Corporate Blogs

Recent EC2 Goodies – Launch Templates and Spread Placement

Amazon Web Services Blog -

We launched some important new EC2 instance types and features at AWS re:Invent. I’ve already told you about the M5, H1, T2 Unlimited and Bare Metal instances, and about Spot features such as Hibernation and the New Pricing Model. Randall told you about the Amazon Time Sync Service. Today I would like to tell you about two of the features that we launched: Spread placement groups and Launch Templates. Both features are available in the EC2 Console and from the EC2 APIs, and can be used in all of the AWS Regions in the “aws” partition: Launch Templates You can use launch templates to store the instance, network, security, storage, and advanced parameters that you use to launch EC2 instances, and can also include any desired tags. Each template can include any desired subset of the full collection of parameters. You can, for example, define common configuration parameters such as tags or network configurations in a template, and allow the other parameters to be specified as part of the actual launch. Templates give you the power to set up a consistent launch environment that spans instances launched in On-Demand and Spot form, as well as through EC2 Auto Scaling and as part of a Spot Fleet. You can use them to implement organization-wide standards and to enforce best practices, and you can give your IAM users the ability to launch instances via templates while withholding the ability to do so via the underlying APIs. Templates are versioned and you can use any desired version when you launch an instance. You can create templates from scratch, base them on the previous version, or copy the parameters from a running instance. Here’s how you create a launch template in the Console: Here’s how to include network interfaces, storage volumes, tags, and security groups: And here’s how to specify advanced and specialized parameters: You don’t have to specify values for all of these parameters in your templates; enter the values that are common to multiple instances or launches and specify the rest at launch time. When you click Create launch template, the template is created and can be used to launch On-Demand instances, create Auto Scaling Groups, and create Spot Fleets: The Launch Instance button now gives you the option to launch from a template: Simply choose the template and the version, and finalize all of the launch parameters: You can also manage your templates and template versions from the Console: To learn more about this feature, read Launching an Instance from a Launch Template. Spread Placement Groups Spread placement groups indicate that you do not want the instances in the group to share the same underlying hardware. Applications that rely on a small number of critical instances can launch them in a spread placement group to reduce the odds that one hardware failure will impact more than one instance. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you use spread placement groups: Availability Zones – A single spread placement group can span multiple Availability Zones. You can have a maximum of seven running instances per Availability Zone per group. Unique Hardware – Launch requests can fail if there is insufficient unique hardware available. The situation changes over time as overall usage changes and as we add additional hardware; you can retry failed requests at a later time. Instance Types – You can launch a wide variety of M4, M5, C3, R3, R4, X1, X1e, D2, H1, I2, I3, HS1, F1, G2, G3, P2, and P3 instances types in spread placement groups. Reserved Instances – Instances launched into a spread placement group can make use of reserved capacity. However, you cannot currently reserve capacity for a placement group and could receive an ICE (Insufficient Capacity Error) even if you have some RI’s available. Applicability – You cannot use spread placement groups in conjunction with Dedicated Instances or Dedicated Hosts. You can create and use spread placement groups from the AWS Management Console, the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell, and the AWS SDKs. The console has a new feature that will help you to learn how to use the command line: You can specify an existing placement group or create a new one when you launch an EC2 instance: To learn more, read about Placement Groups. — Jeff;

6 Tools to Boost Your Mobile Conversions in 2018

Justhost Blog -

How well do you know your website visitors? Do you know where they come from or which type of devices they use to browse your site? Or how they interact with your website and why they leave your website without taking any action? Understanding the behavior of your website traffic is the key to growing conversions and sales. And it’s time for you to focus on optimizing your website for getting the most out of your mobile traffic. The Internet is now dominated by mobile devices. In fact, mobile devices account for 52.99% of global internet traffic as of the third quarter of 2017. That’s almost a 3% rise from 50.03% from Q1 of 2017. Make it your new year’s resolution to optimize your website for higher mobile conversions this year. Thankfully, there are many tools you can use to start that process right away. Here are a few tools that will help you understand your mobile traffic better and boost conversions at the same time. Google Analytics Price: Free Best For: Beginners Most businesses put too much focus on bringing in more traffic to their websites that they often miss out on the most important part of growing a business: Creating a plan to convert visitors into leads and customers. The key to improving conversions begins with understanding your audience. And there’s no better tool to understand your website visitors than Google Analytics. Using Google Analytics, you can learn about your mobile audience, what type of devices they use to browse your website, which browsers they use, which pages they visit, and much more. Then you can use that information to better optimize your website for your audience.   OptinMonster Price: $9 per month Best For: Beginners to experts There’s no point in spending your entire marketing budget on traffic generation if you don’t have a way to convert those visitors into leads. That’s why you need to have a lead generation tool installed on your website to turn those visitors into subscribers and grow your email list. OptinMonster is an affordable tool you can use to setup different types of lead generation strategies on your website. It allows you to setup pop-up messages, embed optin forms on pages and blog posts, run A/B tests, create onsite retargeting campaigns, and more. The best part is that all the tools and features of OptinMonster are already optimized for mobile devices. Some of the best mobile conversion features include adding a sticky header and in-line email captures. Hotjar Price: Free Best For: Advanced users What if there’s a way to understand how your mobile website visitors behave on your website? To know which buttons they tap on and which links they visit. And record sessions of your website visitors to see how they explore your website? That’s exactly what you can do with Hotjar. This analytics and feedback tool allows you to install heatmaps on your website to help you understand which areas of your website require optimization. And it also comes with a tool that lets you watch recordings of website visitors to see which buttons they tap on, click, and how they browse your website. Piwik Price: Free Best For: Advanced users If you’re managing an eCommerce business, then tracking your conversion rates, orders, and analyzing revenue and product order values is more important than anything else. Piwik is a great tool you can use to do all those things and more. Piwik is an open-source analytics software that helps you track website visitors. It offers more advanced data and statistics than Google Analytics and has better support for eCommerce websites with improved tracking capabilities. Using this tool, you’ll be able to understand how well your mobile traffic converts to sales and purchases. Piwik can be installed on your server for free. However, you will need help from a developer to get it done. Or you can use its cloud-based software for a price. WPForms Price: $39 Best For: Beginners to experts The different types of forms on your website takes an important role when it comes to boosting conversions. The design and the flexibility of your contact forms, registration forms, and subscribe forms will determine how well your forms can contribute to your website conversions. WPForms is an advanced form building plugin that does much more than just creating simple forms. For example, with WPForms, you can create contact forms that also allows the users to tick a box to subscribe to your email list and have those emails automatically saved in your Constant Contact or MailChimp account. You can use WPForms to create many different types of forms and widgets. All forms feature fully responsive designs optimized for mobile devices. SurveyMonkey Price: Free Best For: Beginners to experts If you really need to understand how to make your website and the user experience better, the best way to get feedback is to ask your audience. This is why many companies, brands, and businesses use surveys to learn what their users want. SurveyMonkey is a simple and an affordable tool you can use to create beautiful surveys to collect feedback from your website visitors and subscribers. You can easily create a survey using the platform for free and embed it on your website or send a link via an email campaign to get feedback from your audience. Make this an opportunity to ask important questions about what kind of features they would like to see on your website. Over To You These are only a few of the tools you can use to improve your mobile conversions. There are so many tools and strategies you implement on your website to get better results. For example, you can get started with Google AMP to optimize your mobile website for better speed to offer a better user experience. Always look for new ways to improve your conversions and make this the year you double your sales and business growth. Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on Twitter @syedbalkhi. The post 6 Tools to Boost Your Mobile Conversions in 2018 appeared first on Official Bluehost Blog.

6 Tools to Boost Your Mobile Conversions in 2018

Bluehost Blog -

How well do you know your website visitors? Do you know where they come from or which type of devices they use to browse your site? Or how they interact with your website and why they leave your website without taking any action? Understanding the behavior of your website traffic is the key to growing conversions and sales. And it’s time for you to focus on optimizing your website for getting the most out of your mobile traffic. The Internet is now dominated by mobile devices. In fact, mobile devices account for 52.99% of global internet traffic as of the third quarter of 2017. That’s almost a 3% rise from 50.03% from Q1 of 2017. Make it your new year’s resolution to optimize your website for higher mobile conversions this year. Thankfully, there are many tools you can use to start that process right away. Here are a few tools that will help you understand your mobile traffic better and boost conversions at the same time. Google Analytics Price: Free Best For: Beginners Most businesses put too much focus on bringing in more traffic to their websites that they often miss out on the most important part of growing a business: Creating a plan to convert visitors into leads and customers. The key to improving conversions begins with understanding your audience. And there’s no better tool to understand your website visitors than Google Analytics. Using Google Analytics, you can learn about your mobile audience, what type of devices they use to browse your website, which browsers they use, which pages they visit, and much more. Then you can use that information to better optimize your website for your audience.   OptinMonster Price: $9 per month Best For: Beginners to experts There’s no point in spending your entire marketing budget on traffic generation if you don’t have a way to convert those visitors into leads. That’s why you need to have a lead generation tool installed on your website to turn those visitors into subscribers and grow your email list. OptinMonster is an affordable tool you can use to setup different types of lead generation strategies on your website. It allows you to setup pop-up messages, embed optin forms on pages and blog posts, run A/B tests, create onsite retargeting campaigns, and more. The best part is that all the tools and features of OptinMonster are already optimized for mobile devices. Some of the best mobile conversion features include adding a sticky header and in-line email captures. Hotjar Price: Free Best For: Advanced users What if there’s a way to understand how your mobile website visitors behave on your website? To know which buttons they tap on and which links they visit. And record sessions of your website visitors to see how they explore your website? That’s exactly what you can do with Hotjar. This analytics and feedback tool allows you to install heatmaps on your website to help you understand which areas of your website require optimization. And it also comes with a tool that lets you watch recordings of website visitors to see which buttons they tap on, click, and how they browse your website. Piwik Price: Free Best For: Advanced users If you’re managing an eCommerce business, then tracking your conversion rates, orders, and analyzing revenue and product order values is more important than anything else. Piwik is a great tool you can use to do all those things and more. Piwik is an open-source analytics software that helps you track website visitors. It offers more advanced data and statistics than Google Analytics and has better support for eCommerce websites with improved tracking capabilities. Using this tool, you’ll be able to understand how well your mobile traffic converts to sales and purchases. Piwik can be installed on your server for free. However, you will need help from a developer to get it done. Or you can use its cloud-based software for a price. WPForms Price: $39 Best For: Beginners to experts The different types of forms on your website takes an important role when it comes to boosting conversions. The design and the flexibility of your contact forms, registration forms, and subscribe forms will determine how well your forms can contribute to your website conversions. WPForms is an advanced form building plugin that does much more than just creating simple forms. For example, with WPForms, you can create contact forms that also allows the users to tick a box to subscribe to your email list and have those emails automatically saved in your Constant Contact or MailChimp account. You can use WPForms to create many different types of forms and widgets. All forms feature fully responsive designs optimized for mobile devices. SurveyMonkey Price: Free Best For: Beginners to experts If you really need to understand how to make your website and the user experience better, the best way to get feedback is to ask your audience. This is why many companies, brands, and businesses use surveys to learn what their users want. SurveyMonkey is a simple and an affordable tool you can use to create beautiful surveys to collect feedback from your website visitors and subscribers. You can easily create a survey using the platform for free and embed it on your website or send a link via an email campaign to get feedback from your audience. Make this an opportunity to ask important questions about what kind of features they would like to see on your website. Over To You These are only a few of the tools you can use to improve your mobile conversions. There are so many tools and strategies you implement on your website to get better results. For example, you can get started with Google AMP to optimize your mobile website for better speed to offer a better user experience. Always look for new ways to improve your conversions and make this the year you double your sales and business growth. Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on Twitter @syedbalkhi. The post 6 Tools to Boost Your Mobile Conversions in 2018 appeared first on Official Bluehost Blog.

Best Free Stock Photo Sites (Free Images For Your Website)

Pickaweb Blog -

Looking for free stock images for your website? Check our selection of free photography sites for images that you can use on your website. Pexels Free stock photos you can use everywhere. Their photos are free for commercial use. There is no attribution required. StockSnap Popular site for beautiful free photos. High quality and high The post appeared first on Pickaweb!

Do You Already Have This Cart Abandonment Plugin on Your WooCommerce Store?

Liquid Web Official Blog -

According to the Baymard Institute who researched 37 different cart abandonment statistics, 69.23% is the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate. Almost 70% of online shoppers get somewhere into the shopping process before abandoning their cart. That is, they decide to not make the purchase and go to other online properties. Even if you were able to capture a fraction of that 70%, you could see big revenue growth in your own WooCommerce store. There are many factors that contribute to cart abandonment and LemonStand created this helpful chart to demonstrate. Prevent Cart Abandonment There are many ways to try to prevent cart abandonment. These include offering easy to use payment gateways, showing all costs (fees, taxes, shipping) up front or even specialized product descriptions.  But one of my favorite ways to combat cart abandonment is with recovery emails.  One specific example I found of tackling cart abandonment for WooCommerce is with emails or text messages. I take advantage of these when a cart becomes abandoned during the check out process. There are a few plugins that address this issue. One is a plugin called Jilt. They have a customized approach to cart abandonment that I just love. You can create an unlimited amount of campaigns with them and make sure they are ideally timed for your customer. And if you happen to use Liquid Web’s Managed WooCommerce hosting, you get Jilt included in your hosting plan! Send the Right E-mail at the Right Time Jilt’s reporting metrics optimize your email sends. They are able to see exactly where a potential customer is in the check out process. They then determine which type of email to send. A well-timed and perfectly crafted email can encourage a customer to come back to your store and complete their purchase. If you choose Liquid Web’s Managed WooCommerce hosting then you get Jilt free with your hosting account. Saving you even more money. Another option is WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Lite which is a free plugin on the WordPress repository and it gets a 4.5-star rating. You can create as many templates and time them according to your own marketing efforts. My favorite feature about this plugin is it will automatically stop recovery emails when the customer comes back to your WooCommerce site and completes their purchase.  Finally, there is a third option you could choose is specifically for the shop owners who use MailChimp and WooCommerce already. This is perfect for the store owner who only wants to send a single follow up email after cart abandonment. I like this option for the online business who wants to keep costs low, but also knows the importance of trying to reclaim lost revenue by cart abandonment. MailChimp has a very helpful and easy to follow process for setting up the cart abandonment email.  No matter which option you choose for recover emails one fact stands, you should make a choice. Losing lost revenue to customers who are likely to purchase from you is unacceptable. Especially when there are so many options out there to help you correct this happening.  We have launched our Managed WooCommerce Hosting Solution. Click here to learn more about how to make your WooCommerce Store faster. The post Do You Already Have This Cart Abandonment Plugin on Your WooCommerce Store? appeared first on Liquid Web.

Are 1 Page Websites Any Good for SEO ? (Podcast)

Pickaweb Blog -

Hi, Tony here and in today’s podcast, I’m going to be asking the question, are one-page websites any good for SEO? Now, increasingly I’m seeing more and more people opting for one-page websites. And some of them look absolutely fantastic. One Page Websites Are Really Popular (and Cheap)… And I think what’s really driving this The post appeared first on Pickaweb!

What’s a favicon?

Name.com Blog -

You’re nearly done with your website and all that is left are a few more finishing touches. So what are you missing? You might have skipped adding a favicon, which is a small but important visual detail on your website. What is a favicon? Take a look at at the top of your browser right […] The post What’s a favicon? appeared first on Name.com Blog.

Coming very soon: DNSONLY Server Licenses

cPanel Blog -

It’s been more than 10 years since we first released cPanel DNSONLY, and it’s remained one of the best parts of cPanel & WHM. Historically, DNSONLY servers have not required a cPanel license of any kind, but that’s about to change. What is DNSONLY? In case you aren’t familiar, DNSONLY is a free limited-feature cPanel & WHM server type. It allows server administrators to run nameservers on their own dedicated servers. DNSONLY servers also integrate perfectly with full-feature cPanel …

7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google Analytics

HostGator Blog -

The post 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google Analytics appeared first on HostGator Blog. Why Use Google Analytics? If you have a website, you should be using Google Analytics. There are no exceptions here – it’s a useful and important tool for every website owner.  One of the first things we recommend website owners do when launching a new site is get tracking set up for Google Analytics. But […] Find the post on the HostGator Blog

New Year, New Look: 2018 Web Design Tips for Your Site

HostGator Blog -

The post New Year, New Look: 2018 Web Design Tips for Your Site appeared first on HostGator Blog. 10 Tips for Web Design in 2018 While there may be some constants in the world of design, what works best in web design often changes. The typical website style of the 1990’s looks outdated today and some current trends inspired by the rise of mobile would be completely confusing to web users of 2000. […] Find the post on the HostGator Blog

What You Need to Know About Social Media in 2018

HostGator Blog -

The post What You Need to Know About Social Media in 2018 appeared first on HostGator Blog. 7 Predictions for Social Media in 2018 Remember when Facebook seemed like something no one above the age of 30 would care about, or when you’d never even heard the word “Snapchat” before? The social media world moves fast and often the changes that we see fly in the face of what people could have […] Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Optimizing Websites for Great User Experiences and Increased Conversions [Webinar]

WP Engine -

Attracting site visitors requires strategic advertising but maintaining site visitors requires a website that performs well. In order to keep visitors on the site post-click, the site must load quickly, be scalable and be built with mobile in mind. Join representatives from Google Marketing, Launch Digital Marketing, and WP Engine as they discuss how they… The post Optimizing Websites for Great User Experiences and Increased Conversions [Webinar] appeared first on WP Engine.

How to Be a Shark in Today’s Phishing Pond

Nexcess Blog -

Would you do business with somebody you don’t trust? Neither would your customers. Phishing attacks are at an all-time high, with 1.4 million new phishing sites being created each month so they have good reason to be suspicious of any website—including yours. When it comes to gaining your visitors’ confidence, the rules have changed. On… Continue reading →

15 Essential Plugins and Features For Your WordPress Website

DreamHost Blog -

  The ability to adapt is everything. Just ask Pizza Rat. via GIPHY Trust me on this: mozzarella and pepperoni weren’t core components of the paleo rodent’s diet. Oh, how far we’ve come! When it comes to WordPress, flexibility is just as important. But instead of a scrappy critter trying to survive in the big city, it’s plugins that make the platform so darn adaptable. If you are currently running a WordPress site, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the options that plugins provide. But we get it. There are so many options; how you do you even know where to start? Fortunately, WordPress’ Plugin Directory enables you to research each plugin with ease. Every plugin in the directory includes user rankings, reviews, as well as the number of active installations. To throw you a bone — or a cold slice of pepperoni — we’ve vetted the thousands of plugins available and narrowed the list down to just 15 essential WordPress plugins. These babies can help improve site speed, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and much more. Dreams *do* come true, Pizza Rat! Let’s dive in. How We Chose Our Essential WordPress Plugins WordPress plugins are self-contained pieces of software that extend or add new functionality to your WordPress website. There are heaps — not hyperbole — of plugins available for free in the WordPress Plugin Directory, but you can also find them through third-party vendors and independent developers as well. When choosing the plugins for this list, we decided to collate them into a number of categories we think will help you create a successful site, such as security, site speed, SEO, and engagement. Then we refined our choices based on the number of active installations, overall reviews and ratings from users, and support options. Now, let’s get to those plugins. 3 Essential WordPress Plugins for Creating Backups As you’ll keep hearing if you’re working with WordPress, having a dedicated backup is a key aspect when it comes to protecting your site. With that in mind, here are three options to choose from. 1. DreamObjects The DreamObjects Backups plugin will automatically backup your entire site to our DreamObjects Cloud. While we think DreamHost users are going to benefit the most, this solution can be used by anyone wishing to use a cost-effective storage solution to store files. What’s more, you can set the backup frequency, and limit the number of files stored in the cloud to keep the costs down. For those using WP-CLI, there are a number of hooks to help carry out these tasks in a more familiar setting. 2. UpdraftPlus Next up is another plugin that is compatible with DreamObjects — UpdraftPlus. This is arguably the most popular free backup solution available and is supremely easy to use with a one-click backup process. Although it’s free, it’s not only suitable for the budget-conscious. It’s a super-slick solution for backing up your website with a number of extensions to bolster the plugin’s functionality and a plethora of storage locations out of the box. 3. Jetpack’s VaultPress Feature VaultPress is a premium backup solution with a stellar pedigree. It’s now part of the Jetpack suite and is maintained by WordPress’ developers Automattic. This means integration with the platform is probably the slickest of all solutions and using the plugin is a breeze. It automatically makes daily backups, which can be maintained via a dedicated dashboard. You can also carry out those backups via Secure Shell (SSH) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), enabling you to minimize bandwidth and lag to boot. DreamPress users now get access to Jetpack Professional for free. 2 Essential WordPress Plugins for Security Keeping your site secure is obviously an incredibly important task. It’s a never-ending cycle, which is why you’ll need quality solutions to rely on. With that in mind, the following two options are highly recommended and both have a top-drawer pedigree! 1. Akismet Eradicating spam is a crucial part of securing your website, and the more comments and emails you receive increases the risk of being targeted. Akismet is another Automattic solution that filters malicious links and irrelevant content from your site by checking against a global, constantly maintained database. The plugin is free for personal bloggers, but if your site operates as a commercial venture, you’ll need to get a subscription. The good news is you can get this, VaultPress, and Jetpack’s premium features with one of our DreamPress plans. 2. Jetpack’s Security Features Speaking again of Jetpack, its security features are going to be vital for practically all site owners. Depending on the plan you choose, there are a number of features available. While the aforementioned spam filtering and backups are premium features, out of the box you’ll receive ‘set and forget’ brute force protection and downtime monitoring to make sure your site experiences maximum uptime. 2 Essential WordPress Plugins for Caching and Speed Slow site speeds can quickly kill your traffic numbers, and users expect a website to load rapidly. Site caching is an easy way to improve page loading times, and the following two solutions are front-runners. DYK? Our premium WordPress offering, DreamPress, does caching automatically. 1. WP Super Cache As you may have noticed, the folks at Automattic develop functional, yet crucial plugins for WordPress, and a lot of the time, they offer them for free. WP Super Cache is no exception. This plugin caches your pages as static HTML, with minimal setup required. There are three modes to choose from, each increasing the amount of customization you can make. For many, the Simple mode will be enough, although the Expert mode provides faster caching at the expense of more tweaking. 2. Varnish HTTP Purge Varnish HTTP Purge is a plugin developed by (and used on) DreamHost sites — so its quality is assured. In essence, it accelerates your website by flushing the cached data on your page or post each time you make a change, enabling those changes to load quickly for end users. You can administer the plugin via WP-CLI and also manually purge the entire cache via your WordPress dashboard (which will also happen when you switch themes). Finally, developers will appreciate that other plugins can hook into the purge actions too, meaning you can also determine when to trigger a purge. 3 Essential WordPress Plugins for SEO Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital for good search rankings, so having a plugin or two at hand will put you on an equal footing to your competitors. Here are our recommended solutions. 1. Yoast SEO Yoast SEO is an immensely popular plugin for making sure your site’s SEO is solid. In fact, it’s arguably the only solution for many users — a testament to its quality. The great thing about Yoast SEO is that it is centered around a simple traffic light system, whereby green means your post or page is good to go, while yellow and red means more tweaking is necessary. Plus, readability can be optimized regardless of whether your content has a focus keyword or not. However, once you add one, you’ll also be able to tweak the SEO of your post or page. 2. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights isn’t strictly an SEO-focused plugin, although it offers a handy way to complement your efforts via the WordPress dashboard. In short, it displays a basic overview of your Google Analytics metrics within WordPress, which lets you view how visitors interact with your site. Of course, coupled with a standout SEO plugin, you get a complete overview of optimizations — meaning it is essential for your WordPress website. 3. Jetpack’s SEO Tools Revisiting Jetpack, Professional plan users have access to a selection of tools to help optimize posts and pages. This module takes a different approach to other plugins by letting you customize how your titles, taglines, posts, pages, and archives appear in search engines. You can also write a custom meta description and preview how your content will look on social media. While it’s not as comprehensive as Yoast SEO, Jetpack’s offerings are ideal for those dipping their toes into SEO. 3 Essential WordPress Plugins for Creating Forms While you may not think your website’s forms are important, they are often instrumental in turning leads into full-blown conversions. Choosing a plugin wisely is a good idea, and the next three are great regardless of how they’re used. 1. Contact Form by WPForms Contact Form by WPForms is a powerful form-building tool that’s also extremely easy to use. Better still? It comes with all DreamHost plans free of charge. Contact Form features a drag-and-drop interface that enables you to quickly create all manner of forms for your site. It also features a wealth of elements that will let you create the ideal form for your needs. Contact Form comes with a number of pre-built templates to help you get up and running in a flash. 2. Contact Form 7 Next up, Contact Form 7 is a monolithic WordPress plugin and enables you to customize and manage multiple forms across your website using an HTML editor within WordPress. It’s not as intuitive to use as other solutions, but as a free plugin, it’s arguably the most powerful, cost-effective option available. 3. Ninja Forms If you are looking for a contact form plugin that’s both intuitive to use and powerful to boot, Ninja Forms is a great solution. It’s a free tool, featuring a drag-and-drop editor for creating your forms. It’s easy to pick up and use Ninja Forms straight away, but it has a number of developer-centric features (such as hooks, filters, and custom fields) to create more complex forms. 2 Essential WordPress Plugins for Social Media Social media has rapidly become a primary way to engage with potential leads and customers so having a quality plugin can help bolster your metrics in this area. There are two plugins we recommend. 1. Jetpack’s Social-Related Modules Our final look at Jetpack includes a number of modules that offer a comprehensive way to share your content across the web, specifically Publicize and Sharing. Publicize lets you share your content on social media from each individual post or page, and the Sharing module automatically includes links for users to share your post across social media. That’s not all, though! There are a plethora of widgets and tools at your disposal to connect and engage with visitors, regardless of their needs. 2. Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons As a third-party solution, the Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons plugin is perfect for anyone looking to share their content on social media. It offers share buttons for over 200 different social media platforms with multiple customizations for each. For example, you can add share counts for each social network and customize the way they appear. Given the number of icon variations at your disposal, you will have no problems finding a compliant icon that matches your overall site’s look and brand. Plug It In When it comes to extending your WordPress site, plugins will be your go-to option. They are generally easy to install and maintain through the platform’s admin panel and, best of all, many can be found for free in the WordPress Plugin Directory. In this post, we’ve discussed 15 essential WordPress plugins and features, breaking down their benefits and features by category. Those categories were based on the necessary elements of successful WordPress sites, including security, site speed and caching, backups, SEO, and user engagement. Are we missing any vital plugins essential to your workflow? Share them with us in the comments section below! The post 15 Essential Plugins and Features For Your WordPress Website appeared first on DreamHost.blog.

Proprietary vs Open Source Content Management Systems: Which Is Best For Your Site?

Nexcess Blog -

WordPress is the most prominent example of a content management system released under an open source license by a community of collaborating developers. Craft CMS and ExpressionEngine are proprietary products developed by a single company which funds the development of the CMS by selling licenses to users. Web hosting clients don’t often think about development… Continue reading →

Managed WordPress Scope of Support

Liquid Web Official Blog -

When you need help, you want it the way you want it – from chat to tickets, to phone calls. We have support technicians who know WordPress. But we have more than that – we have the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting to advise and consult on any WordPress needs you might have. Support Availability Our Managed WordPress platform is supported by the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting and backed by the industry’s best guarantees. Our team is available 24/7/365 to provide assistance on a wide array of requests relating to our Managed Platform and the features we offer.     We work through queue-based support systems that enable us to handle requests in the order in which we receive them, however, if you have an urgent request, please reach out to our phone support or live chat for immediate assistance. Plugins, Themes, and Custom Code Our Managed WordPress platform includes industry-leading plugins and themes, tested and integrated to work seamlessly with your websites. Our experts can provide advice on how to configure and utilize these plugins. However, our experts only provide limited support for custom themes and third-party plugins. On a time available basis, our team can analyze logs and other errors and advise on the best course of action and alternate solutions.   Because we have fine-tuned our platform some custom code may conflict with our WordPress system.  While we will be happy to consult on these issues, modifying or developing code is best handled by your development team.       If a problem stems from a paid plugin or theme, the best channel to request support is with their developers directly. Free plugins and themes are supported directly via the WordPress.org forums. In all cases, our experts will be glad to recommend plugins and themes that are supported by best practices and can be integrated into our platforms. Website Development and Optimization You know your business and you know how you want to project your message to your customers. Developing your website is critical and typically entails unique coding, customization of plugins and data creation/management. Our team understands how important this process is to your success and can advise your development team. However, coding, debugging code, website design/development, search engine optimization (SEO) and plugin customization are outside the scope of support. Once your website is developed, you need it to hum for your customers. Besides hosting your website on the latest technologies, our technicians can provide guidance on performance optimization for your WordPress sites. While we do not provide optimization services, we have a wide range of consulting background that is at your disposal. Website Security Keeping your website, data and customers secure is critical to your success. As your partner, we ensure the data center infrastructure, platform hardware and software are up-to-date and secure.   Every site on our Managed WordPress hosting platform has the core WordPress solution automatically updated within a day or two of it being released to the public. We test each version against our workloads. Then, we prepare it for broad deployment across our network (which is why it takes a day or two). Security updates are automatically deployed immediately across our network. You have, within your management portal, the ability, for a short period of time, to delay WordPress updates if you know you have some code you need to refactor. Additionally, you will note that you have the ability to have all your plugins updated automatically using our visual regression features that look at your site before and after plugin updates to make sure nothing has changed (in a staging environment) and pushes changes to production. Upon request, we can also consult with you and your developers on how you can secure your individual sites. However, due to the customizations and unique development, you create for each website, individual site security is ultimately your responsibility. Data and Third Party Services Your Data is critical. In many cases, it is your entire business. Which is why you will never see our team touch your data. It is too important for us to take any action on.  Unless we have your written direction, we will not delete your data or your code/development efforts.   In addition, your databases and their optimizations are vital. We can advise on database connectivity and performance issues, however, we do not troubleshoot queries, or add/delete data. For critical database issues, we recommend you contact a professional DBA.   Services that are handled outside of Liquid Web (for instance, DNS management, Security services, CDN services or Backup when provided by a third party) are not supported by our technicians. We will be glad to provide guidance when possible, but do not perform configurations or customizations with third-party services. We have trusted specialists, partners, and agencies to assist with needs outside of our scope of support. For additional information on these providers please contact our solutions team. Interested in learning more about our WordPress Plans? We have a new 1-site Managed WordPress Plan available. $69 a month for the fastest, most feature-rich WordPress experience available anywhere. Click here to learn more.  The post Managed WordPress Scope of Support appeared first on Liquid Web.

What is Managed Hosting?

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Organizations weighing whether and how to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud are faced with a dizzying array of options. One of those is “managed hosting,” also referred to as managed dedicated hosting, dedicated servers or single tenant hosting. All those names refer to an IT service model where a customer leases hardware — […] The post What is Managed Hosting? appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

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