). Historically, our data shows it takes a city approximately two months...
Highly available databases are often the true heart of an organization. They’re key to just about every function of modern business processes: billing, online transactions processing, reports and analytics and therefore need to work, and work all the time. That’s why more than 15,000 organizations worldwide use Oracle RAC database clusters to run their most […]
The post How to Keep Critical Databases Highly Available in the Cloud appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.
Browsing antique stores is one of our favorite pastimes, especially stores that make no effort to organize their wares, chaotic jumbles of products grouped according to whim or chance. We enjoy the prospect of serendipitous discovery. However, when we’re shopping online, a lack of organization is not enjoyable. A positive eCommerce experience depends on the… Continue reading →
Whether you’re new to eCommerce or looking to see if there’s a better option for your growing store, choosing the right web application is important. There are several different options out there for merchants. This article looks specifically at Magento and Prestashop. Both of these applications are open source platforms that allow merchants to start,… Continue reading →
Choosing a domain name is a very important part of designing a website and increasing your visibility. Although it may seem that using the name of your business or simply your own name is the right course of action, there are other things to consider.
Is It Appealing?
The first thing you want to consider is the appeal. Does your domain name look appealing? This may seem like a ridiculous thing to think about, but it does matter.
Continue reading Tips on Choosing a Great Domain at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
The post Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Better for Your Small Business? appeared first on HostGator Blog.
Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Better for Small Business?
Small business owners must make the best advertising decision for their bottom line.
It’s a daunting task that requires patience and market research. With so many possibilities, you’ll want to consider your business goals and customers. YourStory contributor Sromona Bhattacharyya, shares her insight:
“Selecting the perfect platform for advertisement requires a lot of prior research and efforts… Your customer’s attention is constantly changing from one platform to another… It’s important for any company to decide where their customers pay attention and get back to basics.”
Ready to evaluate your advertising options? Here’s a guide to show you when to use Google Ads versus Facebook Ads.
When to Use Google Ads
1. You Want To Reach Local Audiences
Most small businesses cater to distinct audiences within their geographical locations. You’re selling winter coats to consumers in Chicago and not folks in Miami. In addition to eCommerce, some businesses have a local storefront.
Google Ads makes it easy to become a resource for your local consumer base. With local search ads, you can earn more foot traffic and get more phone inquiries from consumers. Plus, you can provide your audience with critical information, like your address and store hours.
If you own multiple stores in a local area, you’ll want to build unique landing pages specific to that area. These pages should highlight the different services and include local testimonials. This strategy ensures site visitors receive information that match their needs.
Another idea is to run an ad promotion. Buyers are more likely to visit your store if they know you’re offering a sale.
You’ll gain local visibility with Google Ads as part of your plan. More consumers entering into your store means more chances to increase your sales.
2. You Want To Generate Leads
Bringing in new customers is key for your small business. But you don’t want every consumer, you need qualified leads that resemble your target audience.
Lead generation comes with its own challenges. Acquiring new leads can be expensive. Research shows it costs 7 times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one.
If you don’t want to spend your entire budget on gaining new leads, then Google Ads may be the right solution for your small business. Matt Ackerson, founder of AutoGrow, explains:
“If you have a micro budget, you’re going to pinch your pennies. With a Google AdWords account, you can generate more leads without spending a ton of cash. You can then focus your efforts on creating a product or service that will maximize your AdWords ROI.”
Google Ads allows you to reach customers with highly-targeted keywords. With lead generation, specificity works in your favor. It’s better to connect with an audience that’s searching for “college basketball shorts,” rather than just “basketball.”
3. You Want a Variety of Ad Types
Online shoppers peruse multiple places on the web. You can find them looking for a solution via a search engine or watching endless cat videos on YouTube. It’s important for your advertising to reflect their whereabouts.
Google Ads offers your small business various avenues to connect with your audience. Depending on your goals, you want to select a campaign type based on your desired actions from potential customers.
For instance, you may develop a Search Network campaign to increase your leads. Then, your team may create a Video campaign to secure sales. Check out the video below to learn which ad campaign type is right for your business.
After selecting your ad type, it’s time to think about the actual ad. You want it to speak to the consumers’ needs. It should be specific and build an instant connection.
If your team doesn’t possess visual branding expertise, it’s recommended to outsource the task to a design professional. Hire a freelancer to create your graphics or edit your video footage. All these details help attract the right consumers.
When to Use Facebook Ads
1. You Want to Reach Niche Audiences
Selling to the masses is a difficult endeavor; it’s hard persuading everyone your product fits their needs. Instead, some small businesses stick to niche audiences—a unique group of consumers in the market.
Facebook Ads gives you the flexibility to serve niche audiences. Sherman Standberry, COO and cofounder of LYFE Marketing, explains:
“Facebook advertising can help you expand into new markets. If you are bringing a new product or service to market, you can use Facebook advertising to increase its exposure. Facebook advertising will help you test the market, at your own pace.”
To advertise to niche audiences, you should collect detailed information about your consumers. You’ll want to target a specific age range, gender, and location. Then, take it a step further by pinpointing their purchasing behaviors, mobile device usage, languages, and connections.
Personalization is crucial when developing your first Facebook Ad campaign. Explore ways to develop a brand lifestyle that relates to your niche audience.
2. You Want Brand Awareness
Without advertising, small businesses can go unnoticed by consumers. Your marketing campaigns become simply background noise for your large competitors.
Facebook Ads helps level the playing field. It can draw awareness to small brands by reaching your targeted audience.
The purpose of brand awareness varies based on your customer lifecycle journey. For some companies, it means introducing a brand to a new audience. Other businesses use it as a way to bring their brand to the forefront for interested consumers.
With Facebook Ads awareness campaigns, your team can set its own objectives. The platform focuses on helping you expand your reach, whether it’s a carousel of images or a video.
Before launching your ad, consider how you want to tell your brand story. Each ad should build a bridge between your business and the audience.
Work with a copywriter to hone your brand’s voice and tone. Learn which words will appeal to your consumers’ emotions and compel them to learn about your products.
Your business deserves the attention. Facebook Ads helps you target the right consumers.
3. You Want to Capture Mobile Traffic
According to analytics firm Flurry, Americans spend up to five hours per day on their mobile devices. It’s a significant indicator for companies to spend more resources on mobile ads. The experts at Matchcraft offer this perspective:
“Mobile traffic is important as smartphone penetration continues to increase and 4G data networks expand. Plenty of people break up their work day by glancing at their phones for some social media time, giving you access to your mobile audience.”
Facebook suggests running your ads within its family of apps and services, including Audience Network, Instagram, and Messenger. That way, your advertising spreads across various platforms, earning your business better results.
You also can manage Facebook ads on the go. Your team can now pause campaigns, edit budgets, and view insights directly from the mobile app. There’s no excuses for getting key data to operate your small business.
Consumers aren’t stationary; they live and shop on the go. So, integrate Facebook Ads into your mobile outreach strategy.
What Works for Your Small Business?
Advertising is a huge opportunity for small businesses to attract customers. But with so many different options, it’s overwhelming to choose the best platform.
For starters, examine your goals and customers’ behaviors. Google Ads offers better results for local audiences and lead generation. Facebook Ads is useful for niche audiences and brand awareness.
Choose your platform. Get the results.
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Want the right people to see your Facebook ads more often? Have you considered using the Reach objective? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook’s Reach objective to target hyper-responsive custom audiences with your Facebook advertising. Why Use the Facebook Campaign Reach Objective? The first step in creating any Facebook ad campaign is […]
The post How to Create Facebook Reach Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
A few years ago, no one knew what chatbots were. Today it seems like every third website has a robot in the corner. That’s not a coincidence.
Chatbots have proven to be an effective way to increase revenue in businesses of all sizes. The typical chatbot’s click-through rate ranges from 15-60%. The large range in click-through rate is because chatbots have many uses which, of course, affects the CTR.
If you had a click-through rate from email marketing as high as 60% how would that affect your business? It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
This article looks at how chatbots are changing the digital landscape and a few use cases to increase your conversion rates while reducing your costs.
What are chatbots?
A chatbot is a software program – which may or may not be powered by artificial intelligence – that can conduct conversations with human beings.
This definition leaves a lot to be desired because many applications can conduct conversations but don’t qualify as chatbots. So where do you draw the line between app and chatbot?
Qualities of a chatbot
You can differentiate chatbots from other applications based on how interactions take place. A chatbot has a conversation sequentially. They talk and wait for your reply before continuing. Most applications don’t work like that.
Another way to differentiate a chatbot from another application is the fact that it has an identity. You can build a chatbot and name it whatever you want and it’ll maintain that identity. For example, if you have sales and customer service chatbots, you could give each of them a different name.
The sales chatbot could be Zig and the customer service chatbot could be zag. Anytime a user needs help in either channel, the correct bot would take over the conversation.
For example, 1-800Flowers.com named their chatbot GWYN. Each time someone has an interaction with the chatbot, they’re talking to GWYN.
Benefits of chatbots and conversational marketing
With each day that passes, people are discovering more benefits associated with chatbots. I’ll focus on the ones that have a direct and immediate business impact.
Larger salesforce at a lower cost
A major challenge with sales is prospecting. You have to properly vet and qualify people. If you don’t, they won’t be a good candidate for your service and a lot of time will be spent without a return.
Chatbots can step in and qualify visitors on your website by asking specific questions and appending tags to them depending on their answers.
According to BI Intelligence, chatbots can save up to $39 billion a year in salaries across sales and customer support.
Get feedback from users that otherwise wouldn’t engage
Many people will visit your website, look around, and leave because they couldn’t find what they were looking for. A chatbot goes a long way towards bridging the gap between visitor and conversation.
For example, if someone is on your services page and can’t find what they’re looking for, a chatbot makes it easy for them to ask. If the same question keeps coming up you know it’s something that needs to be answered on the page.
Conversely, you could ask users if the page their on answered all of their questions. For example, someone is on the pricing page and your chatbot asks them whether pricing is clear. If they select the no option, the chatbot would continue by asking them to tell it what information they were looking for or whether the page was confusing. You can use that feedback to further optimize the pricing page.
How to use chatbots plus examples
Now, let’s focus on three effective ways to use chatbots to increase conversions across the board.
Customized shopping experience
It can be daunting for customers to find what they need when you have a large collection of goods or complicated services. A chatbot is able to bridge this gap by asking questions about their wants and needs and segmenting them based on that information.
Once segmented, it’s possible for the chatbot to show them specific products or packages from within the chat UI.
This is what 1-800-FLOWERS.com did with their chatbot GWYN. As of June 2016, 70% of chatbot powered orders were from new customers.
Funnel users to specific pages
It’s not always possible to close a sale from within the chatbot interface. Sometimes, your visitors need a bit more information or a nudge in the right direction.
With chatbots, you’re able to set welcome messages to find out what a visitor needs and proactively give it to them.
Leadpages was able to use chatbots and human interactions to boost their conversion rates by 36%. They started off slowly with only live chat then moved on to automating a lot of the process to cut down on the strain their team was feeling.
It’s important to note that they supplemented their chatbot usage with a human touch. While I was reading the Leadpages case study, the drift chatbot popped up and did the exact same thing I’m describing here.
After a bit of back and forth, it introduced me to the proper page.
One of the most prevalent challenges for rapidly growing companies is maintaining a high level of customer service. It’s not easy to find, hire, and train reps.
At the same time, the good ones are expensive. Chatbots are able to step in and serve customers for all but the most complicated issues. They can answer the questions directly or send people to the right resources.
This creates a positive experience and keeps your current customers happy (and can encourage people to convert to customers).
Amtrak used a chatbot named Julie to answer 5 million questions a year, save $1,000,000, and increase bookings by 30%. The bookings through the chatbot produced 30% more revenue.
This is an outlier but it shows how effective chatbots can be for customer service.
Chatbots, like it or not, are here to stay. Every day, they’re getting cheaper and smarter. Soon, the question won’t be whether or not you should get one but what’s the best way to use it.
We’ve only scratched the surface of how you can use chatbots to increase conversion rates.
You can either use them directly like 1-800Flowers and Amtrak did or you can utilize them as part of a larger initiative that combines chatbots with a human touch just like Leadpages did.
Choose one and test it out for your business. When you start seeing results, add other methods and watch as your conversions continue to rise.
What are the most essential elements necessary for a successful content marketing campaign?
In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge reveals how to win at content marketing.
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Mark: Eric, what are the key elements of successful content marketing?
Eric: That’s a big question and obviously it depends on the exact goals of the campaign and stuff like that, but all campaigns have some common elements to them.
Mark: What are those common elements?
Eric: Still a great question.
The first one is actually user value. You have to be adding value to the user. That can mean many different things, but in all cases you have to be adding value to the users and creating a sense of connection with your brand.
The second one is differentiation. What makes your content unique and is it something that many other people have written about already? You want to be doing something unique, and then figure out what you can do to bring a new angle.
Also, think about the depth and breadth of your content.
Mark: What do you mean by that term depth and breadth?
Eric: The basic idea is to provide unusually deep coverage of a topic area. For example, your competition might have five articles on a topic. What if you did the extra research and wrote 10? How about 20? That could be a great value to users. Would the result be the best resource on that topic in the entire market? That’s not necessarily a bad place to be.
Mark: Okay. Before we go, do you have anything else you want to add about making a campaign successful?
First of all, don’t overlook the promotion side of things. Once you create the amazing content you do need to tell the world about it. You need to plan your promotional campaign even before you start creating content. One of the things that might happen is in looking at the places where you’re thinking about promoting, you might get more good ideas for what to write because now you kind of know what’s going on in their brains and you can design your content to fit something that’s eminently promotable.
Then figure out how to contact the people that have written about the related topics that you researched in putting together your content plan and figure out how to pitch them in a way that might cause them to reference your stuff.
Really incredibly important that your pitches be customized to every single individual. No mass mailings, please. And then follow-up with an effective outreach campaign to get the word out there.
Mark: Thanks, Eric.
Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.
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A DIY website builder may seem like a daunting option, but nothing could be further from the truth! Today’s website builders are user-friendly, intuitive, and easy-to-use.
DIY Website Builder
In fact, more business owners today are choosing to build their own websites than ever before. Why? Because businesses today need a website – there’s no way around that – but hiring a pro can be expensive.
Building your own site is an economical option; plus, it gives you total creative control, allowing you to customize design and functionality however you see fit.
Continue reading DIY Website? Why Choose To Do This? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
Every week we share Typepad blogs that have caught our eye and been shared over social media. Check them out! All That Sparkles is about life. Everything that life has to offer and one woman's...
The Typepad Team
If you’re thinking about building a website, it’s likely you’ve heard the term “web hosting.” Your website can’t go live on the Internet without it.
But as we’ve learned from dealing with countless clients – just because you’ve heard of web hosting doesn’t mean you know what it is. In a nutshell, hosting services give you the tools you need to get your site up on the web and ready to receive visitors.
Continue reading What is Web Hosting? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.