Web Host Blogs

WP Engine Partners with WPForms to Bring Easy Lead Capture to StudioPress Themes

WP Engine -

When it comes to building professional, highly functional contact and lead forms for WordPress sites, there are few solutions which deliver the ease-of-use of WPForms. With over 2 million websites using WPForms, this popular WordPress plugin makes it easy for site owners to create great-looking, easily embedded forms in minutes, without writing any code and… The post WP Engine Partners with WPForms to Bring Easy Lead Capture to StudioPress Themes appeared first on WP Engine.

Are Dedicated Servers Trending?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Cloud VPS hosting is on the rise where advances in technology are improving their security and computing power. Dedicated server hosting and its infrastructure aren’t slipping behind though. In fact, here are four ways dedicated servers are meeting and exceeding today’s top trends. Customizable Control and Accessibility Gone are the days of providing basic, one-size-fits-all web hosting services. With the online content-driven market now being the most prevalent business space, companies and entrepreneurs need the capability to stay ahead and the technical support to do it. Continue reading Are Dedicated Servers Trending? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Building a More Inclusive Future in Tech

DreamHost Blog -

The past year has been filled with ugly headlines. Prominent men and powerful companies have been exposed for horrendous acts of harassment and assault. One of the worst things about all of these revelations is that for years, a culture of willful blindness and enablers allowed these predators to operate without consequences. Women were systematically victimized, marginalized, and maligned. These headlines are not an aberration. Our society has a terminal social disease, and we are at a crossroads. We can either aggressively fight this disease and create a healthier society, or we can die. There is no middle ground. One of the places this issue is most evident is in the tech industry. There are not enough women in tech, and the women who do work in tech have to fight too hard just to be safe, to be heard, and to be treated fairly. Making #MeToo a Launch Pad The #MeToo movement of yesterday’s headlines is a shocking reminder of just how widespread the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault are in society and the workplace. I believe the best reaction to this movement is to tell women, “I believe you. I am ready to be the change we all want to see in the world.” It is not enough to say we agree there is a problem. I want to use the #MeToo movement as a launch pad for the tech workplace of the future. This involves taking five steps to make sure our workplace is the best place for women in tech. These are the five steps I am taking to build a better workplace as a starting place at DreamHost: Create a healthy workplace culture Shatter traditional workplace barriers for women Understand and reconcile any past failures at my workplace Bring more women into our tech space Create higher accountability Making a workplace that is welcoming to women makes us a stronger company, a more profitable company, and one that serves the needs of our customers better than ever before. Related: 30 Ways to Be an Ally for Women in Tech in 2019 Creating a Healthy Workplace Culture We spend one-third, or more, of our adult lives at work. The workplace must be a space that is not only safe for everyone but is also a place that makes everyone happy. At DreamHost, we have created a work culture that celebrates the joy of work. It is not a perfect workplace. But we support each other and are united in a set of common goals. We have also created a culture in which employees are able to live balanced, healthy lives. This means flexible work arrangements, providing employees with healthy food options, and encouraging everyone to be involved with their families and communities. Our culture promotes the virtues of hard work, empathy, and teamwork. We know that DreamHost only succeeds when our employees feel safe and have the freedom to achieve their dreams. It is not only a labor law, but it is beginning to reach further beyond into social culture at DreamHost; harassment or isolation of any kind is just not tolerated. Shattering Traditional Workplace Barriers The first step in creating a better work environment is to work daily towards shattering the glass ceiling and all the other barriers that have limited women’s advancement and participation in the tech industry. These workplace barriers include things such as lack of mentoring, lack of women in leadership, tolerance for sexual harassment, toxic work cultures, lack of flexible work schedules, and failure to actively recruit women into the industry. The key to having more women working in the tech sector is to do a better job of hiring women at every stage of the pipeline. As the industry gains more women in senior management positions, there will be a marked increase in women at every other level. Shattering these workplace barriers requires a deep commitment to the goal of bringing more women into tech, a firm belief that having more women (and people of difference) in tech is good for the business, and it requires actively creating a culture that is welcoming to women. We have ensured that pay is equal for women as to men with people in the same position leveling up experience, education, and ability. At DreamHost, we have set ourselves apart from the toxic culture so prevalent in tech companies. We have a deep philosophical and business belief: The more women and more diverse people we have working with us, the better our company can serve our customers. It is an ongoing movement, and we are ecstatic to embrace it into our culture. Understanding Past Failures Technology is a forward-looking industry. But when it comes to creating a welcoming environment for women in the workplace, we cannot ignore the failures of the past. Currently, at DreamHost, our workforce is only 23 percent female. Sadly, this percentage is higher than at a great many tech companies. But it is not high enough. We recognize that we have not done enough to actively recruit talented women at every level of our organization. This has been one of our failures. We are working hard to make sure that women at DreamHost don’t have to work twice as hard as men to receive half of the recognition. We are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and healthy workplace culture. Our team is not only proud of the quality of our work, but the way our work is accomplished. Here at DreamHost, we choose to actively break from elements leading to toxic tech culture and have expanded our recruiting outreach efforts to bring more women into the company. Related: Fixing Tech’s Gender Gap: 10 Questions with Author Therese Huston Bring More Women into Tech It is no secret that there are not enough women in tech. The reason for this difference is simple: tech has not been welcoming to women. DreamHost is working to change the entire industry by being a model of how to cultivate a positive workplace culture. However, culture alone is not enough. We are also actively recruiting women for positions at all levels. We are making sure that, instead of finding barriers to career advancement, women discover a network of mentors dedicated to helping them accomplish all of their goals. We know that as women become more visible at our company and throughout the industry, more young girls will have the role models and mentors they need to choose technology as a future career. This will not only help DreamHost or the tech industry as a whole in the future, but it will also help the entire world. Increased Accountability We like to focus on the positive at DreamHost. However, we also know we cannot gloss over the reality that no matter how great of a culture we work daily to build internally, the culture in our society can be toxic. Just like most companies, we have a policy in writing. DreamHost does not tolerate any type of discrimination or harassment. We have strict policies and procedures in place to protect our employees. We refuse to knowingly allow anyone at any level to bully, threaten, harass, or assault anyone else. But more than that, we are working to make it taboo in our culture by addressing unconscious bias. We are working on building a better future with technology. This is why we got into tech. But to make the kind of future we envision, we need many more talented women (or any marginalized groups) not to be afraid to work in tech. The work is too important and too exciting to allow a toxic culture to keep the best and brightest minds from being fully engaged. In my workplace, we may not be perfect, but we recognize and are committed to a better future; one that is inclusive of women and anyone of difference. If you are looking for a stimulating tech career in a positive environment where all differences are celebrated, come and join us. DreamHost is always looking to add new exceptional members to the team. The post Building a More Inclusive Future in Tech appeared first on Welcome to the Official DreamHost Blog.

A New Focus on WordPress Web Hosting

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Probably the biggest current trend for companies that provide web hosting is the movement towards WordPress web hosting. For years, people have been inundated with the terminology and features of various hosting systems. But now, all of that is shifting towards putting a focus on WordPress. These days, almost every hosting company is offering their own variation on hosting that is specifically geared towards WordPress-based websites. Let’s look at how this trend differs from the other traditional hosting options that many people choose. Continue reading A New Focus on WordPress Web Hosting at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

What Is Responsive Web Design?

HostGator Blog -

The post What Is Responsive Web Design? appeared first on HostGator Blog. Whether you’re building a new website or realize it’s time to do a proper redesign for a website you already have, one of the first concepts you’re likely to encounter in your research to get started is responsive web design. What Is Responsive Web Design? Responsive web design is a relatively new way of approaching website design that ensures that a website looks good on all devices. On responsive websites, the same information and page elements appear no matter what device you’re on, but the way they’re sized and organized will change based on your screen size.   The website adapts (or responds) to the smaller screen size of smartphones and tablets  to provide an intuitive experience, regardless of your device. An adaptive design and flexible layout provides a better user experience for your visitors and also helps to boost your search engine optimization value. With the growing use of mobile devices to access websites of all types—mobile use now surpasses desktop—website owners have to prioritize the mobile experience. In the early days of mobile, designers would often create a separate mobile website for smartphone visitors than the one that would load for desktop visitors. But as the number of device types and screen sizes available grows, that’s not a practical solution. In addition to the variety of screen sizes, you also have to deal with people’s ability to change the direction of how they hold their devices (landscape versus portrait) and the fact that people have varied preferences for how they size their web browser windows. In short, you could design a dozen completely unique websites to accommodate different screen sizes and still be missing out on a number of common use cases. Or you can design one responsive website that works on just about every device, screen, and web browser window—no matter the size. The Main Elements of Responsive Web Design You’ve likely encountered many examples of responsive web design without thinking about how it all works. In order to design a website that’s responsive, designers employ a few main tricks and techniques. Flexible grids Designers have always used grids to build websites, but for responsive websites they have to make sure the grid is flexible and can load differently based on the screen size. Flexible grids are therefore a core part of responsive website design. Breakpoints Related to flexible grids, breakpoints are the spots on the page you identify where the page can be cut off and the information to the side moved downward. Every website should have at least three breakpoints for the three main devices types people use, but most websites will have more than that. Flexible images and responsive media queries Text is pretty easy to move around based on screen size, but images and media features can be potentially trickier. There are a number of different options designers can employ to ensure images show up in the right size for the screen, without causing slow load times or looking strangely squashed. In most cases, it’s a matter of coding to determine how large the image will show up. In others, it could be changing the image itself (cutting unnecessary parts out, for instance) and telling the site which version to load based on the screen size. There are also coding commands designers can use to ensure any media included on a page loads in the right size. Responsive media queries allow you to set the maximum and minimum width for the media, as well as setting orientation for media on iPads. Visual hierarchy A big part of website design with a responsive layout is always considering which parts of a page are the highest priority. The images and messages it’s most important for your visitors to see should go higher up on the page, with any elements that are less important going further down. Visual hierarchy is a good web design practice in general, but it’s especially important in responsive design since visitors on smaller devices will be seeing less on the page at a time. You want to keep them on the page, so make sure the most valuable parts of the page are accessible higher up. Touchscreen and mouse friendly elements Another important consideration in mobile design is making sure everything on the page is just as intuitive and usable on a touchscreen as it is with a mouse. That means links that are big and obvious enough to select on a small screen and easy scrolling on all device types. Good responsive design includes user testing to make sure all elements of a page work just as well using a mouse as doing it all by touch.   5 Reasons You Should Use Responsive Web Design As a website owner, you know web design trends sometimes come and go. If you already have a website, committing to a professional website makeover  or redesign is a big deal, so even knowing what responsive website design is and how big of a buzzword it is, you may wonder if it really is important to build a responsive website. And for someone starting a new website, you may worry making it responsive could be more difficult or expensive. In either case, responsive web design really is the best choice for a few good reasons. 1. A majority of web users browse on mobile. Recent estimates put the number of people with mobile devices at over five billion. And as we already mentioned, more internet use now happens on mobile devices than on desktops. Mobile is clearly a trend that’s here to stay, and website owners need to adapt. You don’t want to alienate over half of your website visitors by delivering them a crummy user experience. For your website to work for everyone, you need to prioritize your mobile and desktop visitors equally. And responsive websites are the best way to make sure everyone that visits your website gets the experience you’re aiming for. 2. A mobile-friendly website is required for SEO. For several years now, Google has been telling SEO professionals that how well a website works on mobile is a factor in how they determine rankings. They’ve even gone so far as to develop a free tool to see how mobile friendly your website is. If you want people to find your website through the search engine, then making it mobile friendly is crucial. Not only has Google been upfront about mobile friendliness being an SEO ranking factor, but they’ve also said outright that they prefer responsive design. While expressing a preference isn’t quite the same thing as saying it will boost your SEO, if you care about where your website shows up in the rankings, following Google’s recommendations is just smart. 3.  It saves you time. Obviously you need a website that works on mobile, there’s no longer a debate on that point. But there are other options for making your website mobile friendly than going with responsive design. You can create a separate mobile version of your website, for instance. But having two websites comes with certain issues. Top of the list is that it takes more time to build two independent websites than it does to build a single responsive website. You’ll be doubling your efforts both when it comes to creating the websites and when it comes to updating them over time. And you’ll have to actively stay on top of the performance of each. There are more opportunities for broken links or pages that don’t load right when you have double the websites to monitor. 4. It provides consistent information across devices. The thinking behind building a unique mobile website is that you can figure out what people are looking for when they come to your website on a mobile device and build a site that answers those mobile-specific needs. Then, when building out your desktop website, you can build a fuller version of the site that includes everything you want to include, since you have more space to work with. The problem is that means your mobile visitors are missing out on some of the information your desktop visitors get to see. Either you’re padding your desktop website with information your visitors don’t really need, or you’re depriving your mobile visitors of stuff they might be interested in. Either way, you’re creating an unequal experience for your visitors based on the device they use. And you may be surprised by the way mobile behavior resembles desktop. An analysis found that people are willing to scroll on mobile devices almost as much as they do on desktop, and are, if anything, more engaged on mobile devices and more likely to click on links. If you kept all your longer pages and content to the desktop-only version of your website, you’re keeping them from mobile users who may well be more likely to read and engage with them. 5. It makes tracking analytics easier. This is just one more way having double the websites means having to do more work. You have to keep up with the analytics for both versions of your website, and analyze the results separately. In contrast, with responsive websites you can still see how your analytics differ based on the device people are using, but you’re able to make deductions about what’s working for your audience based on a consistent big picture view of your website. It’s just easier to track your analytics all in one place and make sense out of them when you’re dealing with a relatively consistent experience across devices. How to Create a Responsive Website As responsive web design has increasingly become the norm, website owners now have easier options for creating a responsive website. When trying to decide how to make your website responsive, you have two main choices. Option #1: Use a responsive template. Building a website today is much easier than it was in the early years of the internet. Even people with zero coding or design skills can pull together a good looking website in a matter of hours with the help of the right website builder. And because of how important responsive web design has become, the best website builders will include responsive templates you can use to make designing a mobile-friendly responsive website simple. If your priority is getting your website up in a way that’s quick, easy, and affordable, a website builder with mobile-friendly templates is the best tool for responsive web design. When trying to find the right website builder for your needs, make sure that it offers a number of well designed templates to choose from and that they’re all responsive. You won’t have to do any extra work to make sure your website works just as well for your mobile users as it does for your desktop visitors. Option #2: Hire a skilled designer. Your second option is more expensive, but it gives you more power to realize the specific vision you have of a website. While website builders with responsive templates make things a lot easier, you’re working from a design that already exists and that other websites start from as well. A good web designer can build you a website from scratch that directly matches what you have in mind. At this point, most professional web designers have the skill to build responsive websites, but do make sure to ask any designer you consider about their experience and make it clear from the outset that you want your website to be responsive. Ask to see other examples of websites that are responsive to make sure you like their work and trust them to create the website you want. One Last Step: Perform User Testing. Whichever option you choose for building your responsive website, in order to truly know that it works well on all types of devices, you need to test it out. Or more accurately, you need people in your target audience to test it out. User testing ensures you spot issues with your website’s usability in advance of when you release it. It’s better to know that your checkout process is difficult on a mobile device before you start losing sales because of it, and user testing provides you with that kind of valuable head’s up. User testing is a good idea for any website, but it can especially be useful with responsive websites so you can make sure your website looks the way you want it to on as many device types as possible. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Build a Beautiful Website Fast With an Easy to Use Website Builder

InMotion Hosting Blog -

An “easy to use website builder” may sound like an oxymoron to anyone who’s ever tried to build a website. However, with InMotion Hosting’s Website Creator, this is no longer the case. You can create a beautiful website by yourself and at your own pace. Building a website used to be extremely complicated. If you didn’t know how to code with HTML/CSS chances are you weren’t going to build a website. There used to be a few options to overcome these difficulties: one option was to study or take a class but this required money and time. Continue reading Build a Beautiful Website Fast With an Easy to Use Website Builder at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

20+ domains on sale for April 2019

Name.com Blog -

Our Monthly Domain Sale for April 2019 has kicked off, bringing you even more ways to save over the next nine days. Use the code APRSALE19 now through April 24 at 11:59 p.m. MDT to register these domains at a major discount. This promo code cannot be applied to renewals or registration of Premium Domains. […] The post 20+ domains on sale for April 2019 appeared first on Name.com Blog.

What is Website Design?

The Domain.com Blog -

In our digital age of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, a company’s website design is vital as it influences how long online customers browse their site. A solid, good website design is intuitive, easy to use, looks great, and suits the target demographic. On the other hand, a poorly designed website will frustrate and turn away potential customers. Make no mistake, good design is more than aesthetics; it can impact your search engine optimization, google rankings, site visitor’s behavior, and brand perception. So, if you want your online business to thrive, it starts with the foundation of your web design. We’ll discuss the key elements of web design below so that you can draw in more customers by enhancing the appearance, functionality, and overall experience of your website. What is Web Design? Website design used to mean creating websites for desktop browsers. In recent years, however, the importance of mobile and tablet browsers has moved to the forefront. Today, more people browse the internet daily on their phone than on a desktop, with 63% of all web traffic coming from mobile. There are a variety of aspects of web design, including: Web graphic designInterface designUser experience designAuthoringSearch Engine Optimization With that in mind, web design typically functions as a stand-in to describe the client side, or front-end design of the website. The front-end of your website is the part that your customers see, navigate, and interact with on their browser. The purpose of a well-thought-out design is to hook your customers’ attention, sell a product or service, and give a real sense of what your company is. Good design gathers ideas then assembles and displays them in a pleasing aesthetic — it utilizes various concepts and guiding principles based on human behavior and online consumer habits. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. 5 Elements of Web Design If you’re planning on building a website for your company or revamping your old one, it’s crucial that you take the time to understand the ins-and-outs of web design. Creating the perfect schema for your business website requires experimentation and trial and error. Finding the perfect mix of elements can be a frustrating and challenging process, but it will pay off in the long run as your customers and prospects spend more time on your site. It takes effort and patience to get it just right, but when you do, you’ll have a website you can be proud of. What are the main visual elements to focus on when designing your website? The top 5 are: Layout People make up their minds or form opinions in the blink of an eye, within 100 milliseconds. First impressions matter, especially for websites. In 2012, Google confirmed this with a study that found aesthetic design impacted users’ views towards the site in less than 50 milliseconds of exposure. A great visual design is hugely important, and it all begins with your layout. In short, a layout is the way text, ads, graphics, and media are organized and placed on a page. A good layout will make locating vital information as easy as possible. This includes: The company logoThe main navigation barThe search boxMain imageContentThe bottom of the website A good layout includes the following elements: Has plenty of whitespace – White space refers to the empty space on a page that separates the various parts including copy, margins, and the sidebar. Whitespace prevents clutter and helps direct the customer’s eye to the important features or messages. Intuitive – You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Internet users have been conditioned to expect certain fundamental aspects on any website. For example, the search bar is typically in the top right and the page navigation is top and center.  Draws the eye – Similar to how framing in art, photography, or cinema can subconsciously direct the viewer’s eyes to the point of emphasis, solid web design naturally guides the user’s eyes to the essentials.Grid-based designs – Recently, this type of web design has become increasingly popular. It involves intersecting vertical and horizontal lines that act as parameters for placing various elements. Grids keep the visual design simple, ordered, and organized. McDonald’s, for example, uses a grid-based design. Color Color is another facet that subconsciously triggers something in people, evoking emotions or feelings, whether or not they are aware of the fact. Modern day web design relies heavily on color schemes and thoughtful color usage to create a memorable and robust palette. Finding the right balance can be tricky. You don’t want to overdo it with colors since that can be visually overwhelming and create a distraction. Did you know that the vast majority of modern websites will only use two to three colors? For example, Bose’s website uses an off-black primary color with grey highlights. This keeps things simple and allows them to emphasize the colors of their headphones. If you go to Facebook or Amazon, you’ll see that they purposefully stick to a primary background color and an accent color. Color can catch a visitor’s eye but can also overwhelm if there’s too much or the colors aren’t coordinated. If you’re in this stage of picking your colors, experiment with different combinations, tints, and shades to find the color scheme that best evokes your brand’s personality. Graphics Many people forget the power of images in order to convey information or sell a brand. Just consider the logos for Coca Cola, Nike, or Apple. Their images sell their brand or service better than any commercial ever could. Approximately 65% of Americans are visual learners, so do not discount the importance of using images to help you succinctly express your message. The nuclear hazard symbol paints a picture far more eloquently than written warnings ever could Graphics encompass: PhotosInfographicsChartsLogosClipartIconsPage art All of these components can improve web design and help give your site personality and character. As with color, graphics should be used tastefully to complement rather than detract from the main focus of your site. Consider using a blend of text and graphics as it’s the best way to keep your website looking fresh while simultaneously sending a clear message. Fonts Typography is an ingenious way of communicating your message, style, and personality. You’ll want to find a typeset that matches your profession. A doctor or lawyer, for example, may want a timeless serif font, while a startup may be best served by selecting something more playful or out-of-the-box. The vast majority of web browsers are only capable of reading specific fonts, so make sure to choose web-safe fonts for your website. Some of the most popular fonts include: Sans-serif ArialCalibriGenevaHelvetica Trebuchet MSCentury Gothic SerifCambriaGaramondGeorgiaTimes New RomanBook Antiqua MonospacedCourier NewLucida Sans TypewriterMonacoConsolasAndale Mono Fantasy and ScriptPapyrusCopperplateBrush Script MTApple ChanceryChiller Your goal is to find fonts that are complementary your overall design but remain easy to read. You want your target audience spending time browsing your site, not wasting time translating hieroglyphics. Content Once you’ve laid the foundations of your web design, it’s time to fill your site with content. Content involves written pages on the website as well as blog posts and other media. Content should focus on several things, including: Search Engine OptimizationIncorporating relevant keywordsSelling the service or productConveying the brand’s experience and authority Illustrating that the brand is trustworthy You don’t have a lot of time to reel in customers, so content should be quick and to the point. Your content should be informative, point out a problem or a need, offer a solution, and provide a call to action. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. The Two Forms of Web Design When creating your website, you’ll likely have to decide between using a responsive or adaptive web design. In recent years, these two methods of web design have become staples. Responsive Design (RWD) – Websites are designed to adapt and change the size of the page in accordance with the various resolutions, screen sizes, and content. Content moves dynamically on the screen. The benefits include: Very user-friendly. Allows for flexibility with different screen resolutions and devices.Good for SEO since it’s all one page rather than 3 distinct pages. Lower maintenance costs since the operation program is universalAnd no redirection required between mobile and desktop.   Adaptive design (AWD) – Pages are created uniquely for each device. So there will be a desktop page, mobile page, and tablet page. Each space will correspond to the device’s screen resolution and pages will look different based on size and screen resolution. The website detects the screen size and selects the proper layout for the screen. There are six different screen widths commonly found:  32048076096012001600 The benefits include: Costs less because it is simpler to program and implement.Coding is less complicated and more time-efficient. Better compatibility with more intricate sites. Easier and more accurate in regards to testing. Adaptive is ideal for retrofitting an older site in order to improve its mobile or tablet friendliness. Responsive, on the other hand, is most commonly used on new sites since they are easier to maintain and give a more fluid navigational feel. Improving User-Friendliness In addition to the key components of web design that give the page personality, any good website takes its users into consideration. Designing a user-friendly web page can help you avoid needlessly turning away prospective customers. All too often companies choose to prioritize Google SERPs over their content. Don’t fall into the trap of emphasizing SEO or rankings over the user experience. Instead, optimize your website for the user and build a loyal customer base of recurring visitors to boost your rankings. Elements to consider include: Multimedia – Consider using video, audio, or music to improve the design, or sell your story. However, remember that many users don’t appreciate videos that autoplay with the volume on. Your goal is to bolster your message and not annoy your target audience, so be sparing with multimedia. Navigation – The architecture of the web pages and menus should be created with users in mind. It functions as a map of all the places the user can go. Design should be focused on making navigation intuitive and effortless; you do not want to overcomplicate movement or hide aspects. Confusing your new users will turn them away from your website. Mobile – Although desktop once reigned supreme, mobile and tablet are the way of the future. Your webpage should be compatible and perform at high levels with all the devices, OS, and browsers. Interactive – To create a thriving site and loyal user base, you want to build a community for users to react and interact. Consider adding comment boxes and the ability to share things on social media. Create an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook account to help bolster your company’s online presence and clout.The Home Page – Don’t be scared of creating a longer homepage that draws the user in and forces them to scroll down. Making them interact with the site improves conversion and click-through rates. The home page could include:Value propositionSummary of the goods or servicesAn introductory videoProduct FeaturesTestimonialsSuccess StoriesResourcesAbout Us Getting Started If you need to create a fresh new website design, Domain.com has one of the best Website Builders that integrates all the elements you need to make your own website. This includes: Mobile responsive web options with a variety of fantastic themes and templatesPrebuilt sections and customizable designsDrag and drop webpage designNo coding, no installations, no pluginsCustomizable fonts, colors, and design elementsSEO tools Getting started is quick and easy. You don’t need to have the skills of a web design specialist, all you need is a solid website builder to get started. Reach out today and one of the Domain.com experts can help with web design or domain registration needs. If you’re looking to revamp your entire site, ask us about our full service web design services. It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com. Sources: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=587201 https://www.stonetemple.com/mobile-vs-desktop-usage-study/ https://ai.google/research/pubs/pub38315 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2006/aug/23/usnews.internationalnews www.domain.com The post What is Website Design? appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Run a Small Business? Here are 8 Ways to Manage Your Stress

DreamHost Blog -

There are plenty of perks to owning your business — like being the boss, for one. You get to see your own plans and dreams come to life. And you can set the company track exactly as you see fit. But the downside to running a small business? All of the stress that comes with it. That’s why learning to manage stress is crucial for small biz owners. “Managing stress is important as a business owner because typically, we tend to be sole proprietors or have few employees,” says Amanda Pratt MSW, LCSW, CPLC, The Chronic Illness Therapist, Imagine Life Therapy. “This means that if we burn out, it can ultimately slow business progress or momentum and when we aren’t well, our businesses can’t be well. We also know that if we cope poorly with stress, we tend to have worse physical and mental health outcomes overall, so business owner or not, this is an area that I feel should be a top priority for all of us.” Reducing stress should always be at the top of your to-do list to keep you sane — and your company healthy, too. “That’s why it’s important not to feel guilty for stepping back or prioritizing some ‘me’ time,” says Poppy Greenwood, mental health advocate, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of female entrepreneur support platform Meyvnn. Luckily, there are plenty of small business stress management techniques that will help take away the tension and anxiety of your work. Give these tactics a try to manage your stress levels. 8 Ways to Handle Small Biz Stress 1. Recognize What’s Going Well “This is one of the first things I will point out to clients — it’s just as important to recognize what’s going well (if not more so) as it is to recognize where things aren’t going so well,” Pratt says. “Strategies that work best for us tend to play off our strengths. It’s also good to take inventory of areas of coping where we tend to have more engaged or active responses to stress (versus disengaged responses) and can inform our future attempts at other areas of stress management. We all have habits that come more naturally to us that are healthy, and I believe these are the strategies we should tap into first to address when creating a stress management plan.” Plus, when you consider what’s going right with your business, that instantly puts you in a positive mindset, which makes it much easier to combat stress. “Taking stock of things that have gone well helps you put into perspective the change you are affecting and the growth that you have achieved,” Greenwood says. “Feeling that you’re making progress, no matter how small, is one of the best ways to relax. It helps you to recognize you’re on a journey, and that your work towards whatever goal you have is pushing you forwards. “It also just makes you feel more organized,” Greenwood says. “Being able to identify where things are working or are not makes you feel like you have control over what is happening, in what can feel like the chaos of running a business.” Focusing on the good things about your business also keeps your mind in the present. “When you’re stressed, your brain tells you that you have to stay vigilant,” says Drema Dial, Ph.D., psychologist and life coach. “Your brain goes into hyperdrive with all the things that could be going wrong, will go wrong, might have already gone wrong, and how will you fix it! This is one way our brain uses to keep us locked into familiar routines. This is precisely why it’s imperative to break this cycle, which keeps us chained to unhealthy coping behaviors and keeps your stress level high.” 2. Identify Your Stressors “Identifying your stressors is vital to be able to tackle them,” Greenwood says. “Stress usually comes from a problem you haven’t yet started to solve or are having trouble solving. I think the best way to identify stressors is to take a step back. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re constantly working and adjusting and testing to grow. Being in that kind of intense mindset all day long can really constrict a wider perspective you need to really pinpoint the areas that are causing you stress and how best to tackle them. Once you’ve identified what is causing you stress, you are much more able to work out how to deal with it. And even just identifying what is causing you stress can help alleviate some of it.” Remember that people respond to stress in their own unique way. “Self-awareness is key here because everyone is different,” says Mike McDonnell, international speaker, serial entrepreneur, global brand co-owner and podcaster. Once you know what stresses you out, you can delegate those tasks to others. If that’s not an option, knowing that a particular part of the job triggers anxiety can help you prepare to tackle it and just take a deep breath before going in. Over time, you can work on changing your response to the stressor. “We can do this through practicing mindfulness techniques to open our awareness to our body sensations, thoughts, and behaviors,” Pratt says. “We can also self-monitor through journaling or tracking mood states, symptoms and thought habits. And while it’s good to identify stressors, it’s even more important to identify our perceptions and responses to these stressors. Research shows us that it matters less what the stressor is and more how we respond to the stressor.” 3. Build a Solid Schedule “Structure is important because the more we plan, the less we have to actively anticipate what might happen,” Pratt says. “Planning helps us have a greater sense of self-efficacy or confidence in our ability to handle whatever might come up.” When you have a regular routine, you know what to expect at work, and that gives you a sense of peace and control, making it easier to keep stress at bay. If you know in advance that you have a difficult item to cross off your to-do list, tackle it first thing in the morning to avoid that sense of dread. Plus, you’ll feel accomplished and ready to conquer whatever else comes your way. Related: 17 Ways to Stay Focused When You’re Working from Home “Your body also likes a routine — it’s good for your circadian rhythm, which is effectively your internal body clock that can dictate things like when you feel tired or energized and can really impact your ability to focus,” Greenwood says. “For example, I know my energy and concentration dip around 3 p.m. So, in my routine around that time, I usually have a workout scheduled that gives me some time away to re-energize.” A common complaint from small business owners is that there are never enough hours in the day. “Usually when we delve into this issue, the problem is not a lack of time but a lack of a schedule,” Dial says. “A schedule allows a person to plan, to anticipate, and helps keep life organized. I recommend that all activities go onto a schedule, even play time!” 4. Prioritize Your Time There’s a reason “self-care” has become such a buzzword — we’ve come to realize just how crucial it is to carve out time for ourselves to keep a healthy mental state. Looking after yourself is key to keeping stress under control. “Prioritizing ‘me time’ is really important because it is so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, you can really forget about yourself and who you are — separate from your business,” Greenwood says. “Taking time for yourself, or using it to go out with friends and family, is often what re-affirms your belief in what you’re doing. It’s really important to not lose yourself within your business, because that, in the worst case scenario, then can lead to your business itself losing its way.” As a small business owner, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of always being on the clock. Just as you schedule time for certain tasks you need to get done, you should schedule free time. “I teach clients to see their downtime as beneficial to creativity and efficiency because they tend to work better after taking a break,” Dial says. “Taking a break allows the brain to take in new information and to generate creativity.” 5. Learn to Say ‘No’ “When you’re starting out, you may not have the luxury of opportunities flying at you, so you say yes to everything,” McDonnell says. “But eventually you focus on your mission and ask yourself, ‘Will this help me get there?’ before deciding yes or no.” Of course, saying no can be really tough. But it’s important to remember your value and that you have limited time. “Instead of thinking you may offend the other person, it’s an opportunity to show them that when you decide to do something, you really value what you’re doing and you’re doing it on your terms,” Greenwood says. Otherwise, taking on more than you can handle is the fastest way to fall into a stress trap. “It’s important to learn that setting boundaries is necessary to safeguard small business owners’ well-being, their time, and to protect their business,” Dial says. “When approached with a request, the small business owner should ask themselves the following: ‘1. Is this something I want to do? 2. Do I have time to do it? 3. What is its importance level, and will it fit it into my schedule?’” Saying no is also key to setting boundaries. “When we don’t set boundaries, we end up feeling taken advantage of, burned out, stressed out, and end up as people pleasers, workaholics, isolated, or feeling misunderstood,” Pratt says. “Simply stated: Boundaries are one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health and wellness.” 6.Delegate or Outsource Tasks When you’re used to being the boss, it can be hard to let go and give up control. But as any small business owner knows, you can’t do it all. And if you’re trying to, then you’re probably not doing a good job at every single thing. That’s why learning how to delegate or outsource certain parts of the biz is a foundation for being successful. For example, do you struggle with Facebook but love working face-to-face with clients? Hiring a social media manager might free you up to do just that. Figure out how you want to spend your time — and what you’d rather avoid. Related: 10 Easy Social Media Tips for Your Hard-Working Small Business In the end, outsourcing allows you to grow your company. “It’s important early on to recognize where your weaknesses are, so that you can hand over those areas to other people who do them much better,” Greenwood says. “Doing this can also relieve so much stress, not having a task hang over you that you know you need to do but that you struggle with and find time-consuming.” 7. Choose Your Tools Wisely Work tools and software are meant to make your job easier — not harder. But if you’re spending more time learning how to use them than actually using them, it’s not doing you any favors. “It’s important to choose tools wisely, because they are meant to be the things that take away stress and help with tasks instead of adding to the problem,” Greenwood says. Opting for reliable small business apps, web management tools, and hosting services will always pay off in the end. Imagine if your business’ website went down? That’s why it’s worth using DreamHost hosting and WordPress to have one less thing to worry about. “Test out different software until you find the one that takes your stress away so you can benefit fully from it,” McDonnell says. Shared Hosting That Powers Your PurposeWe make sure your website is fast, secure and always up so your visitors trust you.Choose Your Plan 8. Unplug During Your Off-time “You’re not a robot,” Greenwood says. “You can’t work all the time and expect to maintain the same level of productivity and efficiency. You need to replenish your energy levels, and not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When you’re working on your business, you want to be present and in the moment. That would be difficult if you’re unable to unplug in your off time and feel a conflict between your work life and your personal life.” As a small business owner, you probably feel tied to your phone, but you need time away from answering emails and checking in with customers. “Unplugging and doing a digital detox allows parts of your brain to rest,” Dial says. “Reading, watching TV, going for a walk, and talking with others are all great ways to engage a different part of your brain. Make sure you take time for activities you find enjoyable. It’s essential to combat stress by seeking out experiences that will help restore you.” It’s especially important to power down your devices and avoid blue light, which can keep you awake, at least an hour before bedtime. Plus, you won’t have to worry about an email keeping you up that night. You’ll sleep better so you can be rested and alert for the next day of tending to your business. Related: 5 Problems That Keep Small Biz Owners Awake at Night (and What We’re Doing to Fix Them) Breathe In and Out It’s no secret that running a small business is one of the most challenging (and stressful) things you’ll ever take on. But it’s also one of the most rewarding! So tell us: how do you manage your stress as a small-biz owner? What keeps you fired up as you “Rise and Grind?” Connect with us on Twitter and let us know your thoughts! The post Run a Small Business? Here are 8 Ways to Manage Your Stress appeared first on Welcome to the Official DreamHost Blog.

Why InMotion Hosting Stands Above BlueHost for Best Hosting for WordPress

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If you’re looking for the best hosting for WordPress-based websites, then you know that there are a lot of options out there. One of the best available is InMotion Hosting. You’ve probably also heard about BlueHost and its users who tout it as the best overall hosting option for your WordPress site. Although there are plenty of reviews out there, let’s do a breakdown of exactly what InMotion provides you with so that you can make an educated decision before you commit to a platform. Continue reading Why InMotion Hosting Stands Above BlueHost for Best Hosting for WordPress at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Internet Basics: BGP and How Networks Talk to One Another

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Unless you’re a network administrator or tech enthusiast, you’ve probably never heard of BGP (Border Gateway Protocol), but the Internet could not exist without it. A network is a group of computers linked together, either wired or wireless. Each computer is identified by a unique ID number called an IP address. BGP allows computers in… Continue reading →

WordPress Hosting: Is It Right For You?

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You’ve heard of WordPress hosting and, since you have a WordPress site, you may want to know: is WordPress hosting for me? Well, you’re in luck: we’re going to go over the benefits of this type of hosting plan and help you determine if it’s for you. In order to use WordPress hosting, you need a website built on WordPress. Whether it’s been designed by a developer or by you, it must be on WordPress. Continue reading WordPress Hosting: Is It Right For You? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

How Does WordPress Work?

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As a WordPress hosting client, you don’t need to know how WordPress works behind the scenes. In fact, WordPress was created so that people could focus on writing and publishing, not on the technical details. But it’s useful to have a basic grasp of what’s happening under the hood of your WordPress site. It may… Continue reading →

When Do I Need to Consider Dedicated Hosting?

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As one of the main types of hosting, many website owners wonder if they need dedicated hosting, or if they need to move to it. Ensuring that your website has the correct hosting plan is extremely important. Knowing when or if you need to switch can be a difficult task. Luckily, we have put together this guide to help you in making that decision. How big is your company? Starting off with a common indicator is how big the size of your company is. Continue reading When Do I Need to Consider Dedicated Hosting? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Website Builder Packages: Everything You Need to Know

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The post Website Builder Packages: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on HostGator Blog. The time has come to take the plunge and learn how to build a new website. You’ve already decided that using a website builder is the right choice for you— a web designer is too expensive, and you don’t have the skills to build it from scratch. Now you just need to decide on the best website builder package for you. What’s Included in Website Builder Packages? Website builder brands generally offer a number of different website builder plans that each package together different features, customization tools, website templates, and services. Since every plan is different, what’s included in a website builder package depends on the particular company you go with and plan you choose. There are some common features and services you can expect to find in the website builder packages you consider. Common Features Included in Basic Website Builder Plans Most website builder packages you encounter will include most, if not all of these basic plan features. They’re some of the most essential things to look for in a website builder plan. Web Templates Part of what makes creating a beautiful website with a website builder so easy is the option to start with a design template. The web design template provides a basic structure for you to start with so you don’t have to build anything from scratch—you make changes to what’s there already. Any good website builder package you consider should offer a number of templates for you to choose from. Drag-and-drop functionality Good website builders provide an intuitive website editor that allows you to move items around on the page easily with the drag and drop function. When you want to move a button or image a little to the left, simply click on it and drag it to where it should go. It makes turning the template you choose into the website you imagine a simple process. Ability to change colors and add original images In addition to moving elements on the page around, you also need to be able to change out the color scheme to your preferences and include images that are unique to your site. A good website builder should let you select your color and fill in spaces on the page with a simple click. And it should make loading and positioning your original photographs or illustrations an easy process as well. Some storage All the different elements of your website will take up some space. Each image and word requires some bit of storage, and bigger files like videos or audio will require more. Even the most basic website builder plans should provide some storage for you, although for free or cheap plans, it might not be much. Customer service Even for website builders that are easy to use and generally work well, you may come up against an issue where you need help from a human. Any website builder package worth considering—particularly any that comes at a cost—needs to include access to customer service staff you can reach out to when you need help. Educational resources Often it’s more convenient to find your own answers though, and website builder plans should also include a library of educational resources such as tutorials, articles, or videos that explain how to use the website builder and all the different features included. Premium Features Included in Some Website Builder Plans While for some people, a simple website builder that includes little more than the features above will work just fine, for a lot of website owners, especially for those making a business website who want to run an ecommerce store, you’ll need a website builder package that provides more advanced features. Here are some of the features included in premium website builder packages. Ad free With free website builder plans, the company often makes money by displaying ads on your website. You have limited control over what ad shows up where and must accept a website that looks more cluttered and  not as professional because of the cost of choosing that plan. One of the main benefits of paying for a better website builder package is getting that control back and knowing your website will be ad free (or only include ads that you profit from directly). Domain name Once you register a domain name, that will be the main address people will find you with on the web. Choosing the perfect domain name that’s memorable is important for any website to have. Some website builders may come with a free domain name included—either one that’s a subdomain of the website builder’s domain (e.g. something like websitebuildername.yourname.com), or a unique domain (yourname.com). There are branding and SEO (search engine optimization) benefits to having your own unique domain name. Website builder packages that don’t come with a domain name included in the cost may still make it easy for you to find and register one from within the platform. Web hosting Web hosting is a necessary expense for any website that wants to go live online. But it’s an expense you can save on if you go with a website builder package that includes it in the price. If you do go with a website builder plan that includes web hosting, make sure it comes from a web hosting provider that has a strong reputation in the industry for consistent uptime and speed.   Email accounts If you send people emails from a Hotmail or AOL account, you look unprofessional. Gmail’s a step up, but it’s still not quite as impressive as sending an email from an address at your own domain name. Many premium website builder packages include the option to create email addresses at your domain name. Sometimes they’ll allow just a limited number, sometimes you can create as many as you want, which is a useful option for large and small business owners that want all employees to have a branded email address. eCommerce options Not all website owners will need eCommerce options, but if you hope to ever sell products through your website, then they’re essential. Some premium website builder packages specialize in eCommerce store features, providing shopping cart functionality, an easy checkout process, and a secure way to accept payments. If this is something you’ll need, it’s important to find a plan that supports it. Mobile friendly options Having a website that’s mobile friendly is no longer optional. A good portion of your visitors will view your website on a mobile device and, if it doesn’t look good or the functionality is lacking in that format, you’ll lose them. A bad mobile experience is also bad for SEO. A good website builder plan will include easy ways to create a website that’s mobile friendly, such as offering responsive website templates. Supports multiple websites Some website builder packages will allow you to use the builder to create multiple websites under the same plan. You’ll still need a separate domain for each, but you can do all the design work and monitoring in one place without paying extra. Ability to take your website with you Website builder plans typically use a subscription model, meaning that you’ll pay monthly or yearly for as long as you keep your website. If down the line you decide you want to switch to a different website builder, many plans won’t allow you to take what you’ve built with you. Some premium plans will let you export the website you have so you won’t have to start from scratch with a new plan. Unlimited pages For simple websites that don’t include many pages, a basic website builder plan that allows for one page or just a few will do the trick. But for more complicated websites that will include product pages, a blog, or lots of educational resources, you need the option to expand. Many premium website builder plans allow you to build websites with unlimited pages. High level of storage As previously mentioned, all website builders should provide some level of storage, but premium plans will often offer much more of it than basic plans. For any websites that will have a lot of pages, images, and media elements, having more storage will allow you to grow as you need without limitations. More bandwidth The amount of bandwidth your website builder plan includes will affect how fast and consistently your site loads for visitors. This is especially important for websites that get a high level of traffic or include media elements that require more bandwidth to load, like high resolution images and videos. Premium plans usually include higher bandwidth so you can count on faster load times for your visitors. Add-on apps Many website builder packages include access to an app store which offers a number of different apps you can add to your website builder to increase the functionality of your website. Add-on apps can provide new e-commerce website features, more advanced analytics, different ways to embed social media, and additional security options. Before settling on a particular website builder package, consider what add-on apps are available that may be useful for your website. SEO features With so many websites online, getting noticed is a challenge. Search engine optimization is important  because it’s  one of the best ways to make sure people can find your website when they’re searching for the kind of information and products you provide. While there’s a lot to doing SEO well, the right website builder package can make some of the initial steps easier with handy SEO features that enable on-site optimization, such as customizing your URLs, creating SEO-focused title tags, and adding image tags with target keywords. Mobile app If you want the ability to work on and update your website on the go, look for a website builder package that includes a mobile app. When you can easily make updates to your website from your phone, that provides flexibility to get your website done faster and more efficiently, no matter where you’re working from. Automated backups Even if creating your website is quick and easy with a website builder, that doesn’t mean you want to risk having to start over from scratch due to losing everything. To keep your website safe and avoid having to re-do work, consider a package that includes automated website backups or offers the option as an affordable add-on. You won’t have to make a point of remembering manual backups, and you’ll always have easy access to the last version of your website if you need to restore it. Security features Websites get hacked. It’s an unfortunate risk of putting yourself out there on the web. That’s why it’s so important to secure your website from hackers right from the start. You can reduce your website’s vulnerability with the help of security features like an SSL certificate and security software. Some website builder packages will include security features as part of the cost, or as add-ons you can buy. Analytics Analytics give you a snapshot of how many people are visiting your website, how they find it, and how they interact with it once there. No matter what your website goals are, whether that be for a business or blog, following your website analytics is the best way to understand how well you’re achieving them and determine any changes you should make to do better. A good website builder package will provide access to analytics in your dashboard so it’s easy to check how your website is performing every time you log in. The Cost of Website Builder Packages As you’d expect, the more premium features a website builder package includes, the more you’ll be spending. Most basic affordable website builder plans start at around $4 a month and provide all the most essential features you need to build a simple website with just a few pages and elements. For a more complicated website that will require a lot of pages, an e-commerce store, or more media elements, you’ll want to consider a website builder package that offers more of the premium features you need. These fall somewhere in the $10-$50 a month range. Keep in mind that, in some cases, spending more on a website builder package can save you money by avoiding the cost of expenses you’d otherwise pay for separately. For example, no matter what, you’ll need to invest in web hosting for your website. If your website builder plan doesn’t include it, you’ll be paying separately for it. Carefully consider both the cost of the plan itself, and what you’ll be getting for that cost. How to Compare Website Builder Plans in 4 Simple Steps There are a lot of website builder plans out there. Trying to research them all to find the right one can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to hone in on the best one for you. 1. Figure out your priorities. You’ll have an easier time identifying the right plan for you if you start by defining what you need. Some of the features listed above will be necessities for you. Some will be nice-to-have, but not required. And others will be completely inconsequential to the website you plan to build. Figure out which features fall into which category so you start your search with a list of what you need and want. 2. Research different providers. Now go looking for website builders that offer the items on your list. You can easily rule out any plans that don’t provide your must-have features and compare the plans that offer your nice-to-have ones. 3. Consider a company’s different plans. For website builder companies that offer packages that cover all the bases you need, also take a minute to look at their higher-level plans. Even though you may not need all the features offered in their more expensive plans right away, you want to have room to grow. If you’ll need those premium features later, it’s good to know you can easily upgrade with the website builder you choose now to get them. 4. Make your choice. With your list and a little research into your options, you should be able to easily identify the website builder packages that come the closest to what you need for a price you can afford. Decide which of them is the best fit, and make your purchase. Start Building Your Website HostGator’s website builder offers users many of the features included in the list, including free website hosting from one of the most respected providers in the industry. If you want to get started with one of our website builder packages, sign up for our hosting services today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Why You Should Register Your Domain Name with InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting Blog -

When deciding to go through the domain name registration process, you want to make sure that you are choosing a host that has your best interest in mind. This is why we recommend going with InMotion Hosting. Not only do we provide a fantastic service, but we’ve been hosting domains since 2001, so we know a thing or two. Still thinking? No problem, let us show you why InMotion is the best option for you. Continue reading Why You Should Register Your Domain Name with InMotion Hosting at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

You Don’t Have to be Experienced to Build an Amazing Website

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Building a website used to be reserved for experienced developers, but with our Website Creator, you now have an easy website builder and hosting bundled together. There’s no longer a need to have the years of knowledge, or thousands of dollars spent, to build a website from scratch. You can do it all on your own, and pretty easily. As technology evolves, tasks are getting easier every day. From ordering an Uber to checking out at a store with your phone, streamlining has been taken to the next level. Continue reading You Don’t Have to be Experienced to Build an Amazing Website at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

User Onboarding Automation: Your Business Needs It

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Email marketing and automation is huge nowadays and there are a plethora of email hosting services, as this great product here. But while email marketing and automation is great, your business needs user onboarding automation in addition to an email hosting service provider, in order to provide the user with a smooth experience. This article aims to educate you in terms of user onboarding automation, why your business needs it and how you can really benefit from a custom email. Definitions first According to this article, “User onboarding is the system of actively guiding users to find new value in your product”. In simpler words, it is the process, through which a customer will remain engaged and through which, their customer lifetime value will increase. In order to keep customers engaged and happy with your business, you’ll need to go through various aspects of marketing strategy, one of which is email marketing-the most foolproof and cost-effective method to date and of course, acquire an email marketing automation software. Email marketing is the use of emails to promote your products or services. Of course, in order for that to happen, one will need to use some kind of software, as these promotions are impossible to happen manually. Which means that you’ll need the proper email marketing automation software, which is the software that will turn the email sending process from a manual one to an automated one, helping build an effective email strategy. What makes User Onboarding Automations successful? The goal of user onboarding is to soothe subscribers into your service and lead them further down the funnel. In other words, it aims to showcase your service’s value and keep the customer interested throughout their time as a customer/user. By leading your prospect to that “Aha! Moment.”, user onboarding helps increase sales, which will help the brand remain relevant, even in the most competitive of industries. But this doesn’t mean that the sales will increase due to some magic sauce that will drive new customers constantly. Rather, this will happen due to the fact that user onboarding creates loyalty within already existing customers. And retaining customers is the most cost-effective practice, as acquiring new ones is six times more costly. But how could one retain customers in a successful manner through user onboarding? Here are some characteristics a business or a service needs to keep in mind and optimize: Well-spaced emails In a research conducted by MarketingSherpa a few years ago, more than 85% answered that they’d like to receive promotional emails at least monthly: A/B testing will help you determine when the best time would be for you to send out those emails. Just make sure to get those variables right before you decide to go through with this. Measure not only the correct time frame but also the correct time. Do your subscribers open their email between 14:00 and 19:00? If so, this is when you should send them out. For example, retailers in the US noticed that the best timeframe for cart abandonment emails was 24 hours after the cart had been abandoned. The graph below shows what the best time for sending out emails is, according to the credit reporting company, Experian’s data: As shown, the best time of day for someone to send out an email would be between 4:00-8:00. You can read the full article here. Behavioural email strategy The graph below shows clearly that subscribers prefer receiving emails based on the previous interactions they’ve had with your business, rather than random emails that have to do with the latest news and don’t offer value that feels like it’s tailor-made and personal. Source Of course, the first thing you’ll need to do would be to acquire the prospect’s email. A nice and tried and true-solution would be using a popup, which may be hated by lots of people, but it has been proven to drive more sales and conversion. CTAs that entice users to engage Take a look at the CTAs you’ve used in your latest email. If the subscribers have interacted with your CTAs, then you’re half-way there. But you’ll need to keep providing value that is consistent with your CTA and will make them want to see more of what you’ve got to offer. “Get the free trial” is one thing, but “Get the free 1-month trial” makes the subscriber think of all the possibilities after his free month. If they haven’t interacted with your CTAs, then you’ll need to think of alternative catchphrases to get your reader’s attention. Again, A/B testing will give you an edge when it comes to that. Consider showing your subscribers the kind of value your product or service can offer them, using language that will be clear and simple but not plain – your newsletter needs to engage and stand out. When you decide on the specifics, go ahead with picking out an email marketing software, as Gmail can allow you to send out very limited emails before banning you. Why should you pick a User Onboarding Automation? There are a number of reasons behind that, but here are the main key points that you’ll need to keep in mind while coming up with your strategy: Automated tasks are more practical and precise There can be a large number of mistakes when it comes to manual tasks, hence the need for automation. Just decide on what the task at hand will be each time, set it and have it go on loop for a specific time period. For example, this loop could include sending out a welcome email, a check-in email and lastly, a last-chance email. You could play with the variables, change the timeframes, times of day, subject lines, all that in favour of data. This loop will gather data, going through all the possible scenarios at any given time-data that you’ll need in order to determine the key factors of your strategy. Automated onboarding eliminates the chances of mistakes As we said above, automation limits the number of mistakes and practically eradicates them. If you need to have data-driven results, automation should be your go-to solution. Mistakes can occur, not only while extracting and analyzing data but also during the data entry process. Play with the parameters, think of different variables and get creative. The better the automation, the more the data, the more data, the more accurate the result. Analytics: A powerful tool Analytics can provide your business with data and feedback on onboarding drop-outs. This will help you track unsuccessful tactics and make the necessary changes. What are the outcomes of your strategy? Analytics will help you answer that question and make data-driven decisions. What is more, with analytics, you can determine the metrics you should be tracking and the KPIs your business needs, from the time users take to complete your onboarding process, to the percentage of users who use your service again, after the onboarding process is completed. Three examples of successful User Onboarding Automation We decided to use the cases of Netflix, Wistia and Etsy as examples that showcase how user onboarding can be successful. Netflix One of the most popular subscription services for TV shows, with 139 million paying subscribers, Netflix’s popularity is not just luck. The product’s user onboarding is one of the best ones, starting with a CTA that gets the user to click the “join” button first, select tier and then enter an email. After a little bit of personalization, the subscriber is good to go, as Netflix’s emails are personalized, based on the preferences of the user and their interactions: This is the first email the user receives when they subscribe to Netflix. It’s got all the personal information a user needs to know, even the date when their free trial ends. Here is an example of how Netflix suggests what a user should watch:  So, we’ve got a suggestion and related suggestions at the bottom. It’s a very simple, yet very effective tactic: Assuming the user doesn’t like the suggestion, there is more where that came from! Also, the service sends out emails every time that a user disengages, enticing them with personalized options, reminders on when a user’s free month is going to end, even their cancellation emails suggest that the user can and should come back whenever they may need. Like this: So, it’s clear that Netflix, which is one of the most popular platforms at the moment, uses behavioural email strategy to keep the customers engaged. Wistia Another popular platform, Wistia is a very nice solution for users that need to somehow create and manage a large video library. Starting with popping pastels and a simple CTA, the user creates an account and then personalization begins. They are asked what their main goal with Wistia is and what kind of experience they have when it comes to business videos. The whole process lasts about a minute or two. The emails are, again, personalized and sent infrequent intervals that aim to inform and showcase, allowing the user/reader to pick out the topics they’d like to know more about. Here’s proof: Etsy Etsy is an eCommerce boutique store that sells various handcrafted items from people around the world. So long as something is handmade, Etsy is interested and it’s pretty good at making others interested as well! Etsy is really good at making users engage. The first step is, of course, subscribing to their website. And this is the email you’ll receive: The second step would be personalization. However, you’re not required to personalize. Simply, Etsy will suggest that you should save this or that in your favourites for later, as you’re browsing. For example, most of my saved items are vintage dresses/jewellery and stationery. Look at the two follow-up emails I received at some point: Stationary and vintage products were the basis of the emails sent to me by Etsy. But there’s another little interesting tidbit that made Etsy what it is. If the user doesn’t add anything in their favourite items, it’s okay, as the website will point them in another direction: the Editor’s Picks one.   User Onboarding per Industry The basic principles may apply to all industries more or less, but it would be best if we pointed out how some key aspects work in some industries: E-commerce Welcome emails are important, as they raise brand awareness and help potential customers remember the brand and the name. A clear CTA like “Shop now” or “Take a look” will entice them. But let’s assume they haven’t interacted with your brand. Maybe you should consider sending them another email now, one with offers that they simply won’t be able to refuse. Create urgency by including an expiration date for your offer. Since cart abandonment is an issue many E-commerce sites face, send them an email to re-engage them, reminding the customers of their carts and offering similar products that could perhaps be on sale. Pro tip: This article will help you if you’re a start-up owner. Software as a Service (SaaS) A welcome email will work in your favour in that case as well. A friendly and easy-going look and feel would be the go-to solution for this category, with a CTA like “Show me around”. If the user hasn’t interacted with the product yet, do it like Dropbox! Send them a check-in email to remind them that they haven’t used the service. Like this: If this doesn’t work either, go for the “Last chance” email. Tell the customer that their account is about to expire and remind them of the value of your product. Ask them if they’d like to extend the experience or if they’d like to leave some feedback. Pro tip: How would you like this article for further reading? Publishers or Agencies Buzzfeed could be a case study for that category, as it allows users to pick out the categories they’d like to receive newsletters for, thus personalizing the experience. The newsletters are not only personalized based on the user’s picks but also personalized based on interactions, as every newsletter comes with different suggestions. What is more, Buzzfeed works with referrals and the unsubscribe option is exactly where the subscriber can find it but doesn’t draw any attention. Pro tip: See what’s up with content management and WordPress’s latest update. How to design a User Onboarding Automation And now that we’ve completed our guide, it’s time to give you some tips in regards to the designing process. The first thing you’ll need to do is get to know your user and map out their experience with your product. Create user personas, conduct surveys and test away. The data you’ll gather will give you a clear idea of where things could go or have gone wrong. That same data will help you find new ways to reduce friction and eliminate the risk of users losing interest in your product or service. Use hooks through your CTAs. Communicate your product’s value clearly, but leave something to be discovered. Again, testing here is very important, as it will help you determine which “ethical bribes” and which CTAs work best. And while we’re at it, educate your users with online assistants and give them tutorials to help them learn the basics. Personalize as much as possible. Have users enter their preferences in your platform and use the data accordingly. And for those emails: Users will be expecting a welcome email and first impressions count. Be consistent with your newsletters. Send your users emails with clear CTAs that will be consistent with your brand voice, send check-in emails that will entice them and “Last chance” emails that will make them think. Lastly User onboarding is something that will help your business thrive, but it’s not an app or a service. Rather, user onboarding is a mindset, a process that every business and service should keep in mind when planning their strategy if they want this strategy to be successful in the long run. Of course, bringing your business online should be your first step. And when you do, make sure you find the one place that has it all!

What To Look For In Your Web Hosting Plan

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Whether you’re about to launch your first website or you’re an old pro with several under your belt, web hosting services can be confusing. There are countless different hosting providers out there. Most of them offer several different types of hosting options. And, frankly, they all sound pretty similar if you don’t speak “tech.” Even if you don’t understand what web hosting is, you probably do understand what it does for you: it makes your website accessible via the Internet and keeps it up and running smoothly. Continue reading What To Look For In Your Web Hosting Plan at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

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