Industry Buzz

How to Add a Live Sales Popup to Your Website

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Add a Live Sales Popup to Your Website appeared first on HostGator Blog. If you’re looking for new ways to build trust with your website visitors, have you considered adding a live sales popup to your site? Live sales popups appear in the corner of the screen so visitors browsing your site can see customer activity in real-time. These types of notifications are great at generating leads, boosting sales, and building your email list because they convince users to take action. Why Use a Live Sales Popup? There are several benefits to using live sales notifications on your site. If you run an eCommerce store, it depends on accumulating customers so it can produce enough sales to see ROI. However, If you’re going to move customers through the sales funnel, building brand credibility first is a must. Live sales notifications use FOMO, the fear of missing out, and social proof to convince customers to purchase. Visitors don’t want to feel like they’re missing out on a popular product enjoyed by many others, so they feel compelled to check it out. In the same way, when they see other people purchasing your products, it intrigues them to learn more.  Using live notifications also builds trust between brand and visitor. When customers don’t have products up close and personal to examine before they buy, the real-time activity of other users eases their doubts and pushes them in the right direction.  A whopping 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from earned media. People feel more comfortable engaging with your products and services when they know others are doing the same.  If you want users to take a specific action or navigate to a specific part of your site, live notifications can help. Let’s say you want users to sign up for your lead magnet. You can create a live popup that shows visitors signing up in real-time.  For visitors near the end of the sales funnel who are still weighing their options, live sales popups push them to make a final buying decision. It can be the factor that turns someone from a visitor into a paying customer as it wipes away their doubts.  It’s easier to increase conversions, drive sales, and build better customer relationships when you take the time to reassure your visitors. Live notifications do a great job of navigating users through buying decisions so they feel confident buying from your brand.  In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to add a live sales popup to your site so your business can boost engagement and generate sales.  How to Create a Live Sales Popup 1. Install the Plugin and Create an Account You need a sturdy, reliable WordPress plugin like TrustPulse to connect your site to the popup software. TrustPulse is a social proof plugin that’s proven to increase site conversions by 15 percent. It drives user engagement by directing visitors to a specific product or to take a specific action.  Once live, it looks like this: For the first step, download and activate the TrustPulse plugin so it’s added to your WordPress dashboard. You then need to create a TrustPulse account. Go to their website and click “Get Started For Free.” Enter your information in the field forms provided and select “Start My Risk-Free Trial Now.” 2. Create Your Campaign Once the formalities of signing up are over, it’s time to create your live popup campaign to convert more customers.  From your TrustPulse dashboard, select “Create Campaign.” Now it’s time to add the basic details, such as the campaign name and type. There are two options for campaign type:  Recent Activity – shows your website activity in real-timeOn-Fire – shows the number of people taking action on your site For this tutorial, we’ll choose “Recent Activity.” 3. Design Your Campaign Now it’s time for the fun part: designing and formatting your campaign. It’s important for any marketing campaign that you’re able to tailor your message to your brand. You see the best results by creating strategies that work for your target audience.  In the Design and Appearance section, you can customize your notifications to send the proper marketing messages and convert visitors. This includes the language, the location of the notifications on your site, and much more. Use the live preview feature to see how it looks on your site: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your campaign and test different elements to see what brings the best results.  4. Capture User Activity Now, you need to decide how you’ll capture users’ activity on your site. TrustPulse lets you choose between two platforms, AutoMagic and Zapier. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to use AutoMagic, which is easy for beginners. However, feel free to use Zapier if that’s the option you’re comfortable with. Select AutoMagic: Then, fill out the rest of the form fields to indicate where you’re capturing activity from. When you’re done, select Next Step. 5. Set Display Rules Now, you must decide where you want to display your live sales popup on your website. You can put it on every webpage or only a specific page depending on your goals.  Use the settings to pick where you display your popup notifications, choose how long to display them, and more.  6. Publish Your Campaign It’s finally time to publish your campaign and start showing visitors the real-time activity taking place on your website. You’ll see a live preview of your live sales popup. Once you’re satisfied with how it looks, click “Launch your TrustPulse campaign” to save and publish your campaign.  Start Making Money With Your Live Sales Popup If you’re going to attract visitors and turn them into paying customers, you need to build brand credibility through social proof. Adding social proof to any marketing strategy will boost your conversions and increase sales as you continue building trust with your customers.  Now that you’ve created your first live sales popup campaign, it’s time to sit back and wait for the conversions to flow in.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Featured Blog: Everyday Sociology

Everything Typepad -

"What if sociologists ran the world?" Take a look at Everyday Sociology to get an idea.  It is a sociological look at what is happening in the world - from politics, entertainment, religion, and even pop culture.  The blog features interesting, informative, and most of all entertaining commentary from sociologists around the United States. The Typepad Team

Remote Work Isn’t Just Video Conferencing: How We Built CloudflareTV

CloudFlare Blog -

At Cloudflare, we produce all types of video content, ranging from recordings of our Weekly All-Hands to product demos. Being able to stream video on demand has two major advantages when compared to live video:It encourages asynchronous communication within the organizationIt extends the life time value of the shared knowledge Historically, we haven’t had a central, secure repository of all video content that could be easily accessed from the browser. Various teams choose their own platform to share the content. If I wanted to find a recording of a product demo, for example, I’d need to search Google Drive, Gmail and Google Chat with creative keywords. Very often, I would need to reach out to individual teams to finally locate the content.So we decided we wanted to build CloudflareTV, an internal Netflix-like application that can only be accessed by Cloudflare employees and has all of our videos neatly organized and immediately watchable from the browser.We wanted to achieve the following when building CloudflareTV:Security: make sure the videos are access controlled and not publicly accessibleAuthentication: ensure the application can only be accessed by Cloudflare employeesTagging: allow the videos to be categorized so they can be found easilyOriginless: build the entire backend using Workers and Stream so we don’t need separate infrastructure for encoding, storage and deliverySecuring the videos using signed URLsEvery video uploaded to Cloudflare Stream can be locked down by requiring signed URLs. A Stream video can be marked as requiring signed URLs using the UI or by making an API call:Once locked down in this way videos can’t be accessed directly. Instead, they can only be accessed using a temporary token.In order to create signed tokens, we must first make an API call to create a key:curl -X POST -H "X-Auth-Email: {$EMAIL}" -H "X-Auth-Key: {$AUTH_KEY}" "https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/{$ACCOUNT_ID}/media/keys"The API call will return a JSON object similar to this:{ "result": { "id": "...", "pem": "...", "jwk": "...", "created": "2020-03-10T18:17:00.075188052Z" }, "success": true, "errors": [], "messages": [] }We can use the id and pem values in a Workers script that takes a video ID and returns a signed token that expires after 1 hour:async function generateToken(video_id) { var exp_time = Math.round((new Date()).getTime() / 1000)+3600; const key_data = { 'id': '{$KEY_ID}', 'pem': '{$PEM}', 'exp': exp_time } let response = await fetch('https://util.cloudflarestream.com/sign/'+video_id, { method: 'POST', body: JSON.stringify(key_data) }); let token_value = await response.text(); return token_value; } The returned signed token should look something like this:eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6IjExZDM5ZjEwY2M0NGY1NGE4ZDJlMjM5OGY3YWVlOGYzIn0.eyJzdWIiOiJiODdjOWYzOTkwYjE4ODI0ZTYzMTZlMThkOWYwY2I1ZiIsImtpZCI6IjExZDM5ZjEwY2M0NGY1NGE4ZDJlMjM5OGY3YWVlOGYzIiwiZXhwIjoiMTUzNzQ2MDM2NSIsIm5iZiI6IjE1Mzc0NTMxNjUifQ.C1BEveKi4XVeZk781K8eCGsMJrhbvj4RUB-FjybSm2xiQntFi7AqJHmj_ws591JguzOqM1q-Bz5e2dIEpllFf6JKK4DMK8S8B11Vf-bRmaIqXQ-QcpizJfewNxaBx9JdWRt8bR00DG_AaYPrMPWi9eH3w8Oim6AhfBiIAudU6qeyUXRKiolyXDle0jaP9bjsKQpqJ10K5oPWbCJ4Nf2QHBzl7Aasu6GK72hBsvPjdwTxdD5neazdxViMwqGKw6M8x_L2j2bj93X0xjiFTyHeVwyTJyj6jyPwdcOT5Bpuj6raS5Zq35qgvffXWAy_bfrWqXNHiQdSMOCNa8MsV8hljQshStream provides an embed code for each video. The “src” attribute of the embed code typically contains the video ID. But if the video is private, instead of setting the “src” attribute to the video ID, you set it to the signed token value:<stream src="eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6IjExZDM5ZjEwY2M0NGY1NGE4ZDJlMjM5OGY3YWVlOGYzIn0.eyJzdWIiOiJiODdjOWYzOTkwYjE4ODI0ZTYzMTZlMThkOWYwY2I1ZiIsImtpZCI6IjExZDM5ZjEwY2M0NGY1NGE4ZDJlMjM5OGY3YWVlOGYzIiwiZXhwIjoiMTUzNzQ2MDM2NSIsIm5iZiI6IjE1Mzc0NTMxNjUifQ.C1BEveKi4XVeZk781K8eCGsMJrhbvj4RUB-FjybSm2xiQntFi7AqJHmj_ws591JguzOqM1q-Bz5e2dIEpllFf6JKK4DMK8S8B11Vf-bRmaIqXQ-QcpizJfewNxaBx9JdWRt8bR00DG_AaYPrMPWi9eH3w8Oim6AhfBiIAudU6qeyUXRKiolyXDle0jaP9bjsKQpqJ10K5oPWbCJ4Nf2QHBzl7Aasu6GK72hBsvPjdwTxdD5neazdxViMwqGKw6M8x_L2j2bj93X0xjiFTyHeVwyTJyj6jyPwdcOT5Bpuj6raS5Zq35qgvffXWAy_bfrWqXNHiQdSMOCNa8MsV8hljQsh" controls></stream> <script data-cfasync="false" defer type="text/javascript" src="https://embed.videodelivery.net/embed/r4xu.fla9.latest.js"></script> Tagging videosWe would like to categorize videos uploaded to Stream by tagging them. This can be done by updating the video object’s meta field and passing it arbitrary JSON data. To categorize a video, we simply update the meta field with a comma-delimited list of tags:curl -X POST -d '{"uid": "VIDEO_ID", "meta": {"tags": "All Hands,Stream"}}' "https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/{$ACCOUNT_ID}/stream/{$VIDEO_ID}" -H "X-Auth-Email: {$EMAIL}" -H "X-Auth-Key: {$ACCOUNT_KEY}" -H "Content-Type: application/json"Later, we will create a getVideos Worker function to fetch a list of videos and all associated data so we can render the UI. The tagging data we just set for this video will be included in the video data returned by the Worker.Fetching Video Data using WorkersThe heart of the UI is a list of videos. How do we get this list of videos programmatically? Stream provides an endpoint that returns all the videos and any metadata associated with them.First, we set up environment variables for our Worker:Next, we wrote a simple Workers function to call the Stream API and return a list of videos, eliminating the need for an origin:async function getVideos() { const headers = { 'X-Auth-Key': CF_KEY, 'X-Auth-Email': CF_EMAIL } let response = await fetch(“https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/” + CF_ACCOUNT_ID + '/stream', { headers: headers }); let video_list = await response.text(); return video_list; }Lastly, we set up a zone and within the zone, we set up a Worker routes pointing to our Workers script. This can be done from the Workers tab:Authenticating using Cloudflare AccessFinally, we want to restrict access to CloudflareTV to people within the organization. We can do this using Cloudflare Access, available under the Access tab.To restrict access to CloudflareTV, we must do two things: Add a new login methodAdd an access policyTo add a new login method, click the “+” icon and choose your identity provider. In our case, we chose Google:You will see a pop up asking for information including Client ID and Client Secret, both key pieces of information required to set up Google as the identity provider.Once we add an identity provider, we want to tell Access “who specifically should be allowed to access our application?” This is done by creating an Access Policy.We set up an Access Policy to only allow emails ending in our domain name. This effectively makes CloudflareTV only accessible by our team!What’s next?If you have interesting ideas around video, Cloudflare Stream lets you focus on your idea while it handles storage, encoding and the viewing experience for your users. Coupled that with Access and Workers, you can build powerful applications. Here are the docs to help you get started:Cloudflare Stream Developer DocsSetting up Cloudflare AccessWorkers Quick Start

Successful Facebook Ads on a Small Budget

Social Media Examiner -

Wondering how to advertise successfully on Facebook? Want to avoid wasting money and time when you test your Facebook ads? To explore how to create Facebook ads that work for all budgets, I interview Tara Zirker on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Tara is a Facebook ads expert and founder of the Successful Ads Club, […] The post Successful Facebook Ads on a Small Budget appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Using Cloudflare Gateway to Stay Productive (and turn off distractions) While Working Remotely

CloudFlare Blog -

This week, like many of you reading this article, I am working from home. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it hard to stay focused when the Internet is full of news related to the coronavirus. CNN. Twitter. Fox News. It doesn’t matter where you look, everyone is vying for your attention. It’s totally riveting…… and it’s really hard not to get distracted.It got me annoyed enough that I decided to do something about it. Using Cloudflare’s new product, Cloudflare Gateway, I removed all the online distractions I normally get snared by — at least during working hours.This blog post isn’t very long, but that’s a function of how easy it is to get Gateway up and running!Getting StartedTo get started, you’ll want to set up Gateway under your Cloudflare account. Head to the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard to set it up for free (if you don’t already have a Cloudflare account, hit the ‘Sign up’ button beneath the login form).If you are using Gateway for the first time, the dashboard will take you through an onboarding experience:The onboarding flow will help you set up your first location. A location is usually a physical entity like your home, office, store or a data center. When you are setting up your location, the dashboard will automatically identify your IP address and create a location using that IP. Gateway will associate requests from your router or device by matching requests with your location by using the linked IP address of your location (for an IPv4 network). If you are curious, you can read more about how Gateway determines your location here.Before you complete the setup you will have to change your router’s DNS settings by removing the existing DNS resolvers and adding Cloudflare Gateway’s recursive DNS resolvers:172.64.36.1172.64.36.2How you configure your DNS settings may vary by router or a device, so we created a page to show you how to change DNS settings for different devices.You can also watch this video to learn how to setup Gateway:Deep WorkNext up, in the dashboard, I am going to go to my policies and create a policy that will block my access to distracting sites. You can call your policy anything you want, but I am going to call mine “Deep work.” And I will add a few websites that I don’t want to get distracted by, like CNN, Fox News and Twitter.After I add the domains, I hit Save. If you find the prospect of blocking all of these websites cumbersome, you can use category-based DNS filtering to block all domains that are associated with a category (‘Content categories’ have limited capabilities on Gateway’s free tier).So if I select Sports, all websites that are related to Sports will now be blocked by Gateway. This will take most people a few minutes to complete. And once you set the rules by hitting ‘Save’, it will take just seconds for the selected policies to propagate across all of Cloudflare’s data centers, spread across more than 200 cities around the world.How can I test if Gateway is blocking the websites?If you now try to go to one of the blocked websites, you will see the following page on your browser:Cloudflare Gateway is letting your browser know that the website you blocked is unreachable. You can also test if Gateway is working by using dig or nslookup on your machine:If a domain is blocked, you will see the following in the DNS response status: REFUSED.This means that the policy you created is working!And once working hours are over, it’s back to being glued to the latest news.If you’d rather watch this in video format, here’s one I recorded earlier:And to everyone dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 and working from home — stay safe!

7 Ways to Still Get on Your Audience’s Facebook News Feeds WITHOUT Paying for Ads

HostGator Blog -

The post 7 Ways to Still Get on Your Audience’s Facebook News Feeds WITHOUT Paying for Ads appeared first on HostGator Blog. Getting your blog or website onto your Facebook fan’s news feed used to be easy – after all, they were your fans and you already put in the work to win them over! They Like you, you post, they see it. Then, almost overnight, it became really difficult to reach your fans when Facebook introduced Boosted Posts. Now you had to pay a tiny bit to get eyeballs. Even with boosting, it’s still difficult to achieve that organic 1-1 fan relationship feeling again, right? So how are the coolest, most personalized brands still talking to their fans, and getting new fans right from the newsfeed for free? In this post I’ll show you 7 actionable ways to still get on your fan audience’s news feed without paying for Facebook ads. In fact, these 7 methods will results in MORE traction than ads would get you. If you have 500-1000 or more fans just waiting for your next post, this info could help you really mobilize people and get them talking about your brand! What Matters on Facebook in 2020: Engagement is Everything So it’s no secret anymore that more Likes don’t really matter. In fact,SocialSamosa did a study showing that only 1% of users who like a business page will actually visit that brand’s Facebook page. In order to understand how Likes are useless, think about all the pages you like. There’s a good chance you like that page either because Facebook suggested it, or you got something for it, or you just at some point wanted to show some support. So what does matter for your brand on Facebook? Engagement. The Dave Ryan in the Morning Show began with just three friends in a basement and now dominates Midwestern radio air waves every morning.  Engagement, aka your ability to use Facebook to connect with real users and show them you’re a real person too. This big “E” word is one reason Groups are the new Pages. The Dave Ryan in the Morning Facebook page is one I always think of when it comes to engagement. They publish simple, relatable questions that often have to do with talk show topics. Simple questions + relevant topics = tons of Engagement Take one look at theirPage posts and you’ll see tons of engagement. I often chime in too just because it’s easy, and you know others will see your response. Engagement also affects the visibility of your content. If you just link blast your new content, while it may be amazing and revolutionary, this isn’t really an engaging way of using Facebook, and you’ll be disappointed with the visibility you get then probably think “well, Facebook doesn’t work anymore.” But if you post a relevant, timely question to your fans, you’ll get a lot more engagement because among other reasons it sparks conversation. This engagement will snowball into more visibility and more engagement and so on and so on. Finally, from Neil Patel’s blog, a new way to look at your Facebook efforts: If the viral power of Facebook has dried up, then work on generating conversation. Talk to your fans. Use it as a communication portal, rather than a way to build up likes. Now that we know what still matters on Facebook in 2020 (Engagement and Conversation) let’s look at how to tailor your efforts to get in on the action. 7 Ways to Still Get on Your Fan Audience’s News Feeds for FREE As I mentioned above, Groups are slowly becoming the new Pages and are sending a ton of quality traffic to valuable pages on brand websites. Facebook is the largest social network by far and being the first to the scene has allowed the to boast over1.23 billion monthly active users. Why wouldn’t you want to stir things up on Facebook? For every reader your acquire through blood sweat and tears working on your blog, there are probably 100 more just like them with the same interest profile on Facebook. Here’s how to get in on the action: Create a Facebook GroupAs we mentioned above, Groups are the new Pages, but why? It’s simple really. Groups are a place where you have to be invited or actually allow in, while Pages are open to anyone. That one simple exclusivity characteristic can make people feel a belonging and relationship to others. It probably doesn’t hurt that Facebook advertises Groups these days (which hints at their increased importance in the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm).Post Relevant Questions to your Group/PageOnce you’ve got your new Group or old Page, it’ll be tempting to link blast but DON’T. Think about questions on your readers mind and ask them. The more intriguing and relevant the question, the more likely you’ll get a response. The key is also not to get down if you get zero interaction. It often takes several post to get people’s attention, and break down that natural laziness barrier we almost all possess when we’re online.Repost Questions from Your Other Social SitesAlready have traction on Twitter, YouTube, or maybe your newsletter? Reposting questions is a great way to get new people talking about topics you’ve already covered. After your repost the question or a screenshot of it, answer the question but not completely, so you still leave room for discussion. If you’re still not getting any engagement, ask your friends personally to respond to the questions with something funny!Create Banners with Weekly ThemesTime to get a big coffee from your favorite shop and create some unique promotion content around your brand. Things like “WordPress Wednesdays” which is a weekly topic on the WPBeginner Group are amazing for bringing people together each week. You can use the same banners each time, too!Use PollsPretty simple here, you can use Facebook’s built in polls or any number of apps to ask questions and poll folks for the answers. Try to ask questions where people will be surprised about the answers, and maybe even feel a little personal involvement in the issue.Find Your Fans Posts, and Interact!I know it’s a little bit of leg work but it’s worth it. Maybe you’ve just helped Ann Doe signup to your online course, and are super excited about her participation. Go thank this person on Facebook and mention your own product in a savvy way. There’s nothing wrong with tooting your own horn a little and begin excited about someone’s participation in your work. I think it was Pat Flynn who said, “Try to sell to people on Facebook is like butting into a conversation at a cocktail party and asking if someone wants to buy your duct tape”. So, think of Facebook as a big open party where lots of people are talking, but also a party you want to be respected at, and you’ll be in the right mindset to find people.Go Live!It’s a little bit scary to go live because what if your hair looks awful, but it’s actually a fun and empowering activity. Try going live during important national events or important personal events and use hashtags. Maybe it’s Thanksgiving and you want to thank your fans for allowing you to work through social media and blogging. Just being a part of these big moments shows your Fans you’re thinking about them, and gives you the stage for a few minutes. I hope the above 7 ways to generate more Facebook engagement for free have given you some inspiration to use Facebook in new and interesting ways. Remember: If you hear crickets at first, keep at it! It takes EVERYONE a few times seeing a person or brand before we give in and interact. Seriously! Conclusion: How will you grow Facebook engagement for free? Were you down in the dumps with your Facebook efforts before reading this post? Do you have hundreds or even thousands of fans on a Page just collecting dust? Let us know where you’re at with Facebook content marketing, and we’ll try to help out in the comments! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

You Are Not Alone: Why Now Is an Even More Important Time to Give and Get Help From Your Community

LinkedIn Official Blog -

We have seen so many inspiring comments and posts over the past week as everyone pulls together in this unprecedented and uncertain time. It's happening in our neighborhoods, in the local greater San Francisco area, in news stories around the world, and within our very own LinkedIn community. Scientists are offering to do free Q&As with kids stuck at home, CEOs are offering advice and guidance to struggling smaller businesses, and countless members are offering calming and inspirational words... .

Working From Home? Here’s How AWS Can Help

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Just a few weeks and so much has changed. Old ways of living, working, meeting, greeting, and communicating are gone for a while. Friendly handshakes and warm hugs are not healthy or socially acceptable at the moment. My colleagues and I are aware that many people are dealing with changes in their work, school, and community environments. We’re taking measures to support our customers, communities, and employees to help them to adjust and deal with the situation, and will continue to do more. Working from Home With people in many cities and countries now being asked to work or learn from home, we believe that some of our services can help to make the transition from the office or the classroom to the home just a bit easier. Here’s an overview of our solutions: Amazon WorkSpaces lets you launch virtual Windows and Linux desktops that can be accessed anywhere and from any device. These desktops can be used for remote work, remote training, and more. Amazon WorkDocs makes it easy for you to collaborate with others, also from anywhere and on any device. You can create, edit, share, and review content, all stored centrally on AWS. Amazon Chime supports online meetings with up to 100 participants (growing to 250 later this month), including chats and video calls, all from a single application. Amazon Connect lets you set up a call or contact center in the cloud, with the ability to route incoming calls and messages to tens of thousands of agents. You can use this to provide emergency information or personalized customer service, while the agents are working from home. Amazon AppStream lets you deliver desktop applications to any computer. You can deliver enterprise, educational, or telemedicine apps at scale, including those that make use of GPUs for computation or 3D rendering. AWS Client VPN lets you set up secure connections to your AWS and on-premises networks from anywhere. You can give your employees, students, or researchers the ability to “dial in” (as we used to say) to your existing network. AWS Chatbot lets you monitor and interact with your AWS resources in Slack channels and Chime chat rooms. Some of these services have special offers designed to make it easier for you to get started at no charge; others are already available to you under the AWS Free Tier. You can learn more on the home page for each service, on our new Remote Working & Learning page, and in Work from Home Offer for Amazon WorkSpaces. You can sign up for and start using these services without talking to us, but we are here to help if you need more information or need some help in choosing the right service(s) for your needs. Here are some points of contact: Public Sector – Live Chat. General – Contact Us / Live Chat. If you are already an AWS customer, your Technical Account Manager (TAM) and Solutions Architect (SA) will be happy to help. You can also reach out to AWS Support via a Support Case if you have an urgent need. Some Useful Content I am starting a collection of other AWS-related content that will help you use these services and work-from-home as efficiently as possible. Here’s what I have so far: Best Practices for Remote Work Using Amazon Chime. How to live-stream Meetups on Twitch Without any Special Equipment. Quickly Set up Remote Contact Center Agents with Amazon Connect. How to Build an Online Learning Platform that Engages and Educates Students at Scale with Amazon Kendra, Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Translate, and More. Getting Started with Jitsi – An Open Source Web Conferencing Solution. New Offers to Enable Work from Home from Amazon WorkSpaces and Amazon WorkDocs. How to use AWS Educate Classroom to Replace the Physical Lab for Online Teaching. AWS Cloud Lab – One more Real AWS Educational Use Case Part 1. Hero Tips of Using AWS for Online Teaching. AWS Launches Initiative to Accelerate COVID-19 Diagnostics, Research, and Testing. Hero Tips of Using Amazon Chime for Online Teaching. If you create something similar, share it with me and I’ll add it to my list. Please Stay Tuned This is, needless to say, a dynamic and unprecedented situation and we are all learning as we go. I do want you to know that we’re doing our best to help. If there’s something else that you need, please do not hesitate to reach out. Go through your normal AWS channels first, but contact me if you are in a special situation and I’ll do my best! — Jeff;  

WPBlockTalk: A Free Online Event Focused on the Block Editor

WordPress.com News -

Ready to explore the possibilities with the block editor? WPBlockTalk is a free and live virtual event that will bring together designers, developers, and other WordPress enthusiasts from across the WordPress community. Topics to expect: Building the block editor: what it takes to develop the block editor, what features are on the roadmap, and how you can contributeDeveloping blocks: inspiration and ideas for developing your own custom blocksDesigning with blocks: learn more about using blocks to make powerful and versatile layouts and templates If you’re passionate and curious about the future of WordPress, then this April 2 event is for you! If you’re busy that day, don’t worry — all the talks will also be published on WordPress.tv for you to watch (and re-watch) whenever you like. In the meantime, join the WPBlockTalk email list for registration details, speaker and schedule updates, and more. We look forward to seeing you online!

Work-From-Home Tips for the Avid Office Dweller

HostGator Blog -

The post Work-From-Home Tips for the Avid Office Dweller appeared first on HostGator Blog. We all have those “I wish I could stay home and wear my pajama pants instead of going to work” days. Enter the Coronavirus or COVID-19 and your “work from home” days come true.  With health and wellness in mind, companies across the globe are sending employees home to work.  So we polled our blog team and put together these tips for coping at home without your fav office buds.    1. Confirm the preferred method of communication that’s appropriate for your team.  First of all, follow the protocol set by your company and your boss. If your company tells you to work from home, do it. If your company tells you otherwise, follow their instructions.   “Work with your team to figure out the best ways to replicate the kind of communication you have in the office. Will you be better served by staying in touch via Slack throughout the day, sticking with emails, or having Skype or Zoom check-ins once a week?” – Kristen Hicks, HostGator blog writer  2. Work in a room with a door you can close.  Not everyone has an in-home office. If other people (or four-legged friends) are in the home with you, set up a temporary workspace in a room where you can close the door.  “Besides helping to shut out background noise when you’re on conference calls, closing the door – at least during meetings and when you really need to focus –  is a visual cue to kids and other people living with you that you shouldn’t be interrupted.” – Casey Kelly-Barton, HostGator blog writer  “If working from home is new to you, you may not have a spare room you can suddenly turn into an office. Resist the temptation to work from bed or the couch. As the saying goes about not mixing work and play, you don’t want to mix work and sleep. Working from bed creates a dangerous association in your mind of your bed as a place of stress and activity, instead of sleep and relaxation.” – Amelia Willson, freelance writer and HostGator customer.  3. Got kids at home? Plan a daily schedule to keep those cuties busy.  If you’re on your own juggling work and kids, give yourself permission to plop the kids in front of a movie when you’re working on your most high-value tasks.  “Don’t feel guilty over emergency screen time. Kids are resilient. This is an unusual situation, and the fact that you’re balancing remote work and childcare on the fly makes you the parent of the year!” – Casey Kelly-Barton, HostGator blog writer  Plan activities for the day to keep kids entertained while they are at home. Make a run to the local drugstore or dollar store for coloring books and crayons or other age-appropriate activities. Plan out a simple schedule for your children to follow, and schedule quiet activities – like a movie – during your high visibility meetings.  4. Keep pets out of your workspace during conference calls and video meetings.  “It’s easy to forget how disruptive pets can be until Fido starts barking like a maniac during a client phone call. Hand out chew toys during calls and conferences to buy their silence if you need to.” – Casey Kelly-Barton, HostGator blog writer  “My dog is really distracted by me being home. I’m waking up early to take her for walks and wear her out.” – Emily Hill, Senior Manager of Brand & Communications for HostGator  5: Take breaks & get some physical activity.  It’s natural to get up and move around the office. But you may find yourself getting up from the laptop less now that you’re working from home. A little prancercise, anyone?  “Consider exercise videos or going for a walk if your neighborhood allows you to keep a safe distance from people. Also, exercise is good for productivity and energy, so don’t feel guilty about making time for it.” – Kristin Hicks, HostGator blog writer  “A quick walk with your dog or listening to music or a podcast, are great ways to free the mind and help you context-switch between projects. During this time of social distancing, you might use your break to call and check in on a friend. Just limit your breaks to 20 to 30 minutes, tops. Otherwise, it’s too easy to fall into Netflix mode.” – Amelia Willson, freelance writer & HostGator customer  What tips do YOU have? Comment below! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

PHP 7.4 Now Available to WP Engine Customers

WP Engine -

Optimizing your WordPress site for speed and security is far from easy, but one simple step that can yield immediate results is making sure you’re running the most up-to-date version of Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP. At WP Engine, we work hard to make sure our customers have access to the latest versions of PHP, and… The post PHP 7.4 Now Available to WP Engine Customers appeared first on WP Engine.

Design Series Part I – Selecting the Right Theme for Your Website

BigRock Blog -

Setting up a website takes time and patience. After all, it is not just about registering a domain and purchasing hosting, there is a lot more. One of the most important aspects of website planning is designing your website. In this three-part series, we will walk you through the design process – what elements are needed and how to go about it.  In our first article of the series, we will explore themes and how they add to your website design. Themes – What and Why? Themes are ready-to-install design templates. They are a great way to design your website in a way that saves time and coding effort. In fact, if coding is a challenge or if you don’t want to hire a web designer then themes are a great way to design your website.  Simply put, a theme helps you –  Style your website  Look professional Define the layout of your website Enhance your user experience Save coding time and invest in generating the content  So, now you know how a theme helps you but how do you determine what kind of theme works with your content? Well, there is no definite answer to that, however, here are some tips that might help you. If you have a travel website/ photography blog/ food blog – basically a  website that might have more photos then a theme that showcases pictures is the one to go for. The idea is in such websites, the content is the photographs so they must stand out. If you have a medical website/ technical/ educational – ensure you go for a non-fussy and professional theme that doesn’t have too much clutter. Preferably white or other pastel shades. If you a are a web designer/ freelance writer/ artist/ interior designer – you can choose an artistic and colourful theme that speaks volumes about your skills and creativity. You can experiment with bold and quirky colours like blues, purple, yellow and more quite easily. Now that we have seen what themes are and how they help you design your website. Let us now understand the key things to look out for when choosing a theme. 4 Things to Lookout for When Choosing a Theme  Irrespective of the type of website you have (photography, medical, real estate, food etc.) there are some elements that are common to all. Moreover, with so many different themes available on the internet today it is important to figure out what the non-negotiable items are that your theme needs to have.  Here is a list of 4 things your theme should not miss: 1. Responsive Page Design A responsive theme is the one which adapts to the changing display model. Simply put, whether you load your website on a desktop or mobile device the design isn’t distorted and is easily adjustable to the screen size. Example of Responsive Website This is important because a vast majority of users these days prefer mobile devices over desktops.  One of the advantages of choosing a responsive design theme is that you need not create and manage multiple website copies. Furthermore, it improves the user experience. If you have a WordPress website, then here is a list of about 62 Best Responsive WordPress themes compiled by colorlib. 2. SEO SEO or Search Engine Optimization is critical when it comes to your website’s ranking. Moreover, given Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm, it is vital your website theme is mobile-friendly or it can result in lower page rank impacting your website’s SEO. Mobile-Friendly Test powered by Google helps you test if your website is mobile-friendly or not, and what changes to make. Fun Fact: If your website is responsive, it improves your website’s SEO. 3. Customisation options Don’t we all look for customisation in everything we purchase? After all, no one wants to be called a copycat, do they? However, with ready-to-install themes, this can be an issue. Nevertheless, a little bit of customisation always helps. Most WordPress themes, whether free or paid, offer customisation.  Customisation includes installing widgets and plugins, changing the layout of your website elements, changing title and tagline, changing header media and much more. Whenever you are customising your website make sure that you do not make it bulky by adding too many widgets or plugins, as it will slow down your website loading speed. A slow-loading website then affects your user experience, as well as, SEO ranking. 4. Social Media  Choosing a theme that has inbuilt social media sharing icons is a great way to connect your website to social media portals.  Take, for example, you have a travel blog. A reader loved a post on it and would like to share it on their Facebook page, they would have to copy the URL and then share it. However, the con of this is, the user might forget or think this is too much work and not share your blog. But, if you have social share icons on your website, it becomes easier for the user to share the content.  If your theme doesn’t have inbuilt social media sharing icons you can always install a plugin to support it, Apart from these 4 things, take care that the theme you choose has good support and is updated regularly. An older theme that hasn’t been updated for a while can be risky as they might not be compatible with the latest version of your WordPress. This increases the chances of security breaches and threats. Conclusion  The right theme can help make or break your website, however, it is not always possible the theme you like should have everything you need. Decide what all things are vital for you and opt for the theme offering the same. Research always helps, so don’t settle until you find the right theme for your website. Sometimes you will need to change and tweak things a bit, don’t be afraid and experiment. A theme is, after all, a template you can always go back to where you began. So what are you waiting for? Go explore and find the right theme for your website!  

How to Use WordPress Website Builders to Easily Create Your Website

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Use WordPress Website Builders to Easily Create Your Website appeared first on HostGator Blog. Building a website as a beginner used to be near impossible to do yourself. You had to either spend hours upon hours learning how to code, or you had to hire a developer to build your site for you. Luckily, those times have changed for the better. First, we had the introduction of WordPress, which allowed complete beginners to create and customize their sites. But even then, WordPress had a bit of a learning curve when making changes to the overall design of your site. In recent years, we had an explosion of website builders. These tools allowed complete beginners to customize the design of a site without any coding or development skills. Today we have the best of both worlds with the introduction of WordPress page builders. These plugins combine the power of WordPress with the ease of a website builder, which is what this post is all about. If you’re here to build your very first WordPress website with a drag and drop page builder, then you’re in the right place. Below you’ll learn all about WordPress website builders and how you can use them to build your very first website. What is WordPress? WordPress is a CMS, or content management system. It was originally built as a blogging system, but it has since evolved into a full-fledged website builder. Technically, WordPress is a self-hosted open-source content management system. You can build a site with WordPress, but it’s not technically a website builder (as you’ll learn below). With WordPress, you install the core version of WordPress on your website. Then, you choose and install a WordPress theme, which will form the foundation for your website. Your theme is what will control how your website looks and functions. Then, if you want to add more features to your website you can install a WordPress plugin. The true power of WordPress comes from its content management abilities. It’s used to run and manage some of the biggest content-driven sites across the web. Is WordPress a Website Builder? Technically, a website builder is a tool that allows you to build a website. Looking at this, WordPress is a website builder of sorts. However, the website builder market today is full of all-in-one website building tools, which are equipped with drag and drop features. Just sign up for a single service and you can do everything under one roof. WordPress isn’t really a website builder, per se, but it does have website building functionality. However, you can unlock the features of most other popular website builders, like drag and drop functionality, with the help of a WordPress page builder plugin. What Is a WordPress Page Builder? A WordPress page builder is a plugin that enables drag and drop design functionality on top of WordPress. Once activated this kind of plugin creates a beginner-friendly design environment that allows users to build custom websites with ease. Since it’s drag and drop, you don’t have to touch the backend code. The plugin automatically creates clean code for you as you design your site. It’s a great system for business owners on a budget, who want a custom website and want to use WordPress, but don’t want to hire an expensive designer to build their sites for them. Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins The page builder plugin market has exploded in recent years and it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to beat the power and content management abilities of WordPress, combined with the beginner-friendly features of a page builder. Here are some of the most popular WordPress page builder plugins on the market today: 1. Elementor Elementor is both a free and premium WordPress plugin. For a lot of users, the free version will be more than enough to build a custom website. The free version is a pretty powerful page builder. Plus, it’s incredibly fast, even being packed with features, all of the changes are reflected instantly. You can add a lot of cool effects to your site with this plugin, like animations, shapes, moving backgrounds, and more. Just choose any widget you’d like from the sidebar and drop it into the page you’re building. There are over 25 different widgets to choose from. You’ll also find a library of page templates you can choose from to give your site-building experience a head start. 2. WP Page Builder WP Page Builder is a free page builder plugin that’s been on the market for only two years, making it one of the newest plugins on the list. The design of this plugin is very simple, which makes it very easy to use. It’s equipped with a variety of pre-built elements, page sections, and complete layouts. These make it easy to create a brand new page of your site in a few minutes. Like other plugins it’s a live editor, so you can see your changes in real-time. Plus, it has drag and drop functionality, so you can quickly move any site element around the page. Overall, it’s packed with advanced features all at an affordable price. 3. Beaver Builder Beaver Builder is a premium drag and drop website builder plugin for WordPress. However, there’s also a free version of the plugin available with a limited feature set. When you first install the plugin there’s an in-depth tutorial that’ll get you up to speed on using the plugin quickly. This plugin supports designing your site in real-time, so you can see what the changes look like instantly. Just drop elements from the sidebar onto the page you’re building and rearrange them as you wish. There are all kinds of content modules you can choose from to add unique elements to your site like sliders, content blocks, buttons, media, backgrounds, and more. 4. Visual Composer Visual Composer is a WordPress page builder that’s built for beginners to experts alike. It’s packed to the brim with different design elements and features. For example, you’ll find over 50 different content elements and 100 different layouts. Plus, you’ll find over 200 different third-party add-ons. Whatever kind of content element or customization you want to make to your site, you’ll be able to do it with this plugin. The design process is a bit different with this plugin, as you have both a frontend and backend visual editor. The frontend editor lets you see changes that you make to the design of your site, while the backend editor is a grid-based system that affects the layout of your site. When you design a site with this tool you can enable a similar layout to the layers feature in Photoshop, which allows you to easily move between different elements. Benefits of Using a WordPress Website Builder Plugin If you want to create a custom WordPress website and you don’t come from a development background, then using a WordPress website builder plugin is going to be your best bet. Here are just a few reasons you’ll want to use a WordPress page builder when creating your new website: 1. Real-Time Website Editing Being able to see the changes you make reflected in real-time is a huge time saver. Once you start designing your site this way it’ll be hard to go back. You don’t need to write code either. Just select a pre-made template, and start adding new content blocks and rearranging other website elements, until you have a site that you love. As soon as you make a change to your site, you’ll immediately see how it looks and functions. You no longer have to go back and forth between saving changes and viewing your site, it all happens instantaneously. 2. Access to Advanced Features Most website builders are equipped with advanced site functions. You’re not just building a basic HTML and CSS website. You’re building a website with super-advanced functionality and features. And you’re doing it all on your own. Most website builders give you access to things like: Custom web forms. These are contact forms, sign up forms, opt-ins, and more. Plus, you can create all of these forms without having to install a plugin. Advanced image carousels. These are full-screen image sliders, and other image effects that you can use without additional plugins. Accordion text. This is a cool feature that can hide and expand text, making your site more interactive. Tables and pricing elements. Showcase your services and products in unique tables that allow you easy package pricing. Animated elements. Access a library of advanced animation effects you can use to draw visitors into your site. 3. Pre-made Layouts and Content Blocks Nearly every website builder is equipped with pre-made layouts and content blocks. These layouts are templates created by professional designers. Instead of starting from scratch you can start with a foundation and then simply modify to your liking. These layouts are broken down on two levels. The first is depending on the niche you’re in, and the second is based on the type of page you’re creating. For example, you’ll find templates for business sites, a local cafe, a massage studio, an online magazine and also templates for specific pages like about pages, product pages, contact pages, and more. 4. Built with Beginners in Mind If you couldn’t guess by now, WordPress page builders are built for complete beginners. Even if you’ve never built a website before, you can use a page builder to create a stunning website. It might take you longer than someone experienced with the tool, but the learning curve is very low. The visual nature of the tools removes all the technical aspects of creating a website and turns it more into an art project. Should I Use a WordPress Page Builder Plugin? The answer to this question will differ depending on the type of site you’re trying to create. Here are some considerations to take into account when trying to decide whether or not you should use a website builder, or just customize the standard theme without one. The real question you need to ask is: how much do I need to customize my site? If the theme you installed is very close to how you want your site to look, then you probably don’t need to use a page builder. You can just tweak the theme settings to get the kind of site you want. Page builders are best for when you want to create unique pages and redesign existing pages, or the complete layout of your website. How to Install a WordPress Page Builder Plugin By now you know whether or not you’re going to use a page builder plugin to customize your site. If you decided yes, then follow the steps below to install a page builder plugin and start customizing your site. 1. Login to WordPress The first thing you’ll need to do is login to the backend of your WordPress site. Once you’re there, click on Plugins>Add New. 2. Search for Your Plugin of Choice On the plugin screen, search for the WordPress page builder plugin you want to use, in this case we’re going to search for the “Elementor” plugin: Once you’ve found it, click ‘Install’ then ‘Activate’. If you’ve previously downloaded the plugin, then you’ll want to click the ‘Upload Plugin’ button and upload the zip file downloaded on your computer.  If you happened to go right for the premium version of any of the page builder plugins mentioned above you’ll need to upload the plugin as well.  3. Activate and Start Building Now, on the left-hand sidebar you should see a tab with the name of the plugin. Click on it and you’ll be taken to the plugin settings screen.  Here are the general settings for the Elementor plugin: With the plugin installed you can start creating different pages and editing existing pages with the site building tool. For example, here’s what the editing screen looks like with the Elementor builder active. With Elementor we can rearrange any existing elements on the screen, or drag different elements from the left-hand sidebar over onto our sites.  When you click on any existing site element the options menu will change to reflect how you can adjust and tweak the existing element.  Here are a few ways we can change the highlighted text: Regardless of whether you went with Elementor, or any other plugin from the list above, the process will be similar. WordPress website builders make it easy to customize your site without having to touch any code. Hopefully, this post has helped you choose the right website builder for your needs! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

The problem with thread^W event loops

CloudFlare Blog -

Back when Cloudflare was created, over 10 years ago now, the dominant HTTP server used to power websites was Apache httpd. However, we decided to build our infrastructure using the then relatively new NGINX server.There are many differences between the two, but crucially for us, the event loop architecture of NGINX was the key differentiator. In a nutshell, event loops work around the need to have one thread or process per connection by coalescing many of them in a single process, this reduces the need for expensive context switching from the operating system and also keeps the memory usage predictable. This is done by processing each connection until it wants to do some I/O, at that point, the said connection is queued until the I/O task is complete. During that time the event loop is available to process other in-flight connections, accept new clients, and the like. The loop uses a multiplexing system call like epoll (or kqueue) to be notified whenever an I/O task is complete among all the running connections.In this article we will see that despite its advantages, event loop models also have their limits and falling back to good old threaded architecture is sometimes a good move. Photo credit: Flickr CC-BY-SAThe key assumption of an event loop architectureFor an event loop to work correctly, there is one key requirement that has to be held: every piece of work has to finish quickly. This is because, as with other collaborative multitasking approaches, once a piece of work is started, there is no preemption mechanism.For a proxy service like Cloudflare, this assumption works quite well as we spend most of the time waiting for the client to send data, or the origin to answer. This model is also widely successful for web applications that spend most of their time waiting for the database or other kind of RPC.Let's take an example at a situation where two requests hit a Cloudflare server at the same time:In this case, requests don't block each other too much… However, if one of the work units takes an unreasonable amount of time, it will start blocking other requests and the whole model will fall apart very quickly.Such long operations might be CPU-intensive tasks, or blocking system calls. A common mistake is to call a library that uses blocking system calls internally: in this case an event-based program will perform a lot worse than a threaded one.Issues with the Cloudflare workloadAs I said previously, most of the work done by Cloudflare servers to process an HTTP request is quick and fits the event loop model well. However, a few places might require more CPU. Most notably, our Web Application Firewall (WAF) is in charge of inspecting incoming requests to look for potential threats.Although this process only takes a few milliseconds in the large majority of cases, a tiny portion of requests might need more time. It might be tempting to say that it is rare enough to be ignored. However, a typical worker process can have hundreds of requests in flight at the same time. This means that halting the event loop could slow down any of these unrelated requests as well. Keep in mind that the median web page requires around 70 requests to fully load, and pages well over 100 assets are common. So looking at the average metrics is not very useful in this case, the 99th percentile is more relevant as a regular page load will likely hit that case at some point.We want to make the web as fast as possible, even in edge cases. So we started to think about solutions to remove or mitigate that delay. There are quite a few options:Increase the number of worker processes: this merely mitigates the problem, and creates more pressure on the kernel. Worse, spawning more workers does not cause a linear increase in capacity (even with spare CPU cores) because it also means that critical sections of code will have more lock contention.Create a separate service dedicated to the WAF: this is a more realistic solution, it makes more sense to adopt a thread-based model for CPU-intensive tasks. A separate process allows that. However it would make migration from the existing codebase more difficult, and adding more IPC also has costs: serialization/deserialization, latency, more error cases, etc.Offload CPU-intensive tasks to a thread pool: this is a hybrid approach where we could just hand over the WAF processing to a dedicated thread. There are still some costs of doing that, but overall using a thread pool is a lot faster and simpler than calling an external service. Moreover, we keep roughly the same code, we just call it differently.All of these solutions are valid and this list is far from exhaustive. As in many situations, there is no one right solution: we have to weigh the different tradeoffs. In this case, given that we already have working code in NGINX, and that the process must be as quick as possible, we chose the thread pool approach.NGINX already has thread pools!Okay, I omitted one detail: NGINX already takes this hybrid approach for other reasons. Which made our task easier.It is not always easy to avoid blocking system calls. The filesystem operations on Linux are famously known to be tricky in an asynchronous mode: among other limitations, files have to be read using "direct" mode, bypassing the filesystem cache. Quite annoying for a static file server[1].This is why thread pools were introduced back in 2015. The idea is quite simple: each worker process will spawn a group of threads that will be dedicated to process these synchronous operations. We use (and improved) that feature ourselves with great success for our caching layer.Whenever the event loop wants to have such an operation performed, it will push it into a queue that gets processed by the threads, and it will be notified with a result when it is done.This approach is not unique to NGINX: libuv (that powers node.js) also uses thread pools for filesystem operations.Can we repurpose this system to offload our CPU-intensive sections too? It turns out we can. The threading model here is quite simple: nearly nothing is shared between the main loop, only a struct describing the operation to perform is sent and a result is sent back to the event loop[2]. This share-nothing approach also has some drawbacks, notably memory usage: in our case, every thread has its own Lua VM to run the WAF code and its own compiled regular expression cache. Some of it can be improved, but as our code was written assuming there were no data races, changing that assumption would require a significant refactoring.The best of both worlds? Not quite yet.It's not a secret that epoll is very difficult to use correctly, in the past my colleague Marek wrote extensively about its challenges. But more importantly in our case, its load balancing issues were a real problem.In a nutshell, when multiple processes listen on the same socket, some processes will be busier than others. This is due to the fact that whenever the event loop sits idle, it is free to accept new connections.Offloading the WAF to a thread pool means freeing up time on the event loop, that can accept even more connections for the unlucky processes, which in turn will need the WAF. In this case, making this change would only make a bad situation worse: the WAF tasks would start piling up in the job queue waiting for the threads to process them.Fortunately, this problem is quite well known and even if there is no solution yet in the upstream kernel, people have already attempted to fix it. We applied that patch, adding the EPOLLROUNDROBIN flag to our kernels quite some time ago and it played a crucial role in this case.That's a lot of text… Show us the numbers!Alright, that was a lot of talking, let's have a look at actual numbers. I will examine how our servers behaved before (baseline) and after offloading our WAF into thread pools[3].First let's have a look at the NGINX event loop itself. Did our change really improve the situation?We have a metric telling us the maximum amount of time a request blocked the event loop during its processing. Let's look at its 99th percentile:Using 100% as our baseline, we can see that this metric is 30% to 40% lower for the requests using the WAF when it is offloaded (yellow line). This is quite expected as we just offloaded a fair chunk of processing to a thread. For other requests (green line), the situation seems a tiny bit worse, but can be explained by the fact that the kernel has more threads to care about now, so the main event loop is more likely to be interrupted by the scheduler while it is running.This is encouraging (at least for the requests with WAF enabled), but this doesn't really say what is the value for our customers, so let's look at more concrete metrics. First, the Time To First Byte (TTFB), the following graph only takes cache hits into account to reduce the noise due to other moving parts.The 99th percentile is significantly reduced for both WAF and non-WAF requests, overall the gains of freeing up time on the event loop dwarfs the slight penalty we saw on the previous graph.Let's finish by looking at another metric: the TTFB here starts only when a request has been accepted by the server. But now we can assume that these requests will be accepted faster as the event loop spends more time idle. Is that the case?Success! The accept latency is also a lot lower. Not only the requests are faster, but the server is able to start processing them more quickly as well.ConclusionOverall, event-loop-based processing makes a lot of sense in many situations, especially in a microservices world. But this model is particularly vulnerable in cases where a lot of CPU time is necessary. There are a few different ways to mitigate this issue and as is often the case, the right answer is "it depends". In our case the thread pool approach was the best tradeoff: not only did it give visible improvements for our customers but it also allowed us to spread the load across more CPUs so we can more efficiently use our hardware.But this tradeoff has many variables. Despite being too long to comfortably run on an event loop, the WAF is still very quick. For more complex tasks, having a separate service is usually a better option in my opinion. And there are a ton of other factors to take into account: security, development and deployment processes, etc.We also saw that despite looking slightly worse in some micro metrics, the overall performance improved. This is something we all have to keep in mind when working on complex systems.Are you interested in debugging and solving problems involving userspace, kernel and hardware? We're hiring! [1] hopefully this pain will go away over time as we now have io_uring [2] we still have to make sure the buffers are safely shared to avoid use-after-free and other data races, copying is the safest approach, but not necessarily the fastest. [3] in every case, the metrics are taken over a period of 24h, exactly one week apart.

6 Tried-And-Tested Ways to Better Market Your WordPress Website

Reseller Club Blog -

You’ve spent a lot of time and effort building your WordPress website, but how do you get the word out to visitors? Here are 8 tried-and-test ways to market your website and grow your audience! 1. Use the Hustle Plugin to Help Convert Visitors Hustle is a plugin offered by WPMU Dev that helps you turn visitors into subscribers, leads, and customers. Sure, you could go the manual route, so to speak, and create all of the visuals you need to grab your visitors’ attention. But, with WordPress, there’s likely a plugin that will make the process easier. With Hustle, you can create and display appealing pop-up and slide-in messages, as well as prompts for the user to visit your social media accounts and opt-in to your email list. It comes with animations that you can use, so you don’t have to bring your own visuals. However, Hustle provides customizable design settings so that you can maintain brand uniformity across your website. If you want to encourage your visitors to share your content, you can take advantage of the easy-to-use social share icons provided by Hustle. You can style these icons to match your website. To make sure that your work is effective (or not), you can see which users see what aspects of your marketing campaign. You’ll get up-to-date metrics on what was shown to whom and what that user then did with the information. All in all, the Hustle plugin for WordPress makes it easy for you to display information to your user and encourage them to take the next steps, whether it is to sign up for your email list or to share one of your website’s pages with their social followers. 2. Run A/B Tests on Your Website to See What Works Just because you think something will work doesn’t mean that it actually does. By running A/B tests on your site, you can find the wording, designs, and calls-to-action that resonate best with your visitors. Leave no stone unturned; titles, link text, images, the content displayed in your pop-ups and slide-ins — everything should be fair game for A/B testing.  Just because something is the default on WordPress (e.g., the sidebar is located on the right or the comments box is a certain size) doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to do it. WordPress is infinitely customizable, so why not customize it so that it appeals as much as possible to your visitors? 3. Make It Clear What You Want People to Do Tell your users what you want them to do. Rather than letting users “guess” as to what their next steps should be, consider being explicit. Show pop-ups or slide-ins that encourage users to sign up for your email list (possible in exchange for something, such as protected content or a product discount). Add calls-to-action at the bottom of your blog posts or product descriptions. Design your webpages so that there’s only one thing the user should do at that point (e.g., add the product to their cart). We’re guessing that you want people to actively engage with your WordPress site, not just passively take in its contents and do nothing else. 4. Improve your SEO One of the biggest drivers of traffic to your website is a search engine. As such, Search Engine Optimization should be a key part of your marketing strategy.  The following three steps are low-hanging fruit that you can take advantage of almost immediately. Make Sure Your Website is Responsive One of the biggest sources of traffic for many websites is Google, and to take advantage of this, you need to make sure that your website is findable by the bots Google uses to “crawl” the internet and index websites for easy access whenever someone searches for a term relevant to your site. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites over those that aren’t, so to improve your chances of landing on the search engine giant’s front pages, make sure that your WordPress theme is responsive/mobile-friendly. Look for options that are marked as such, but be aware that you may need to make some manual tweaks even with those that claim to be “mobile-friendly” to improve your results. Make Sure Your Website is Fast Not only do search engines care about how fast your website is, but users also don’t like webpages that take too long to load. WordPress sometimes has the reputation of being slow — because it can be used for so many applications and by so many people (some with lots of technical knowledge, some not), there’s a lot that’s built-in to the platform that might not be helpful to you. Here are some ways to improve how quickly your WordPress website renders for your users. Compress your files so that the files that are sent to your users are as small as possible (and therefore get to the user as quickly as possible); you can do so by enabling Gzip compression Optimize your images. A picture is worth a thousand words, but only if it loads quickly enough for people to see it. Choose the best format for your usage scenario, reduce the image’s size, and compress it Minify your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript — remove any white space, comments, and other elements that appear in your files but do not affect the behaviour of your code; remember, the smaller your files, the better Avoid redirects; sometimes, redirecting users is necessary (if you change URLs, you’ll want users to find your new site, not see error pages saying the page they want can’t be found), but redirects take time Create an XML Sitemap An XML Sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website. What this does is help the search engine know exactly what pages are available and what content is available on those pages. These are great for you to help Google help your visitors find what they’re looking for. WordPress will generate a sitemap for you automatically, but there are plugins, such as the Google XML Sitemap Generator, that creates better ones. 5. Take Your SEO to the Next Step with SmartCrawl The previous three steps on improving your SEO are great beginner steps, but there is so much more. Rather than tackling these on your own, we recommend a full-featured tool, such as SmartCrawl, to help improve your website as much as possible. With SmartCrawl, some of the things that will take your WordPress website to the next level in terms of SEO include: The ability to create regular reports so you know how your SEO efforts are succeeding (or not) Managing how your website’s title and description appear in search engines (based on your keyword research, which SmartCrawl helps with) Managing your website’s content sharing on social platforms Analyzing your individual pages to identify how it can be improved The ability to automatically linking relevant pages so that users stay on your website and see more content (one of the factors Google considers is how long people stay on your web pages) 6. Protect Your Website Last thing: now that you’ve put all of that work into your website, you will need to protect it. After all, nothing will kill the marketing momentum you gain and your customer’s trust in you than to get your website hacked.  One way to improve the security of your WordPress site immensely is by using Defender. Defender is a plugin that protects you from malware and those seeking unauthorized access to your website’s back-end, puts a firewall around your site, and scans and monitors for threats. Wrapping Up Building a WordPress website is an investment for sure, and to get the most out of your investment, you’ll want to market your website, drumming up as much traffic for it as possible. In this article, we covered eight techniques you can implement to drive as many visitors to your website as possible. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post 6 Tried-And-Tested Ways to Better Market Your WordPress Website appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

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