Web Host Blogs

Drupal vs. Joomla: Choosing a CMS for Your Site

Nexcess Blog -

Joomla and Drupal are two competing Content Management Systems (CMS) that help site owners to build and manage their content.  Both are well-established with large and committed communities, but the guiding philosophy of each is unique. For Joomla, ease of use combines with added functionality to create a platform for beginners and intermediates. For Drupal,… Continue reading →

Is Domain Hosting a Thing? How It Really Works

InMotion Hosting Blog -

If you want to build a website, you need domain hosting, right? Well, no. Not exactly. ‘Domain hosting’ isn’t actually a thing. What it is, however, is a combination of the two things you DO need to start a website: a domain name and web hosting. Before you move forward in the process, it’s important to understand what each one is and how they differ. In this quick guide, we’re going to go over web hosting, domain names, and why you need them both. Continue reading Is Domain Hosting a Thing? How It Really Works at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Build Your Business With Open Source E-commerce

Pickaweb Blog -

We receive dozens of requests here at www.opsway.com from entrepreneurs all over the world every month. All of them want to found a new ecommerce business or to improve an existing one. We have probably seen hundreds of launches, failures and successes by now. The reasons for success are different – a fluke or combination The post How to Build Your Business With Open Source E-commerce appeared first on Pickaweb.

How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps – No Steps Skipped!

InMotion Hosting Blog -

You know about them, you’ve read them, you want to do one – but you don’t know how to start a blog. Fear not! Follow our 5 quick and easy steps and you can get started today! Step 1: What do you want your blog to be called? Before you start getting creative on the keyboard, you need a name. You can go the simple route of using just your own name, or you can get a little more custom and use a unique name. Continue reading How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps – No Steps Skipped! at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

The best domain tools in the industry? Yeah, we think so too.

Name.com Blog -

2013 was a good year.  Twitter held their IPO, Apple debuted the new iPhone 5S, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl (The Editor disagrees that this is a good thing), Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born, and Name.com launched the brand new Domain Management tools. Six years ago these domain tools […] The post The best domain tools in the industry? Yeah, we think so too. appeared first on Name.com Blog.

Benefits of PPC

HostGator Blog -

The post Benefits of PPC appeared first on HostGator Blog. You have a limited marketing budget to work with and it seems like there are dozens of different tactics you keep hearing you should try.  When choosing to invest in one online marketing channel means you’ll be spending less on others, you need to know if it’s really worth it.  For most businesses, PPC advertising absolutely is. What is PPC? Before getting started, it’s important to first review what PPC is and how it can affect your business. PPC stands for pay-per-click marketing. Many of the ads you see around the web—on the search engine results page (SERP), your favorite blog, and the main social media sites—are pay-per-click advertising. . That means that brands don’t pay for you to see the ad, they only pay when someone clicks on it.  Usually when people talk about PPC marketing, they’re referring to Google ads, both those that show up on the Google SERP and in Google’s display network of millions of sites around the web.  But social media sites also use the PPC ad model, so really, most of the time when you see an ad online, you’re seeing a PPC ad. And the reason that you see so many PPC ads around the web is because advertisers know there are a lot of benefits to making PPC a part of your digital marketing strategy.  14 Benefits of PPC Marketing PPC has a lot to offer brands looking to get noticed and convert leads online. Here are fourteen strong reasons to consider PPC for your business. 1. PPC increases visibility for your brand. Visibility is step one in online marketing. No one can buy from you if they don’t know you exist. The first hurdle every business has to get over is getting people in your audience to notice you.  That’s a challenge on the web where you’re not only competing against other brands in your space, but also all the other information people in your audience are seeking out on their favorite websites and social media.  PPC gives you a guaranteed way to show up in places where your audience is spending time. Think about how often you use Google in a given day, or pull up Facebook or Twitter—not to mention sites like the New York Times or Buzzfeed that are part of the Google Display Network.  In the BuzzFeed screenshot of the BuzzFeed home page, below, both of the placements for Petco are ads from the Google Display Network: PPC is a valuable tool for achieving the awareness phase of the marketing funnel—getting people to notice you. 2.  PPC increases traffic to your website. Your website is the main place your business lives online. If the first step of getting customers is awareness, the second step is getting people to your website. The only way for your website to do its job is for people to visit it.  If you don’t get as much traffic as you’d like (and for businesses more traffic is pretty much always better), PPC is a good way to change that.  And because of the billing model used with PPC, you only pay when your ads translate into actual traffic. PPC ads get people to your site, where you can work on convincing them to stick around, sign up for your list, and just maybe buy something.  3.  With PPC ads, you always know your message is relevant to the audience. You don’t just want people to find your business. You want the right people to find you at the right moment. With PPC, you can bid on specific keywords, ensuring that your ads show up for people actively searching for what you sell.  If you sell bathing suits, you want people to see you right when they’re gearing up for summer and looking for a good suit to buy. You can buy ads for keywords like “bathing suits” or “bikinis” and know that the people that see your ad are at the precise moment of looking for products like yours.  4.  PPC networks have a huge reach. Does your audience use the internet? Then they see PPC ads (and if they don’t, well, then you won’t have much luck getting them to your website anyways).  The vast majority of people use search engines on a regular basis. A huge number also visit social media sites every day. And when you add in the sites on the Google Display Network, you end up with a list of pretty much everybody that sees PPC ads on a regular basis. Where advertisers in the past had to count on Super Bowl ads or billboards in Times Square to reach a large number of people, now anyone with a PPC account can tap into a massive audience of consumers. 5.  PPC produces faster results than many other marketing tactics. A lot of online marketing tactics require playing the long game. You put the work in now in the hopes that it will pay off weeks, months, or even years down the line. Those tactics are often well worth the effort, even if they require patience. This is definitely the case with PPC’s brother in search engine marketing, search engine optimization (SEO).  But PPC is different than SEO.  You don’t have to put in months of hard work to get to the first page of Google for your target keyword, you can get there tomorrow. As with other marketing tactics, you can expect to get better results over time as you gain more data and get better at PPC. But you can start gaining visibility and traffic on day one.  6. PPC can take your other marketing tactics further. For many of the online marketing tactics that require playing the long game, like content marketing and SEO, PPC can speed up the process of starting to get results. A big part of success in content marketing is promoting your content so people can find it, and PPC is a smart promotion tactic.  While PPC doesn’t have a direct effect on SEO, it influences factors that do, such as website traffic and time spent on page. If your ads get more people to visit you website, read your content, share it, and potentially link to on their own sites, then your PPC campaigns will pay off in better SEO results as well.  And your social media marketing efforts will go further if you use social PPC ads to grow your following and raise the visibility of your best social posts.  7.  PPC is cost effective. There are a lot of reasons on this list to do PPC, but the main holdup business owners are likely to have is concern about cost. You may think, sure, it would be nice to get all these benefits, but can you really afford it? Good news: you don’t have to spend a fortune to start seeing PPC results.  If you only have a little money to put toward it, you may not be able to claim the top spot for a competitive keyword all day long, but you can still make the budget you have work for you by getting the placements and clicks you can afford. 8. PPC produces proven ROI. Building on that last point, the money you spend will be well worth it since PPC generally delivers a sizeable return on investment (ROI). Google says advertisers on their platform usually earn back $2 for every $1 spent.  Getting that kind of ROI depends on factors like the quality of your ads and targeting. But if you learn to do PPC well, or hire a skilled expert to do it for you, the money you spend will likely pay off in new customers and higher profits.   9.  You can control your budget. Even if you’re now convinced of the value of using PPC for your business, you know you can only afford to invest so much in it.  That’s okay. PPC platforms make it easy to control how much you spend by letting you set a maximum daily spend for your ad campaigns, as well as the maximum cost per click (CPC) you’re willing to pay for an ad. You don’t have to worry about any unpleasant surprises when you get your bill. PPC platforms use a bidding model for the ads. So how much you pay per click and where your ad shows up are both determined by how much you’re willing to spend in comparison to your competitors.  That means paying more often produces better results, but even with a small budget your ads will be seen and, remember, you only pay when someone who sees it clicks.  10.  PPC offers extensive targeting options. While one of the great things about PPC is that you can theoretically reach just about everybody, you probably don’t need to. Very few products are something that everybody wants or needs.  You likely have a particular type of person that’s most likely to buy your products. Whether you offer a cloth diaper cleaning service and your target audience is frazzled parents of toddlers who live in Boise, Idaho, or you sell homebrew supplies and target young middle-class people into making their own beer, your ads will perform better if you can get them in front of the specific people most likely to respond to them. Both the search engines and the social media platforms offer targeting options you can use to make sure your ads reach the right people. On the different platforms, you can limit who sees your ads based on factors such as: AgeGenderDevice typeGeographic locationInterests Job titleIncomeRecent browsing historyPurchasing intent Ad platforms like Google and Facebook have a lot of data on who their users are and what they do online. Whether or not you consider that creepy as a consumer, as an advertiser it can translate to better results.  11.  You have lots of ad format options. With PPC, you’re not limited to one type of ad. With SERP ads alone, you can use a number of ad extensions to change up how your ad looks and what information is included. For the display network, you can use image ads, text ads, animated ads, video ads, and email ads.  Facebook offers a long list of ad types you can choose from, including video ads, ads for promoting your page or particular updates, carousel ads, retargeted ads, and ads that include a signup form. Instagram has photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and Instagram Stories ads. Twitter advertising options include promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. LinkedIn offers sponsored content, sponsored inMail, and text ads.  Every brand that uses PPC can figure out which ad formats make the most sense for you and your audience. And over time, you can test out different formats to see which ones get the best results.  12.  Remarketing helps you maintain connections with leads. Gaining a new visitor to your website is exciting. But once they leave, how do you make sure they don’t forget you entirely? Few visitors are ready to convert to customers the first time they encounter a new brand, they usually need a few reminders to get to that point.  PPC makes that easy with remarketing. You can serve up ads specifically to the people who have already visited your website. Even better, you can tailor those ads to their interests, based on their behavior on your website. If they checked out a particular shirt, you can remind them of that shirt, along with other items that customers who bought it also liked. Remarketing is a good way to turn one-time visitors into actual customers.   13.  The better you get at PPC, the more you save. As you learn how PPC works, you’ll get better at creating the kind of ads your audience responds to and refine your targeting to the people most likely to respond.  But on top of that, search engines want to provide useful results to consumers, so they provide ads a quality score based on how they perform. When your ads perform well, you get a better score, and you gain better ad placements for a lower CPC. Any company doing PPC that pays attention to their ad results can take advantage of this by continually working to tweak their campaigns for better results.    14.  PPC produces valuable analytics. PPC campaigns provide comprehensive data that’s valuable for helping you improve your campaigns for better results over time. Not only that, but you can also use PPC analytics to gain a better understanding of your audience and what they respond to, which will help you improve results across your marketing strategy. For example, the text that performs best in your PPC ads can help you create better headlines for you content. The calls to action (CTA) you test out using PPC can inform the ones you use across your website. And the results you get when targeting different audiences with PPC can be useful in refining your buyer personas.  So much of marketing success relies on analytics, and some marketing tactics produce more data you can use than others. PPC is one of the best options for gaining valuable data that helps you strengthen your overall marketing approach.   25 Powerful PPC Statistics That Prove Its Value That’s a long list of benefits, but where’s the proof? Don’t worry, we’ve got it. A lot of research has gone into determining the effectiveness of PPC as an advertising strategy. As a result, we have a long list of PPC statistics that back up the benefits described above. Statistics on the Reach of PPC Over 40,000 searches occur on Google every second. That adds up to 3.5 billion searches a day, and 1.2 trillion a year. 68% of people in the U.S. are on Facebook.36% use Instagram.73% are on YouTube.25% have accounts on LinkedIn.24% are on Twitter.  74% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day.60% of Instagram users are on there daily as well.As are 46% of Twitter users.  The Google Display network includes 2 million websites.It reaches over 90% of the people on the internet.   PPC Statistics About Results 12. Businesses make an average of $2 back for every $1 they spend on Google PPC ads. 13. 63% of people say they knowingly click on Google PPC ads. 14. Another 57% can’t tell the difference between PPC ads and organic results.  15. For local search results, ads claim over a quarter of all clicks.  16. Local businesses that use geographic targeting in their Google ads increase in-store visits by 107%. 17. The average click-through rate for Google ads is 3.17%.  18. Google’s conversion rates are 2.7% on search, and .89% on the Google display network.  PPC Statistics Showing Trends 19. 7 million advertisers used PPC advertising in 2017 20. They invested over $10 billion in PPC total. 21. $1 out of every $10 spent on advertising now goes to Google, making Google’s ad revenue more than twice what brands now spend on newspaper advertising.  22. 87% of businesses now invest in social advertising.  23. 88% advertise on Facebook. 24. 15% have ads on LinkedIn. 25. 11% advertise on Twitter.  PPC Is a Powerful Way to Reach Potential Customers The evidence is clear. PPC advertising enables you to get the right message to the right people at the right time for your business to gain visibility, get more website traffic, and earn more customers.  PPC provides real, tangible results you can measure and track. And it allows you to meet potential customers in the main places they spend their time online. This also helps create brand awareness and brand recognition, helping to further support your business goals.  If you find the world of PPC intimidating—there are so many channels, ad types, and best practices to learn—you don’t have to become an expert yourself. You can hire skilled professionals with extensive PPC experience to create and monitor your campaigns. You get all the results, with none of the work.   But you can’t get those results until you get started. Set up a free consultation with HostGator’s PPC experts today.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

HostGator honors the hustle and grind with Side Hustle Stars Award winners

HostGator Blog -

The post HostGator honors the hustle and grind with Side Hustle Stars Award winners appeared first on HostGator Blog. While “side hustle” may seem like a trendy term, it’s actually part of the true entrepreneurial spirit found in many HostGator customers. Are all entrepreneurs side hustlers? Maybe, to some extent. But, a “side hustle” is a venture someone creates in addition to their primary income source, with the intent to gain money, credibility, community, or even a career.  We know that many HostGator customers started a website with the side hustle spirit in mind… They needed an outlet for “something else” in their life. They saw a need and wanted to help. They had creative juices that weren’t flowing at their “day job.” They wanted a little extra money on the side.  Whatever the reason for creating a side hustle, we know the hustle and grind can be tough. After all, HostGator was started as a side hustle by a college student with big dreams. For that reason, HostGator applauds the customers who work long hours outside of their day job with a side hustle dream.  So HostGator created the Side Hustle Stars Awards to rally the troops, share stories like the old days around a campfire, and encourage the stars to keep hustling.  For added encouragement and high fives, the first 100 verified entries receive a Side Hustle Fuel Kit that includes a Starbucks* gift card, Yeti* tumbler travel mug, and a mascot Snappy stress ball.  Fuel Kit sent to first 100 qualified entries. Now that’s good swag! And the Side Hustlers showed up to impress. From, CBD products to skateboard photographers, there were more than 300 verified entries, with the most popular side hustle category being products and physical goods. We evaluated the entries by their side hustle stories and their websites against factors such as navigation, design, and web standards like SSL certificates and mobile responsiveness. In the end, one theme emerged. Despite spending extra hours working on their side hustles beyond the traditional 9-to-5, more than half (56%) of the applicants shared words of encouragement like “never give up” or “keep going” to other side hustlers.  The Side Hustle Stars Winners HostGator is pleased to announce the following winners of the 2019 Side Hustle Stars competition: 1st place – SACFruits, a premium dried fruit snack sold in the US and Africa that supports fruit farmers in Nigeria.2nd place – Xcelencia, an independent, Latin urban recording artist and music producer innovating outside the traditional music industry. 3rd place – Souly Rested, is a blog based on life on a 219-year-old farm in rural New England including tutorials on tapping maple trees and cooking with maple.   More about the winners 1st Place – SACFruits, Afie Braimoh SACFruits is a 100% natural, premium dried fruit snack sold in the US and Africa that supports fruit farmers in Nigeria. Afie Braimoh created SACfruits because she saw a need. She noticed that many of the farmers in Nigeria were living in poverty. Despite having an abundance of fruit, the poor road conditions limited access to cities and distribution centers. As a result, their fruit would rot along with their profits.  Afie’s solution started simply, with a dehydrator in her kitchen. SACfruits has come a long way since Afie started her side hustle and founded the company in 2012. Now SACfruits has FDA approval and is sold in Nigeria and the US, including online with Amazon.  Afie knows the true, and often solitary, work involved with a side hustle. She is still the sole employee of the company and works with one distributor who believes in her product. Yet still, Afie shares encouraging advice for other side hustlers.  “Stick with your side hustle. It is hard work,” says Afie. “But if you are passionate about your product or service, you believe in yourself, and run your race (and nobody else’s), success is only a matter of time.” 2nd Place – Xcelencia, Calixto Gabriel Bravo Xcelencia is an independent, Latin urban recording artist and music producer. Born Calixto Gabriel Bravo in 1991, Xcelencia works hard to push the boundaries beyond any single genre. As an independent artist, lack of funding is a challenge, but personal motivation and a passion for music is what propels Xcelencia to accomplish his dreams.  As the music industry continues to evolve, Xcelencia sees the value in collaboration to accelerate growth, which demonstrates his hustle spirit.  “It’s important to remain within the box to conform to the average consumer. However, playing outside of the box allows you to innovate and find new gaps and strategies to overcome your obstacles,” says Xcelencia. “Practice patience along with self-awareness, and you will begin to understand where to continuously improve and develop.” 3rd Place – Souly Rested, Michelle Visser Michelle Visser and her family moved to a 219-year-old farm in rural New England and discovered the farm was home to sugar maple trees waiting to be tapped. Michelle started the Souly Rested blog to catalog her journey learning how to make and bake with maple syrup. As her blog posts gained popularity, Michelle decided to use her platform to self-publish a book for extra income.  But, as the hustle spirit sometimes catches a “big break,” Michelle’s book was bought by a publisher instead and is set to be in bookstores Fall 2019.  From not knowing how to tap a tree, to selling maple syrup and publishing books, Michelle’s hustle has established her as a maple expert and a published author with more all-natural sugar products and a new book on the way. Way to go, Michelle!  Coming Soon  Stay tuned for more from these winners, as we plan to do a detailed feature on each. Also, coming soon, we’ll share stories and entrepreneurial tips from many of our entrants.  We’re so proud of the spirit of all the Side Hustlers who entered and what they have  accomplished with their HostGator websites. There are so many stories we can’t wait to share. *Note: The contest is not affiliated with Starbucks or Yeti.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Don’t Fall for Free Web Hosting

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Free web hosting for your website sounds like a great idea, and maybe too good to be true. There is no such thing as free, especially when it comes to technology. What free hosting offers is usually just storage space, plus a less than stellar website builder, and that’s about it. Let’s go over some of the key factors of a hosting plan and whether a free or paid plan has the advantage. The Real Cost of Free Web Hosting Let’s get the most obvious feature out of the way. Continue reading Don’t Fall for Free Web Hosting at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

27,000 hours, 11 Countries: Countless Lives Impacted by Racker Time and Talent

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Every year, Roosevelt High School Family Specialist Francisco Martinez keeps an eye out for students who’d like to attend prom but can’t afford it. He connects them with “Project Prom,” one of the more unique partnerships hosted by Rack Gives Back, Rackspace’s employee-led volunteer organization. Roosevelt High School is one of seven inner-city public schools […] The post 27,000 hours, 11 Countries: Countless Lives Impacted by Racker Time and Talent appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

When Your Hosting Provider’s Lights Go Out

InMotion Hosting Blog -

In this day and age, your online presence defines a critical component of your organization’s operations; from e-commerce to spreading the word about your business, your website allows you to highlight your strengths and capitalize on the searches and queries of prospective customers. As an internet-based organization, we at InMotion Hosting understand the value of having your business at the forefront of the internet and are here to help when others fall short. Recently, there have been reports of low-cost hosting providers shutting down their operations entirely with little or no notice to their subscribers. Continue reading When Your Hosting Provider’s Lights Go Out at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Will The CCPA Affect Your eCommerce Business?

Nexcess Blog -

2018 was the year data privacy concerns went mainstream. The media focus on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook brought the importance of data privacy home to the general public. The steady drip of data leaks from prominent companies, including leaks from eCommerce stores targeted by Magecart, cemented the risks in everyone’s minds. Businesses across the world… Continue reading →

How to Wireframe a Website (In 6 Steps)

DreamHost Blog -

If you’re in the process of creating a website, either for yourself or a client, you’re likely concerned about User Experience (UX). After all, your site won’t be very successful if visitors can’t figure out how to navigate it and find the information they need. Fortunately, there’s a handy strategy you can use to work on improving UX before your site ever hits the web. By using a wireframe, you can test drive user flows and page layouts, so you know exactly how they’ll work on your live website. In this post, we’ll discuss what wireframes are and why they’re essential in web design. Then we’ll share six steps to help you create mockups for your own site. Let’s get started! Professional Website Design Made EasyMake your site stand out with a professional design from our partners at RipeConcepts. Packages start at $299.Get a Free Consultation An Introduction to Wireframes (And Why They’re Useful) A wireframe is like a UX blueprint for your website. It maps out certain features of your site, such as menus, buttons, and layouts, while stripping away the visual design. This gives you an idea of your site’s underlying functionality and navigation, without distracting elements such as its color scheme and content. The purpose of a wireframe is to maximize a site’s UX potential before it’s even available to visitors. By creating mockups of your site’s UX on paper or with a digital wireframing tool, you can troubleshoot issues before they become a problem for your users. This can save you time and money down the line. Whether you’re planning a small one-page site, a huge company portal, or something in between, wireframing can be a beneficial part of the planning process. Unless you’re reusing a tried-and-true template with a UX design you’re confident in, wireframing could provide significant benefits to your site. After all, effective UX design focuses on getting your site’s key functionality just right. Without a design that supports a strong, positive UX, you run the risk of higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. A wireframe will not only smooth out your creative process; it could also help promote your site’s overall success. Related: How to Optimize Your Website with Responsive Design How to Wireframe a Website (In 6 Steps) Creating a wireframe can become a time-consuming process, especially if things don’t go well during the testing stage. However, taking the time to iron out UX issues ahead of time will give your site a much better chance of success down the line. The six steps listed below will help you get started. Step 1: Gather the Tools for Wireframing There are two main methods for creating wireframes — by hand or digitally. If you’re going with the former option, all you’ll need is a pen and paper to get started. Some designers begin with a ‘low-fidelity’ paper wireframe for brainstorming and then create a ‘high-fidelity’ digital version later. As far as digital options go, there are a wide variety of wireframe tools available. If this is your first wireframe, or if you’re a single Do It Yourself (DIY) site owner and not a designer, you might try a free tool such as Wireframe.cc. This simple wireframing tool keeps your drafts from becoming cluttered by limiting your color palette. You can create easy designs with its drag-and-drop interface, and annotate your drafts so that you don’t forget important information. Another option is Wirify, a bookmarklet that you can add to your browser. This tool’s interface turns existing web pages into wireframes. Rather than helping you draft UX design for a new site, it’s most helpful for website redesigns. If you’re willing to spend a little money, on the other hand, you might look into Balsamiq mockups. It boasts an easy-to-use, collaborative wireframing interface that’s great for teams and professionals who need real-time collaboration. However, it is limited to static wireframing. If you’d like a more comprehensive tool that can also be used for prototyping (which we’ll discuss later in this post), you might try out Prott. Step 2: Do Your Target User and UX Design Research Before you start drafting your wireframe, it’s helpful to do some research. For starters, you’ll want to know who your target audience is. This can help you determine which features need to be most prominent on your site so that visitors can find what they need. User personas can be a helpful design tool for this part of the process. Try creating some for your potential user groups, so you have a reference you can return to throughout the wireframe design process. Personas can also help create a marketing strategy later on, so hang on to them. It’s also wise to research some UX design trends and best practices. This can provide insight into elements such as menu layouts, the positioning of your logo and other significant branding elements, and content layouts. Users find it easier to navigate a website that follows convention when it comes to these features. Step 3: Determine Your Optimal User Flows A ‘user flow’ refers to the path a visitor takes to complete a specific goal on your website. So for example, if you have an e-commerce site, one user flow might be from a product page to the end of the checkout process. Determining the key tasks users will need to complete on your site can help you create the most straightforward user flow for each potential goal. This will help maximize UX by making your website easy and enjoyable to use. That said, it can be hard to get into the mind of a hypothetical user. Asking yourself these questions can help when you’re trying to work out your primary user flows: What problems do you intend to solve for users? What goals might they be hoping to achieve by coming to your site? How can you organize your content (such as buttons, links, and menus) to support those goals? What should users see first when they arrive on your site, which can help orient them and let them know they’re in the right place? What are the user expectations for a site like yours? What Call to Action (CTA) buttons will you provide, and where can you place them so users will notice? Each of these answers will suggest something vital about the way you’ll need to design your pages. Related: 7 Tips for Writing Winning Calls to Action for Your Website Step 4: Start Drafting Your Wireframe Now that you’ve gathered your tools and key information for your wireframe, you can start drafting. Keep in mind that the purpose of this task is not to create a complete design for your website. You’re focusing solely on UX, and how you can create a page that is easy to navigate and understand. To that end, your wireframe should include features and formats that are important to how your users will interact with and make use of your website. These might include: A layout noting where you’ll place any images, branding elements, written content, and video players Your navigation menu, including a list of each item it will include and the order in which they will appear Any links and buttons present on the page Footer content, such as your contact information and social media links Your answers to the questions in the previous step will likely help with this stage of the process as well. Remember to consider web design conventions, user expectations, and information hierarchies when placing these elements on your page. There are also several elements that aren’t appropriate for a wireframe. Visual design features, such as your color scheme, typography, and any decorative displays, should be left off of your wireframe. In fact, it’s best to keep your wireframe in grayscale so that you can focus on usability. You also don’t need to insert images, videos, written content, or your actual brand elements such as your logo and tagline. Placeholders for these features will get the job done. The idea is to avoid incorporating anything that could provide a distraction from user flows and navigation elements that are fundamental to UX. Be Awesome on the InternetJoin our monthly newsletter for tips and tricks to build your dream website!Sign Me Up Step 5: Perform Usability Testing to Try Out Your Design Once you have your initial wireframe completed, you’ll need to carry out some testing. This will help you determine if it has accomplished its goal of mapping out the simplest and most natural user flows and UX for your site. There are several ways to go about this. If you’re working with a team, your first round of testing will probably take place internally. Each team member should spend some time with the wireframe to see if it makes sense. Have everyone work independently so as not to influence one another, and take notes on any issues they run into. However, there are also tools that can provide more objective usability testing for your wireframe. These tests are meant to imitate actual users, which can be particularly helpful. Just because your team of web designers finds your wireframe logical doesn’t mean that the average site user will. UsabilityHub is a platform that connects designs with real users to give you feedback on how the average visitor perceives your wireframe. It offers a free plan so that even small sites and non-designers can put this tool to good use. For professional designers and teams, there are also plans that provide advanced features to help with more extensive and in-depth testing. Related: Top 6 Basic Elements of Web Design Step 6: Turn Your Wireframe Into a Prototype After your wireframe has undergone testing, and you’ve determined the best possible UX design for your site, it’s time to turn it into a prototype. Unlike wireframes, which are static, prototypes include some basic functionality so that you can test out user flows more realistically. As we mentioned in the first step, it can be helpful to choose a platform that can turn your wireframe into a prototype. Prott, for instance, enables you to create interactive, high-fidelity prototypes from your wireframe. However, if you prefer a different wireframing tool, some platforms focus specifically on prototyping. InVision is a high-quality platform that makes it easy for teams to work together and communicate about mockups. Whichever tool you choose, you’ll want to put your prototype through another round of user testing once it’s complete. After your prototype has passed, you can get to building your actual site with the confidence that your UX will be top-notch right from your launch date. Making Wireframes to Improve UX When it comes to designing a website, solid UX is crucial if you want to set your project up for success. Wireframing your website before you start building pages can help you get UX right before you’ve even launched your site. After you’ve finished designing your site, you’ll need a hosting plan that can keep up with your stellar UX. At DreamHost, we provide high-quality shared hosting plans that won’t let your users down. Check them out today! The post How to Wireframe a Website (In 6 Steps) appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

How Domain Registration Works

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For many newbies to the world of owning and operating a website, the idea of domain names and domain registration can be quite confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. Setting up a website is a fairly easy process and domain registration is just a piece of that puzzle. Let’s clear up one misconception off the bat—a domain name is not the name of the hosting service that you are using for your website nor is it the “name” of the website. Continue reading How Domain Registration Works at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

WP Engine Announces Engine For Good

WP Engine -

AUSTIN, Texas — June 26, 2019 –  WP Engine, the WordPress Digital Experience Platform, today announced it has formalized its corporate social responsibility program, Engine for Good, to advance its global impact and its stewardship for a positive future. The program will focus on three pillars: Open Future (WordPress), Open Doors (Diversity and Inclusion) and… The post WP Engine Announces Engine For Good appeared first on WP Engine.

Liquid Web Is Selected as a Top Security Solution Provider by Healthcare Tech Outlook

Liquid Web Official Blog -

According to Healthcare Tech Outlook, data breaches have doubled in the past few years to 133% in the healthcare industry. As technology improvements advance in the healthcare industry by using IoT, mobile apps, and the cloud, data security breaches can still occur if an organization isn’t implementing the latest security models. Healthcare Tech Outlook put a list together of the Top 10 Healthcare Security Solution Providers for 2019 and Liquid Web is honored to be part of the list. The solution providers were selected by their ability to provide the most competent and cost-effective solutions that could tackle the challenges into today’s healthcare security today. Liquid Web’s fully managed hosting solutions are built on single-tenant dedicated servers, providing confidence that data is not commingled and that we are meeting the needs for a compliant solutions provider. Our HITECH certification means our clients can be assured that we have the physical and technical safeguards in place to ensure that our processes, policies, and network security are all focused on protecting customers’ data with the highest standards. And knowing that our servers are backed by The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting™ provides a piece of mind to the SMBs that depend on us,” said Joe Osterling, CTO at Liquid Web. Liquid Web utilizes a third-party auditor to validate the compliance of our HIPAA and HITECH solutions. Completing third-party rigorous audits gives our customers confidence that we are meeting their needs for a compliant solutions provider. With an increase of threats online and an increase on HIPAA violation fines and fees, maintaining this compliance ensures Liquid Web’s policies and procedures are appropriate and followed, and not only meet but exceed government guidelines. On top of that, we take pride in being the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting™. We like to be seen as an extension of your team by helping you manage services, networking, security, backups and more. We believe the more you need technology to fuel your business, the more you need expert, caring people to be there for you. Read the entire article on Healthcare Tech Outlook. The post Liquid Web Is Selected as a Top Security Solution Provider by Healthcare Tech Outlook appeared first on Liquid Web.

WP Engine Welcomes Flywheel to Austin Headquarters

WP Engine -

With a rousing chorus of applause, hundreds of WP Engine employees welcomed a handful of our new counterparts from Flywheel on Wednesday afternoon in true WP Engine fashion—by lining up throughout the hallways of our downtown Austin headquarters and giving each new team member a high five.   The celebratory welcome capped off a busy few… The post WP Engine Welcomes Flywheel to Austin Headquarters appeared first on WP Engine.

What is Web Hosting?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

When you’re creating a website, there are lots of choices: the choice of hosting provider, the type of web hosting, domain name, registrar, web developer or website builder (if you’re doing it on your own). Out of all of these, web hosting is perhaps the most critical. Why? Because without a great hosting service, your website can’t function optimally. A poor web hosting service means slow load times, poor performance, and extensive downtime. Continue reading What is Web Hosting? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Should You Put Your Phone Number on Your WordPress Website?

Liquid Web Official Blog -

When creating a website for your WordPress agency or freelance WordPress business, eventually you have to make a decision: will you publish your phone number on the website or will you only include a contact form or email address? Ask any group of freelancers about putting a phone number on a website and it will cause chaos because it’s a polarizing question with some for and some against the idea. Let’s look at both sides of the argument: No! You Shouldn’t Publish Your Phone Number on Your Website! Many designers and developers hate talking on the phone, they don’t want to talk on the phone, and they refuse to work with people who need to talk on the phone. They advocate for leaving the phone number off the website and using contact forms, lead forms, emails, chatbots, and/or ticketing systems instead. The pros of not publishing your number: You don’t have to talk to anyone on the phone. It reduces options and makes decision making easier when a visitor is ready to reach out and take the next step. With a contact form or ticketing system, it is easier to pre-evaluate inquiries, support requests, and leads. By forcing prospects to communicate your way, you’re going to get clients more aligned to your style of work—clients who also don’t want to talk on the phone. You’re not wasting time on phone calls with people who will never convert to paying clients or customers. The cons of not publishing your number: People want to do business with other people and they want to be able to talk to a real person. If you’re hard to reach or communicate with, it will be more difficult for prospects to overcome any doubts, concerns, or fears they have about you. With no way to actually speak to someone, prospects will be more nervous about investing, hiring, or buying from you—they’ll worry about what happens when there is a problem. Some people need to have a conversation before they buy so you may lose sales because you’re unavailable.  Build a better WordPress site. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get content like this sent straight to your inbox. Yes! You Should Publish Your Phone Number on Your Website! As much as some designed and developers hate talking on the phone, others are powerful advocates for skipping email and ticketing systems in favor of phone calls, believing that phone calls are faster and more personal. The pros of publishing your number: It builds trust between your audience and your brand. You can be available when a prospect is ready to talk and you can help more people. Nervous buyers can call, ask questions, and overcome doubts, concerns, or fears they have about you. You can create personal connections with prospective clients and customers and bring warmth to an often cold intangible digital experience. Clients feel the peace of mind knowing that they have someone to call if there is a problem or something goes wrong. More visitors will feel inspired to reach out and make a quick phone call—which means more leads and more opportunities. Buyers that need to have a conversation before buying will be able to do so and you’ll make more sales. The cons of publishing your number: You need to answer the phone. When you can’t answer the phone, you need to respond to voicemails. If your branding is unclear and your website doesn’t communicate who an ideal client is, you may be inundated with calls from people you don’t want to work with or aren’t a good fit. If you’re not good at managing phone calls and quickly identifying fit, you will waste a lot of time on the phone. Managed WordPress For Freelancers WordPress freelancers will also love our Managed WordPress Hosting solution. With automatic updates to the core WordPress and plugins, website stencils, and nightly backups, you can focus on your business while we handle the rest. The post Should You Put Your Phone Number on Your WordPress Website? appeared first on Liquid Web.


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