Industry Buzz

How to Write Your First Blog Post in WordPress

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Writing your first blog post can be intimidating – and it’s not just the technical aspects of it that are scary. Many writers worry that they won’t be able to connect with their audience, or they don’t really know what to write about. While we may not be able to help you with the actual writing, we can tell you everything else, from how to select the best topics to how to create and publish your post. Continue reading How to Write Your First Blog Post in WordPress at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Own Multiple Websites? Did You Know There Are WordPress Multisite Backup Plugins?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

While a lot of attention has been placed on how to handle a backup for a single WordPress website, what if you need to use a WordPress multisite backup plugin? Many businesses may have multiple websites that they maintain to perform different duties. Similarly, some folks keep a separate website for blogging and another one for their family with news and pictures, for example. Regardless of which category you fall into, there are several plugins that can help you with a multi-site backup. Continue reading Own Multiple Websites? Did You Know There Are WordPress Multisite Backup Plugins? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

LinkedIn Live Video and Company Page Updates

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 LinkedIn Live video and company page updates with special guests Viveka von Rosen and Cathy Hackl. Watch […] The post LinkedIn Live Video and Company Page Updates appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Is Blogging Better For Business Than Social Media?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

We know how easy and fun it is to engage with your readers, customers, or friends on various social media channels. But what’s happening on your blog? It’s all too often that we see business people making frequent updates on their social media accounts while posts on their blog have sat lingering for two or three years. In this article, we’re going to give you a handful of reasons why your blog needs more attention. Continue reading Is Blogging Better For Business Than Social Media? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Introducing Cf-Terraforming

CloudFlare Blog -

Ever since we implemented support for configuring Cloudflare via Terraform, we’ve been steadily expanding the set of features and services you can manage via this popular open-source tool. If you're unfamiliar with how Terraform works with Cloudflare, check out our developer docs.We are Terraform users ourselves, and we believe in the stability and reproducibility that can be achieved by defining your infrastructure as code.What is Terraform?Terraform is an open-source tool that allows you to describe your infrastructure and cloud services (think virtual machines, servers, databases, network configurations, Cloudflare API resources, and more) as human-readable configurations. Once you’ve done this, you can run the Terraform command-line tool and it will figure out the difference between your desired state and your current state, and make the API calls in the background necessary to reconcile the two. Unlike other solutions, Terraform does not require you to run software on your hosts, and instead of spending time manually configuring machines, creating DNS records, and specifying Page Rules, you can simply run:terraform apply and the state described in your configuration files will be built for you. Enter Cloudflare Terraforming Terraform is a tremendous time-saver once you have your configuration files in place, but what do you do if you’re already a Cloudflare user and you need to convert your particular setup, records, resources and rules into Terraform config files in the first place?Today, we’re excited to share a new open-source utility to make the migration of even complex Cloudflare configurations into Terraform simple and fast.It’s called cf-terraforming and it downloads your Cloudflare setup, meaning everything you’ve defined via the Cloudflare dashboard and API, into Terraform-compliant configuration files in a few commands.Getting up and running quicklyCf-terraforming is open-source and available on Github now. You need a working Golang installation and a Cloudflare account with some resources defined. That’s it!Let’s first install cf-terraforming, while also pulling down all dependencies and updating them as necessary: $ go get -u github.com/cloudflare/cf-terraforming/... Cf-terraforming is a command line tool that you invoke with your Cloudflare credentials, some zone information and the resource type that you want to export. The output is a valid Terraform configuration file describing your resources. To use cf-terraforming, first get your API key and Account ID from the Cloudflare dashboard. You can find your account id at the bottom right of the overview page for any zone in your account. It also has a quick link to get your API key as well. You can store your key and account ID in environment variables to make it easier to work with the tool: export CLOUDFLARE_TOKEN=”<your-key>” export CLOUDFLARE_EMAIL=”<your-email>” export CLOUDFLARE_ACCT_ID=”<your-id>” Cf-terraforming can create configuration files for any of the resources currently available in the official Cloudflare Terraform provider, but sometimes it’s also handy to export individual resources as needed.Let’s say you’re migrating your Cloudflare configuration to Terraform and you want to describe your Spectrum applications. You simply call cf-terraforming with your credentials, zone, and the spectrum_application command, like so: go run cmd/cf-terraforming/main.go --email $CLOUDFLARE_EMAIL --key $CLOUDFLARE_TOKEN --account $CLOUDFLARE_ACCT_ID spectrum_application Cf-terraforming will contact the Cloudflare API on your behalf and define your resources in a format that Terraform understands: resource"cloudflare_spectrum_application""1150bed3f45247b99f7db9696fffa17cbx9" { protocol = "tcp/8000" dns = { type = "CNAME" name = "example.com" } ip_firewall = "true" tls = "off" origin_direct = [ "tcp://37.241.37.138:8000", ] } You can redirect the output to a file and then start working with Terraform. First, ensure you are in the cf-terraforming directory, then run: go run cmd/cf-terraforming/main.go --email $CLOUDFLARE_EMAIL --key $CLOUDFLARE_TOKEN --account $CLOUDFLARE_ACCT_ID spectrum_application > my_spectrum_applications.tf The same goes for Zones, DNS records, Workers scripts and routes, security policies and more. Which resources are supported?Currently cf-terraforming supports every resource type that you can manage via the official Cloudflare Terraform provider: access_applicationaccess_ruleaccess_policyaccount_membercustom_pagesfilterfirewall_ruleload_balancerload_balancer_poolload_balancer_monitorrate_limitrecordspectrum_applicationwaf_ruleworker_routeworker_scriptzonezone_lockdownzone_settings_overrideGet involvedWe’re looking for feedback and any issues you might encounter while getting up and running with cf-terraforming. Please open any issues against the GitHub repo.Cf-terraforming is open-source, so if you want to get involved feel free to pick up an open issue or make a pull request. Looking forwardWe’ll continue to expand the set of Cloudflare resources that you can manage via Terraform, and that you can export via cf-terraforming. Be sure to keep and eye on the cf-terraforming repo for updates.

How to Protect Your Website Content: Disable Right Click in WordPress

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Piracy and theft have been around since the dawn of recorded time and the Internet has only made this more prevalent and easier. Unfortunately, theft of copyrighted information is now easier to obtain and it can be a major headache for creative artists who are trying to earn a living from their work. Fortunately, there are a few steps that WordPress site owners can do to protect their copyrighted material. Here’s how you can keep others from stealing your content and pictures from your website: Let’s Talk About Copyright Laws First, let’s say a few things about copyright laws. Continue reading How to Protect Your Website Content: Disable Right Click in WordPress at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

SEO Best Practices with Cloudflare Workers, Part 2: Implementing Subdomains

CloudFlare Blog -

RecapIn Part 1, the merits and tradeoffs of subdirectories and subdomains were discussed.  The subdirectory strategy is typically superior to subdomains because subdomains suffer from keyword and backlink dilution.  The subdirectory strategy more effectively boosts a site's search rankings by ensuring that every keyword is attributed to the root domain instead of diluting across subdomains.Subdirectory Strategy without the NGINXIn the first part, our friend Bob set up a hosted Ghost blog at bobtopia.coolghosthost.com that he connected to blog.bobtopia.com using a CNAME DNS record.  But what if he wanted his blog to live at bobtopia.com/blog to gain the SEO advantages of subdirectories?A reverse proxy like NGINX is normally needed to route traffic from subdirectories to remotely hosted services.  We'll demonstrate how to implement the subdirectory strategy with Cloudflare Workers and eliminate our dependency on NGINX. (Cloudflare Workers are serverless functions that run on the Cloudflare global network.)Back to BobtopiaLet's write a Worker that proxies traffic from a subdirectory – bobtopia.com/blog – to a remotely hosted platform – bobtopia.coolghosthost.com.  This means that if I go to bobtopia.com/blog, I should see the content of bobtopia.coolghosthost.com, but my browser should still think it's on bobtopia.com.Configuration OptionsIn the Workers editor, we'll start a new script with some basic configuration options.// keep track of all our blog endpoints here const myBlog = { hostname: "bobtopia.coolghosthost.com", targetSubdirectory: "/articles", assetsPathnames: ["/public/", "/assets/"] }The script will proxy traffic from myBlog.targetSubdirectory to Bob's hosted Ghost endpoint, myBlog.hostname.  We'll talk about myBlog.assetsPathnames a little later.Requests are proxied from bobtopia.com/articles to bobtopia.coolghosthost.com (Uh oh... is because the hosted Ghost blog doesn't actually exist)Request HandlersNext, we'll add a request handler:async function handleRequest(request) { return fetch(request) } addEventListener("fetch", event => { event.respondWith(handleRequest(event.request)) }) So far we're just passing requests through handleRequest unmodified.  Let's make it do something: async function handleRequest(request) { ... // if the request is for blog html, get it if (requestMatches(myBlog.targetSubdirectory)) { console.log("this is a request for a blog document", parsedUrl.pathname) const targetPath = formatPath(parsedUrl) return fetch(`https://${myBlog.hostname}/${targetPath}`) } ... console.log("this is a request to my root domain", parsedUrl.pathname) // if its not a request blog related stuff, do nothing return fetch(request) } addEventListener("fetch", event => { event.respondWith(handleRequest(event.request)) }) In the above code, we added a conditional statement to handle traffic to myBlog.targetSubdirectory.  Note that we've omitted our helper functions here.  The relevant code lives inside the if block near the top of the function. The requestMatches helper checks if the incoming request contains targetSubdirectory.  If it does, a request is made to myBlog.hostname to fetch the HTML document which is returned to the browser.When the browser parses the HTML, it makes additional asset requests required by the document (think images, stylesheets, and scripts).  We'll need another conditional statement to handle these kinds of requests.// if its blog assets, get them if ([myBlog.assetsPathnames].some(requestMatches)) { console.log("this is a request for blog assets", parsedUrl.pathname) const assetUrl = request.url.replace(parsedUrl.hostname, myBlog.hostname); return fetch(assetUrl) }This similarly shaped block checks if the request matches any pathnames enumerated in myBlog.assetPathnames and fetches the assets required to fully render the page.  Assets happen to live in /public and /assets on a Ghost blog.  You'll be able to identify your assets directories when you fetch the HTML and see logs for scripts, images, and stylesheets.Logs show the various scripts and stylesheets required by Ghost live in /assets and /publicThe full script with helper functions included is: // keep track of all our blog endpoints here const myBlog = { hostname: "bobtopia.coolghosthost.com", targetSubdirectory: "/articles", assetsPathnames: ["/public/", "/assets/"] } async function handleRequest(request) { // returns an empty string or a path if one exists const formatPath = (url) => { const pruned = url.pathname.split("/").filter(part => part) return pruned && pruned.length > 1 ? `${pruned.join("/")}` : "" } const parsedUrl = new URL(request.url) const requestMatches = match => new RegExp(match).test(parsedUrl.pathname) // if its blog html, get it if (requestMatches(myBlog.targetSubdirectory)) { console.log("this is a request for a blog document", parsedUrl.pathname) const targetPath = formatPath(parsedUrl) return fetch(`https://${myBlog.hostname}/${targetPath}`) } // if its blog assets, get them if ([myBlog.assetsPathnames].some(requestMatches)) { console.log("this is a request for blog assets", parsedUrl.pathname) const assetUrl = request.url.replace(parsedUrl.hostname, myBlog.hostname); return fetch(assetUrl) } console.log("this is a request to my root domain", parsedUrl.host, parsedUrl.pathname); // if its not a request blog related stuff, do nothing return fetch(request) } addEventListener("fetch", event => { event.respondWith(handleRequest(event.request)) }) CaveatThere is one important caveat about the current implementation that bears mentioning. This script will not work if your hosted service assets are stored in a folder that shares a name with a route on your root domain.  For example, if you're serving assets from the root directory of your hosted service, any request made to the bobtopia.com home page will be masked by these asset requests, and the home page won't load.The solution here involves modifying the blog assets block to handle asset requests without using paths.  I'll leave it to the reader to solve this, but a more general solution might involve changing myBlog.assetPathnames to myBlog.assetFileExtensions, which is a list of all asset file extensions (like .png and .css).  Then, the assets block would handle requests that contain assetFileExtensions instead of assetPathnames.ConclusionBob is now enjoying the same SEO advantages as Alice after converting his subdomains to subdirectories using Cloudflare Workers.  Bobs of the world, rejoice!

SEO Best Practices with Cloudflare Workers, Part 1: Subdomain vs. Subdirectory

CloudFlare Blog -

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory: 2 Different SEO StrategiesAlice and Bob are budding blogger buddies who met up at a meetup and purchased some root domains to start writing.  Alice bought aliceblogs.com and Bob scooped up bobtopia.com.Alice and Bob decided against WordPress because its what their parents use and purchased subscriptions to a popular cloud-based Ghost blogging platform instead.Bob decides his blog should live at at blog.bobtopia.com – a subdomain of bobtopia.com. Alice keeps it old school and builds hers at aliceblogs.com/blog – a subdirectory of aliceblogs.com.Subdomains and subdirectories are different strategies for instrumenting root domains with new features (think a blog or a storefront).  Alice and Bob chose their strategies on a whim, but which strategy is technically better?  The short answer is, it depends. But the long answer can actually improve your SEO.  In this article, we'll review the merits and tradeoffs of each. In Part 2, we'll show you how to convert subdomains to subdirectories using Cloudflare Workers.Setting Up Subdomains and SubdirectoriesSetting up subdirectories is trivial on basic websites.  A web server treats its subdirectories (aka subfolders) the same as regular old folders in a file system.  In other words, basic sites are already organized using subdirectories out of the box.  No set up or configuration is required.In the old school site above, we'll assume the blog folder contains an index.html file. The web server renders blog/index.html when a user navigates to the oldschoolsite.com/blog subdirectory.  But Alice and Bob's sites don't have a blog folder because their blogs are hosted remotely – so this approach won't work.On the modern Internet, subdirectory setup is more complicated because the services that comprise a root domain are often hosted on machines scattered across the world.Because DNS records only operate on the domain level, records like CNAME have no effect on a url like aliceblogs.com/blog – and because her blog is hosted remotely, Alice needs to install NGINX or another reverse proxy and write some configuration code that proxies traffic from aliceblogs.com/blog to her hosted blog. It takes time, patience, and experience to connect her domain to her hosted blog.A location block in NGINX is necessary to proxy traffic from a subdirectory to a remote hostBob's subdomain strategy is the easier approach with his remotely hosted blog.  A DNS CNAME record is often all that's required to connect Bob's blog to his subdomain.  No additional configuration is needed if he can remember to pay his monthly subscription.Configuring a DNS record to point a hosted service at your blog subdomainTo recap, subdirectories are already built into simple sites that serve structured content from the same machine, but modern sites often rely on various remote services.  Subdomain set up is comparatively easy for sites that take advantage of various hosted cloud-based platforms.Are Subdomains or Subdirectories Better for SEO?Subdomains are neat. If you ask me, blog.bobtopia.com is more appealing than bobtopia.com/blog. But if we want to make an informed decision about the best strategy, where do we look?  If we're interested in SEO, we ought to consult the Google Bot.Subdomains and subdirectories are equal in the eyes of the Google Bot, according to Google itself.  This means that Alice and Bob have the same chance at ranking in search results.  This is because Alice's root domain and Bob's subdomain build their own sets of keywords.  Relevant keywords help your audience find your site in a search. There is one important caveat to point out for Bob:A subdomain is equal and distinct from a root domain.  This means that a subdomain's keywords are treated separately from the root domain.What does this mean for Bob?  Let's imagine bobtopia.com is already a popular online platform for folks named Bob to seek kinship with other Bobs.  In this peculiar world, searches that rank for bobtopia.com wouldn't automatically rank for blog.bobtopia.com because each domain has its own separate keywords.  The lesson here is that keywords are diluted across subdomains.  Each additional subdomain decreases the likelihood that any particular domain ranks in a given search.  A high ranking subdomain does not imply your root domain ranks well.In a search for "Cool Blog", bobtopia.com suffers from keyword dilution. It doesn't rank because its blog keyword is owned by blog.bobtopia.com.Subdomains also suffer from backlink dilution.  A backlink is simply a hyperlink that points back to your site. Alice's attribution to a post on the etymology of Bob from blog.bobtopia.com does not help bobtopia.com because the subdomain is treated separate but equal from the root domain.  If Bob used subdirectories instead, Bob's blog posts would feed the authority of bobtopia.com and Bobs everywhere would rejoice.The authority of blog.bobtopia.com is increased when Alice links to Bob's interesting blog post, but the authority of bobtopia.com is not affected.Although search engines have improved at identifying subdomains and attributing keywords back to the root domain, they still have a long way to go.  A prudent marketer would avoid risk by assuming search engines will always be bad at cataloguing subdomains.So when would you want to use subdomains?  A good use case is for companies who are interested in expanding into foreign markets.  Pretend bobtopia.com is an American company whose website is in English.  Their English keywords won't rank well in German searches – so they translate their site into German to begin building new keywords on deutsch.bobtopia.com. Erfolg!Other use cases for subdomains include product stratification (think global brands with presence across many markets) and corporate internal tools (think productivity and organization tools that aren't user facing).  But unless you're a huge corporation or just finished your Series C round of funding, subdomaining your site into many silos is not helping your SEO.ConclusionIf you're a startup or small business looking to optimize your SEO, consider subdirectories over subdomains.  Boosting the authority of your root domain should be a universal goal of any organization. The subdirectory strategy concentrates your keywords onto a single domain while the subdomain strategy spreads your keywords across multiple distinct domains. In a word, the subdirectory strategy results in better root domain authority. Higher domain authority leads to better search rankings which translates to more engagement.Consider the multitude of disruptive PaaS startups with docs.disruptivepaas.com and blog.disruptivepaas.com.  Why not switch to disruptivepaas.com/docs and disruptivepaas.com/blog to boost the authority of your root domain with all those docs searches and StackOverflow backlinks?Want to Switch Your Subdomains to Subdirectories?Interested in switching your subdomains to subdirectories without a reverse proxy? In Part 2, we'll show you how using Cloudflare Workers.

Top 7 HR Software Solutions for Your Business

Pickaweb Blog -

The human resources (HR) software market is continuously growing, gaining more popularity each year, and is predicted to reach 10.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2023 according to Statista survey. The overarching aim of such software solutions is to automate the tasks of man-power services, which were previously done manually. That’s why business leaders should keep The post Top 7 HR Software Solutions for Your Business appeared first on Pickaweb.

How to Audition Plugins For WordPress (The Right Way)

InMotion Hosting Blog -

When it comes to searching for and installing plugins for WordPress, you’ve got a whole world of options. But you want to carefully pick just the right ones to complement (rather than detract from) your website. Hot Tip: If you’re on our WordPress Hosting (and, if not, then you should really consider it) we recommend installing the WordPress Nginx Helper Plugin to manage your caching right from within the WordPress admin area. Continue reading How to Audition Plugins For WordPress (The Right Way) at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Our 2019 Sitecore MVPs Turn Technical Expertise into High-Value Business Outcomes

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Sitecore Experience Platform is an industry leader for a reason. It offers a comprehensive suite of marketing tools, a holistic view of customer data and machine learning-generated insights to personalize experiences across channels. With that level of sophistication, however, comes a certain amount of complexity. Managing your Sitecore platform on-premises means continual attention to planning, […] The post Our 2019 Sitecore MVPs Turn Technical Expertise into High-Value Business Outcomes appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

5 Email List Building Mistakes That Kill Your Sales (and How to Avoid Them)

HostGator Blog -

The post 5 Email List Building Mistakes That Kill Your Sales (and How to Avoid Them) appeared first on HostGator Blog. Building your email list is the key to boosting your sales. Email marketing is an opportunity to directly engage with potential customers. With this communication channel, you become a trusted friend in your subscribers’ pursuit to find the right product solution. Entrepreneur VIP contributor Susan Gunelius offers her perspective: “Email marketing doesn’t work unless you build a list of people to send messages to who are interested in your products or services. If you’ve captured email addresses from your prior customers, then you have a great head start.” Steer clear of roadblocks when building your list. Here are five mistakes to avoid. Mistake #1: Buying Email Subscribers As a business, it’s tempting to take the easy route. You’re juggling multiple responsibilities, and a quick growth hack seems reliable. Most companies will attempt to buy their email subscribers. But honestly, that’s not a sound business idea. For starters, these subscribers didn’t sign up to receive messages from your brand. Sending unsolicited emails may result in legal violations, while annoying people. Subscribers who haven’t expressed interest in your products are less likely to engage with your messages. Everyone involved loses and lots of precious time gets wasted. So, what happens to your unsolicited messages? They end up in a person’s spam folder, never to be read. The result equals no sales for your business and a poor brand image. Rather than purchasing subscribers, work with your team to capture consumers when they visit your blog, exit a product page, or scroll down a sales page. Building a co-marketing campaign with another brand is also a creative way to cultivate your list. This strategy will introduce new buyers to your product offerings and get potential consumers excited to receive your emails. Are you seriously thinking about purchasing subscribers to build your list? Skip the hassle and grow your list in an organic way.   Mistake #2: Asking for Too Many Details List building is very much like a friendship. When you’re getting to know someone, you don’t bombard the individual with intimate questions. If that happens, you may startle the person and never hear from him or her again. In a similar manner, you can scare away potential subscribers by requesting too much information up front. It’s not necessary on the first encounter to ask for an individual’s mailing address or phone number. “It sounds counterintuitive, but more choices is not better for your users. In fact, the more choices you give people, the less likely they are to take action. And even if they do ultimately make a decision to take action, they will be less happy with that decision than if you had only given them one choice,” writes Mary Fernandez, a professional blogger. Moreover, you want to minimize the time it takes to subscribe. Requiring only a name and email address takes a few seconds, while a laundry list of form fields may take a few minutes. Progressive profiling is one solution to gaining more details about your subscribers. It’s the process of requesting additional information at specific points in the consumer relationship. For instance, you may send an email talking about the origin of your business, leading your brand to ask for the subscriber’s birthdate. Be mindful of when and how you ask for consumer information. Give the subscriber time to learn about your brand.   Mistake #3: Offering a Weak Incentive Nowadays, your consumers understand how marketing works. You can’t trick someone (nor should you) into being part of your mailing list. It will quickly damage your brand reputation. You can entice customers with an incentive. But if you’re wanting to give away a superficial trinket, your business should rethink that strategy. Competition is stiff across several industries. So, copying your competitors’ tactics will not work for your business either. To join your newsletter, consumers want more than empty promises. Instead, they desire information that will strengthen the brand-customer relationship. Your action plan may translate into offering offering 15% coupons, invitations to brand events, or even access to exclusive product launches. The goal is to give subscribers a compelling reason to sign up and stay on your list. Below is a pop-up box on the Nike website. The footwear and apparel company tempts consumers with “exclusives, offers, and the latest” from the brand. Strong incentives will satisfy your subscribers and persuade them to buy from your business. Plus, your consumers will likely spread the word to their friends and family members, resulting in more sales. It’s time to drop any and all weak incentives. Do the research to learn what will attract consumers to join your brand family.   Mistake #4: Failing to Send a Welcome Email Once a consumer signs up, your team’s job isn’t over. You must follow through on your promise to send an incredible email marketing campaign. Let’s begin with the basics. You need a welcome email that will deliver your incentive and intrigue your new subscribers to not touch the delete button. Treat your welcome email as a greeting and as an add-on to the onboarding process. Subscribers should feel delighted to join your brand’s journey. Bria Sullivan, Constant Contact contributor, explains in more detail: “A welcome email is the perfect way to greet your new subscribers and ease them into your list before they start getting your regular communications. With a welcome email, you increase the likelihood that your subscriber stays engaged with your business and becomes a great, loyal customer.” A captivating welcome includes an engaging subject line, relevant visuals, concise copy, and a clear call to action. If you promised a $10 off promo code, be sure to add it to the message. Welcome emails serve a distinct purpose in email marketing. Use them to your advantage to connect with consumers and earn their trust for future sales.   Mistake #5: Forgetting to Ask for Feedback Your email list is only as valuable as the insight you receive from subscribers. Learning how and why they remain on your list and buy your products can help you make better business decisions. Feedback loops are an integral part of your marketing and sales funnel. It’s the cycle of asking for feedback and receiving it. When asking for feedback, stick to one topic. You don’t want to flood your consumers with various questions. Also, keep your feedback survey short. It should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Below is a feedback email Little Black Bag sent to its subscribers. It expresses how much the brand values the consumers’ thoughts. Learning about your flaws isn’t helpful to customers if you don’t take action. After you receive their suggestions, you’ll want to take steps to rectify their concerns. For instance, customers may demand your support team offer more ways to communicate. If your team adds a live chat feature as a response, you’ll want to notify your customers of the improvements. Feedback is a valuable asset for your brand. By learning from your subscribers, you walk the path to increasing your revenue.   Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice Email marketing plays an essential role in growing your company’s sales. It’s your chance to connect with your target audience. Stay away from buying subscribers who will delete your emails anyway. Avoid offering a sign-up incentive that doesn’t correlate with the consumers’ needs. And always immediately send a welcome email. Build your email list, and boost your sales without the mistakes. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Launch Your Website Using Gator Website Builder

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Launch Your Website Using Gator Website Builder appeared first on HostGator Blog. HostGator’s new product, Gator Website Builder, is an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop website builder for anyone that has an idea for a website and wants to get started quickly. Gator is a full-featured solution that includes the website builder and website hosting in a convenient package. Your package comes with HostGator’s powerful cloud hosting included, which means you have the ability to upgrade your web hosting package as your business grows. In addition, the Gator website builder comes with security basics like an SSL certificate and a free domain name if you don’t already have one. While some other website builders limit what you can do, Gator Website Builder delivers a complete package to fit every need. No more shopping around for a site builder that has either blog or eCommerce functionalities, Gator website builder is for blogs and eCommerce. No matter what type of website you want to start, you’ll be ready to go in a few steps with this easy website builder. 6 quick steps to launch your website using Gator Website Builder:     1. Decide which plan is right for you. Gator by HostGator has three different plan choices. The starter plan comes with everything you need for your new website – a free domain, access more than 200 professionally-designed templates, a frustration free drag-and-drop editor, and integrated website analytics. If you want access to priority support, choose the premium plan. If you’re starting an eCommerce business with an online store, choose the eCommerce plan. Each package comes with free cloud hosting included. Once you’ve decided which plan is right for you, click “buy now.” You’ll be directed to a page to set up your account. 2. Set up your domain. The domain is the web address that your business will be known by. While you can create a 301 redirect and change this in the future, be sure to choose a domain address that is easy to remember and represents your business. Need some help? We put together a list of ideas for how to choose the perfect domain name for your business. If you don’t already have a domain, Gator Website Builder comes with a free domain.  Start typing in the “find a new domain name” box to see if your top choice is available. If you already have a domain, you can quickly connect it to your Gator website with the “connect it here” button. 3. Create your account. Now that you have selected the perfect domain name, it’s time to set up your account. Gator makes it easy – you can create an account with your email address or quickly connect to your current Gmail or Facebook account. Select your preferred billing cycle, enter your payment information, and you’re ready to start building. 4. Choose a template. After you create your account, you’ll be directed to the “choose a template” page. This is where you’ll choose the visual design for your site. Gator comes with more than 200 professionally-designed templates included for free. Scroll through all the options available and choose the one that best fits your business. You can sort the templates by categories such as music and entertainment, photography, portfolio, online store, wedding, professional services, and more. All of the designs are fully customizable so you can change the fonts, colors, or text style to match your business’ brand. Click the full screen preview to see all the features and secondary page layout options for your favorite themes. Plus, the designs are fully customizable – you can quickly change the color scheme, fonts, or text style to match your business. All of the professional design templates included with Gator come with a mobile-friendly version installed. You don’t need to do anything to activate the mobile version, but with Gator, you can control the content if you want to. You can even edit content in the mobile view without affecting your main website. 5. Add content to your website. Once you have selected a theme for your website and clicked the button to “Start Editing,” you will be directed to your main account dashboard. At first glance, you’ll see that a few pages have already been created. You can add, edit, or delete any of these pages by clicking the “pages” button on the left side of your dashboard. Gator comes with an easy step-by-step guide to show you how to set up the different sections of your site. Click the menu icon next to the Gator by HostGator logo and select the “getting started tour.” This tour will guide you through the steps to edit pages and add elements such as text blocks, images, buttons, and more. You can customize your pages by adding more elements. Click on the elements tab, to see the types of elements you want such as an image, text block, or button. If you want to start a blog… Gator comes with an easy blogging feature integrated. Some website builders make you choose either a basic website or a blog function. Gator offers both. Select the “blog” tab from the left sidebar and then click “start a blog.” Not ready to start a blog now? Check out these five reasons to start blogging whenever you’re ready. The blog feature comes with all Gator packages and is available for anyone to easily add a blog as their business grows. If you want to start an eCommerce business with online store… Choose the “eCommerce plan” (or upgrade your account to the eCommerce plan) to access the online store feature. Click the Store button from the left side of your dashboard to add a store. You’re now ready to add and manage your own store. The website builder will automatically populate the store with example products so you can see what the store will look like when it’s done. Follow the next set of instructions to complete the setup process for your store. 6. Review and launch your website. When you’re done adding information and are ready to “go live,” the process to publish is simple. First, you’ll want to do a final review by clicking the “preview” button at the top of your dashboard. Click through the pages on your website and make sure the design and content looks great. When you’re finished previewing, click the “finish preview” button at the top and then the “publish website” at the top of the dashboard. Follow the steps to go live. If you have an eCommerce Store upgrade, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to add products now or after you publish your website pages. If you choose to go live without your store products added, no problem, simply select “Publish Without Store.” This means people will be able to see your websites pages (or storefront) but they won’t be able to shop your products or purchase. Otherwise, you can select “Setup Store Now” If you would rather set up your store for selling before you go live. Now your website is live! Congratulations! Now that your website is published, you’re ready to grow your online business or website and build your network. What did you think about building your website with Gator? What’s the number one Gator feature you want to try on your new website? Let us know in the comments below. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Become Iconic: Succeeding by Standing Apart

Social Media Examiner -

Want to set yourself apart from others in your industry? Wondering how you can stay top of mind with your customers? To explore how to make your brand iconic in today’s world, I interview Scott McKain. Scott is a professional speaker and author of the book Create Distinction. His podcast is Project Distinct, and his […] The post How to Become Iconic: Succeeding by Standing Apart appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

WP Engine Employee Spotlight: Troy McHenry, Technical Support Manager

WP Engine -

In this blog series, we talk to WP Engine employees, find out what makes them tick, learn more about their roles, and hear from them why they work at WP Engine. During a recent employee interview, a potential L1 Support candidate asked me and another manager what being “Customer Inspired” meant to us.   While… The post WP Engine Employee Spotlight: Troy McHenry, Technical Support Manager appeared first on WP Engine.

Solving Problems with Serverless – The Cloudflare LED Data Center Board, Part I

CloudFlare Blog -

You know you have a cool job when your first project lets you bring your hobby into the office. That’s what happened to me just a few short weeks ago when I joined Cloudflare. The task: to create a light-up version of our Data Center map – we’re talking more than a hundred LEDs tied to the deployment state of each and every Cloudflare data center. This map will be a part of our booths, so it has to be able to travel; meaning we have to consider physical shipping and the ability to update the data when the map is away from the office. And the fun part – we are debuting it at SF Developer Week in late February (I even get to give a talk about it!) That gave me one week of software time in our San Francisco office, and a little over two and a half in the Austin office with the physical materials.What the final LEDs will look like on a map of the world.So what does this have to do with Serverless? Well, let’s think about where and how this map will need to operate: This will be going to expo halls and conferences, and we want it to update to show our most current data center statuses for at least that event, if not updating once a day. But we don’t need to stay connected to the information store constantly-- nor should we expect to, over conference or expo WiFi.Data Stored about Data CentersThe data stored about each data center has two distinct categories; data relevant to the data center itself, and data about how that data center should be rendered on the map. These are relatively simple data structures, however: for a data center, we want to store what city the data center is in, the latitude and longitude, and the status. We arbitrarily assign an ID integer to each data center, which we'll use to match this data with the data in the other store. We’re not going to pick and choose which data centers we want; just pull them all down and let the microcontroller figure out how to display them.Speaking of, this is where the data store relevant to the display comes in. LEDs are on strands numbered 0-7, and are represented by an LED numbered 0-63. We need to store the ID of the data center we created for the first store, the strand number, and the LED number in the strand.Both of these sets of data can be stored in a key-value store, with the ID number as the key and a JSON object representing either the data center or its representative LED on the map as the value. Because of this, coupled with the fact that we do not need to search or index this data, we decided to use Workers KV data stores to keep this information.The Data Center and Data Center Map APIWe needed two APIs around the data centers, and we needed them fast– both in the more immediate sense of having only a few weeks to complete the project, and in the sense that we needed the data to download relatively quickly over non-ideal internet situations. We also know this map will be traveling all over the world– we'd need the API to work and have at least a decent latency no matter where the map was geographically. This is where the hundreds of LEDs comes in handy– each one represents a data center that we could deploy serverless Workers to. We can deploy the API to the data center before we leave from the comfort of the office, and it'd be ready for us when we hit the conference floor. Workers also, unsurprisingly, work really well with Workers KV data stores; allowing us to rapidly develop APIs around our data.Our Software Architecture DiagramIn the end, we ended up with this architecture diagram; 2 Workers KV data stores, and 2 serverless Workers; all of which can be deployed across the world in order to make sure the physical map has the updated data every time we head to a new show.In the next post in this series, we'll take a look at the physical architecture of the sign:We'll also take a look at the system we built that uses the architecture laid out in this post that consumes this data and turns it into an LED map – so keep an eye out for it next month!

Finding the Best WordPress Plugin for Backup Purposes

InMotion Hosting Blog -

One of the best things you can do for your business is to backup your website regularly – and the best ways to do that is by using a WordPress plugin for backup purposes. But knowing which one to choose can be confusing. There are countless options available in the WordPress plugin directory, and many of them offer very similar features. In this article, we’re going to walk you through some backup basics – and talk about which plugins offer the best solution. Continue reading Finding the Best WordPress Plugin for Backup Purposes at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

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