Industry Buzz

7 Types of WordPress Sites That Are Easy to Set Up

Nexcess Blog -

When deciding what platform to build a website on, one of the more common questions is about what types of websites WordPress hosts. The answer? Anything! While you can do just about anything with a WordPress site, we wanted to focus on seven easy sites you can build without getting too in the weeds. 1. Personal Blogging Sites Personal blogs are what WordPress was built on. And as the CMS platform has grown and expanded into other types of websites, their blogging platform has only gotten better. They are more robust and polished than ever, and with hundreds of different themes, it’s easy to customize the look and feel to whatever your blog is about, whether it’s food, lifestyle, travel, or anything else. 2. Business Sites Business sites vary in terms of size, but remain consistent in terms of professionalism. Business sites often work best when created with the help of a developer — someone who can help to create a truly unique experience for your users (one that converts). WordPress also allows you to scale your site so it can grow as you do and utilize many different types of WordPress pages. Some things to think about here are themes and SEO. For your business site to do well, it has to be easily found through search engines. The good news is that WordPress offers great SEO plugins that you can take advantage of. 3. Education and Membership sites Education and membership sites have expanded what you can do with a WordPress site. They haven’t always been part of the WordPress platform, but with the introduction of plugins like MemberPass, creating them has become simple. MemberPass is easy to set up, affords you with powerful access rules, and works with any theme you can throw at it. 4. Portfolio Websites Portfolio websites are great to display your work, whether it be writing, graphic design, web design, or something else. These types of WordPress sites are simple to create and maintain. The biggest consideration here will again be themes — luckily, WordPress has many different options for unique portfolio layouts. 5. Photography Websites Whether you’re a professional or hobby photographer, having a site to display your images is important. Photography WordPress sites are very similar to portfolio sites, but the themes are more specific to highlighting photos. These plugins provide incredible and seamless lightboxes meant to make your photos stand out. 6. Community Websites Community websites are great because you don’t make the content – your community does! But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on the design aspect. Pick a theme and everything else should fall into place.  The most important part of community websites — similar to other types of WordPress sites — is the plugins, which will help you set up and navigate forums on your new site. Plugins like bbPress are a great place to start. bbPress is one of the most popular forum plugins available. It offers a deep WordPress integration, which means faster forums and a better user experience. Luckily, bbPress is also easy to set up and comes with customizable templates for creating a forum unlike any other.  7. Ecommerce Sites Ecommerce sites are made for large and small businesses to sell goods, and integrate very well into different types of WordPress sites. WooCommerce is an easy tool to get your online store up and running smoothly! Nexcess offers multiple Managed WooCommerce hosting plans to suit your ecommerce needs, all of which come industry-leading speed, support, security, and scalability. Conclusion Whatever types of websites you run, you need to make sure that you’re on the right foundation. This means working with a managed hosting solution. Take advantage of automatic plugin and WordPress updates, industry-leading performance optimizations, and security mechanisms that will keep your site locked down. These give you time to focus on what you do best: developing an incredible site.  The post 7 Types of WordPress Sites That Are Easy to Set Up appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

JavaScript Libraries Are Almost Never Updated Once Installed

CloudFlare Blog -

Cloudflare helps run CDNJS, a very popular way of including JavaScript and other frontend resources on web pages. With the CDNJS team’s permission we collect anonymized and aggregated data from CDNJS requests which we use to understand how people build on the Internet. Our analysis today is focused on one question: once installed on a site, do JavaScript libraries ever get updated?Let’s consider jQuery, the most popular JavaScript library on Earth. This chart shows the number of requests made for a selected list of jQuery versions over the past 12 months:Spikes in the CDNJS data as you see with version 3.3.1 are not uncommon as very large sites add and remove CDNJS script tags.We see a steady rise of version 3.4.1 following its release on May 2nd, 2019. What we don’t see is a substantial decline of old versions. Version 3.2.1 shows an average popularity of 36M requests at the beginning of our sample, and 29M at the end, a decline of approximately 20%. This aligns with a corpus of research which shows the average website lasts somewhere between two and four years. What we don’t see is a decline in our old versions which come close to the volume of growth of new versions when they’re released. In fact the release of 3.4.1, as popular as it quickly becomes, doesn’t change the trend of old version deprecation at all.If you’re curious, the oldest version of jQuery CDNJS includes is 1.10.0, released on May 25, 2013. The project still gets an average of 100k requests per day, and the sites which use it are growing in popularity:To confirm our theory, let’s consider another project, TweenMax:As this package isn’t as popular as jQuery, the data has been smoothed with a one week trailing average to make it easier to identify trends.Version 1.20.4 begins the year with 18M requests, and ends it with 14M, a decline of about 23%, again in alignment with the loss of websites on the Internet. The growth of 2.1.3 shows clear evidence that the release of a new version has almost no bearing on the popularity of old versions, the trend line for those older versions doesn’t change even as 2.1.3 grows to 29M requests per day.One conclusion is whatever libraries you publish will exist on websites forever. The underlying web platform consequently must support aged conventions indefinitely if it is to continue supporting the full breadth of the web.Cloudflare is very interested in how we can contribute to a web which is kept up-to-date. Please make suggestions in the comments below.

How to Install and Delete a Theme in WordPress

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Install and Delete a Theme in WordPress appeared first on HostGator Blog. There are thousands of different WordPress themes to choose from: free themes, premium themes, even custom WordPress themes built to your specifications from scratch. Usually, throughout the life of your site, you’ll go through a handful of themes. What served your site in the initial stages might not offer you what you’re looking for a few years into the future. As a result, you’ll want to know how to install and delete WordPress themes.  Below you’ll learn how to install and delete a WordPress theme. Without learning how to install a new WordPress theme, you’ll be stuck with the default stock theme that WordPress installs. Learning how to delete a WordPress theme is a skill that will help you keep your WordPress site running lean and mean. If both of those sound confusing, don’t worry, by the end of this post, you’ll be able to both install and delete WordPress themes in your sleep. What is a WordPress Theme? A WordPress theme is a collection of files, templates, and stylesheets which will create the appearance for your site. Once you have a fresh installation of WordPress, you’ll need to install a theme to customize your website. Every theme will have its own appearance, layout, features, and design rules. The way you customize your theme will also depend on the theme that you installed.  As a general rule, premium themes (themes that you pay for) will offer you more customization features and generally perform better overall. There are thousands of free themes you can choose from, which isn’t a bad starting place. But, if you’re serious about the success of your site, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a premium WordPress themes eventually.  Regardless, here are a few things you’ll want to look for before you install a new WordPress theme: Quality reviews. One of the first things to look for is what others thought of the plugin. Wherever you download or purchase your theme, look for user reviews which dive into the things they loved and hated about the theme.Features you need. Before you install a theme make note of the features you require in a theme, like parallax scrolling or eCommerce integration. Then choose your next theme based on these requirements. Customer support. Most free themes are supported by their developers, but look for an active support forum. Premium themes often come with higher level support and even dedicated support staff.  What to Do Before You Switch WordPress Themes If you already have a WordPress theme you’ve been using to customize your site, but you want to upgrade to a new theme, then there are some things you’ll want to do before you switch. WordPress does make it very easy to switch themes, but if you want to ensure the process goes smoothly, then go through the steps below before you install a new WordPress theme. 1. Take a Site Inventory The first thing you’ll want to do is take an inventory of your existing site. When you switch themes, there are a lot of things that will transfer over, like your pages, posts, existing plugins, and more.  But, any modifications you’ve made to your existing theme will no longer be there. Plus, if you’ve been using shortcodes that came with your current theme to modify your site, then these will no longer work either. Go through your site page by page and take note of any customizations you might have made to the theme’s codebase. You’ll need to find a way to implement these changes into your new site if you want the same changes to take place. You’ll also want to note existing performance data you have on your site. There’s no point in upgrading your theme if the new theme you install slows down your website. So, before you switch over your theme, run your existing site through a tool like Pingdom or GTMetrix. Then, once you install a new theme, you can run it through the same tools, to see if your performance has improved.  2. Backup Your WordPress Site It’s always a good idea to backup your site regularly. But, it’s even more important to backup your site before you’re making any large-scale changes, like switching WordPress themes.  There’s nothing worse than losing all of that hard work you put into your site when it could have been avoided with a simple backup plugin. The way you backup your website isn’t as important as having a backup in place. For example, you could have regular website backups through your host. But, if not, you can use a WordPress backup plugin like BackUpBuddy or Updraft Plus to create a full site backup.  Even if you don’t need to use the backup, it can help prevent unfortunate incidents from occurring, like having to rebuild and rewrite all of your content from scratch.  3. Turn on Maintenance Mode If you’re getting regular traffic to your site, then you probably don’t want your users to see your site while it’s amid a facelift. Even though switching themes is a simple process, there are all kinds of little tweaks and customizations you’ll need to make to get your site back in working order. One way to do this is to use a WordPress maintenance plugin, like Coming Soon & Maintenance by SeedProd, or Under Construction. When a visitor navigates to your site, they’ll be taken to a maintenance page, instead of your work-in-progress website. You don’t have to keep this plugin activated very long, just during the time it takes to switch to your new theme and make sure your settings are 100%.  If you don’t want to install a maintenance mode plugin, then you can always switch over your WordPress theme during an hour of the day when you don’t get as much traffic. Usually, this will be close to midnight, but it depends on where in the world you’re located.  4. Don’t Forget Your Tracking or Analytics Plugins If you have your site synced with Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools, then you’ll want to make sure you don’t sever this connection. When you connect your website to these tools, you usually have a tracking code that you insert into your site. You can either enter this code into your theme’s files, your theme’s settings page, or you can use a plugin. If you used either of the first two approaches, then you might need to copy this code into a file and add it to your new theme. If you’re using a plugin to handle the connection between these tools, then your site should still be linked. But, it’s worth double-checking nonetheless.   5. Test That Everything Still Works Once you’ve installed your new WordPress theme, you’ll want to make sure any existing plugins still work with your site. Go through your plugins one by one and make sure they don’t create any theme conflicts or issues with your website.  Finally, go back through the initial notes you made in the first step and add any functions not currently present in your existing theme. Before you reveal your new site to the world, you’ll want to go through every single page on your website to make sure it looks good and is functioning the right way.  It can also be helpful to go through any interactive elements on your site like your comment section, search function, email subscriber box, social sharing buttons, and more, and make sure everything works the way it should.  How to Install a WordPress Theme If you want to install a free WordPress theme, then the best way to do this is via the WordPress theme directory within your WordPress dashboard. To do this, you have to first login to your WordPress dashboard. If you haven’t done this before, then you’ll need to look for an email that you received once WordPress was installed on your site. This email will contain your login URL, your username, and password.  Once you have this login, to your site via a link that’ll resemble the following: https://mysite.com/wp-admin. Enter your username and password, and you’ll be taken to your WordPress dashboard, which will look like the image below: Once you’re there look for a menu icon on the left-hand side titled ‘Appearance,’ hover over this, and on the drop-down menu click on ‘Themes,’ then click on the blue ‘Add Theme’ button: On this next screen you’ll be able to search for a specific theme, or you can use the ‘Feature Filter’ option to search for a new theme that has the exact features you’ve been looking for, like a WordPress theme for blogging:  After we’ve run the feature search, we’ll look through the list until we find a theme that catches our attention. In this case, we like the Modern Store theme. So, hover over it and click ‘Install.’ The WordPress theme installer will do its thing, and then the button will change to ‘Activate.’ Click this if you want to activate the WordPress theme and have this become the theme you’re using for your site.  That’s it! You’ve now successfully installed a WordPress theme on your site.  Now, let’s say you’ve downloaded a theme from somewhere else on the web. So, instead of browsing for themes, we’re going to upload it from your computer.  This section already assumes you have a WordPress theme downloaded as a .zip file on your computer.  Since we already have a theme we want to install this will be much easier. Navigate to Appearance>Themes on your WordPress dashboard. Then click ‘Add New.’  Now we’re on the same screen where we previously searched for a theme. But, instead of using the search or filter functions, we’re going to click the button that says ‘Upload Theme.’ Then, click on ‘Choose File’ and locate theme on your computer, then select ‘Install Now.’ WordPress will install the theme for you, then if you want to activate the theme, click ‘Activate’ on the next screen: Now you’ve mastered two different ways you can install a WordPress theme on your site.  How to Delete a WordPress Theme Maybe you’ve gone a little theme crazy and installed one too many themes on your site. Or, you want to get rid of themes that you’re no longer using. Whatever the reason, knowing how to delete WordPress themes is an important skill. Although you can delete a WordPress theme by connecting to your site via FTP, the easiest way is to remove a theme via your WordPress dashboard. This approach will probably be suitable for 99% of WordPress site owners. First, we’re going to login to our WordPress dashboard. If you don’t know how to do this, then refer to the beginning of the ‘How to Install a WordPress Theme’ section above. Once you’ve logged into your WordPress dashboard we’re going to navigate to Appearance>Themes, then hover over the theme we want to delete and click ‘Theme Details.’ This will bring up any relevant theme information. Then, in the lower right-hand corner, click the red ‘Delete’ button. A dialogue box will pop up asking if we want to delete the theme, and click ‘OK.’ The theme will now be removed from your site.  Before you delete a theme from your site, make sure that you’ve already activated a new theme. You don’t want to delete a theme that you’re currently using, as WordPress will switch over to another theme and the design of your site might get messed up.  Managing Your WordPress Themes Hopefully, by now, you’re confident in the process of installing and removing themes from your WordPress dashboard.  The beauty of WordPress is that it makes customization easy; you’re never stuck with your current theme choice. With the tutorial above, you should be well equipped to install and delete themes until you’ve found the perfect theme for your website. Don’t be afraid to test out multiple different themes until you settle on what’s right for your site. The beauty of this site is the more you play around with various themes, the better you’ll understand WordPress, and be equipped to better customize the theme you settle on.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Improve Your Facebook Ads With Customer Research

Social Media Examiner -

Are your Facebook ads failing to convert? Are you surveying your customers? In this article, you’ll discover how to survey your customers, use Facebook ads to target them, and interpret the results to improve your future ads. #1: Create Your Customer Survey The truth is customers don’t know what they want. Renowned marketer and best-selling […] The post How to Improve Your Facebook Ads With Customer Research appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

People of WordPress: Robert Cheleuka

WordPress.org News -

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories. Meet Robert Cheleuka Robert is a self-taught graphic and motion designer turned web designer (and aspiring web developer) from Malawi, Africa. Over the years, he has grown fond of WordPress and has become a loyal user. Still, the journey is rough. Robert Cheleuka Malawi Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. A tiny landlocked country with a population of 17 million, it’s largely rural and still considered a developing country. The average entry-level monthly pay for most skilled jobs is about $110. If you’re employed full-time in the creative industry and if you’re very lucky, you might be able to earn more than that. Employees earning more than $300 a month are rare to non-existent. Robert has been a freelance graphic designer since about 2011. He started by doing gigs from his dorm in college and from home. Earnings from his freelance jobs increased his interest in entrepreneurship and he started to consider starting his own creative agency. How Robert was introduced to WordPress Robert first came into contact with WordPress in 2014 when he and a friend started a local tech blog. Before that, all he knew was basic, outdated HTML from high school and some knowledge of Adobe Dreamweaver. They decided to use WordPress, and their new blog looked like it came from the future. They used a theme from the repo and got such positive feedback from the blog they decided to open a content and media publishing agency. While they got a few web redesign jobs thanks to the exposure the blog brought, they lacked the administrative and business skills needed and ended up going their separate ways. Then in his first real job after college Robert finally took it upon himself to learn the ins and outs of WordPress. He learned how to install WordPress on a server and did some research on customizing themes.  With that knowledge alone he got his first web design clients and started earning nearly as much as he did at his job. Robert soon realized that free WordPress themes would only take him so far, especially with his limited code skills. Because in Malawi only people who travel abroad have access to credit cards, paying for premium themes was impossible. Like many WordPress designers in developing countries, Robert turned to using pirated themes instead. He knew that was both unsafe and unethical, and decided to learn how to code. Knowing how to build themes from scratch would surely help him rise above the competition.  The WordPress community from Robert’s perspective Robert doesn’t have a lot of interaction with the WordPress community. Although he would search for solutions from blogs about WordPress he had never actually talked to or asked anyone from the community for a solution.  Robert believes that this isolation is the result of a glass ceiling — the WordPress community is partially online and partially in-person, but there isn’t a local group in Malawi. And because Malawi, like many other developing nations, lacks a way to pay online many can’t access premium support, online learning, or most other types of professional development. No matter how welcoming the people of WordPress might be, it can still feel like it mostly belongs to those with enough privilege to conduct business on the internet. WordPress & inclusion As most freelancers know, it’s really hard to learn while you also still need to earn. Add pitching to clients and shipping graphic design projects… there are only so many hours in a day. Robert didn’t have a programming background and had always been more of a creative person. In order to grow as a web designer/developer, he needed to learn PHP. Again, without access to a credit card, that was complicated. Also, free coding training wasn’t as widely available as it is now. Robert wishes that more developers would consider alternative ways for users who cannot pay for courses, themes, or plugins (whether that’s because of available infrastructure or otherwise). He wishes that WordPress tutors and developers would open up ways to accommodate aspiring learners in developing countries who cannot access plugins, courses, and themes, to be able to give back and to participate at another level. WordPress has allowed him to build an income he would have no other way of earning and it makes a huge difference. He believes sharing stories like his will hopefully make WordPress products and services become more universally available. In addition, he hopes that more aspiring, self-taught developers will find courage in reaching out to connect with others out there. Contributors Alison Rothwell (@wpfiddlybits), Yvette Sonneveld (@yvettesonneveld), Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune), Siobhan Cunningham (@siobhanseija), Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard. Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

TikTok Self-Service Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore an update of TikTok’s self-serve ad platform, how businesses are developing content on TikTok, and much more […] The post TikTok Self-Service Ads: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

What Is Colocation?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

You’re likely hearing a dizzying variety of new terminology flying around from “infrastructure as a service” to “hybrid cloud” and many more. It’s really quite simple to understand what colocation is without the cloud-related buzzwords. Yet, colocation and cloud are not unrelated concepts. This article will help you clear up the differences between these concepts and what they can mean for your business. Data Center Facility Colocation basically means getting your own space in a data center. Continue reading What Is Colocation? at InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Prepare for Your Next Job Interview

LinkedIn Official Blog -

If you set a career-related new years resolution, interviewing for jobs may be a top priority on your to-do list. But the question is, how do you stand out from the crowd and convince the people interviewing you that you’re an irreplaceable asset to the team? Fear not! Here are some ways you can ace your next interview.  Practice, practice, practice Not surprisingly, LinkedIn found that 54 percent of jobseekers say that the interview phase is challenging due to lack of confidence and... .

cPanel Pricing Changes: A Powerful Alternative

Nexcess Blog -

2020 has seen a big change for hosting clients. cPanel, a hosting admin panel that allows site owners to make changes to their hosting plans, has changed its pricing structure. As a result, the cost of hosting will likely increase for most hosting clients.  But it doesn’t need to. There are a number of cPanel alternatives available to site owners that are just as powerful (if not more powerful). Here, we’ll talk through one of those alternatives. What Is cPanel? When you host a site with any hosting provider, you’re able to make a number of changes to your hosting infrastructure. cPanel is a graphical interface that allows you to do this without having to work through the command line.  cPanel is a powerful tool for site administrators. It not only allows you to make changes to your hosting plan, it also allows you to: Add and change SSL certificates Create backups View access logs Access database administration Configure FTP settings Manage files Unfortunately, cPanel is not owned by your hosting provider. As a result, cPanel manages its own pricing structure. As of January 1, 2020, they have adopted an account-based pricing structure.  What Does the cPanel Pricing Change Mean for You? The new cost for users depends on the server and plan types they use. However, on average the cost for end-users (you) will increase by 25%-50%. Since the cost is calculated on a per-account basis, in some cases you may see costs rise by more than 100%.  This price change has come as a shock to much of the hosting community, with many users unsure of how to now keep costs low.  Luckily, we offer an alternative to cPanel, one which is just as powerful and that comes bundled with all of our hosting plans: The Nexcess Client Portal.  The Nexcess Client Portal is a custom hosting admin panel created for use by Nexcess customers. As it stands, The Nexcess Client Portal has thousands of licenses in production and as we continue to grow with our clients, we expect to increase that number by thousands more in the coming months.  cPanel Alternatives The Nexcess Client Portal is similar to cPanel. It offers all the same features your find with cPanel in a slightly different interface. In addition, you’ll be able to access and configure the technology options you find with Nexcess that you won’t find anywhere else. This includes Nexcess Auto Scaling, Elasticsearch, and the Cloud Accelerator.  The Nexcess Client Portal makes site management easy.  You’ll immediately be given access to the Nexcess Client Portal as soon as you sign up for an account. The screenshot above provides a basic overview of the Client Portal for Managed WooCommerce plans.  Depending on the application you choose for your hosting service, you’ll have access to different features. Each of these is tailored to your specific setup and is designed to make developing your site as simple as possible.  A number of tutorials for how to use the Nexcess Client Portal can be found in the Knowledge Base.  Moving to the Nexcess Client Portal If you’re not a Nexcess client yet and are interested in making the move to Nexcess services, you can get started by visiting our cloud hosting page and selecting the right plan for your requirements.  Alternatively, get in touch with a Nexcess support team member to discuss your options and how the Nexcess Client Portal can help you.  The post cPanel Pricing Changes: A Powerful Alternative appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

HostGator Customer Spotlight: Xcelencia

HostGator Blog -

The post HostGator Customer Spotlight: Xcelencia appeared first on HostGator Blog. If you’re a side hustler, who is wondering whether or not your business will succeed, I have some good news for you. Many other HostGator customers that have come before you have built a website and started exceptional side hustles. Since HostGator started as a college side project, it’s not hard to believe that catering to side hustlers is one of our company passions and missions. We do everything we can to help other side hustlers get their businesses off the ground. How do we play our part? First and foremost, we provide a drag-and-drop website builder that helps even the most novice of computer users get a professional website up in no time, and at an affordable rate. But that’s not all. We also sponsor the Side Hustle Stars Awards to help motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough. To help you stay motivated as you build your website, here’s a quick look into the success of one of our favorite side hustlers, and this year’s 2nd place Side Hustle Awards winner, Xcelencia. Who Is Xcelencia?  Xcelencia is an independent, Latin, urban recording artist and music producer who is innovating outside the traditional music industry. Not only is Xcelencia a stellar recording artist and music producer, but we were impressed with his website and wanted to learn more about him. Here is what we learned about Xcelencia. Xcelencia explained to us how he first became interested in the music business: “I started producing music at around 14, I started off with songwriting lyrics and music and quickly moved on to production and engineering by the time I was 18. My family collected vinyl records, and I remember the cover artworks drew a lot of interest from me at the time, and I wanted to understand it at a deeper level. I also remember reading lyric books from albums and trying to understand how music works.” As a side hustler, Xcelencia now gets to work on his own projects and with a team of producers.  He said, “I am grateful to work both independently on the business side, but have an amazing team of individuals that help me produce music to get it to the next level, the internet allows for collaboration from people from different parts of the world, and I am happy to be a part of the ride.” With the help of Xcelencia’s website, he can digitally share his recordings and connect with like-minded individuals. What Challenges Did Xcelencia Face and Overcome? While the music business has been good to Xcelencia, running a side hustle hasn’t been without its challenges. He explained some of his initial challenges:  “Lack of funding was always an obstacle, especially in an industry where raising capital is very difficult outside of the traditional music system. This forced me to become more creative, not only with the product, but also on the promotional and marketing aspect. It’s important to remain within the box to conform to the average consumer; however, playing outside of the box allows you to innovate and find new gaps and strategies to overcome your obstacles.” Xcelencia overcame these challenges with creative marketing and trial and error. He shared, “A lot of marketing entails a strategy but also trial and error. One of my most successful strategies included planning way in advance of the product release day to make sure that all areas were covered before launching the campaign to promote it, however, be ready to adjust as you go.” Not only does he tout the importance of trial and error, but also patience. He gives the following advice to other side hustlers:  “Patience is important in very competitive industries. Some people think competition means that there is no room for growth or impact, but rather it means there is an opportunity. The difficulty is a bit higher compared to other fields, and being patient is the secret sauce after discipline and work ethic.” Xcelencia has been successful, not just in terms of revenue, but also in terms of “the amount of positive feedback and constructive criticism” he receives from listeners, colleagues, and more. Why Choose HostGator? Reviewing Xcelencia’s website was a pleasure, and we wanted to learn why he chose HostGator to build his music website out of all other potential choices. He mentioned that HostGator came highly recommended by some friends that had been entrepreneurs for several years at the time. As he started using HostGator, he came to love the user-friendly dashboard and how support is always very helpful whenever he needs it.  He also said, “I want to focus on the growth of my business website, and HostGator allows me to! My HostGator website allows me to quickly update it to reflect my moves on social media and other platforms where I showcase my work into a single platform that can be accessed quickly and efficiently.” For more information about how you can start your own side hustle website, get started with our step-by-step guide. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Social Media ROI: How to Measure Your Social Marketing

Social Media Examiner -

Want to improve the return on investment (ROI) of your social media marketing? Are you measuring the right things? To explore everything you need to know about measuring ROI, I interview Christopher Penn on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Christopher is the chief data scientist at Trust Insights. He also hosts the In-Ear Insights podcast. […] The post Social Media ROI: How to Measure Your Social Marketing appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Top Development and Design Plugins to Make Your Website Stand Out

WP Engine -

One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress is the vast ecosystem of plugins users can choose from to modify and customize their websites. Plugins exist for a wide variety of use cases, including marketing, eCommerce, and security, just to name a few. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the top plugins out… The post Top Development and Design Plugins to Make Your Website Stand Out appeared first on WP Engine.

Do you need a dedicated IP address?

Name.com Blog -

A dedicated IP address may be necessary for certain users using a shared hosting plan. It is an add-on hosting product that can be beneficial for businesses or individuals who are experiencing high levels of website traffic or need regular access to their website FTP. Use this guide to determine if a dedicated IP address […] The post Do you need a dedicated IP address? appeared first on Name.com Blog.

For the Love of Your Business — SEO Strategies to Implement Now

The Domain.com Blog -

Do you want your business to succeed? If so, you need to learn a thing or two about SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is made up of various strategies and best practices that exist to improve your position in search engine results. Google, the dominant search engine, relies on different SEO ranking signals to determine what websites or pages are the best results for different search queries. These ranking signals consist of things like: a secure website (SSL enabled), appropriate keywords, a site’s mobile friendliness, and quality of links. When your site is optimized for SEO, you have a better chance of ranking higher in SERPs, or search engine result pages. This is vitally important considering “75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.” There are two kinds of SEO: On-page and Off-page, though we’ll mostly focus on the former in this post. So without further ado, let’s look at some SEO strategies that can help boost your business in search results. SEO Strategies for Your Business We asked our resident SEO expert, Mike, what strategies and tactics he recommends as the most impactful that you should implement ASAP. He’s developed successful SEO plans for small businesses, agencies, and large corporations, so he’s well-versed in what helps a website rank higher in search results. Here’s what he had to say. Understand Users and Their Intent Remember when typing three keywords into Google would still give you decent, relevant results? That doesn’t cut it anymore. Now, people are searching the Internet using more complex, natural speech patterns. Considering how voice search is on the rise, this trend doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. To make the most of it, you need to know a thing or two about your users. How well do you know your audience and user base? Understanding them will give you a leg up in search results. Are you wondering how that’s possible? Search engines value content and sites that users themselves find valuable. So how does Google know what content and sites users find valuable? They use information like bounce rates and dwell time to determine whether someone is staying on your page, consuming relevant content, or bouncing away because your site doesn’t meet their needs or answer their query. You can use Google Analytics to help you understand who your users are. You can figure out how they’re reaching your site, where they’re landing, and more information to help you refine the user experience of your site. Google BERT (one of Google’s newer search algorithms released in October 2019) supports your need for a user-focused site. BERT, “is Google’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP)…” and “in short, BERT can help computers understand language a bit more like humans do.” Optimizing Page Titles and Meta Descriptions Page titles and meta descriptions are some of the first things users and search engines see and they influence how your page is understood.   Page titles are the clickable titles that display in SERPs, like you see in the example below, circled in red. Depending on the browser you’re using, you may also see page titles in your tabs. Meta descriptions are little snippets of HTML content that describe the content on a page. Optimizing them for SEO is crucial. You can see Domain.com’s homepage meta description circled in blue below. Page Title Optimization Your page title is one of the most important on-page SEO ranking factors. To make the most of it, keep these tips in mind: It should be no more than 65 characters in length (including spaces.)Your most important keyword should feature in your page title.Don’t stuff it full of keywords. That’s ineffective and search engines see right through it. Meta Description Optimization Meta descriptions are brief snippets created to describe a page or site. Good meta descriptions increase the click-through rate from search results to your site. Create effective meta descriptions by: Including a CTA (call-to-action) in your meta description.Keeping your description between 50-160 characters, including spaces.While you can write longer meta descriptions, Google tends to truncate them if they’re too wordy.Including keywords is important, but don’t keyword-stuff for the sake of keyword-stuffing.   Create and Write Longer, Better Content   Articles and pages that appear on the first page of Google search results tend to average ~1890 words. If you’re still writing 500-word fluff and puff pieces, your SEO is in trouble. https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking Let’s hearken back to the first SEO strategy Mike suggested, understanding your audience. If you can find out why people are coming to your site, you can cater your content to them. Writing good content takes time, but it’s worth it because the quality of your content matters. Good content is: Engaging. It keeps people on your site longer.Shareable. If your content is good and trustworthy, others are more likely to share it and that gains you backlinks (a form of Off-page SEO.)Editable. Good content needs to be tweaked. Google likes “fresh” content, so be sure to revise your content to include updated keywords, newer facts, or reflect changes in user-behavior. Remember, search engines want to display the best results for search queries. If your page has the best, most comprehensive content that answers a question, naturally, it’ll rank higher over time. Secure Pages Having a secure website is essential to your success. You might think you can get away without SSL if you’re not running an e–commerce website or asking for user’s personal information (like via an email sign up form), but you’d be mistaken. SSL isn’t just vital for site security; it also matters for appearances’ sake — never discount the power of perception. We’ll explain below. Since Google introduced security as a ranking signal in 2014, SSL has been a must-have. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and it protects and encrypts the information passed between an end user (site visitor) and your site, and vice versa. It keeps information safe ranging from credit card details to email addresses. Without SSL, hackers and bad guys can intercept, read, and alter that information. Remember how we said perception matters? Consider this: Sites with SSL enabled have a visual indicator in the URL bar that signals the site as safe and secure. Sites without SSL, or not secure sites, show up with an ugly indicator, like you see below, that can cause site visitors to lose trust and confidence in you. Don’t push your site visitors away before they’ve had a chance to peruse your pages. Enable SSL on your site and reap the benefits of increased customer trust and the secure exchange of information on your site. Use Your SEO Tools If you’re working on SEO, it makes sense to use SEO tools designed specifically to help! As an added bonus, many of them are free. Let’s look at two resources created by Google that are indispensable to your SEO efforts. Google Analytics Use this tool to understand basic KPIs (key performance indicators) and benchmark performance. With Analytics you can: Understand your audience.Gain insight into performance fluctuations.Visualize user behavior.Create reports. Google Search Console Google Search Console has one main purpose: to help you understand how GoogleBot has interacted with your site. What’s GoogleBot? It’s Google’s Search Engine Bot that crawls webpages. It uses sitemaps and links to catalogue sites on the Internet. Google stores this information in their index, which is like a massive repository of sites that exist online. GoogleBot crawls sites using different SEO ranking factors and looks for things like broken links or updated content. When it finds these things, it updates and makes note of them in the larger index. When using Search Console, don’t forget to look at your Index Coverage Report (ICR). Your ICR: Lists both the pages you’ve submitted to Google (like via a sitemap) and all the pages Google has discovered on its own.Each page displayed in the report will fall into one of the following four buckets.ValidValid with warningsErrorExcluded Use the status of your pages to make any necessary changes to your site. For example, if you find a webpage that’s excluded from search results that shouldn’t be, you’ll need to correct it. Search Console also lets you see the queries people made to find your site! Neat, right? This is incredibly insightful information that allows you to: Improve your keywords, and therefore, your content.Understand your most valuable organic keywords.Gauge and monitor keyword movement to see what you should be targeting. Technical SEO Have you ever completed a technical audit of your site? If not, now’s the time to start. As a best practice, you should audit your site at least once a year (more if you have a complex site.) Technical site audits help you understand various things about your site, like: Are You Searchable? When people make search queries, are your pages surfacing as results?Help you understand what “noindex” tags exist on your site that shouldn’t be there.Check the validity of your webpages (especially by using Google Search Console in your audit.) Clean up Your Redirects When you click on a specific URL, but the page that loads has a different URL, it means you’ve encountered a redirect. Redirects are ways of getting people from one webpage to another.Here’s an example of how it could work. Let’s say you used to sell tons of Product A because people just loved it. But you discovered Product B, something far superior, and stopped carrying the other one.  If someone has the old page for Product A bookmarked, you can use a redirect to get them to Product B’s page instead of seeing an error.  Over time, your redirect chains can get longer and longer and that can dilute your SEO equity.This also adds load time to your pages.Check for temporary redirects and make sure they stay that way, temporary! They shouldn’t be used as long-term solutions.If you need a permanent redirect, make it a 301. We repeat, 301 redirects are permanent, but they transfer the SEO equity of your old page to your new one, unlike a temporary redirect. Evaluate Site Traffic To evaluate your site traffic you’ll need to use either Google Analytics or Google Search Console.For Google Analytics:Click on Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels > Organic Search (under default channel groupings) and select your time frame.We recommend choosing a longer time frame to really get a sense of any patterns or issues.Use this information to identify landing pages with irregular performances.Evaluate these pages individually looking for potential errors.For Google Search Console:Navigate to Performance > Search Results > Change date to “Compare.”Sort results by significant differences in your KPIs to identify and evaluate your site performance trends.Seeing a big gap in click and impression data? Bridge them by identifying the keywords you’d like to strengthen and then focus on those terms within that page(s). Update Your Robots.txt File Robots.txt files are made to communicate with web crawling robots (like GoogleBot.) These files tell the bots what webpages they can and can’t access for crawling on your site. It’s a file that creates “rules” around your domain.   Robots.txt filesMake sure no important elements from your site are being blocked from crawlers and therefore, search engines.Block elements of your site (of your choosing) from crawlers and search engines.You should always check your Robots.txt file.You can view its real-time performance from within Google Search Console, just look for the Index Coverage Report we mentioned earlier.For example, anything that results in “valid, but with warnings” means your Robots.txt file should’ve prevented those URLs from being crawled, but they’ve surfaced anyway. If this happens, make sure your Robots.txt file is set up appropriately.You could also see things marked as “excluded.” This means those URLs are appropriately and correctly blocked from SERPs by the robots.txt file.We recommend giving anything an “excluded” status a once-over to make sure you haven’t accidentally blocked any pages that should be crawlable. Review Your 404 pages 404 errors surface across pages that have been removed, deleted, or are otherwise categorized as “Bad Requests.”Do you have any 404 pages that have actually gained significant value for your site?This could be because they’ve generated a lot of backlinks, have great keyword ranking, bring in decent traffic, revenue, or a variety of other reasons.If yes, you should consider redirecting those pages (remember, 301 redirects maintain all the SEO equity that a page has built) or reconfiguring them so they’re still relevant.View your 404s with a web crawl or with Google Search Console.In Search Console, go to your Index Coverage Report and then navigate to the “Errors” section. This will display all the 404 errors that came from your sitemap.xml file.In that same report, navigate to the “Excluded” section.This will report on any pages with a 404 crawl anomaly or any pages throwing soft 404 errors. Implementing These SEO Strategies and Tips Will Boost Your Business We want your business to succeed as much as you do. That’s why we’ve compiled these SEO strategies and hope that you implement them on your website. SEO is crucial to surviving and thriving online, so don’t let your website and business get behind. If you’ve never worked on your SEO before, consider starting with this beginner’s guide to SEO. If you have any questions, or other SEO strategies you’d like to suggest, let us know in the comments. The post For the Love of Your Business — SEO Strategies to Implement Now appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

The 5 Phases of WordPress Mastery

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Starting out on the WordPress journey can be intimidating. It seems like a whole new world with lots of buttons and options. And there’s creative concerns like menus, colors, site navigation, content writing. In order to get the most out of WordPress it’s best to see your work as a series of phases in which you take on greater challenges in sequence. Beginner Phase—Learn The Bare Bones Community Phase—Join a WordPress Community Theme Phase—Start Coding a Theme Plugin Phase—Make a Plugin Master Phase—Contribute to Core After you get through these phases—even if it takes you several years—you will know your WordPress judo well. Continue reading The 5 Phases of WordPress Mastery at InMotion Hosting Blog.

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