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Email Marketing for eCommerce: Your Guide to Getting Started

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The post Email Marketing for eCommerce: Your Guide to Getting Started appeared first on HostGator Blog. Did you know that email marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) out of any other digital marketing tactic? It’s true. The median ROI for email marketing is 122%. That’s four times higher than all other digital marketing channels. The high likelihood of capturing additional website traffic from your email marketing efforts is the reason you should start building your email list as soon as you launch your website. If you’re new to email marketing, and the process sounds daunting, don’t worry. This quick guide to getting started with email marketing will cover: How to find a reliable email service provider (ESP)How to capture subscribersThe best WordPress plugins for email marketingHow to set up your welcome campaign By the end of this post, you’ll have the knowledge you need to get started with email marketing and to attract your first batch of subscribers. How to find a reliable email service provider Long gone are the days of sending bulk email messages to a giant list of subscribers. Today’s email marketing technology makes it possible to create highly personalized and automated messages that convert. Here are just some things you can do with one of the best ESPs on the market: Automate the process of capturing subscribers. ESPs allow you to create unique forms that send subscribers right to your designated email list. You don’t have to do any manual work. Send emails to a large list. Did you know that free email services (e.g., Gmail, Outlook) have caps on how many recipients you can include in an email, and how often you send large emails? ESPs don’t. Track emails. Every good ESP comes with tracking, analytics, and reports. These tools will help you see things like what content is converting, what your open rates are, and what links are most popular. Automate campaigns. Why send one email when you can send a sequence of emails? ESPs allow you to set up a series of emails that are sent out automatically, based on things like subscriber behaviors, date, etc. Customize email templates. If you’re not a designer, you don’t have to worry. The top ESPs come with various proven and well-designed templates that you can customize. Using a template is a much better option than a plain text email. Segment your lists. With the help of an ESP, you can create various lists and only send relevant content to specific customer profiles. For example, let’s say you sell shoes. You could create two lists based on gender. Then, you can send your men’s shoe collection to your male subscribers, and your women’s shoe collection to your female subscribers.  Create emails with dynamic content. Dynamic content is another big advantage of an ESP. Instead of creating two emails, you also have the option to switch out content blocks based on subscriber data. Sticking with the shoe example, you could create a unique block of content with the new men’s collection that appears to your male subscribers and another unique block of content with the new women’s shoe collection that would appear in the same place for your female subscribers.  These are just some of the advantages of using an email service provider. Keep in mind, when choosing an ESP, you have several options, but not all options are created equal.  At HostGator, we recommend Constant Contact. Not only does Constant Contact integrate with HostGator, but it is also easy to navigate, has robust features, and the reporting is phenomenal.  How to capture email subscribers for your eCommerce site If you already have some email contacts, that’s great! If you are starting completely from scratch, don’t get discouraged.  Constant Contact, and other ESPs, make it easy for you to build your email list via your WordPress website. How? These services provide a unique email form code to paste into your website.  When you paste this code into your website and refresh your website, you’ll see a gorgeous email subscription box. Every time someone enters their email address, the new email address will be added to your designated list in your ESP. When you sign up for Constant Contact and have a WordPress site, the process is even easier. Here is how it’s done. How to create a Constant Contact subscriber form in WordPress Step 1: Install the Constant Contact Forms plugin for WordPress. If you don’t remember how to install a WordPress plugin, here is a quick tutorial. Step 2: Sync your contact list or create a new list. You can sync your contact list by clicking on the “Constant Contact” icon in the right dashboard, and selecting “Sync Lists with Constant Contact” button on the top. You can create a new list by selecting “Add New List” and naming your list. Image source: Constant Contact Step 3: From your WordPress dashboard, click “Contact Form” and then “Add New Form.” Image Source: Constant Contact Step 4: Name your form and include a description of why visitors should subscribe to your list. Step 5: Select the Constant Contact list you want to add new subscribers to.  Image Source: Constant Contact Step 6: Edit your button text, personalize any other text, additional fields as desired, and design your form. Step 7: Press publish. As soon as you publish your form, you can add it to a webpage or blog post on your eCommerce site. Let’s quickly cover how to add your new form to a webpage and to a blog post. How to add a subscriber form to your web page in WordPress Let’s say you want to add your subscriber form to a static page on your website (e.g., your contact page). Here’s how you do it. Step 1: Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click the “Constant Contact Form Icon” and choose all “All Forms” from the menu. Step 2: Turn your attention to the form page and copy and paste the shortcode of the form you want to put on your static page. Image Source: Constant Contact Step 3: Navigate to the dashboard and click “Pages” and then “All Pages.” Step 4: Find the page where you want the form and click “Edit.” Step 5: Click on the plus sign in the content box and choose “shortcode” from the options. Step 6: Paste the shortcode you copied earlier. Once you paste the shortcode, you’ll see the subscriber box on your static page. How to add a subscriber form to a blog post in WordPress One of the highest converting places to put a subscriber form is directly in a blog post. If someone finds your blog post, likes what you wrote, and wants to keep hearing from you, they can subscribe to your email list right after they read your blog post.  Here’s how to add a subscriber to your blog posts with the Constant Contact plugin. Step 1: Navigate to the dashboard and click “Posts” and then “All Posts.” Step 2: Click “Edit” on the blog post where you want to place your subscriber form. Step 3: Click “Classic.” Step 4: Place your cursor where you want your form and click “Add Constant Contact Form.” Step 5: Select your form from the drop-down menu. Step 6: Click “Insert shortcode.” Once you are ready to publish or republish your post, click “Publish” or “Update,” and you will see the Constant Contact subscriber form in your blog post. The best WordPress plugins for email marketing While the Constant Contact plugin for WordPress is an awesome tool, it’s not your only email marketing plugin option.  Here are some additional email marketing WordPress plugins to consider when setting up an email marketing strategy for your eCommerce website. Sumo This email marketing plugin helps you set up subscriber forms on your website in the most strategic places.  Here are some of the top places where you can place a Sumo email list subscriber form: A smart bar that appears at the top or bottom of your website.A list builder popup that shows up one second after page load.A list builder popup that is embedded within an article.A list builder popup that shows up after the user hovers the mouse over the address bar.A list builder popup with a call to action button that appears one second after page load.A list builder popup that shows up after a user clicks the button below the first paragraph.A scroll box that will show after page loads and upon user scroll.A welcome mat that will show up after the page loads and appear above page, and many other welcome mat options.And more! It’s easy to install the Sumo WordPress plugin, connect it to your ESP, and include forms in various strategic places on your website. Sumo also offers share buttons to help you boost your social media presence. MailPoet MailPoet is another cool WordPress plugin that allows you to get subscribers, set up automated welcome messages, and build newsletters from excellent templates right within your WordPress dashboard.  Additionally, you can set MailPoet to automatically notify your lists whenever you publish new content. Some other notable MailPoet features include: Customizable sign-up formsRemoves inactive subscribersSegmentationWooCommerce customers email subscription at checkoutAbandon cart emailsSMTP for WordPressAnd more! One of the best things about MailPoet is you can handle your email marketing right within the WordPress platform.  It doesn’t matter whether you use the Constant Contact plugin, the Sumo plugin, or MailPoet. What matters is that you sign up for one of these services, create your first list and sign up form, and start your first eCommerce email campaign. How to set up a welcome email campaign for your eCommerce website There are many different email marketing campaigns you might create, including promotional campaigns, holiday campaigns, product launches, and more. But, one campaign every eCommerce website owner will use is a welcome campaign.  A welcome campaign is the first email your subscribers will see from you, so it’s critical to make a good impression. Here is what you want to address in your welcome email: Build a relationship. If someone signs up for your email list, the first thing you should do is focus on them. This can include a warm welcome, a quick congratulations, or a reaffirmation that they made the right decision. Focusing on the customer from the get-go is a great way to go. Set expectations. Someone just subscribed to your email list, but they aren’t quite sure what that entails. Don’t leave your subscribers hanging. Instead, outline what being part of the email newsletter means, including when to expect content and what type of campaigns to expect. Address spam filters. Spam filters are so good these days, they sometimes even mark safe content as spam. It’s smart to ask your users in your welcome email to add them to their list of trusted contacts.  Include an offer. What screams “welcome to our online store” better than an introductory offer? People love discounts and special discounts, so give them one as a reward for joining the list. Thank your new subscriber. Thank yous go a long way. Do as your mother taught you and thank your subscribers for joining your list. Here is a good example of a welcome email from Bombas. This Bombas email is well-designed, it welcomes the subscriber into the Bombas family, and it provides a discount code so subscribers can start shopping immediately. Good work, Bombas. The process of setting up a welcome email is different for every ESP or WordPress plugin, but should be fairly intuitive, regardless of what you’re using. Here is a quick-reference guide to how to set up your welcome email if you’re using Constant Contact. Getting started with email marketing for your eCommerce website Email marketing is a must if you’re looking to boost website traffic and increase conversions. Thankfully, it’s easy to get started with an email service provider and insert your subscriber forms into your eCommerce website and any relevant blog posts. At HostGator, we recommend making the process easy by using Constant Contact. We also offer a free 3-month trial of Constant Contact. Get started today! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Making Money Online: A Guide on How to Earn Money From Home

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One of the primary reasons people want to make money online is because there is little or no cost involved. Unlike brick and mortar businesses, online money-making has made the lives of the people a lot simpler. But that doesn’t mean making money online sitting at home is simple. It takes time and effort, but if it’s done the right way, then there is no turning back.  With this article, we will talk about how to earn money from home, debunk certain myths about making money online, and what kind of ideas can you think of to make money online. So, here goes-  How to earn money from home to get more income First of all, you need to understand that, to make money from home, you will need to leverage a skill. Now, this can be blogging or content writing, becoming a stock trader, becoming an affiliate, or even starting your own business online. You can pick or choose any one that you want, but today if we talk about good money from home ideas as a topic, some key parameters have to be taken into consideration. Here are some-  While making money from home, it is better if you have a skill set to leverage. This will not only be of massive advantage to you but also to the people who want to make the most out of your ability, which you can get paid for. You need to give this time. There is no quick way or shortcut to do this. In the sense that you have to understand that making money won’t happen overnight unless you garner a bit of experience. Patience is key.  Play to your strengths. This will help you in the long run. If you think giving information about something you like to talk about is your essential strength. Take up blogging or content writing.  Now that you know some crucial aspects of making money online, here is how you can actually start making money from home: Start your blog- Bloggers earn money working from home. And it has become a good side gig for a lot of people. If you have a topic to talk about, let’s say motorbikes. You can start writing about bikes and slowly and gradually increase the visitors on your blog. Once that happens, you can make money from home with Google’s ad sense, which will place relevant ads on your blog, and you can earn money as a publisher. Another option if you start your own blog is that you can give blogging as a service to several content marketing agencies and brands as a freelancer. This will provide you with a steady income working from home. If you want to get started with the same, you can read in detail about how to start a blog and make money here.  Become a YouTuber- Just as a blogger writes content on blogs, you can become a YouTuber and make money by actually talking about the same content by converting it into a script. YouTubers create their own channel and talk about their favorite topic and earn money from home through YouTube or by partnering with a brand. This has become one of the best ways of making money for those who don’t want to necessarily stick to the format of writing a blog. Buy and Sell domains – Buying and selling domains has been a tried and tested way to earn money from home. However, understand this, to buy and sell domains you will have to get in touch with a domain and hosting company that allows you to resell domains at a markup price. This will help you make profits and sell the domain under your brand name through your blog or website.  Become an affiliate- Becoming an affiliate is one of the most profitable ways of making money working from home. To start with, you will need a blog/website or a YouTube channel of your own where you are dedicatedly posting or creating content around the category or subject of your niche.  Now, in order to be an affiliate, you will need some amount of traffic and traction on your blog, website, or even your YouTube channel for a brand to leverage it so that it pays you for every sale that is made through your assets. Hence, it is recommended that you create such properties online, build them over time, and then become an affiliate with a brand who’s niche is relevant to what you do. In this way, the partnership will be profitable for both of you. If you want to become an affiliate and want to make money online, here is a step by step guide as to how you can be one. Start your own online store- You can set up your own online store selling electronics, jewellery, clothes, etc. It is a very novel way of having your online business and making money from the same. All you need to do is get a hosting package and a website/blog that sets it up and lists the products on the website. Marketing may take some effort, but mostly it is possible if you dedicate time and energy to the same.  So, now that we have understood how to make money online, we would like to tell you that to make money from home, you will, and you can have as many ways and means as possible. But one thing stays, and that is putting time and effort in creating content and giving information related items that are relevant so that users find value in what you do. In closing, we would like to thank you for reading this article about how you can make money from home. If you have any feedback for us, do let us know in the comments section below. We will try to answer your queries as far as possible.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Making Money Online: A Guide on How to Earn Money From Home appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing

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Most bloggers and YouTubers start off by talking about their niche or topic of interest, thinking that they will make their channel/blog a vast community and earn some money. In a bid to do the same, they rely on Google’s AdSense or YouTube, which, in the very beginning, helps them make money to some extent. However, these sources have their very own limitations, which may reduce the scope of any passionate blogger or Youtuber to earn more money online.  Hence, most bloggers and YouTubers choose to become an affiliate by partnering with a renowned brand and market their products online by talking to the relevant audience, which is why, in today’s day and age, affiliate marketing is picking up and how! Interesting right? Which is why it becomes even more critical for such enthusiasts to learn affiliate marketing.  This article seeks to give a step-by-step guide to affiliate marketing for beginners, basics of affiliate marketing, its benefits, some tips for affiliate marketing for beginners, and the best way to start affiliate marketing. It will also cover other aspects such as dos and don’ts, when you become an affiliate marketer and how to become one with ResellerClub. So, without much delay, let us understand-  What is affiliate marketing?  Affiliate marketing is nothing but a modern interpretation of an old school idea- get a commission on a sale. It is the very basic of affiliate marketing. You are affiliated with a brand to promote their products or services. So, as an affiliate, your job is to introduce the brand’s products and services relevant to your readers by leveraging your expertise. And based on a sale, you get a commission from the brand. It is that easy! But how does it work?  Your blog or website already talks about something, right? Let’s say hosting or domains or any other product or service. All you need to do is place a unique affiliate code given by the brand/company to you on the article or content that they want to promote after you sign up for their program. When your readers are interested or attracted to the content and click on that link to buy the product, they will be redirected to the brand’s products and services. If they like the offerings and buy something, the brand will know that the sale has happened through your website, and that’s how you end up getting the commission. Brilliant, right?  Great! So what are the things I need to be aware of before I become an affiliate? So, like we said, as an affiliate, you need to introduce a brand’s offerings that are relevant to your audience. But, before you become an affiliate, here is what you need to know-  You and the brand should ideally get into an informal agreement, an affiliate agreement, where you decide the terms and conditions both parties agree to- commissions, payouts, percentage slabs on performance, legalities, etc. You might read about these terms and formalities at the brand’ s/merchant’s website under their affiliate program.  This was at a basic level of what affiliate marketing is and what you need to know before becoming an affiliate. Apart from making money online, there are many advantages of affiliate marketing per se. Here are some-  Benefits of affiliate marketing Affiliate, for beginners, grew as a channel, but later with time, it started becoming a part-time career for many people around the world. Apart from the fact that it acts as another source of income, here are a few advantages: Affiliate marketing is a low investment deal for affiliates- This holds because all you need is a blogging platform or a youtube channel to talk about, and getting either of the two is free or requires very little investment.  It’s a major marketing channel that is used by the biggest of the brands. Affiliate marketing is a very flexible and independent business- This attracts many professionals and freelancers because they don’t have to set up anything or even be at their desks all the time. Post your content with the code, and the rest is taken care of. Marketing kit is right at your disposal- The brand/merchant usually provides you with all the collateral required to promote their offerings.  The best way to earn passive income- As we mentioned before, this is perhaps one of the easiest ways to make money.  Surely with this, becoming an affiliate sounds great, right? So why don’t we understand how to become an affiliate. Allow us to give you a step by step guide to affiliate marketing for beginners-  How to start affiliate marketing for beginners 1. Choose a platform- In theory, you can choose any platform that you want to when you want to become an affiliate marketer. It could be Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or even your blog. If you already have a good amount of traffic or subscribers on your platform, you can start by putting affiliate links. But ensure that your blog or YouTube channel is also optimized for the search engines because that will inevitably help you get more traction.  2. Decide your niche for content – It is true that the affiliate space is crowded. So, to stand out, choose your niche wisely. Talk about what interests you but also make sure that it grabs the eyeballs of a specific audience. This way, it will be easy for you to rank better in the search engines. Also, you need not be a subject matter expert. You can read about the topic and document what you learned. At times documented content is the best content, so ensure that you have decided on your niche first and then start. 3. Finding the right program- There are different types of affiliate programs. Some have high payouts, but the low volume (of customers), some are low paying but have high volume, and some are high volume high payout programs. Before choosing a program based on the affiliate structure of volume/payout, check what your niche is all about and it’s kind of traction. Based on this, you can choose an affiliate program for yourself.  Also, check the product’s reputation and the brand that’s offering the product by searching about it on Google before selecting an affiliate program. One of the best ways of affiliate marketing for beginners is to join bigger affiliate networks if you want to. This will help other brands notice you and understand what you have to offer. It also serves as a great platform to hunt different clients for affiliates.  Another option you may want to try out is by personally reaching out to companies. By all means, you have many options for getting in touch with a brand that understands your niche.  4. Creating content and driving relevant traffic to your site/channel- As we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be an expert on the topic. In the best-case scenario, talk about it interestingly. That is more likely to get you the commissions you need.  Create content that excites users. Make your content actionable and ensure that you answer the 5Ws and 1H (what, when, why, where, who, and how) to understand your audiences’ wants and desires. Provide content that educates and entertains your readers and not just talks about the product or the brand per se. There has to be a final takeaway for your audience. This will lay the foundation for your content and then also help you understand where and how you need to plug-in the product or service.  You can use different marketing tactics to get more traffic if you want, such as SEM or SEO or some such. The bottom line is you can do this by yourself without really needing any special knowledge about the topic.  5.Clicks and sales conversion Once you are done writing or talking about your content, it is of utmost importance that you place the product links correctly. That will eventually drive sales and commissions for you when it comes to affiliate marketing. So here is what you need to do if you are writing a blog, always talk about the product or service in this way-  Today, I will be reviewing hosting products that you can buy from (brand name) at USD 30. They are productname1, productname2, and productname3.  This format is easier, and also, the readers or viewers can understand better, and if they need to click on it, they can.  Most importantly, ensure that you are placing the right promo code and linking it to the right product of the brand you are promoting.  Setting yourself up as an affiliate Now that you have understood the basics of affiliate marketing with a step by step guide that we shared, here is the best way to start affiliate marketing and set yourself up with basic dos and don’ts-  Things you will need- As mentioned, you will need your platform to start as an affiliate. It could be a blog, YouTube channel, or even social media handles. Apart from this, you will also need the content/campaign promo material, promo code, and collateral from the brand that needs to be advertised on your channel.  Do’s and don’ts- Always promote a product you like talking about or have a strong liking or passion for because that seeps into your content, and it becomes easier for you to sell and even promote. Don’t just do it for a commission, which you won’t get if a sale is not made. Also, understand the terms and conditions of your brand partner/merchant’s services and ensure that you understand each other’s expectations.  Also, don’t overdo the banners or collateral material shared with you thinking that you will get more commissions. It is always sales-based, and the better you present your content, the higher the chances of conversion.  We hope this article informed you of everything you needed to know about becoming an affiliate. If you want to kickstart this process, you can also become an affiliate with ResellerClub and promote their hosting products and services on your blog, YouTube channel, or social media.  Some of the benefits of becoming a ResellerClub affiliate are as follows Timely payouts- Based on the deal you have with our team, you will be given payouts based on the decided commission.  Dedicated affiliate manager- This person will be there to co-ordinate and help you with what products need to be promoted, etc. In this way, you will have a single point to contact to take you through everything.  Amazing tracking system- One of the key areas where most affiliate marketing faces hurdles is tracking and attributing the traffic and sales coming on the merchant’s website. We have those checks in place, thanks to Impact Radius, that helps us track the performance of our affiliates. Ready collaterals for promotion-  All the marketing material you need will be available to you.  Thank you so much for reading Affiliate Marketing for beginners- A step by step guide to affiliate marketing. With this, we hope that we have addressed every aspect of affiliate marketing, right from the basics of affiliate marketing to a step by step guide to affiliate marketing as well as how to start affiliate marketing for beginners. If you have any other doubts with respect to affiliate marketing or even with accordance to how to start affiliate marketing for beginners, please leave your queries below or reach us at affiliates@resellerclub.com .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How Will COVID-19 Impact eCommerce This Holiday Season? (3 Predictions)

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The post How Will COVID-19 Impact eCommerce This Holiday Season? (3 Predictions) appeared first on HostGator Blog. Retailers know that winter holiday gift shopping is what keeps the industry going, and until this year, holiday sales figures were on a roll, steadily climbing year after year.  Now, though, many consumers say they’re not sure if they’ll spend as much in 2020 as in years past. Some are already committed to spending less. And many say they’ve made big changes in how they plan to shop for holiday gifts this year. Here’s what small online retailers need to know now about consumers’ holiday 2020 spending plans, popular gift categories and potential changes to major sales days. Use this info to plan your holiday season marketing, product selection, pricing, and promotions. eCommerce looks different this year. Ordinarily, the holiday season is the big event retailers spend all year preparing for. The sheer volume of site traffic, orders, and fulfillment requests pushes many sellers to their limit. Think of it as the big marathon you’ve been training for. But things are different now. What’s changing? With many stores closed and people sheltering at home, everyday eCommerce volume is way, way up over previous years. Every day in April, for example, eCommerce sites overall had more traffic than they did on Black Friday 2019, the most popular shopping day of the holiday season. That’s like running a marathon a day since shutdowns began. What do the changes mean? Does this mean your holiday season will be even bigger than in a regular year? Or will consumers tap out their budgets before the holidays? No one’s really sure yet, because factors like pent-up demand from consumers who’ve so far escaped financial damage may drive holiday sales.  However, it’s a safe bet that if your customers are already price-sensitive, they will be even more so this winter. In early 2020, 42% of consumers said they made their 2019 online purchases based on price, and 24% said they never paid full price online. That survey was taken when unemployment was at a 50-year low. Now, it’s close to 11%.  What you can do now Review your metrics to see if  Your bestsellers have changed from more to less expensive items.Your discount offers are getting more conversions than during the same time last year.The price points on your customers’ most recent wishlist items have dropped. This data can show you if your customers are scaling back their spending and searching for more deals. If so, they’ll probably expect great deals and the lowest possible prices during the holidays.  Focus on products that fit your customers’ price range and wishlist trends. And start planning your discount offers, free shipping, and other promotions to keep your holiday shoppers happy. The holiday sales calendar might get weird. In previous years, more than a third of consumers started their holiday gift-buying before November. But the long weekend that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday accounted for a huge proportion of eCommerce and retail sales. This graph from the 2019 National Retail Federation holiday consumer survey shows how things usually go: What’s changing? In-store Black Friday sales almost certainly won’t be anything like the crowded events of yesteryear. Macy’s, and presumably other retailers, are looking at buy-online, pickup-curbside options to reduce in-store crowding, and more shoppers may stick to buying online instead of returning to physical stores. That could mean even more website traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The biggest unknown right now is when Amazon Prime Day will happen. From 2015 until last July, Prime Day was the biggest online shopping event of the summer, racking up more than $7 billion in sales in 2019. This year, the eCommerce giant has postponed Prime Day until the fall, possibly in early October.  What do the changes mean? What happens when you move a $7 billion, single-retailer sales event to the month before Black Friday? No one can say for sure, but if shoppers grab holiday gifts then, they may spend less on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What you can do now Watch for Amazon’s announcement of its 2020 Prime Day date. Start thinking about promotions you could run at the same time as Prime Day, to encourage your customers to stick with you.  If you’re not already offering your products on Amazon as well as your own website, consider getting started so you can get in on the Prime Day frenzy, whenever it happens. And now’s a good time to make sure your hosting plan can scale up to accommodate any surges in traffic this holiday season. Bestselling product categories may change this year. Some of the products that seem to always make the top 10 list for holiday gift-giving may not do as well this year. Consider this list from the NRF 2019 holiday consumer survey: Clothing may still do well because of seasonal shifts and holiday traditions. Now more than ever, we need matching flannel pajamas for lounging at home in style, for example. Books and media, toys and food all seem like safe, comforting bets for holiday gifting. What’s changing? Jewelry sales haven’t fared well since the start of the pandemic, with retailers ranging from Kay to Tiffany reporting big sales drops. It’s unclear whether shoppers will shift gears and treat their loved ones to jewelry during the holidays. Demand for cash has been dropping, too, since the CDC recommended that retail workers avoid handling it.  What do the changes mean? To avoid gifting cash, shoppers may buy more gift cards this holiday season. Gift cards are already gaining popularity with shoppers looking to support their favorite local businesses. Google has even added a way for shoppers to buy gift cards from retailers’ Google My Business profiles. As for jewelry, sales aren’t down in all markets. Chinese shoppers are the bright spot for jewelry and other luxury brands right now, according to CNN Business, as their economy starts to recover from the initial impact of the pandemic. What you can do now Keep tabs on sales trends for each of your product categories as the holidays approach. Think about discounts and promotions that could boost slower-selling items you have in-stock. Offer gift cards and plan gift card promotions for the holidays.  If your store offers products that are selling slowly at home but faster abroad, you may want to start selling across borders to boost your revenue. International marketplaces can be an easy tool for  building a customer base overseas. What else do consumers expect when they shop for the holidays? Online stores that load fast, don’t crash and protect their data. If you need to upgrade your hosting plan, now’s the time. Get started with HostGator today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Building a Landing Page that Converts

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Nowadays, almost all businesses are trying to make a mark in the digital space with their customised websites. To make your website noteworthy, it should be genuine, secure and offer the best content to your visitors. There are several ways to make sure your website is worth remembering, and your landing page is one amongst […] The post Building a Landing Page that Converts appeared first on HostGator India Blog.

Press Ahead With WordPress and WP Engine

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The entire digital landscape has shifted over the last few months, making the website the front door for businesses across every industry. From restaurants to yoga studios, and universities to doctors’ offices, engaging online is now the new normal. At WP Engine, we’ve experienced our own digital transformations—engaging with each other in new ways using… The post Press Ahead With WordPress and WP Engine appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Create an eCommerce Subscription Business [4-Step Guide]

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The post How to Create an eCommerce Subscription Business [4-Step Guide] appeared first on HostGator Blog. Did you know the eCommerce market is growing by more than 100% a year, and that subscription-based services are increasing at unprecedented rates? Data shows that by 2023 as many as 75% of direct-to-consumer brands will offer subscriptions. The subscription-based business model is booming right now, and consumers are responding positively, especially amid the COVID-19 crisis.  Research shows that approximately 20% of consumers purchased subscription services during the pandemic, so they wouldn’t risk running out of specific products. If you are a current store owner that wants to add subscription options for your products, or if you’re going to start a subscription business from scratch, now is the perfect time to get started. This post will cover everything you need to know to create an eCommerce subscription business. Step 1: Source and package products You know what you want to sell online, but how do you get started? The first step is finding out where you’ll source your products and how you will package them. Let’s cover how this works. Where can you source products? There are three main ways people source products to sell online, including: DIY creationWorking with a manufacturerDropshipping DIY product creation If you are creating your own products, bravo! It takes a lot of talent to make your own products, physical or digital, and bring them to the market.  While it may be a lot of initial work to get your handmade product off the ground, the benefits are robust. You will have full control over the quality of your products, your startup costs will be low, and you can scale your business at your own pace. Working with a manufacturer When you are ready to scale your business, or if you want to hire someone to create your products, you’ll need to get in contact with a manufacturer.  The best way to start is to research manufacturers online and see what options you have. You can also ask a trusted friend in the industry for recommendations. Once you have narrowed your list down to three or four contenders, start doing your research. Compare how much it will cost to use the different manufacturers, look at their previous work, ask them about successes and failures, and make sure they have legal and ethical business practices. Drop shipping If you build an impressive online following, you may not even need to create your own products. You may be able to make money by purchasing relevant products from another vendor and selling them in your online store. With drop shipping, you make the sale, and the other vendor takes care of inventory, packaging, and fulfillment. If you grow a successful blog or website and work to increase your traffic, drop shipping is a stellar option. How do you handle product packaging? Once you have product creation settled, it’s time to determine how you will package your products.  With the rise of the unboxing experience on social media, it’s critical to put thought and attention into your packaging. Here are some things to consider: Hire a product marketer to give you insights into how to best package your products.Your product packaging is the equivalent of a customer walking into your store for the first time, so invest in making a good first impression.Use your product packaging as another branding opportunity by placing your logo and website on the box.Take necessary precautions to protect your products, including using bubble wrap, looking into dry ice packs, shrink wrapping your products, or anything else that helps you protect your merchandise.Encourage additional purchases by including a coupon code in the box. For more information on product packaging, check out this guide.  Step 2: Build your online store Now that you have solidified your product sourcing and packaging, you’re officially ready to build your online store. Hopefully, you already have a website. If not, don’t worry. With HostGator’s WordPress hosting, it’s easy to get a WordPress website set up and running in less than a day.  All you have to do is choose a web hosting package, install WordPress, and choose a WordPress theme to customize. For more info, read our step-by-step guide to setting up your WordPress site. If you already have a WordPress website up and running, it’s easy to add an online store. Not to mention, you have several awesome options. Here are some of the best WordPress plugins for building an eCommerce store. WooCommerce – WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform built specifically for WordPress. With WooCommerce you can set up your online store without having to know one line of code. It also allows you to sell affiliate products, offer digital and physical products, and capture recurring payments with WooCommerce subscriptions. Subscriptio – Subscriptio is a stellar WooCommerce extension that helps you sell subscriptions on your website. This extension adds the capability to accept recurring payments on WooCommerce sites. If you’re looking to sell something like a magazine subscription, online subscription, or a subscription box, checkout Subscriptio.WebToffee – WebToffee is another great option for adding a subscription payment option to your WooCommerce site. With WebToffee, you can create simple and variable subscriptions, offer a free trial, and provide recurring discounts. WebToffee also supports synchronization. WebToffee is a paid plugin, but the extra functionality may be worth it if you’re serious about setting up and scaling your online subscription store. It’s worth it to look into each of these WordPress plugins to determine which one is right for you. They all are easy to use, have multiple features, and will help you set up your online store. What you end up choosing will largely depend on your preferences. How to install a WordPress plugin Now that you know about the top WordPress plugins, let’s quickly review how to install and activate a plugin in WordPress. Here are the steps you need to follow: Login to your WordPress site.Turn your attention to the navigation bar on the left side of the dashboard screen.Click on “Plugins.”Click on “Add new.”Search for the name of the plugin in the keyword box.Press “Install Now.”Click on “Activate,” which will send you back to the plugin page.Find the Shopify plugin and click on “Settings.”From here, Shopify will guide you through the steps of setting up your account. After installing your favorite respective eCommerce plugin, you can follow the steps and start adding your subscription products to your store.  Step 3: Set your prices Before you finalize your store, you’ll need to decide on a pricing model. With an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce, you can price your subscriptions in different ways. Here are some options. Sell individual products that you deliver regularly Selling single products as part of a subscription service is a solid way to ensure repeat business and customer happiness. You are offering an unlimited supply of products your subscribers love, and you can count on repeat revenue every month. Double win. If you sell a perishable product (e.g., dog food, make-up, toilet paper, cookies, etc.), this model is an excellent choice. Madison Reed is a great example of a company that uses this model. Madison Reed guides customers through a series of questions and comes up with the perfect hair color product, based on the answers. Of course, Madison Reed allows the customer to make desired changes, but the questions are a great way to provide guidance and lead customers down the sales funnel. Once a customer decides on a hair color kit, they can sign up for a subscription, so they never run out of hair color. What’s particularly cool about the Madison Reed subscription model is they allow customers to choose how often the recurring deliveries happen. Since hair grows at different rates, this is an excellent way to keep control in the hands of the consumer and avoid cancellations. Offer a subscription option Another option you have for your eCommerce store is to offer one-off products with a subscription option.  In other words, a customer might come to your website to buy one of your homemade cookies, but why not include a pricing option where they can opt to get cookies from you every week via a subscription. To incentivize customers to subscribe, you can offer a slight discount for subscribing. At first glance, it may seem that offering a discounted price for something customers intend to buy often would result in lower sales. However, research shows the opposite. Stats show that subscription businesses increased revenues nearly 5 times faster than S&P 500 company revenues and U.S. retail sales. Additionally, 61% of SMBs report more than half of their revenue comes from repeat business.  If you’re planning on offering one product, take the time to add a subscription option as well. It will pay off in the end. Sell a subscription box It seems like there is a subscription box for everything these days. Books. Dog food. Makeup. Even skulls — seriously, check it out: And, it’s with good reason. Not only are subscription boxes a surefire way to boost revenues and encourage repeat business, but they are also a killer social proof marketing tool. I mentioned the “unboxing phenomenon” earlier. As a quick overview, unboxing is when a social influencer gets a subscription box, and opens it in front of all their subscribers.  As of 2015, 35.3% of consumers had seen an unboxing video. In 2017, this number increased to 36.8%, according to Dotcom Distribution, and there are little signs of this trend slowing down. Providing awesome products in beautiful packages via a subscription model is a great way to capture sales and increase brand awareness. Bundle your subscriptions Let’s say you offer multiple individual subscriptions. Another fun pricing model is to offer a discount when someone bundles their subscription. This model encourages more purchases and boosts your sales. The best example I can think of for subscription bundles is streaming services. For example, you can subscribe individually to Disney+, and Hulu, and ESPN+, or you can pay $12.99 a month for all three of these services in a bundle. Step 4: Set up shipping The last step in the process is setting up shipping. If you offer digital products, then all you have to do is provide a download after customers pay. Every eCommerce platform makes the delivery of digital assets easy. For shipping physical products, you have more factors to consider. You’ll need to investigate the following: Whether or not you want to handle shippingWhat shipping carrier works best for youHow much you want to charge for shippingWhether or not you want your eCommerce platform to handle shipping for you If you have a small brand, you may be able to handle shipping yourself. But, it’s also critical to be wary of this option. If you start to get more sales or become an overnight success, running to the post office with orders will quickly get overwhelming. It makes sense to look into a shipping service connected to your eCommerce platform (e.g. WooCommerce Shipping). Using an eCommerce service is an easy way to create shipping labels right from the comfort of your own home. It’s Time to Start Your eCommerce Subscription Business Setting up an eCommerce subscription store is an awesome way to grow your business. The subscription model is exciting, customers love subscriptions, and it helps ensure steady revenue. With HostGator, it’s easy to set up a WordPress site, and quickly install an eCommerce subscription plugin.  To get your store up and running, you don’t have to know a single line of code. You can follow the intuitive instructions in WordPress and in your eCommerce plugin and have your website up in no time. Visit the HostGator website today to get started. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

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Social media platforms have been a game-changer — for both businesses and customers.  As a marketer, and a customer, I continue to be amazed by tailor-made content and promotions that pop up on my social media feed. My interests, who I follow, what I like and the types of things I look for; all contribute to the experience I have every time I log in to my social accounts.  If you’re a business owner, you probably already know what a vital role social media plays today. It helps you reach out to a larger audience, directs traffic to your website, allows you to drive more revenue, and get more people talking about you. But all of this only happens when you’re using all the right tricks in the hat and avoid common social media mistakes.  So, what are these social media mistakes to avoid? How can you guarantee a great experience for your audience? Let’s dive in and know more.  Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid While it may be easy to stay updated with the latest trends to keep your social media marketing fresh and relevant, no one talks about what not to do.  While you may be following the best social media practices to create great content, certain crucial mistakes can completely mar your efforts. Here are the top five common social media mistakes to look out for:  1. Trying to Rule Every Platform You may find yourself asking, ‘Do I need to be on every social media platform?’ The simple answer is, no. The industry you belong to, the products or services you offer, your target audience and your marketing goals are key factors that determine the best platforms to support your social media marketing efforts. For example, If you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn is more likely to boost your efforts than a platform like Pinterest that is directed towards more creative and personalized content. Thus, instead of wasting your time and efforts on every platform, understand which social media platforms are right for your business, and work towards creating an impact there.  2. Not Knowing Your Target Audience Would you gift play-dough to a middle-aged person? Or would you gift Ancient History and Philosophy books to a toddler? Well, these might be extreme examples but creating content without knowing your audience can be as bad! Social media marketing efforts only bear desired results when your audience finds it relatable and relevant — the only way you can do that is by knowing who they are. The age group, demographics, gender, buying preferences and other vital information about your target audience will help you create a stronger and more impactful social media presence. You need to fine-tune your brand voice and tone, making it resonate with your audience. For example, if you’re an e-commerce store that sells pet supplies do some research to find out what pet owners are looking for, where they’re looking and what will make them come to you. You can’t sell dog food to a cat owner, no matter how creative you get!  3. Being Inconsistent If you want to create an impact, be remembered and want people to keep coming back for more — consistency is key. With so many brands pegging for customers’ attention online, you need to be consistent and consistently good to keep your audience’s attention. What’s the best way to do that? Create a social media strategy, build a scheduling calendar, use tools to manage schedules, and monitor your audience’s behaviour to keep reinventing and strengthening your brand presence.  4. Creating Text Vs. Visuals Disconnect  What’s more important when creating a social media post — text or visuals? A common social media mistake that a lot of brands commit is giving visuals greater importance than the supporting copy text. The most important thing to consider is achieving a balance and correlation between both. While both text and visuals need to stand out on their own, they must be in sync. For example, if your text is talking about an upcoming event but the visual in no way depicts the same, the impact and meaning will be lost. You need to understand that some people consume only visuals, while others rely on text — but once one of the elements catches their attention, they look for the other to better relate with it.  Note: When creating visuals be sensitive to the environment and people’s sentiments. For example, if you’re a restaurant creating content during the COVID-19 pandemic, refrain from using images of large groups of people dining together to promote your restaurant businesses. Instead, keeping in mind the social distancing norms, use images of families at home, or individuals. Remember, it’s the smallest gestures that leave the biggest impact.  5. Disregarding People’s Comments Out of all the common social media mistakes that brands could make, this one probably costs the most. The comments section is a pool of opinions, feedback, questions, experiences, and a lot more that could help you grow and connect with your audience. Failing to use this as an opportunity to grow will cost your brand a great deal. Not replying, deleting negative comments, setting unsatisfactory templated auto-responses, or simply ignoring queries are some of the common social media mistakes you could be making. However, from a marketing perspective, if you want to grow as a business, carefully analyze and understand what people are conveying through their comments to make your social media marketing more personalized for your audience. When you start taking your audience’s comments into account to rebuild or strengthen how and what you communicate with them, you will instantly see a boost in engagement.  Be a Social Media Marketing Maverick Marketing has come a long way. From the traditional word-of-mouth and offline marketing to more professional Business Emails and personalized social media content, the idea has always been the same — reaching out to existing and potential customers to grow your business through a tailor-made experience.  Ever since the lockdown, owing to the Corona Virus, I see myself spending a lot more time scrolling through social media feeds. It’s wonderful to see how most brands have reinvented their strategies to meet the current norms and needs. Unfortunately, I also see some brands relentlessly pushing their products as ‘essentials’, while they’re really far from what we deem essential today! Come on, be sensitive.  The fact that you’ve read so far means you want to know more about the common social media mistakes to avoid — you’re already one step closer to winning.  Rethink your strategy and make sure you’re not making any not-so-silly mistakes.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to add them to the comments section below (we take these very seriously!). Also, head to our Marketing Blog Category to learn more and stay updated.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post 5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Business

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The post How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Business appeared first on HostGator Blog. Choose A Domain Name for Your Business Choosing the right domain name for your business is a big decision. Your domain name is more than the words you type into the browser, it’s the foundation for your online identity. Choose the wrong domain name and you’ll end up doing your business a disservice. But, choose the right domain name and you’ll make your online success that much easier. But, how exactly do you choose a good domain name for your blog or business? We’ve got you covered. Below you’ll learn how to choose a domain name for your business, and the most important factors in getting your domain name right 1. Go with “.com” When it comes to choosing your domain extension you’re going to have a lot of different options available. It can be tempting to go with a TLD that’s innovative and creative. However, if you can it’s always a good idea to go with .com. The .com TLD is by far the most commonly used and recognized TLD. So, people already have a built-in association with .com being the primary TLD. You can use this to your advantage and build a higher-quality brand by choosing .com You can also think of it this way. If your website does become very successful and you decided to start with something like .co, then you’d probably need to eventually purchase the .com too 2. Scoop up other domain extensions, too When you register your .com domain name, pick up top-level domain variations like .biz and .net if you can. Redirect them to your .com site so visitors who type in the wrong domain will still find your site. For example, sephora.biz, sephora.net and sephora.info all take you straight to Sephora.com. As the number of domain registrations continues to increase, good names are becoming more and more competitive.  For this reason, it’s possible to have a competitor snatch up the “.net” or “.biz” version of your URL – even if you’ve secured the “.com” version. Because this can lead to lost traffic – especially if your competitors wind up outranking you in the search engine results pages – consider buying up popular TLDs (top-level domains) for your chosen domain, if they’re available. 3. Keep it short When in doubt, make your domain as short as possible. This will help with making your brand more memorable. The fewer characters your domain has the easier it’ll be to type, say, and share with friends. Now it might be hard to find a single word domain that’s related to your business, especially today. However, consider combining two or three shorter words together to make something memorable. Plus, since more internet users today use their smartphones to browse the web, you need to make it easy for them to type your domain into their browser 4. Avoid “cutesy” names and abbreviations Don’t use cute shorteners like 4U and 2U in your domain names because: They’re hard to remember. They look unprofessional.Only Prince could get away with that, and 4 real UR not Prince. If you think people might have trouble remembering long URLs, know that they’ll have a field day trying to remember your text-speak domain name!  Steer clear and look for alternative domain names that convey your company’s brand messaging without resorting to tricks like these. 5. Don’t make it awkward Domain names don’t include spaces, and using hyphens in domain names is a terrible idea, so whatever you choose shouldn’t look awkward written as one word.  To see what we mean, consider the real-life URLs for the following legitimate company names: Pen Island – “www.penisland.net”IT Scrap – “www.itscrap.com”Who Represents – “www.whorepresents.com”Experts Exchange – “www.expertsexchange.com”Speed of Art – “www.speedofart.com” Clearly, carefully reviewing your final selection before hitting the “Register” button is always a good idea! 6. Make it brandable Brandable means that when you see or hear your domain it sounds like a brand. By looking at your domain name your visitors should be able to intuit what your website is going to be about. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to spell out exactly what your business does with a list of keywords but instead try to capture the essence of what you do. When a customer sees a name like billreducer.com, they have one expectation in mind: this website is going to help me save money by reducing my bills in some way. Choose a name that is going to let customers know what they are in for from the moment they read it. Your site should deliver what it says on the label, and your domain name is the label. For example, if you sell pet supplies in Tulsa, www.tulsapetsupplies.com makes that clear to visitors in a way that, say, www.treatsandtoys.com does not. Don’t make it confusing for your visitors to figure out what your business does. Say it all with a great domain name. 7. Choose a domain that’s easy to remember Customers will find your website URL on flyers, newsletters, search queries, and other websites so making the address stick is key. Memorable domain names are often short, clever, and avoid trendy humor, hyphens or numbers. The longer or more complicated the domain name, the less likely it is to stick. A good rule of thumb is if you saw the domain name on a delivery-truck sign, could you remember it later? Think obvious, catchy, unique, and memorable. Do a quick analysis of your favorite domain names and see what makes them stand out, and incorporate those elements you like into your own business domain name. 8. Stay clear of copyright issues If you’re pretty much settled on a domain name, then you need to spend some time looking into the past of your domain. Ask yourself the following questions: Have there been any associated domain names that have a negative public opinion?Does your domain name contain any words that have a double meaning?Are there any existing trademark issues with the words used in your domain? The last thing you want is to find and register the perfect domain name, only to realize that your domain is creating brand confusion, or that you’re accidentally stepping on someone’s trademark. Double-check social media, too. You want to make sure any relevant social media handles are still available. This will help you build brand consistency and make it that much easier for your visitors to find your business on social media. 9. Unlock the power of keywords Internet search is based on a framework of keywords and phrases when indexing addresses and sites, so why not take advantage of this when choosing your domain name? Brainstorm keywords related to your organization and use these in shaping your chosen name. For example, your butcher’s shop might name meat, butcher, smoked, cured, savory, friendly, and service as descriptive keywords for your business. An appropriate name might then be SavoryService.com or TheSmilingButcher.com. Either domain respects the fact that search engines work off of such keywords when indexing and fetching information for users, while providing a description of what customers can expect in the process. What keywords do people use to search for businesses like yours? Use them in your domain name if you can. 10. Protect your privacy When you register your domain, the rules of the internet require that you give your real namehome or business addressemail address phone number Anyone online can find that information through the global WHOIS database. When you can register a domain, your information becomes public knowledge and anyone can do a domain lookup to see who owns the domain. Don’t want randos looking up your contact info? Sign up for HostGator’s WHOIS privacy service when you register. We’ll replace your private information with ours. Ready to register? It only takes one click to check if your dream domain name is available. Once you’ve found the right name and made sure it’s available, it takes just a few minutes to buy and register it.  Check now to see if your domain name is available today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

SEO Tips to Boost Your Website Ranking Through Schema Mark-up

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As digital marketing undergoes constant evolution, latest developments are taking place frequently. Each day, new development is made in the digital world. To upgrade the website to rank better on search engines, it is essential to remain updated about the latest changes. One such change is the schema-mark-up.  Schema mark-up is the latest evolution in the Search Engine Optimization technique. Many digital marketing companies consider schema mark-up as the most powerful SEO tool. However, it is not used as frequently. In this article, you will get to know about boosting ranking with the help of schema mark-up.  Before we proceed, let’s first understand what schema mark-up is and what importance it holds.  Introduction to schema mark-up and its importance Schema mark-up is a code that is inserted on a website to make it easier for search engines to find informative results for users. It is a form of microdata, which when added to a webpage creates an enhanced description.  When you add schema mark-up to your website, you will be able to rank better for different content types. With benefits like increased visibility on the search engine result page and better rankings are to be availed, schema mark-up is very important. Steps for boosting ranking with schema mark-up Improve click-through-rates with structured data If you are looking to boost the ranking of your website with the help of schema mark-up, you will have to improve the click-through rate (CTR) of the same. When you increase the click-through rate, you can easily generate a rich snippet, and as a result, you will be ranked better on the search engine result pages. When you include a rich snippet, it improves the search engine experience for the browser. Here’s an example where Google is showing rating. The indexing of search results is done with the help of adding stars, inventory and pricing information. All this information is helpful in driving users to your page. If users see that there is a product-in-stock on the website, they are likely to click on the page. When your webpage earns a higher CTR, it is a signal to Google that your page is more relevant for the search and would, therefore, index it higher. When you want to improve the user behaviour metrics like CTR and dwell time with schema mark-up, you can increase the ranking of your business in search results easily. The reason behind an increase in the ranking is the fact that you are providing the browser exactly with the information they are looking for. This is the reason most of the digital marketing companies these days are using structured data for search engine optimization. Increase the time spent by browsers on your page through structured data If you want people to stay on your website, go back to search results. The search results convey how users are going to click on specific results and which information is going to be relevant for them. When you are using structured data, which is a standard format to mark-up your data on the website, you will have to provide the browsers with relevant information.  When users have relevant information regarding their search, they are likely to be more interested in staying on your website. The schema mark-up makes it easier for them to find relevant information about the products on your website.  Boost search result rankings with schema mark-up Bookmark the structured data tools There are different structured data testing tools like that help you in creating and testing structured data on your site.  Through Schema.org, you will be able to find structured data mark-up. With the help of the Structured Data Mark-up Helper, you will be able to create certain types of structured data mark-up. By using Schema.org and Structured Data Mark-up Helper, you will be able to give a unique identity to the webpage on the search engine result page.  Choosing a page for marking-up Choosing a page for mark-up helps you in listing the content according to the preferences of the browsers. So, the top-selling products will appear first and pages having less valuable content will rank lower. To improve the searchability and indexing, you can even use the Google Analytics tool as well. Marking-up of the pages will be helpful in listing them according to various factors. The most prominent factors include website traffic and conversions.  Creating the structured data mark-up Once you are done with creating a list, the next step is to create the structuring of the data in the list. For example, if you are looking for “top-selling shoes” on a website, you will have to filter the shoes according to the preferences, such as colour, size and type of shoes.  When you are highlighting the structured data, the benefit you get is that it becomes easier to select the information you are looking for. Once you have structured the data, you can test it. Some of the tools that you can use for testing the data include Rich Result Test Tool and Structured Data Mark-up Helper. Owing to the immense competition on the digital platform, it is extremely important for your website to rank in the initial pages of SERPs to gain sufficient traction. If not, it will get lost in the sea of similar links and web pages.  Once you are thorough with the types of schema in SEO and the importance of schema mark-up, you are bound to improve your website ranking factors! Head to the Marketing Blog Category to know more and stay updated with the latest news in the world of marketing.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post SEO Tips to Boost Your Website Ranking Through Schema Mark-up appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

7 Reasons Why You Should Choose WordPress For Your Website

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The post 7 Reasons Why You Should Choose WordPress For Your Website appeared first on HostGator Blog. Why Choose WordPress for Your Website? Have you ever wanted to start a side business but hesitated because you knew you’d need a website? Or missed out on customers because your small business doesn’t have a site yet? If you’re not a tech-minded person, setting up a site can seen confusing and time-consuming if you do it yourself–or expensive if you hire someone else to do it. Those worries are understandable. However, it’s 2018. A website is a must if you want to reach your target market, and setting up a website is a lot easier than you may realize, especially if you use WordPress to set it up.  What Exactly Is WordPress? WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which means it’s designed to help you organize and display the content on your site. What counts as content? Everything that appears on your site, from the header with your business name to your contact information to your blog posts and tutorial videos. If it’s on your site, it’s content. (A note about WordPress.com versus WordPress.org, because you’ll see both online: WordPress.org offers the free CMS we’re talking about. WordPress.com offers a free, WordPress-CMS-powered platform for non-commercial blogs which can’t be customized with plugins or custom themes. If you’re running a business, WordPress.com is not a workable option.) 7 Reasons to Choose WordPress for Your Business Website It may help to think of your website as an empty retail space. Your CMS is the shelving and racks you set up to make sure the contents of your store are organized logically, easy to reach, and displayed attractively. When you’re choosing a CMS, just as when you pick out store fixtures, you have lots of options—and they’re not all equal in terms of cost, function, and aesthetics. Here’s why WordPress is the busy, non-techie, small-business owner’s friend. 1. WordPress is free. Free is good when you’re operating on a small-business budget. You’ll still have to pay for web hosting, and you may want to buy a theme instead of using a free one to change the way your site looks (more about that in a moment), but the WordPress CMS costs nothing to download. 2. WordPress is easy to use. WordPress prides itself on its five-minute installation and support guides to walk you through the process. I’m not a technical savant but I’ve set up several WordPress sites, and it really is that easy to get a basic site running and looking respectable. Doing something complex may require some reading and conversations in the support forums, but for most new site owners, going from zero to website in a few minutes is more than enough. The topic of support forums brings us to the next thing WordPress has going for it. 3. WordPress has a vast support community. Thirty percent of all websites run on WordPress, and it has a 60% share of the CMS market. The number of people using WordPress means that if you have a problem or a question, odds are there’s an answer waiting for you in one of the WordPress support or developer forums. It also means that if you ever want to outsource your site maintenance, content, or design, there are plenty of developers, writers, editors, and designers who know how your site’s CMS works. 4. It’s easy to make your WordPress site look unique. Because WordPress’s code is open source, hobby and professional developers are always finding ways to improve it. There are thousands of free and paid themes you can choose from to make your site look the way you want it to. Think of your theme as similar to the interior decor of a brick-and-mortar store. Your theme will take care of your virtual color scheme, signage, and the details of your site layout. You can search by keyword to find themes that fit your business best, and if you ever get tired of your theme, it’s usually pretty easy to switch to a new theme, although there are some steps you’ll want to take first to keep your site working the way you want after the switch. 5. Create your dream functionality with WordPress plugins. Once you’ve chosen a web host and a theme and set up your basic site, there are thousands of plugins you can use to make the site work exactly the way you want it to. Whether you want it to load faster, backup automatically, or optimize your blog posts for search results, there’s a plugin (or five) for that. And because WordPress supports multimedia content, you’re not limited to blog posts and photos. You can embed videos, podcasts, and slideshows on your site with the right plugins. 6. WordPress takes security seriously. WordPress also makes it easy to keep your site’s software up to date, which is critical to keeping hackers and data thieves out of your site. Some WordPress software updates are automatic, to prevent security vulnerabilities, and you can choose whether you want your plugins to update automatically or whether you’ll handle those updates yourself. To update plugins and themes, all you have to do is click the checkboxes next to the items you want to update and then hit the update button. The trick is remembering to check for updates, which is why the auto-update option is so useful. 7. WordPress plays well with others. Even the coolest looking website needs to interact seamlessly with other platforms and with people, so you can get found and make sales. First, getting found: WordPress is structured to be easy for search engine crawlers to navigate, which means your site will perform better in search results, especially if you add an SEO plugin like Yoast. WordPress also plays well with Google’s new criteria for mobile-friendly websites. You can make your site easier for mobile users to navigate by choosing a mobile-optimized or responsive theme from the start, or by installing a plugin to make your site work better on mobile devices. As for making sales, if you intend to sell directly from your site, WordPress plugin Woo Commerce makes it easy to sell products, digital downloads, subscriptions, and membership access to your site. And if you ever want to change web hosting services, you can migrate your entire WordPress site to a new host easily, with fewer steps and in less time than it would take you to migrate a free site builder-hosted site. WordPress: The Right Choice for Your Website The bottom line is that if you want a site that looks professional, gets results, and is easy to set up and maintain, WordPress is almost always going to be your best bet, especially if you’re not code-savvy and want to get on with running your business. Have more questions about how to install and use WordPress? We’ve got answers. Ready to get started with WordPress? See why customers trust HostGator’s WordPress hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Web Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting

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The post Web Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting appeared first on HostGator Blog. Web hosting is an absolutely critical aspect of any online business. Without the proper hosting plan, you won’t have a website, it’s as simple as that. However, choosing the right kind of web hosting package for your needs is another thing entirely. There are a variety of hosting options you’ll come across. The most common being basic shared hosting, VPS, WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers. To keep things simple we’re going to look at two of the most commonly used hosting providers and options for websites that utilize the WordPress CMS. Below we dive deeper into the world of web hosting as we compare WordPress hosting vs. web hosting with shared hosting services. What is WordPress Hosting? WordPress hosting is a hosting environment that’s specifically designed to cater to WordPress websites. Think of this web host as wearing a well-tailored suit, custom fitted to your body. WordPress hosting is tailor-made to work with WordPress sites. Here are some of the WordPress hosting advantages: • It’s incredibly fast. Every aspect of the server has been tweaked to cater to WordPress’s setup and enable quick loading times. This level of hosting can often drop page loading speed and response time by a second or more. • It’s much more secure. This kind of web hosting service offers increased security protocols and more individualized attention. Plus, if you do get hacked you’ll have a support team who has experience with WordPress-specific attacks. • Your server is always up to date. The team who manages your hosting will always ensure the server is running the latest software, so your site will perform as efficiently as possible. Their goal is to keep you, and your website, happy. • Dedicated customer support. The support teams who run managed WordPress hosting accounts are generally WordPress experts. They offer support, troubleshooting and hosting problem solutions whenever needed.  • Increased uptime. Since your site will be sharing resources with less websites, and in some cases, none, your site is able to use a greater portion of the server resources. Are There Any Drawbacks? Since WordPress hosting is a more customized hosting solution, there are a few drawbacks that come with the upgraded service. For instance, the costs for this kind of web hosting are generally higher because of how customized it is.  In addition, there are also limitations on the amount of customization you can do across your site. Some WordPress hosts won’t allow your site to use certain plugins. So, if your site requires certain plugins to function, and those plugins are on the host’s restricted list, you may need to find another hosting option. (HostGator customers on our managed WordPress plan can find the full list of disallowed plugins here.) Lastly, you can only run a WordPress blog on WordPress hosting. Any other kinds of CMSs aren’t allowed. Why Would I Use Shared Web Hosting? The advantages of shared hosting can be great if you’re just getting started with building a website and are unsure if you want to commit all the way or not. However, if you’re looking to grow your website and are expecting to receive a very large amount of traffic, then you may want to consider upgrading to something more reliable than shared hosting.  For context, when you use a shared hosting option your website is put on a server with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of others. You have no idea who these other websites are, and whether or not they have proper security measures in place, or if they are using a properly coded theme. The resources on the shared server will get divided between every website using the server. This means that if a different website on the server experiences a large surge in traffic from a post going viral, then your site may load slowly as a result. You can definitely use WordPress on our shared hosting plan, but you will be responsible for a little more management of the environment than you would if you choose our optimized WordPress hosting package. There’s no “right” hosting choice for every kind of business out there. But, if you can afford the additional costs of WordPress managed hosting, and have plans to grow your website in the future, then utilizing the hosting services of managed WordPress hosting is generally the way to go. If you’re unsure about the higher price point, then stick with the basic shared web hosting, you can always upgrade in time, as your site grows! What kind of hosting do you prefer for your website? Please share in the comments below. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

The August 2020 promo code is versatile and fresh

Name.com Blog -

We’re more than halfway through the year and in the hight of summer here in Denver, CO. We’re also back with another helpful code that will save you money on your .com and .net registrations for the month of August. Use the promo code BASIL August 1-31 to renew your .com domains for $10.99 and […] The post The August 2020 promo code is versatile and fresh appeared first on Name.com Blog.

Does Anyone Speak Snowman?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

If you’ve ever taken a look at cPanel’s language settings, you may have seen an unusual listing. Select the display language ‘snowman,’ and most of your cPanel system text will change to an adorable little unicode character of a snowman. cPanel, full of snowmen Just why is this an option? Language settings are obviously useful, but why would cPanel have a built in ‘joke’ language like this? Was this someone’s idea of an April Fool’s prank, left behind in cPanel’s code and never updated? Continue reading Does Anyone Speak Snowman? at InMotion Hosting Blog.

5 Smart WordPress Tools for Modern Bloggers on the Go

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The post 5 Smart WordPress Tools for Modern Bloggers on the Go appeared first on HostGator Blog. Blogging is the worst, right? You have to sit down at your computer for hours, figure out how WordPress works, and clack away at the keyboard until your wrists hurt. Whoa! Wait a minute. If this is your experience with blogging in the year 2020, then you’re doing it wrong. WordPress has come a long way over the years in terms of updates. Today, creating a blog post is as easy as talking. And, talk-to-text via the WordPress mobile app is not the only smart WordPress tool. With the help of the sophisticated, yet uncomplicated, WordPress interface and other neat WordPress plugins, you can add rich media to your blog posts with the click of a button, or two. Let’s talk about how this all works. This post will cover: How to use talk-to-text in the WordPress mobile appHow to use the native functionality in WordPress to upload videosThe most common WordPress plugins for bloggers Let’s get this party started! How to use talk-to-text in the WordPress app One of the best things about WordPress is the ability to compose blog posts on the go using your phone. And, you don’t even have to type one word. You can use the talk-to-text mobile app feature to capture everything you want to say without writing one word. Here’s how to use the talk-to-text feature in the WordPress app. 1. Download the WordPress app. If you don’t already have the WordPress app on your phone, you’ll need to download it to your iOS or Android device. 2. Login to your account. Once you’ve downloaded the app, use the same login credentials to access your account as you would use on your computer. 3. Click the pink icon. Navigate to the home page and click on the pink “create a post or page” icon at the bottom right of the screen. 4. Select blog post. The WordPress app will give you the option to create a blog post or create a page. Choose blog post. 5. Press the microphone. At the bottom right of the screen, you will notice a little microphone. Click this microphone and start talking. Remember to dictate punctuation in your blog posts. 6. Talk. As soon as you press the button, WordPress will start recording your voice and translating what you say into text. If at any time you want to stop and type, you can press the keyboard button. And, that’s it. That’s how you can create a blog post on the go by speaking instead of typing. Keep in mind you can also add images and videos in the mobile app. Just remember to save your images and videos to your device for easy selection. How to add videos to WordPress without a plugin Bloggers are using audio and video content in their posts more than ever. Considering recent stats, it makes sense why video is so popular: 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices.54% of consumers want more video content from a brand or business they support.Videos are consumers’ favorite kind of content from a brand on social media. Internet users love blog content, and they want more of it. Thankfully, WordPress has made it easy for bloggers to add videos to blog posts without even needing to download a plugin. Here are the steps you need to take to upload a video right within WordPress. 1. Create a new blog post. Once you are in your WordPress account, direct your attention to the top navigation bar, click on the plus sign, and select “post” from the drop-down menu. 2. Start writing. Once you are on the blog post page, you can start writing your content. 3. Create a video content blog. Once you are ready to insert your video, click on the little plus sign. It will appear to the right or the bottom of your text.  4. Search for video. As soon as you click the plus sign, a box will appear with various content options. Video doesn’t appear first, so to find it faster, I always quickly search “video” in the top bar. 5. Select your file type. Once you select “video,” WordPress will offer three different upload options, including upload, media library, and insert from URL. If your video is on your desktop, choose “upload.” If you have already uploaded your video to your WordPress media library, press “media library.” If your video exists on the web (e.g., YouTube), then click on “insert from URL.” Once you follow the appropriate directions, WordPress will insert your video into the content, and give you the option to write a caption. You can repeat this process anytime you need to insert a video into your content. You don’t need any fancy video plugins to add videos to WordPress. If you want to add audio content to your blog (you do), then you can follow the exact same process, except you select “audio” as your content block, instead of video. Top WordPress plugins for bloggers on the go Now that you know how to dictate your blog posts on the go and how to add video and audio content to your WordPress blog posts, let’s talk about other WordPress blog plugins that will make your blogging life easier. Here is a rundown of the WordPress plugins every blogger should add to their site. 1. Akismet Let’s start this section out with a quick round of Jeopardy.  I’ll take “Bloggers for $500, Alec.”  “The least favorite thing bloggers come in contact with on their sites, and also a slice of questionable canned meat.” “What is spam?” Exactly! Cleaning spam out of your comments section is not only time-consuming, but it’s also annoying.  Akismet is a WordPress plugin that scrolls through all of your comments and checks them for spam. Akismet uses a consistently growing database that removes any malicious, irrelevant, or inappropriate sales comments. And, Akismet does it BEFORE the comments get published on your site. This plugin is essential for helping you save time and keeping your blog credible. 2. Jetpack Jetpack is my personal second favorite WordPress plugin. It has robust functionality and keeps an eye on your account.  Here are the benefits of Jetpack: Site analytics. While it’s true you can (and should) add Google Analytics to your website, Jetpack also does the hard tracking work. Jetpack will tell you how many site visitors you have, and this great analytics information shows up right in your WordPress dashboard. Downtime monitor. Jetpack will send you an email notification every time your site goes down. I cannot tell you how many times this feature has saved my blogging bacon. It will also tell you when your site goes back up. Site speed. Another Jetpack benefit is enhanced site speed. With Jetpack, you can upload high-resolution photos and can count on Jetpack to deliver them to your website visitors at high resolutions with super-fast speeds. Content back up. Jetpack also provides an automatic daily content backup and 30-day archive. This feature puts your mind at ease when it comes to making large website changes. Spam filter and login protection. Akismet is not the only plugin that filters out spam. Jetpack also provides spam filtering as well as login protection. Jetpack offers a free plan that is great for beginners and three other paid plans for bloggers that are interested in more features. 3. Yoast If Jetpack is my second favorite WordPress plugin, guess what my first favorite is? That’s right! Yoast. As you know, growing a successful blog takes more than just excellent writing skills. It also involves learning how to structure and optimize your content in a way that helps search engines read and rank your content. Yoast is a WordPress SEO plugin that walks you through most of the steps you need to take to properly optimize your content for Google. Once you download the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll notice some additional information on the bottom of your new blog posts with the heading “Yoast SEO.” You’ll also see three tabs at the top, including SEO, readability, and social. Let’s talk about how each of these works. SEO The SEO tab prompts you to enter a keyword and write a snippet (meta description) where you include your target keyword. Yoast will also provide you with a quick SEO analysis to see what changes you need to make in your content to make your blog post more search engine friendly.  Some SEO suggestions will include: Inserting outbound links (links to credible websites that aren’t your own)Adding internal links (adding links to other pages on your website)Placing your keyword in your introductionKeeping your meta description within a certain word lengthAdding more text if your post is too shortAnd more! You’ll also notice some premium Yoast features like adding related keyword phrases. Readability The next tab is the readability tab. This tab provides a quick analysis of your text and offers suggestions on what you can do to make your post easier to read.  Here are some things you can expect in the readability analysis: Use of transition wordsFlesch Reading Ease scorePassive voiceVariety in sentencesSubheading distributionParagraph lengthAnd more! Google is more likely to rank your content in the search results if it’s easy to read. If you don’t have Yoast, you can use the Hemingway App to check your readability. Social The last heading in Yoast is the social heading. This section helps you optimize your blog post for social shares.  You can include a title, a description, and an image that will appear on Facebook and Twitter when people share your post. When your social share information matches the platform in question, your content is more likely to get shared. 4. Sumo Sumo for WordPress is another Simply Can’t Live Without It WordPress Tool if you are looking to build an email list. Sumo’s free tool is fairly comprehensive and provides the following lead capture tools: Email opt-in formsFully customizable designSocial media sharingVisitor targetingUnlimited subscribers10,000 emails per monthEmail integrationsAnalytics1-on-1 onboardingAnd several eCommerce tools If email marketing is your main jam, you can opt for the paid pro plan. This plan includes everything in the free plan plus advanced visitor targeting, A/B testing, ability to remove Sumo branding, 50,000 emails per month, eCommerce design templates, and unlimited stats. Remember, email marketing has the highest ROI out of any other digital marketing strategy. Some studies show an email marketing ROI of 4400% or $44 for every $1 spent. The more email subscribers you capture, the higher your chances of a stunning ROI will be. Not only is Sumo a great lead capture tool, but it also helps with social shares. In your Sumo account, you can add a social share bar to your website for free.  Here’s how: Login to your Sumo account and click on “extras” on the top navigation bar.Select “share” from the drop-down menu.You’ll see a navigation bar including clicks, settings, layout, and more.Start by clicking on “settings.”From here, you can choose which social platforms you want to include in your share bar.Continue through the navigational bar menu until you have fully customized your share bar.When you are done with each section, remember to press “save.” Once you are done telling Sumo what you want it to do, go to your WordPress website and refresh the page. You will see a share bar in the place where you indicated you wanted Sumo to add social share buttons. Blogging Can Be Easier on WordPress Blogging is constantly evolving. Every day, there are better platforms, tools, and plugins that make blogging easier.  With all of the current tools on the market, there is no reason to remain loyal to a web hosting platform that is stuck in the dark ages.  Check out WordPress hosting from HostGator where you get free migrations, advanced security, 2.5x the speed, and more. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

WordPress SEO: Complete Beginner Guide

InMotion Hosting Blog -

In this article, you will learn about the art of search engine optimization (SEO) within the WordPress system. The practice of SEO helps you discover what people are looking for, how they search for it, and how they will eventually find it. Searchers search for all kinds of things. From new bikes, places to eat, or recommendations on entertainment. With SEO, you learn how to place your website in the optimal position to receive search traffic. Continue reading WordPress SEO: Complete Beginner Guide at InMotion Hosting Blog.

How To Start Your Blog On WordPress in 6 Quick Steps

BigRock Blog -

The world in recent time has changed and we’ve adapted to a digital landscape. Now more than ever, having an online presence has driven entrepreneurs and content creators alike; especially with the increasing presence of social media and digital marketing.  Creating your website or blog is the simplest way to establish your online presence. Moreover, it need not be a mammoth task and neither do you need to be too technologically savvy. All you need is the right platform. One of the easiest ways is to start your blog on WordPress, as it takes away the hassle of coding it from scratch.  Let us understand how to start your blog on WordPress in 6 easy steps. Let’s get started! Step 1: Create a WordPress account Choosing a domain name and hosting plan is the first and foremost step when it comes to creating your WordPress blog.  If you have signed up with BigRock, login to your account and select the hosting plan. We recommend WordPress Hosting as it is best suited for a WordPress blog. Our WordPress Hosting basic plan offers Starter Lite, Performance Lite, Business Lite and Professional Lite.  After you’ve decided the hosting plan, it is time to register your domain name so you can get started.  Login to your account and head to the domain registration page, type in your desired domain name and check for availability If your domain name is available, click on the ‘Buy’ button to add it to cart and click on the ‘Checkout’ button If your domain name is not available, you could select the same with a different domain extension like ‘.in’, ‘.net’, etc. Although we recommend changing the domain name so that it is unique! Next, select the ‘Duration’ from the dropdown menu and click on the ‘Next’ button to proceed to pay After registering your domain name, repeat the same steps for purchasing the web hosting plan for your domain name You’ve now successfully registered your domain name and WordPress Hosting (created your WordPress account). It is now time to manage it. Step 2: Manage your WordPress account To manage your WordPress account, go to your Control Panel and click on WordPress Hosting. Next, click on the ‘Go to Admin Panel’ option under Manage Hosting. After clicking, you will be redirected to the WordPress admin control panel. In this admin panel, you can perform the following actions viz. manage website DNS settings, add email accounts and FTP accounts. Next, you need to change the nameservers assigned to your website.  For the uninitiated, nameservers map domain names to an IP address hosted on a particular server. This is usually provided by your web host, in our case BigRock.  To assign nameservers: Click on ‘DNS’ Next, you will get two nameservers, assign them to your domain name  You will need to wait for at least 24 hours for this process to complete. In the meantime, install an SSL certificate on your website to ensure security. You can also transfer files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Step 3: Install WordPress Now, we come to the important step of installing WordPress. With WordPress Hosting, you can install WordPress easily with a one-click install script. Once all the above-mentioned procedures are done, the ‘Install WordPress’ button will activate. Click on it to install WordPress. After your WordPress installation is complete you will be able to access your WordPress dashboard. Step 4: Find and install the theme  After your WordPress installation is done, you can start designing your website. Choosing a theme for your website sets its tone. A theme is a simple way to customise the look and feel of your website without coding.  There are various aspects of a theme that you need to keep in mind before choosing one. Some of them are: Make sure it compliments your website goals  It should be easy to navigate and responsive  It is SEO and social media friendly WordPress offers over 1000+ themes, some of them are free while others are premium (you’ll need to pay). To access themes, go the side-bar in the WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Appearance’ -> ‘Themes’. You can preview themes before activating them. Once you decide your theme click on ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’ it.    Selecting the right theme for your website might take time but it is worth the time invested!  Step 5: Add pages and content To add new pages to your WordPress website, go to the sidebar in your WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Pages’.  You can add a page by clicking on ‘Add Page’. You may add as many pages as you want. Some of the must-haves pages include: Homepage About Us Contact Us Once you’ve added your pages, it is time to add content to your blog. To add content to your website follow these steps: Go to ‘Posts’ in the left-hand sidebar in your WordPress dashboard Click on ‘Categories’ to add a category. Example: Business, Travel, Tech, etc.  Next, click on the  ‘Add New’ button to add content to your website Step 6: Hit Publish  Once you’ve added the content to your posts and pages, proofread your content and test all the links. If you’re satisfied with how your blog looks then you’re ready to hit publish.  To publish your content, click on the ‘Publish’ button on the right side of your post.  You are now officially live! All you need to do is market your content on social media and other platforms and let the world know about your blog!  We hope these 6 steps helped you understand how to start your blog on WordPress. So, what are you waiting for? Go, register your domain today and begin building your blog quickly. If you have any queries, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Also, head to our For Bloggers category on the blog to know more and stay updated. The post How To Start Your Blog On WordPress in 6 Quick Steps appeared first on BigRock Blog.

All You Need to Know About Your Bandwidth Usage

Reseller Club Blog -

Every business today needs a website to sustain in the competitive market and to ensure that customers can access their services 24/7. This growing need to go online has forced business owners and SMEs to navigate the world of technology which might not be their primary expertise. Even for the technologically savvy ones, understanding different technical aspects can be easier said than done. With hosting companies offering a range of options, it is essential for businesses to understand the nuances of the services offered. There are several factors from the hosting server to the bandwidth available that may impact the performance of the website. One such crucial factor is bandwidth provided by your hosting service provider.  What Is Web Hosting Bandwidth? Among several important parameters influencing the performance of the website, such as speed, storage space, etc., bandwidth is the most difficult to understand. Web hosting bandwidth can be defined as the rate at which data can be transferred between your website, users, and the internet, in a given amount of time. We can use the analogy of a highway to understand bandwidth. Traffic is the number of bits that are transferred. The number of lanes is the bandwidth which determines how many bits can be transferred in a said amount of time.  Bandwidth can also be compared to a water pipe. The water flowing through the pipe is the data that is being transferred, while the width of the pipe is the bandwidth that determines the amount of data that can be transferred. A restaurant setup further illustrates the point. Higher the number of tables, higher is the number of diners that can dine at any given point in time. So, to put it simply, the higher the bandwidth, the better the speed, connectivity, etc.  Higher bandwidth will ensure that a greater number of visitors will be able to use your website at the optimum speed and completely enjoy the experience that you have created for them. What Is Bandwidth Usage? The website bandwidth usage will depend on a number of factors, including the media files on your website, web design, the code of the website, and to an extent, even the content on your website. The number of visitors and the pages visited by each user also plays an important part here. So, if all your users exit the website after checking say, only one page, the bandwidth usage will be less compared with an instance when users load multiple or even all the pages on the website. To further use the analogy we used earlier, the number of lanes on a highway is the bandwidth, and the traffic at any given moment is the bandwidth usage. If the highway has the capacity of 40 cars passing a certain stretch at any given moment, then that is the maximum bandwidth available. Suddenly, if there are more cars on the highway, there would be a traffic jam and no one would be able to move anywhere. Similarly, if your website has a certain bandwidth, and if the usage increases beyond that limit, your users will not be able to load your website.  How Much Bandwidth Do You need? It is vital for you to purchase bandwidth that suits you best. If you purchase a plan with lower bandwidth, your users will have a negative experience impacting your brand equity and sales. On the other hand, if you purchase a plan with higher bandwidth, you will end up paying more for something that could have been avoided.  So, how do you calculate the bandwidth that you need? While it is impossible to determine the exact bandwidth that your business will need each month, you can derive an estimate based on historical data. You will need: Average Page Size Average Number of Visitors per Month Average Page Views per Visitor Bandwidth = Average Page Size * Average Monthly Visitors * Average Pages Viewed Per Visitor E.g., Your website gets 5000 visitors per month, with each visitor viewing about 4 pages. Let’s assume the size of each page is approximately 5 MB. This results in your per month bandwidth being: 5MB * 5000 * 4 = 1,00,000MB (100 GB).  This is one of the basic methods that will give you a rough estimate of the bandwidth you might need. However, these estimates do not take into account the spike in the number of visitors that might occur as a result of your marketing activity or one of your social media posts going viral. If such a thing were to happen, your website would slow down. You would have to purchase additional bandwidth to deal with such a situation immediately. While traditional hosting options may not be easily scalable, you can opt for Cloud Hosting to deal with such unexpected eventualities. With Cloud Hosting, you can easily scale your web hosting bandwidth with a click of a button. It does not require any additional physical hardware or any complicated setups, one click and your new users will experience the website the way it was meant to be. Types of Bandwidth Offered Web Hosting providers offer two types of bandwidths with their hosting plans: Metered Bandwidth – There is a pre-specified limit to the bandwidth offered, and overages are charged. Once you buy a plan with Metered Bandwidth, you get a bandwidth limit, for example, 30TB. If you exceed this limit, the company will charge you for the overages. Unmetered Bandwidth – This means that your hosting provider does not measure the bandwidth used by you. You pay the cost of the hosting plan and use as much bandwidth as you need. Summing Up Hosting service providers offer a range of plans from 1GB bandwidth to unlimited bandwidth. Every website has specific bandwidth requirements. If you have a new website, you may track your usage over a month before the site goes live to get an idea.  An eCommerce website with dynamic traffic will require high bandwidth as compared to a static blog. Let’s see some approximate numbers, shall we? A medium-sized eCommerce website with a 100kb page, close to 1000 daily visitors will need a bandwidth of at least 8.5GB per month. Now consider a good blog with a page size of 50kb, close to 20,000 visitors per month, and average 5 page views per visitor. Having 700 visitors daily means this is a popular and active blog and will require a bandwidth of 5GB per month. On the other hand, a small and static blog can run efficiently with even 1GB bandwidth per month.  Once you deduce your bandwidth needs (either with a test run or with the formula), select a hosting plan that best suits your needs.  It is also crucial to understand whether the plan offers metered bandwidth or unmetered bandwidth. ResellerClub offers Cloud Hosting plans with Unmetered Bandwidth. We do not measure the amount of bandwidth you utilize, which gives you the freedom to use as little or as much as your site requires. Couple that with the one-click scalability of our Cloud Hosting plans, and your site will always be up and running, with minimum downtime. If you have any queries or suggestions, please comment below. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post All You Need to Know About Your Bandwidth Usage appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Silence is Golden: Unraveling a Mysterious WordPress Comment

InMotion Hosting Blog -

If you’ve ever used a file manager to explore your WordPress site, you may have found something that surprised you in a directory like /wp-content. Taking a look at your site files, you ran across an index.php file containing nothing but: <?php //Silence is golden. Is this evidence of a malicious hack? Has your site been compromised? Is this little bit of code compromising your site security right now? Continue reading Silence is Golden: Unraveling a Mysterious WordPress Comment at InMotion Hosting Blog.

The Importance of CDNs for Page Speed

Nexcess Blog -

Let’s talk about content delivery networks, or CDNs in the context of Managed WooCommerce hosting. A CDN is a crucial topic for a WooCommerce store owner to understand because a CDN is key to page speed, and as we know, page speed is everything right now. First, why page speed? Simply put, page speed is important for conversions. A conversion is when a visitor to a page — in the case of someone browsing a WooCommerce store, a shopper — takes the desired action we want them to take. In most ecommerce cases, that would be a sale. Sometimes, it can be something else such as: a lead on a contact form, adding an item to a cart, etc. But in general, it’s a sale. We have information that tells us that slow page load times cost merchants money. Perhaps the most notable and well-known metric is the 3 second metric: 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Namely, people don’t like to wait. We are not patient. After 3 seconds, we tend to look at another part of our screen, and sometimes click somewhere else.  In an ecommerce context, that is particularly worrisome because the longer a potential shopper browses, the more of a chance they’ll add something to the cart, and better yet, they will add multiple things to the cart. Then, to add to the human factor of page speed, in 2020, we also have to consider the algorithmic factor. The ranking factors today are all about usability and user-friendliness, so to Google, high page load times are considered a signal of poor experiences. So, not only will your slow sites lose the traffic you earn before the conversion, they will also increasingly be shown to new users less and less. With these key facts, page speeds starts to look like one of the most important considerations for your WooCommerce store, or any other type of site online. In Nexcess support, we have a saying: “our customers are addicted to speed.” And with good reason folks: slow pages create frustrating experiences and cost potential revenue.  My perspective when it comes to the development of WooCommerce stores is that while it is always a good thing when the store is beautiful, feature-rich, or anything else, ultimately, its goal is to process transactions and earn profit. This is why I want to focus in on the page speed aspect of CDNs. CDNs can help with many other items, but when it comes to business, they matter because page speed matters. If you are interested in the nuts and bolts of how CDNs work and the Nexcess CDN, I would recommend our knowledge base article on CDNs instead. One last note on page speed We’re not done talking about page speed yet.  While this article will cover CDNs, there are many other strategies for improving your page load times and using a CDN is only one of them. The Nexcess blog contains many resources on how to speed up your store.  A lot of the time our recommendations are simple: change hosts to a high-quality host, optimize your images, implement intelligent caching, etc. All of these components are important, and no single factor will make a page fast, but all of them together working in harmony will. These “how to speed up your store” lists almost always inevitably include activate a CDN. It is generally well-known and accepted, but do you fully understand how it works? So, we wanted to dig into what activating a CDN actually looks like for a store owner focused on growth. That way, store owners can start to see CDNs how I see them: an excellent tool for growing revenue and retaining customers. What is a content delivery network (CDN)? CDN stands for content delivery network. All that it is from a technical standpoint is a way to distribute the work of delivering content to your web browser, and therefore to your eyes, as the end-user. Think about it this way in a traditional method of content delivery: everything is coming from one source. Maybe you can compare it to a single stream of water. A stream is usually only a certain width — based on the robustness of the source — and that means that you’re going to get water at the rate that that one tube can deliver water. If you want to try to do something like fill up a tub, several factors could come into play. If the source is far away from the tub, it could take a long time for the water to begin filling up. And since you clear out your tub after every time you use it — like an incognito browser might — you have to repeat the filling process every time you want to use the tub again. And, if you’ve ever filled a pool, you know that a great way to speed up that process is to have several sources of water at once. Through a combination of optimizations that range from increasing the number of sources, their closeness, and caching what content is delivered for easy retrieval, CDNs make the process of delivering content online more efficient. This has become even more important as our modern web has become dominated by high resolution images and video, streaming audio and beautiful animations. In the most simple way, that is all a CDN in. There are other considerations when it comes to CDNs — due to the nature of the optimizations for content delivery, they can also be helpful with security and uptime concerns — but at its core, it’s simply an essential feature for the modern web. Most of the content you consume today is delivered via one.  That means that most hosting providers will include a CDN with their plans. If that is not the case, a provider like Cloudflare can be helpful. At Nexcess across our whole product catalog, but especially within the store owner-focused Managed WooCommerce platform, we specialize in reducing the number of vendors you have to wrangle. So, on our Nexcess product, your CDN setup is a toggle away.  Save on other costs by using a CDN In most cases, working more efficiently for your store’s visitors also means your technology is working smarter for you. Using a CDN not only improves page speeds, but it also uses your other most valuable resource outside of time better: your money. For example, consider bandwidth costs in relationship to CDNs. If, in the tub analogy, the CDN is adding more sources and managing the fill intelligently, you also know that you have to pay for every gallon of water you put through. You usually also a bandwidth recommendation on your hosting plan, and in the case of some hosts, a cap. By managing the delivery of the content better, your CDN also manages your bandwidth expenses better. Other best practices to consider about load times and content Think differently about video With a CDN and bandwidth considerations in mind, there are other content delivery-related items to consider. An important one we see frequently is video. Video files are big, and on most web hosting plans for your store, take up large percentages of storage space and bandwidth. While a CDN could handle delivering your videos, there’s probably even better ways to handle that problem to get that 3 second load time. We frequently recommend using a service like YouTube or Vimeo to host and stream your videos to maximize your efforts. For a more professional-looking option without these streaming services’ logos, something like Wistia is an excellent choice. You still have to optimize your images Before we were widely using CDNs on the modern web, we addressed some aspects of the process that CDNs streamlines by manually optimizing our images. This is still a good thing to do, although there’s no need to do it manually — lots of tools are out there to optimize images. On Managed WooCommerce on Nexcess, we include the Compress JPGs and PNGs plugin that creates multiple different size images from a single upload and then handles the right size image for the browser. That’s another way to make sure your CDN is working smartest for your WooCommerce store.  Especially within the modern web that we are creating within, there are more and more legitimate reasons to require large image file sizes. Consumers have increasingly growing expectations of how they can view and experience potential online purchases. Especially as more and more products are even available to be purchased online, potential buyers expect to be able to zoom in, view products in 360 degrees, and more. For example, clothes shopping online used to be considered high-risk and therefore online clothing retailers needed excellent return and try-on policies. Today, an advanced product listing that clearly indicates key information and allows for a detailed view of the product’s texture is reducing that barrier. Online furniture retailers are enabling augmented reality views of their products on a photo of the potential buyer’s space. As these expectations continue rise, it’s important to keep up with the features while also keeping up with performance and security. A CDN, used intelligently among other page optimization strategies, is a great way to get there. The post The Importance of CDNs for Page Speed appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

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