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Social media in today’s day and time is used by a majority of users on a daily basis, be it for posting updates about personal lives to checking out brands and posts from others. According to a study by we are social, the number of users as of January 2019 is 3.48 billion. Moreover, on average, the report states that there is a 10% year-on-year rise in the active percentage of people on social media and the number will keep on increasing.
With so many users investing their time online, it is only natural that companies start focusing their marketing strategies on social media. However, with the growing needs of the consumer and infinite possibilities, targeting the right customer, as well as, the market is tough especially when you even need to keep a track of them. It is at this time Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes to the rescue. But the question is how?
In this article, we’ll learn what is Social Media Marketing and understand in depth how AI impacts Social Media Marketing.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a type of internet marketing that makes use of various social media platforms to promote a business and its products, thereby driving traffic to the business website. Some of the popular social media platforms that marketers use are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc.
SMM is a simple and powerful way for marketers to reach out to their potential customers irrespective of the size of the business. As a business, some of the key things you would do as a part of your SMM campaign is to post images, videos and text updates for audience engagement. The more powerful the strategy, the more productive will be the outcome.
One of the ways SMM helps your business is helping you create brand awareness. Take, for instance, you have a Facebook page for your business on this page there are roughly about say, 5 thousand followers. Out of these many followers if 1% likes/comments or shares your post which talks about your brand and has the website link, it increases the reach of your business, eventually leading to an increase in your website traffic. Furthermore, this enables you to establish your brand’s identity as it builds credibility thus, raising conversions.
Apart from this, SMM also helps you interact with your customers better, understanding their needs and catering to them individually. This can be done by you replying to the customer’s comments or queries addressed by them either in the form of public posts/comments on posts or Private/Direct messages on your social media account.
However, as we just noticed above the average number of people active on social media is in billions, and to cater to such a large audience would require an in-depth analysis and ideas which can be a mammoth task to a human mind. It is at this time that Artificial Intelligence comes to the rescue.
Artificial Intelligence backed by the power of machine learning is slowly but surely changing the way businesses interact with consumers. Let us see how AI impacts SMM activities of a growing online business.
3 ways AI impact SMM for a growing business
AI-powered bots and algorithms are replacing human analysing power and help in analyzing real-time trends and user engagement activities. Here are 4 ways in which these bots help.
Predicts the outgrowth
Predictive analysis is one of the core competencies of an AI-powered bot. With the help of predictive analysis, AI-powered bots are able to extract information from existing data sets in order to predict future outcomes.When it comes to Social Media Marketing, AI enables businesses to predict the growth or engagement activities in response to the customer. For example, if a customer likes a set of posts or always asks questions on other types of posts, as a marketer you learn to predict the next action and accordingly, design and release data that would predict the maximum outgrowth.
AI algorithms at times backtrack. This helps marketers revisit points that are old. This way you as a marketer can steer clear of the things that hampered your progress and not repeat them again.For instance, businesses make decisions based on the past activities of users or their habits, be it search queries or the type of purchase made. Having this data helps marketers know their customers and serve them better by showing them the right kind of products. If marketers were to rely on manually understanding this data set, it would take weeks, eventually hampering productivity. Machine learning algorithms help marketers backtrack the data set and process a huge amount of information in fairly less time.Once you have this information, you can then effectively target your customers on social media with the right post or personalized messages that would entice them to click the link taking them to the website. And who knows, they might even make the purchase. Meltwater is one of the tools that you as a marketer can use to analyze your brand or optimise your social media marketing activities.
Analyse the right time to target the audience
The success of a campaign largely depends on the amount of user interaction. Hence, timing is of utmost importance. If you were to schedule a post or post a story on your social media account at a time when users are most inactive, it defeats not only the purpose of the post but also, doesn’t help build your brand.However, this gives rise to an important question – if you post at the same predicted ‘peak time’ wouldn’t other brands too? If yes, then you would be overcrowding the target user’s timeline. The solution to this query is, either you don’t think much and continue posting at the generic predicted time-slots or evaluate a bit more and post content at different time slots. Once you’re done with this, analyze each individual engagement and impressions on your posts. This way you come to know the preference of your target audience and cater to them better.Running an e-commerce store requires persistent effort right from what the user likes to what time he/she surfs the internet. However, catering to all the customers is impossible but it is possible to cater to most of them.
AI-based tools help you analyze the location and the time zones of your customers and when they are the most active. When you run your campaigns at this time you will notice a significant change in user engagement. Also, using AI-powered tools to schedule your campaigns not only enables you to post them at the right time but also, reduces your efforts as a marketer to maintain a sheet with the when to post what tracker.
In summary, social media channels are the best when it comes to leveraging and targeting a large amount of audience. Using the right AI-based tools can help you enhance your social media marketing by analyzing your customer interests, as well as, enable you to focus more on strategies for effective marketing rather than managing the activities themselves.
Do you use any AI-based tool for your SMM activities or suggestions on the article? If yes, please do let us know in the comments below how has it helped you.
If you are a Reseller associated with us, then chances are you’ve heard the terms ‘Web Hosts’ or ‘WebPro’ a lot as you are one amongst them. However, for the uninitiated, a Web Host is someone who primarily resells the services provided by ResellerClub whereas a WebPro, on the other hand, is our shortened version of a Web Professional, who is a web designer and/or developer.
One of the mottos of ResellerClub is to help web professionals set up their online business. As a WebPro, you take care of building websites, installing custom software and even helping your customers take their business online. Owing to this it is very important that you keep a track of everything involving your business. To ease your work, we have launched an all-new control panel specifically designed for WebPros.
This all-new control panel which we call ‘WebPro Panel’ has a fresh minimalistic design, some smart and useful new features and a reimagined order and customer management approach. We believe that the WebPro Panel will be a key ingredient in helping make the mundane, everyday management tasks a breeze thus freeing you up to really focus on offering the best products and services to your customers.
In this series on the ‘WebPro Panel’, my aim is to help you understand ResellerClub’s WebPro panel so that you are able to take advantage of all the new features to help run your business better. Before delving further let us first understand the need to launch the all-new WebPro panel.
Launching the WebPro Panel
Like everything else, launching the WebPro panel took a lot of research. In fact, it is wise to say the idea to launch a control panel for the WebPros was not a sudden decision.
The application required a lot of discussion and hours of interviews with some of our resellers to understand ‘is there anything that is difficult to navigate?’, ‘what would the web pros like to see changed?’, and so on. All of this, along with months of planning, design, development work and testing, gave birth to the WebPro panel. This new and vastly improved panel is a result of understanding where the problems lie, and to fix them by finding a solution that is long term.
What About The Current Control Panel?
Now, once you sign up with us and set up your business, you have a set of customers that depend on you to provide services like hosting, development, design, security, etc. You also have the unenviable task of managing all these orders and customers.
It was with this idea in mind that the control panel was originally launched and has been in use for a while. You can enter your control panel by logging in here.
Over the years the original panel served the purpose adequately but eventually, there was a need for it to evolve. Thus, the WebPro panel came into existence.
The New Control Panel – the WebPro Panel
So what is it that makes WebPro Panel different from the existing control panel?
A modern new-look dashboard inspired by a minimalist design
Quick Access to your most Recent Orders and your Expiring Orders
A lightning-fast search bar to quickly find your Orders and Customers
Purchase things easily without adding funds to your account
A separate ‘Announcement’ section on the right to quickly view important announcements
A sliding vertical bar on the left for each section viz. Order, Billing, Customer, Setting etc.
Easy troubleshooting and setting
A Walk-through Of The All-new Webpro Panel – Exploring The Dashboard
Having seen the features of WebPro panel, let us see how much it differs visually from the existing panel.
Search Bar and Announcements section to track all the new orders and customers
The search bar displays the ‘last five searches’ of both the orders and customers
The dashboard displays the ‘ten’ recently added orders and all the orders expiring in the next 30 days. View them by clicking on ‘Recently Added’ or ‘To be Renewed’ tab respectively
Also, the dashboard has colour codes to help you identify what each colour signifies
Green colour line next to the order indicates that the order is active
Red colour line next to the order indicates that the order is suspended
Grey colour line next to the order indicates that the order is inactive
For example, in our panel, we have three orders as Active and one Suspended
Make changes easily and quickly to the added orders. For instance, getting Name Server details, Editing Contact Details, Purchasing Privacy Protection etc.
A sliding vertical bar on left for easy customer management and order tracking.
With this, I hope you now have an idea of what is the WebPro panel and how the newly launched panel will help you in setting up and managing your business with ease. You can also watch this short video below and see all of this in action.
In the next post of this series, we’ll learn how to add Orders, manage Accounts and Customers in your WebPro panel in a detailed manner. Au revoir!
Social media has the power to drastically change how we market our products and services to the public. With millions of people interacting with these platforms every day, it’s no wonder that social media marketing has become such a powerful tool in today’s digital world.
When Instagram launched its Stories feature in August 2016, a whole new world of marketing possibilities opened for brands across the platform. This feature enables users to post a photo or video that disappears after 24 hours, similar to the Snapchat story feature. Stories enable effortless content creation for brands and a world of creative possibilities.
Since then, Instagram has launched several new features to make Stories even more engaging and fun to use. These features include live Stories, polls, questions, and sliding-scale voting. With over 400 million daily users for Stories on Instagram, it’s no wonder that this feature is becoming such a mainstay in the digital marketing handbook.
From colours to GIFs to stickers and text fonts and more, you can design your Stories any way you like. Still, there are some best practices that you should follow to get the most out of this exciting feature.
Here are some of the top marketing strategies for Instagram Stories available to savvy digital brands.
Interact With Your FollowersInstagram Stories come with tons of features that enable you to interact with your social following. Engaging with users increases your brand’s social presence, as well as, helps you develop your brand’s personality. Both of these qualities are essential for developing an organic following on social media, which also helps boost your search engine optimization. With higher search engine rankings, you get more traffic – and more traffic means more business.
Here are a few ways you can leverage Instagram in your marketing strategy.
Instagram polls enable you to ask your followers questions. You can use polls to quiz your followers on facts about your company, the products and services you provide, or other industry-related questions. You can also use polls to help gauge your follower’s opinions about current events, upcoming releases, and anything else you might think of.
Instagram’s live videos allow you to engage with your followers in real-time. You can go live whenever you want, and your followers will usually receive an Instagram notification telling them that you are live. In addition, your live story will be one of the first Instagram Stories that your followers see on their feed. You can broadcast a Q & A, a company event, or a product launch. However, be careful not to overuse the live story function. You should go live with a purpose. Keep other material for the Story itself!
You can also encourage your followers to submit questions via Instagram Stories. You can gather questions for a later Q & A, your products and services, or anything else your followers might want to know about your company.
Hashtags can also increase your engagement with your followers. Including a company hashtag in your Story or another popular tag can increase your viewership. Hashtagging also helps spread important information about your brand.
If you’re a local brand, geotagging can help you build your social following. Geotagging lets you digitally reach people who are within your business’s range. It’s what Target does with Cartwheel – if you’re in a few blocks’ radius of one of their stores, users will get a Cartwheel notification. When you use geotagging with Instagram, it works in a similar way. Whenever you enter a geotag, Instagram combines your Story with all the other Stories that use the same geotag. That way, local users can see all the Stories for a particular location. This can help increase your local exposure, and boost your interaction with local followers.
Have a Story Takeover
A story takeover is another way brands use Instagram Stories to increase their following and drive sales. A story takeover is a kind of collaboration between your business and an influencer. For instance, a local radio personality may take over your business’s Insta stories for a day. Such an event will likely get lots of attention because a radio personality will have their own following. They bring those followers with them when they take over your Insta and do fun and surprising things when they have it. They may video themselves in the sound booth being silly or make jokes about having a face for radio while posting images.
When they bring excitement to your brand, it comes with the excitement of all those who engage with this personality. Like celebrity endorsements, these story takeovers begin with a partnership between your brand and a social media influencer.
Consider the success of Sephora’s campaign in 2015, when they asked Tamanna Roashan, @dressyourface, to take over their Instagram for Contour Month. Roashan is a beauty expert with over 2.5 million followers – and she brought all those 2.5 million people with her when she took Sephora’s Insta. In return, she was able to promote her online makeup school, DressYourFaceLive.com.If you have a hosting business, consider the kind of influencer who would best reach your target audience, and look for a partnership. The Sephora campaign worked so well because its followers and Roashan’s followers would have similar interests. As a web hosting business, look for digital influences on a national scale and consider what you can bring to the table to help them if they agree to an Instagram Takeover.
Choose an influencer based on a number of criteria, including:
Their social following
The demographics they cater to
Their general interest in your brand
The relevance of your product/service to their following
Once you’ve gained a partnership with an influencer, you can invite them to take over your company’s Instagram Story for a day. Conversely, your brand can take over their Instagram Story for a day.
In the days leading up to the takeover, you and the influencer will post regular reminders to build excitement. During the day of the takeover, the influencer will post updates to your company’s Story. Usually, you and the influencer will agree upon post guidelines beforehand, but the influencer should retain creative control.
Their followers will tune into your Story and learn more about your brand while engaging with a familiar face. As a result, you gain major publicity and a celebrity endorsement – win-win!
Show the Relatable Side of Your Brand
Private Instagram users use Instagram Stories to provide updates about their daily life. Businesses should also provide relatable updates to increase their fun factor. The more relatable you are to your customers, the more likely your social following will trust you – and the more credibility you have, the more customers you’ll gain!Instagram Stories allow brands to humanize themselves. This is because, through Stories, companies can share updates in a fun and relatable way that is similar to how non-business users engage on the same platform.
Through your Instagram Story, you can highlight aspects of your company culture, your employees, and even your daily routine. You can have an employee take over the company’s Instagram Story for a day and walk your followers through his or her daily routine, including their day at work. Whatever relatable content you decide to post, make sure it’s relevant to your company’s operations.
If you have an Instagram following of 10,000 or more, you get the special “Swipe Up” feature. Since links can’t be shared in Instagram posts, this feature lets you give your followers quick access to your content.When you add a link to your Instagram Story, an arrow appears at the bottom of the screen telling viewers to “Swipe Up.” When they swipe up, a web browser appears with the loaded link.
For example, if your company recently released a new line of products, you can add a link to your website on your Instagram Story. In the Story post, you can tell users to “swipe up” to see the new products.
Other ways you can use Story links include:
Sharing new blog articles published on your company site
Highlighting your recently published e-book or white paper
Sharing your latest YouTube video
Publicizing a new Facebook post or Tweet
Encouraging your influencer partners to include links to your company site, products, or collections on their own Stories
This feature allows you to gain even more interactions with your company’s content. The possibilities are endless and the results are tangible. You can generate more leads, engage new followers, and market new products and services easily and effectively!r
Instagram Stories offer an innovative, creative, and easy way for companies to share content and increase customer engagement. By building your brand’s personality and sharing snippets of day-to-day company life, you’ll increase your credibility and build a humanized social presence.
Simply existing on the web is no longer enough – you must use social media to your ultimate advantage. These qualities will boost your brand into the 21st century. Search engines and AI assistants are using our companies’ social following for search engine rankings.
While social media is a crucial aspect of any marketing campaign, it doesn’t take the place of a website. No matter how good your Insta game is, you need a place to drive traffic. Local link building, a powerful tool for SM businesses with local customers, and other SEO drivers can only happen with a strong website. Use all the tools at your digital disposal and learn the tricks to making them all work together.
Hey there! My blog post this time, is to address a query you might have had about split delivery from a single domain. I’ve seen this being discussed on a couple of online forums so I thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on the topic.
What is split delivery?
Split delivery means emails will be delivered to the same domain but to two mail systems simultaneously. With split delivery, an incoming message is delivered to either a Gmail inbox or a legacy system inbox, depending on the recipient.
This method works well if some of your users use Gmail, and others use a different mail system. For example, you might need to implement special handling for certain types of email, such as messages to the Legal department.
This method also works well if you are migrating to Gmail from a legacy mail server, and you want to run a test with a subset of users.
G Suite and Business Email
G suite now comes with an innovative feature of Split and Dual deliveries. Below are the steps to attain Split Delivery keeping Google as the primary server. Split Delivery, as the name suggests, allows you to split the entire mail delivery function of a single domain into two different servers.
This works on the logic that for the same domain some IDs will run under Google as the primary server and some IDs will run on other secondary servers.
Let us now get through the steps to build up a Split Delivery configuration.
Log in to Admin Console
Click on Apps >> Gsuite >> Gmail >> Advance Settings
Create a Host
Click on Save
Once the host details are saved, we need to proceed with adding the routing settings.
Click on Apps >> Gsuite >> Gmail >> Advance Settings
Under General settings >> Scroll down to Routing >> Besides Routing >> Click on Configure.
Now scroll down to Route >> Click on Change Route >> Now select the Host name that was created in the previous step.
Eg: In the host settings we created a host with the name “Business email routing”.
Scroll down >> Click on Show Options >> Now under Account types to affect >> Select Unrecognized / Catch -all
Click on Add Settings.
This completes the split delivery setup for your domain name. Going forward if any email is sent, the email will be first routed to your Gsuite package. If the account exists under Gsuite the mail will be delivered successfully.
In case the email account does not exist, the mail will be routed to your Business/ Enterprise Email server and the message will be delivered to the intended recipient.
While sending emails there are multiple instances where the emails are delivered to the Spam box of the recipient.
In order to avoid this, we need to add the SPF records for the email servers in the current dns of the domain. An SPF record identifies which mail server is permitted to send email on behalf of your domain.
SPF helps mail servers distinguish forgeries from real mail by making it possible for a domain owner to say, “I only send mail from these machines.” That way, if any other machines try to send mail from that domain, the mail server knows that the ‘From’ address is forged.
Only one SPF record can be added for a domain name, In this case, since we are using multiple email servers we will have to club the SPF records.
Identify the correct DNS Zone for the domain name and add the mentioned record in the current dns zone.
v=spf1 include:_spf.mailhostbox.com include:_spf.google.com ~all
I hope this article was able to clear out your confusion about split deliveries. While G Suite is a fantastic cloud-based emailing solution with 30-GB storage, enhanced security and real-time collaborations, Business Email comes with a branded SSL certificate, 99.99% uptime, anti-virus protection & more. Can’t choose? No problem! Just keep both now! At ResellerClub, we offer both solutions to our customers at affordable rates. With our products, our customers enjoy security, a pricing advantage and 24×7 support!
Without a doubt, Magento remains a popular solution for millions of e-commerce owners globally, because of the exciting features it offers to streamline the process of managing an online store.
Developers also find that building an e-commerce site with Magneto is an efficient way to manage time, especially when they are using the right hosting solution from a trusted provider.
However, the recent upgrade of the Magneto e-commerce solution to 2.3.0 has left a lot of users very excited and others worried, about any setbacks that may be associated with it.
In this article, you will find out what experts think about the upgrade and also what breaks when upgrading to Magento 2.3.0.
Magento 2.3.0 was released on the 28th of November and there are many new features like Merchant tool enhancements, improved developer experience, substantial security enhancements, core bundled extension enhancements and a few others. Some of the upgraded features are:
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)PWA is a software application that helps deliver an app-like experience to users. However, it is practically written in the web platform and runs in the browser, unlike mobile apps.
The PWA enhances a faster online store usage and of course better shopping experience for customers. PWA comes with attractive features like push notifications, fast page load and, offline mode.
The image below shows how PWA helps you as a Web Pro:
Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)The MSI helps merchants assign their products to various sources and track inventory at every location. There is an API for source operations which allows managers to customize inventory actions; the MSI also contributes to enhancing the conversion rates by saving inventory reservations for high performing checkouts.
Page BuilderThe Magneto 2.3 comes with a Page Builder which allows the admin to create complicated content and leverage APIs to provide content across multiple third-party platforms. Magento‘s introduction of the drag-and-drop editing tools and intuitive interface will conveniently help store owners produce new content and even thoroughly do a review of their work before publishing.
Beta ReleaseThe upgraded Magento beta creates an engaging and innovative shopping experience by incorporating new and enhanced functionality like new payment processing, import or export functionality, transactional emails, configurable swatches, and others.
Especially with the payment processing (Magento Payments), Magento has combined technology from PayPal and Braintree to enable store owners to accept a wide variety of payment methods. This offers a more seamless and secure payment experience than the former interface.
SecurityThe Magento 2.3.0 upgrade will be introducing Google reCAPTCHA and Two-factor authentication; this will help to keep robots away from main store pages. Malicious activities and spam attacks can be easily detected with the new built-in mechanism. The Teni-factor authentication will provide admins with different methods besides the usual password and username.
GraphQL SupportA data query language which was publicly released in 2015, the GraphQL allows the user to be able to define the structure of the data needed and the server returns only the data requested. It is used for building faster frontend. Performance related improvements and increased coverage for entities like products and categories can be expected in the near future.
Amazon IntegrationThis feature creates the ability to synchronize a Magento store and its data with Amazon. This option comes handy for e-commerce developers whose clients heavily rely on the Amazon affiliate marketing programme to generate profit.
Adding the Amazon integration extension to Magento will allow you to synchronize your store’s supplies with Amazon’s existing stock, create fulfilment orders and automatically monitors your inventory from Magento’s dashboard.
All these enhance drop shipping opportunities, improves shopping, ensures faster delivery and so on.
What Do Magento Experts Think About The New Functionalities?
Following the introduction of the latest Magento version, some of the Magento experts were interviewed and these were their responses;
Sergey Uchuhlebov a Magento Developer at MageWorx said that the PHP 7.2 support, GraphQL, and Declarative Schema are a must have. He expressed his displeasure about the absence of support of backward compatibility.
Profile Link- https://twitter.com/2_a1d
Syed Muneeb Hasan a Magento Developer and Blogger at Magenticians said the Integration off Google reCAPTCHA, Two-factor Authentication and GraphQL API will add a lot of value for the Magento Community because the merchants could offer more security without spending more on Magento store development. He said the GraphQL will help get the required data without increasing the overall number of API calls.Profile Link- https://twitter.com/syed_muneebb
Oscar Recio Soria a Magento Master and Certified Technical Director at Interativ4 said the GraphQL will become a revolution in the Magento ecosystem. He said the functionality of the Declarative DB will allow developers to get Zero Downtime deployments in all the deployments to ensure customers get their new features easily.Profile Link- https://twitter.com/OSrecio
Muhammad Fayyaz Uddin Khattak, a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways said he admires the idea to put significant enhancement to Magento’s native CMS using Page Builder. He also mentioned the ElasticSearch which empowers search capabilities of Magento platform which gives a better search experience to buyers.Profile Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fayyaz-khattak
Aron Stanic Head of eCommerce Sales Team at Inchoo spoke about the Page Builder saying it is probably one of the most anticipated features because it will help with marketing. He said the PWA studio has been a buzzword for a long time and it remains to be seen whether the official product is something that agencies can rely on as “The go-to solution for their clients’ needs.Profile Link- https://twitter.com/aronstanic
What Breaks When Upgrading To Magento 2.3.0?
While a lot of developers are probably excited about the upgrade of Magento, below are some of the issues that may arise while trying to implement the upgrade on your e-commerce stores:
New Composer PackagesDue to the presence of many features, there is an introduction of more composer packages. Each of the upgraded features will need corresponding modules. Installation of any of the features could lead to version conflicts.
Optional ModulesIt is possible to replace modules with composers; this can be done without a need for new modules.
No Requirement for PWASome developers believe the PWA studio is not a requirement, it is usually essential for frontend developers who want to work with it.
Upgrade to Declarative SchemasWhen upgrading to Magento 2.3, you have to keep in mind that it will be almost impossible to downgrade back to 2.2
Magento 2.3 deprecates the MySQL as a search engine while it introduces the ElasticSearch. Although Magento has not made any changes yet, it is essential to know this.
Saving ProductsSaving products are likely to cause unexpected issues, developers can inform customers of possible issues after the upgrade.
customerData Conflicts With AJAXThe customerData prevent duplicate AJAX calls to be made.
Zend FrameworkIn the Magento 2.3.0, the Zend Framework 1 dependencies have been removed.
Should you upgrade to Magento 2.3.0?
Before you make the big call as an eCommerce business owner or web expert, it is important to take into consideration the kind of software you’re already using. Magento 2.3.0 comes with new upgrades as stated above which will definitely improve user experience as it will help improve the online stores and applications.
All the minor issues faced by users while shopping before like navigating through the store, checking out difficulties, even security issues will be eliminated when using the Magento upgrade.
I hope after reading this blog you can decide if you want to upgrade to Magento 2.3.0 and why you need to because upgrading might be a great choice but not for everyone.
If I say, the popularity of online shopping is growing at a rapid rate, I would not be wrong. Why? Because establishing an e-commerce store which is effectively reachable to the customers worldwide has become a lot easier than setting up a physical store which is just limited to the consumers of the local area. So, it is automatically understood that if you have an online business, the competition isn’t going to be any easier. Therefore, to outshine this competitive space you need to have your brand name imprinted in the minds of your target audience.
To accomplish the same, you have to be smart enough to work your e-commerce SEO strategies so as to ensure your product lists on the top of the search engine page. The question that might have crossed your mind is why enhance SEO practices? The very simple and straightforward answer is the facts and data representation –
Almost 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine – a study released by Pingup
The first result in Google search receives 33% of the total search traffic. – A study from Search Engine Watch.
Therefore, tweaking your e-commerce SEO practices is the most appropriate way of reaching your target audience and capably compete against the giants like Amazon, Walmart, etc.
The below explained are the areas focusing on which you can improve your e-commerce SEO and see a change in your sales.
Proper Keywords Research
How would it be if I said, you rank top on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking but not for the right results? It is not going to do a lot of good. This means you are required to do proper keyword research for your e-commerce. First of all, identify those keywords that can potentially drive customers to your online store or that are relevant to your business. Getting familiar with the keywords that customers use the most can provide you with a more precise idea of how to target your customers.Implementing LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords is an important factor of SEO strategy. These keywords are not synonyms but are related to your target keyword. This helps to accomplish higher search engine’s ranking, increases content credibility, improved on-site browsing time, decreased bounce rates, etc.For instance: we have a content that concentrates on “on page SEO” so the LSI keywords related to it can be-
On page SEO optimization
On page SEO techniques
On page SEO checklist
On page SEO strategies
You can see the main keyword ‘on page SEO’ remains intact in all the keywords. Apart from this, your keyword search should be related to specific products on your website.
Have a look at the diagram below to know how to find relevant keywords with Google Keyword Planner.
Step 1– Insert the relevant target keyword to find additional relevant keywords. Step 2- Take a look and carry out a thorough analysis of the keyword’s performance with the help of a factor, i.e., search volume.
Step 3- Select relevant keywords from the list offered below by the Keyword Planner based on its average monthly searches and competition.
Focus on Content Publishing
After you get proper knowledge of what keywords to use, the best way to improve the ranking of your target keyword is to make the content real, informational and interesting. Now include SEO keywords in the content and title to frame the topic that answers the questions of the customers. Creative, interesting and unique content attracts the audience whilst compelling them to give more time and thought to your brand.Another important thing is to post relevant content on a regular basis so that your audience get to know you and your brand. It is observed that websites with content marketing have a higher conversion rate than those without it. Your site and blog both should be SEO optimized to enhance better customer engagement.
Structure Your Website
Content is undoubtedly important for your website but unstructured and scattered content works against your efforts to enhance organic traffic. This is because search engines prefer structure while it searches and goes through your website. Internal linking is one of the most appropriate ways to refine the structure of your website, i.e. you can link the product or services page of your website or to your own content. Your site structure should not go beyond three levels, i.e., categories, then subcategories, and the products as it is easy for the visitors to navigate and find the required product or service on your website. Too many levels leave the visitors bewildered and compels them to jump off from your website.
Let us have a look at the benefits of internal linking explained above-
It keeps everything organized
It let Google crawl your pages easily.
You can easily cross-sell and upsell products to your website visitors.
Establish Brand AuthorityIt is said that SEO and backlinks also known as inbound links go together hand in hand. The number of backlinks indicates the popularity of your website. These links are very essential for SEO as search engines like Google give more priority and credit to the websites that have a good number of quality backlinks. When Google analyzes the relevance of a site to a keyword, it considers the quality and number of inbound links to that website. It helps in establishing your website’s authority.Another prominent way to build brand authority is to implement influencer marketing as it offers credibility to your story. How? Let us give you an example– If you had to buy sports shoes online, would you directly go to any random website and buy? Or would you prefer listening to the reviews of some popular personalities on the type of shoes you are looking for? I am sure you would go for the latter one. The trust that you put on the influencer will make your buying decision more firm. The same principle applies to the customers who visit your website, if they see their favourite influencers talking about your product or services, they would immediately respond.
Take Advantage of Product ReviewsCustomer’s reviews on products are the most impactful elements that can be included in an e-commerce product page. Positive reviews and feedback act as a brand image enhancer and also they provide your site with SEO value. These reviews are valuable pieces of content as they add fresh content to your website which provides you with a high value in Google ranking. And not only this but your website gets keyword rich content which helps to boost your website’s search engine ranking.
Schema Markups can Improve your Rankings
It is a bit of HTML code that you put on your website to help the search engine provide more informative results to the users. So, when you add schema markup to a webpage, it generates an explanatory description that appears in search results.In simpler words, it tells search engines what searchers will understand about the website before even clicking on the link. These schemas make it easier for the search engines to find and display your content. Results enhanced by schema are more appealing and get more clicks. More clicks can bring more sales.
Keep a Track of Page Loading Speed
The time is taken by your website to load plays a vital role in customer’s staying or leaving your website. If your website takes more than expected time to load it is more likely to face customer abandonment. A study by Search Engine Land shows says that Google has announced, that page speed will be strictly taken as an important factor in ranking consideration for mobile searches. Therefore, no matter how interactive and user-friendly your website is, speed will matter. According to Seeking Alpha, many platforms like Shopify have been working diligently on their speed to offer 40% faster check out than their competitors.
Time to Ace the SEO Game!!
The time and effort you put to improve your SEO practices advance your e-commerce site which can further help in boosting up sales and discoverability of your products or services. If you think your competitors are moving way faster and ranking better in Google search, then probably they are following more than these 7 tips for their business. You need to start good and strong and get an edge over your competitors. You should take advantage of the above-explained strategies to acquire appreciable results. But as they say, “Rome was not built in a day”, you need to be patient enough and keep working on your goal as you are making difference with every SEO strategy you apply to your business.
So, what are you waiting for? There are various reasons to optimize your site for search engines, it all depends on your decision- if you want to stay at the same place or move ahead. Experience an increase in sales due to an increase in quality traffic with your strategic e-commerce SEO practices. Make the most use of these tips to boost the sales of your e-commerce site.
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms. It constantly evolves and releases new updates. This is one of the primary reasons why WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) platform is very stable and user-friendly. It has a CMS market share of about 60%. The latest version of WordPress which is WP 5.0 is scheduled to release on November 19th, 2018.
We have been following the whole release schedule since its incubation about a year ago on November 15th, 2017 and if you would like a breakdown of the whole release process, take a look at the table in this link.
The first question, most WordPress developers and WP website owners have on their mind, is – what are the features of WordPress 5.0? This post is primarily designed to address this aspect. Let’s take a look at some key WordPress 5.0 features
1. Change in WordPress release schedule
Those of you, who have been using WordPress for quite some time now, know that it works on a set release date based model. In the past decade, there were 2 major releases, each year. Amidst these major releases, multiple mini-updated versions were introduced. But with the 5.0 update, the schedule for WordPress 5.0 features update will be changed as well. There will be no predefined dates for update releases.
Therefore the WP users feel that the quality of the update is sidelined by the deadline. Hence to combat this issue, WordPress decided to deliver fewer yet more meaningful updates.
2. Gutenberg Editor and Plugin
If you are a veteran WP developer, then you would agree with me that the current WordPress visual editor is not intuitive enough to make visual changes. You need to utilize short-codes and HTML extensively before you can get the desired output. That being said, the Gutenberg editor is going to be one of the most sought-after updates in terms of the visual editor for WordPress. The core benefit of it is that it optimizes direct manipulation of the visual presentation of the content.
Bonus trivia: The editor is named after Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of a moveable type of printing press.
3. Mobile Optimization
Mobile experience is one of the most important aspects of any online journey. Everyone from UI/UX specialists to SEO experts have been constantly working on improving the mobile experience of the websites.
The WordPress 5.0 features promise to have updates that help improve the overall mobile responsiveness of WordPress based websites. This definitely looks promising and will go a long a way for both developers and marketers.
4. Cropping Background Images
A small update, but a functional one nevertheless. Previously if we were to do this, we would need to manually edit the image using tools like Photoshop and then re-upload them on our WordPress site. This is going to change and now you will be able to crop and edit background images before they go live.
Other WordPress 5.0 feature changes include security fixes and updating the front-end editor which will be lighter and faster. However, at this point in time, we do not have enough meat on the matter. We will be sure to keep you posted as we get updates.
Please don’t forget to check out our WordPress Hosting plans, which take care of automatic WordPress updates so that you never have to worry about missing out a WP update and lose any of the amazing features. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think your subscribers open your emails? The answer is simple, very less, probably as low as 1 to 3. According to the DMA’s Email Benchmarking Report 2018, the email rates over the past one year have increased by at least 0.5%, with an average of 18.1% for the entire year. However, this is still below the 20% mark.
The question that lingers is, is the average rate the accurate representation of your open rate? No, definitely not as it may vary from business to business. In that case, can you as a business do something to increase the open rate of your newsletter, if yes, what?
In this article, our focus will be on understanding what open-rate of an email is, does the design of your newsletter matter, and how to increase the open rate of your newsletter.
Understanding Email Open Rate:
Email open rate is a measure that helps you understand how many subscribers have opened the email you sent them. It is one way to know how successful your email marketing campaign has been. The email open rate can be calculated easily by means of a mathematical formal,
Email Open-Rate = Unique Open / (Number of Emails Sent – Bounced Emails)
Number of Emails Sent = Total emails sent
Unique Open = Distinct number of recipients who have opened your email
Bounced Emails = Undelivered emails
Now that we’ve seen what is open rate, let us move on to seeing how we can improve it. After all, an improved open-rate means you have raised your level of user engagement.
Does the design of the newsletter matter?
Just like website design helps enhance the user experience thereby helping boost sales of your products similarly, newsletter design too matters. On first glance, designing a newsletter might seem simpler as there is not much to consider, however, it should not be taken lightly. The more appealing the design the more it will increase performance.
One of the most important things when it comes to newsletter design is the content. Engaging and attention-grabbing content especially, the subject line is the deciding factor if a subscriber will hit open or leave the email unread. However, you need to invest your time carefully crafting the newsletter in a strategic manner.
Two things you need to take care of when designing a newsletter are:
Content: Keep the content minimum but sufficient. A concise and content-rich newsletter is vital to increasing your open-rate.
Graphic Design: A clutter-free easy to navigate newsletter is not only visually appealing but also helps grab the reader’s attention.
In fact, based on our own experiment of modifying the existing design of our blog newsletter, we have seen an increase in the open rate of our blog newsletter campaign. On that note, if you miss reading our article then you can subscribe to our blog and get updated via our monthly newsletter.
Having concluded that the email newsletter design is imperative when it comes to aiding the increase of open-rate, let us see other ways to increase the open rate of your newsletter.
4 Ways of Increasing the Open Rate of your Newsletter
Optimising the subject line:
According to a report, 47% of the email recipients decide to either open the email or not based on the subject line. And as seen above, engaging content is the key to improving open rates.
An optimized subject line that is in line with your business aids the subscribers to click the open button. When thinking of the perfect subject, remember ‘Less is More’ your subject should have less number of words, however, make sure it conveys all you want to say. Read this article for a detailed guide.
Sometimes your subject line is short and if you don’t have a sub-header then chances the content displayed is directly the start of the newsletter. This can dissuade the reader from not clicking ‘open’.
Instead, a better option would be to use a different line that aids in your cause. For example, if it is a promo newsletter then a good sub-header would be something along the lines of the sale. Eg: Click now to avail the exciting offer/ Sale ends in 48hrs/etc.
Mobile friendly newsletter
Today majority of the users access your website through their mobile phones. And thus, it is safe to say they would even open their emails on the same device. In fact, as per a study by Return Path, 55% of emails were opened through a user’s mobile. The growth has been tremendous and we are to only see a rise in it.
Going with these statistics, it is important to have a mobile-friendly newsletter so that it adjusts the content properly with smooth navigation.
Testing your newsletter campaign before hitting send
Finally, always test your newsletter campaign before hitting send. This is important so that you check how your newsletter looks in term of design, if the links embedded work properly or are broken, as well as, is the font and colour of the newsletter are previewed.
A point to remember, a preview is different than a test campaign. First, you preview then you test and once satisfied you send the newsletter.
Several tools like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp etc help in sending customized newsletters to your audience. Another advantage of using such tools is that they even help you to test your newsletter as they enable you to preview your design before hitting the ‘send’ button.
Does the Sender Email ID Matter?
Email addresses reflect the essence of your brand. A professional email address helps in forging a bond between you and your customer. Not only this, a professional email address adds to your credibility.
Take, for instance, you receive an email two brands endorsing their products. The following are the email address of each brand:
Brand A = firstname.lastname@example.org
Brand B = email@example.com
As a user, which email are you most likely to open? The answer is probably, Brand B.
Thus, a professional email address not only aids in increasing the open rate of your newsletter but also in conversion and revenue generation. An Email Service Provider (ESP) helps you get a professional email representing your business along with features like abundant email storage space, reports on email – delivery rates, read rates and link click-through rates. However, choosing the right ESP is a task as it should be reliable. Here are some of the features you should check before finalizing your ESP.
We are Resellerclub, provide business email services that cater to a wide variety of audience. Our email service is open source, abundant storage space and plans priced, as low as, Rs. 20. You can check our plans here.
So here you have it, some ways to help you in increasing the open-rate of your newsletter. A good open-rate not only means success for your campaign but is also a way to keeping your subscriber engaged about your business eventually enhancing your brand and its revenue.
We hope you found this article useful and if you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below!
If there is one common thing that every website owner tries to achieve today, it is essentially a fast loading website. Needless to say, the loading time largely contributes to retaining your site visitors, as well as, better search engine rankings. By adopting various techniques like optimizing images, integrating a Content Delivery Network (CDN), using the right caching server etc. site owners constantly endeavour to boost the page loading times of their sites. While all these measures are collectively beneficial, the point of discussion of this blog article is to particularly look at caching. Varnish Cache and NGINX Cache are two important and popular caching solutions that can help improve the speed of your business website.
While both have their respective benefits, a detailed study of each and comparison of their features might help you decide which one you should choose.
What is Varnish Cache?
Varnish Cache is a front-end web accelerator that allows dynamic and content-heavy websites to handle high traffic influx. It is a reverse caching HTTP proxy that caches both static and dynamic content from the server and improves the site visitor’s experience. This boosts the speed of your website considerably.
Varnish Cache also allows developers to configure rules and set policies by using the Varnish Configuration Language, commonly called VCL. In simpler words, a VCL is a program that lets you (the site owner/developer) direct Varnish as to what it should do with your site traffic. Thus it allows you complete control over what you want to be cached and how. Leading social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or content-rich sites like Wikipedia, among similar others, use Varnish Cache to manage their content caching.
This, in short, is what Varnish Cache is all about. Now, let us understand the workings of NGINX Caching.
What is NGINX?
Released in 2004, NGINX is an open source web server and can be used as a proxy server. It often uses a mail proxy, a reverse proxy, load balancer, and HTTP cache, micro-caching etc. which helps reduce the load time and improves the performance of your website. Most high-traffic websites, especially with multi-application environments, are known to use NGINX caching. NGINX is known to be efficient and effective in handling concurrent connections.
With the basic understanding of each of these caching solutions out of the way, it is time to make an in-depth assessment of which one works for your site.
Varnish vs. NGINX
In practicality, it is difficult to draw a comparison of Varnish vs. NGINX. Because the basics of Varnish and NGINX are quite similar; both can be used as a reverse proxy and load balancer for your server. However, if we go deeper into their technologies, there are few specific aspects of Varnish vs. NGINX Cache performance that can be placed against each other.
The most important thing that anyone looks at when using a certain technology solution is its flexibility. One of the key features that give Varnish Cache an advantage over NGINX, is the flexibility that it offers with its configuration language. As we mentioned before, Varnish allows developers to use the Varnish Configuration Language to create a caching structure that is tailored to the needs of the website, thus making it customizable. You can set guidelines on how to handle incoming requests, what content to extract from the server and share with the end-user, which source to use, and how to alter the user responses, if the need be. In short, Varnish Cache allows greater flexibility and creates more complex caching structure, as compared to NGINX reverse proxy.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Support
From 2018, SSL Support for websites has become an essential feature that site owners need to look at. In July 2018, Google rolled out a mandate that states that all website that has not migrated to HTTPS will be marked as ‘not secure’. This eventually will also affect the site rankings on the search results.
SSL certification helps encrypt sensitive information like important data, passwords, credit card details, etc. It also ensures that you are sharing and receiving information and data to and from trusted sites. This will make your site visitors and user to trust your site more and consider it to be authentic.
As such, owners need to look at servers which offer SSL Support. This is one of the features where NGINX wins over Varnish Cache by offering native SSL support for your site. Varnish Cache, on the other hand, does not come with an integrated SSL Support. However, if you have a good hosting provider, you can avail the benefits of SSL Support while using Varnish Cache.
Static Content Management
When it comes to managing static content on the web server, NGINX performs better in content management, especially if NGINX proxy and the static files coexist on the same server. While using Varnish Cache, on the other hand, you might need to add more functionalities to be able to manage similar content. But when it comes to the purging of content, the roles of each of these caching solutions are reversed. NGINX, being an open source server, has its own limitations. That is why the basic NGINX- OSS does not offer content purging option. You can always opt for the NGINX Plus plan and avail the Fast CGI Cache Purge feature. In comparison, Varnish Cache is integrated with an inbuilt mechanism that allows you to purge static content as, when, and however, you need.
Looking at the above detailing on Varnish vs. NGINX, it becomes quite clear that Varnish offers more advanced features that are specific to the functionality of caching, while NGINX can be used as a caching server. However, each of these caching solutions has their own benefits and suitability in specific situations and scenarios. For instance, if you are an e-commerce website or a media website, which runs on heavy content, high traffic, and are seeking high-end performance, then you might need to opt for Varnish Cache. Otherwise, an open-source web server like NGINX works for you.
We, at ResellerClub, provide Cloud Hosting plans that are integrated with Varnish Cache so that the speed of your website increases by 1000%. Every website’s requirement is unique and different and you should always run your own trial and error to see what works the best for you. After all, whatever you choose to do with your website will eventually affect your site performance, the experience of your users, and of course, the business. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave them in the box below!
As you work through your long list of things to take care of before you launch your business, you’ll need a website, and of course, a domain name. Consider this your easy guide to choosing the right domain name for your business.
Why Domain Names are So Important
You may have found during your research that you could snag a free domain name (also called a URL) from sites like WordPress, Blogger, etc. But in reality, a free domain name could hurt your business more than it helps. Besides the fact that you’re essentially advertising that brand rather than your own (usually the sites are something like mybusiness.wordpress.com or mybusiness.blogspot.com), there are other reasons why buying your own URL is the right decision.
They brand your business: If possible, your domain name should either contain your business name or keywords that relate to your brand. Your domain name is like your digital calling card. When people see the URL or you tell it to them, they should get a sense of what your business does, even if they don’t know. When you see the domain name SocialMediaToday.com, you know that the site will deal with social media in some way (it’s a resource for news on the subject). And Amazon.com has become ubiquitous: no need to spell out the domain name! The branding is built in.
You’ll use this URL for the foreseeable future: Consider your domain name as a tattoo. Sure, you can get it lasered off down the road if you regret it, but it’s a lot of trouble. Once you choose your domain name, you’ll print it on business cards and any marketing collateral. You’ll work on your search engine optimization so that people can find you online. All this work would be for naught if you decided to change your URL in six months.
It will make you look more professional: It’s easy and cheap to get a free domain with someone else’s brand name in it but it may communicate that you’re not serious about your business. Buying a domain isn’t expensive, and literally takes just a few minutes. But the result is that you now look more professional, and people will be confident in spending money with you.
Now let’s look at what you need to know how to choose your domain name.
Start with Your Business Name
In a perfect world, you could buy a URL with your business name, but these days, competition is fierce. Do a search for your business name to see if others are using domain names that might easily be confused with yours (you might not want to buy PoshPuppyBoutique.net since there’s already someone using PoshPuppyBoutique.com, or you might lose business to them since the site name is so similar).
If your business name is not available, look for SEO-friendly keywords that relate to what you sell, like SanDiego-Art.org. This will help you rise up search results for that keyword phrase.
Make Sure It’s Pronounceable and Short
Realize that you will be speaking your domain name out loud a lot, so avoid dashes and other things that make it hard for people to find you. It’s much easier for people to process you saying that your site is Pencils.com than Pencil.Collectors_PA.com.
Consider your Domain Extensions
As competition heats up for .com domain extensions, we’re starting to see some interesting ones like .art, .vip, .club. If you can find one that’s relevant to your type of business, you may be able to get the domain name you want with a different extension (and these are usually cheaper).
Know that some online forms don’t recognize these more unique extensions yet so you may have trouble filling out forms where your website or email address is required.
Set Up Your Domain Email
There’s one final step once you’ve chosen your domain name: setting up your domain email. Using an email address with your domain ending is more professional than using a Gmail or Hotmail account. People expect to get emails from a brand with the domain name (firstname.lastname@example.org) so your emails will make it to their inboxes, whereas a Gmail email might not (email@example.com).
When you choose your email address, make it easy to spell. Something like firstname.lastname@example.org is easy to remember and rattle off when people ask you for your email address rather than Sales_and_marketing.email@example.com. You can also create emails for different departments (even if you’re a one-person show), like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Be consistent with the email addresses for all employees, if you have a team.
Your domain name and website are your digital credentials. It’s important that you look professional and by investing a little time and money into the process of choosing your domain name and setting up your website, you can do just that. But once you do, you instantly establish credibility, and that helps get sales rolling in.
Development is a crucial part of any online business and choosing the right development stack goes a long way. For a long time, developers have been using the LAMP stack. However, with the advancement of technology and shift in the approach of dealing with web applications, web developers are gradually shifted towards the MEAN stack.
In this article, we will understand what a stack is, the basic difference between LAMP and MEAN stack and figure out if you should be making the switch from one to another.
Let us first try to understand what does a Stack mean.
From a data structure theoretical point of view, a stack is simply a structure of data which can be utilized to store a collection of items or elements. A Stack typically has two features – Push and Pop. Push helps to add elements to a collection while Pop helps remove any element from the collection. However, when it comes to understanding stack from the point of view of your website it mainly includes the operating system, web server, the programming framework, and APIs.
Depending on the kind of project you undertake the components may differ, eventually leading to you choosing one stack over another. So let us begin with learning about the most widely used and known stacks, the LAMP and MEAN stack.
What is LAMP stack?
LAMP Stack is an open source software and a great substitute for commercial software. It stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. With lots of programs under its hat, it provides a great platform to develop applications and servers on the web-based platform.
Historically LAMP has been a highly effective medium to develop web apps at an enterprise level. Also, it provides great room for component customisation and is cost effective. Linux, Oracle, Zend are some of the users of the LAMP stack.
What is MEAN stack?
MEAN stack, on the other hand, has become one of the most widely adopted stacks in recent times. It is also an open source and free of cost stack which helps in quick creation of web-based applications. MEAN stands for MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS.
Let us now take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of both the stacks to help in identifying the right one for you:
Pros and Cons of MEAN stack:
MEAN Stack Pros
MEAN Stack Cons
MEAN supports cross-platform operating systems.
The MEAN stack is slow and not as scalable as the LAMP stack as it has a non-blocking structure.
Pros and Cons of LAMP stack:
LAMP Stack Pros
LAMP Stack Cons
The interactions between the end users and the source under LAMP can be altered to suit the needs of the developer as this is an open source software.
Developers don’t have control of the libraries that are available. For example, depending on your hosting provider, you can get stuck with the libraries and the versions of those libraries that have been built.
The LAMP stack is faster and scalable as it has a non-blocking structure.
LAMP stack only supports Linux operating systems.
MySQL and PHP are easy to learn and can be convenient for beginners. Also, deployment of LAMP is smoother as it utilises PHP as an APACHE module and uploads PHP files through a MySQL Database to an APACHE server.
The question that arises now is what should you go for – MEAN or LAMP?
Most small-businesses usually choose Linux as their base operating system, as it offers innumerable free softwares that work on it. Furthermore, Linux is a preferred choice for hosting and thus, in most cases, Apache is the server. For instance, WordPress Hosting by ResellerClub comes pre-installed with Apache.
Nevertheless, as always the reply to the above ‘MEAN or LAMP’ lies in the customised needs of your business. The one you choose depends on your web application requirement.
We hope this article helped you understand the LAMP and MEAN stacks better. Do you have a preference of your own or a query? If yes, please do leave them in the comments box below!
Magento is indeed one of the best platforms for e-commerce websites. Also, the company is doing everything possible to upgrade it and make it perfect for the present generation. The cost-effective solution is ideal for those businesses that don’t have huge budgets.
Magento is conceptualized to be absolutely flexible and scalable. Additionally, the solution is feature-rich. Top features like the capability to manage several stores, as well as, the multi-lingual support make Magento a top choice in the market. Furthermore, the solution is both search engine and mobile friendly, which gives extra advantages to the Magento users.
Why has Magento reached the pinnacle?
Magento has become a favourite of many due to its fantastic features. Some of them are:
Mind Blowing User Interface
Magento is extremely user-friendly, which makes it one of the most usable solutions in the market. The flawless admin panel of Magento has one of the most user-friendly interfaces. The user interface is not only simple but quite interesting as well. Features like out of the box theme ‘Luma’ make Magento a compelling offering for the e-commerce websites. At the same time, the navigations are intuitive and store management is tremendously streamlined. With Magento, you can design interesting websites like Dollar Shave Club.
High scalability and flexibility
Magento enables users to easily customize almost each and everything, like now, it is extremely easy to insert menu links for web pages of your site like product promotion pages, etc. just with the help of Flexible Menu extension. This feature makes it possible for the users to have complete control over the online store. At the end of the day, you are the owner of the online store, and you need to know how to make changes whenever required. Thus, the open source solution offers complete control over the code due to which, you are free to develop any functionality you that you may require. When it comes to the scalability of the solution, the core aim of Magento is to scale high. The reason why it is being adopted by numerous firms is that it can be used by a firm of any size. Starting from a new startup to a well-established MNC, Magento can be used by anyone!
Magento is highly scalable. With the modular architecture, you can host thousands of products in very less time. Also, new modules can be added whenever needed.
Perfect for testers
Magento 2 is regarded as being a lot more secure. It contains a new directory, named as the ‘pub’. This new directory allows the developers to safeguard the code from a variety of different security breaches. You need to have the best security patches to make sure that your site is safe. However, recently, there have been a few discussions around the security issues related to Magento. It is believed that due to the absence of a few security patches, Magento is prone to cyber attacks. Let’s find out if it’s true in this article.
Magento and the security limitations
Although everyone likes the fact that Magento is an open source, at the same time, this has some drawbacks as well. The positive side of Magento being open source is that it allows constant upgrades. You have the option to boost the functionality. Also, you can keep implementing new business ideas and adding more features to your store. On the other hand, when it comes to security, there are a few security vulnerabilities that are regarded as negative elements. The Magento development team has to be careful of the possible security breaches, and they have to be prepared to either avoid them or deal with them.
What is the best way to keep Magento sites secure?
The best technique to keep any Magento site secure is to first find out the most vulnerable area, and then, find a perfect patch for it. Magento security patches are extremely popular, and most Magento users know about them. They do understand the value of security patches, and they make sure that they have the right security patch for their site. Every user who has selected Magento as their e-commerce platform knows how important it is to review the Security Center constantly. Also, they understand the value of installing the latest security releases. After all, that’s what is going to keep their Magento site trouble-free and keep all their sensitive information, including the customer data completely safe.
Is Magento’s security a talk of the town?
Is a security oversight leading to a security threat in Magento sites in Europe? Are 80% of Magento sites affected in Europe?
Security analysis revealed that 80% of the sites in Europe are at risk of cyber attacks. There are some vulnerabilities which have been identified. However, most of the sites that are still using Magento 1 are at more risk. There are also some reports which suggest that many of the sites are prone to the kind of cyber attacks that can lead to the stealing of credit/debit card information of the customers. This is certainly scary!
Is there a way to safeguard your sites from any attack?
Though, security issues might be spooky for most site owners, if considered carefully, there are many ways to help prevent cyber attacks as well. The security threats are only undermining the confidence in Magento. However, we do have to realize that Magento is coming up with regular updates to tackle such situations.
Also, just a few precautions can turn out to be really helpful for the Magento users. These steps can limit the firm’s risk from criminals.
If a company understand the value of regularly patching, and makes sure that they have all the right security patches installed, then such sites are definitely a lot safer.
Also, sites should keep altering the default settings on the admin interface.
At the same time, you have to make sure that you are using the strongest possible passwords (wherever needed) along with the multi-factor authentication.
Lastly, hosting too matters. Choosing Magento Hosting for your Magento powered e-commerce website is vital when it comes to safeguarding your site.
In the end, make sure you have all the things in place to avoid any security risks.
Creating a blog which one can use for affiliate marketing is a simple way to make money right at home. No specific experience is needed, but there are several rules one should follow to improve the chances of success.
Affiliate Marketing to Make Your Writing More Profitable
Sharing your experiences and thoughts is now easier than ever. You might think that a blog is just a way to tell people about your interests and maybe find new friends that have the same desire for writing as you. However, nowadays blogs are more than just a writing hobby. They have slowly but surely become a way to make money from home without being an expert in the business. You can promote products and services and monetize your writing with a little effort and a lot of passion.
As you may know, affiliate marketing is a way to benefit from promoting brands through your posts, placing links in your texts, and monetizing visitors or customers who are led to the brand you are promoting through your blog.
Does it sound challenging? We can assure you that this is much easier than you think. We’ve prepared an easy guide on how to create your blog and start earning money using just your writing skills and a little bit of marketing knowledge.
Step 1. Defining your target audience and the blog niche
Starting from the very beginning implies thinking through your blogging development direction. The first step is to pick a niche and the people you will address your writing to.
Pick a niche. Think of the things you really like or you know a lot about. It can be anything in the world. The main point of blogging is passion and desire to work on something that brings you joy because these two things are the motivating forces that help you improve. The more effort you put, the more money you can earn.Second, narrow your theme to a topic that will be interesting for you but will also have a lot of opportunities for affiliate programs to sign onto. This is the step where you need to conduct research and find how many competitors there are in the field that you have chosen and what affiliate campaigns are available. Pick a niche in which you have a good amount of perspective and not much competition in terms of other blogs at the same time.
Quick tip: You can also give yourself an opportunity to expand your niche by picking several related topics. For example, makeup and hair products, travelling and hiking, vlogging and content creation, etc.
Identify your target audience. After you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to clarify who your target audience is. This is not an easy thing to do, but a little research will give you an idea about who your readers will be and what information will be useful and valuable for them.The easiest way to do this is to follow the brands you want to get as your affiliate clients on social media and see who their customers or clients are. You can do the same thing with your competitors.
Choose an affiliate program. A quick search will give you an opportunity to identify what affiliate programs you can sign for. Contact brands that might be interested in your service through their cooperation managers.
Step 2. Choosing a blogging platform and the domain name
When it comes to starting your blog, it’s important to pick a suitable blogging platform. There are several platforms you can choose from; the most popular are:
WordPress is the biggest blogging platform and offers a lot of opportunities and quick setup. It is designed specifically for blogging purposes and has a lot of different features that come in handy while creating your blog from scratch. Some advantages of WordPress are:
Built-in tools to control your blog
SEO-friendly permalinks and mobile-optimized themes
Multiple widgets are available
Joomla is used for creating websites but also includes an extension for blogging purposes. It’s easy to use and has excellent flexibility alongside with convenience and usability. Wix in its turn has drag and drop templates, user-friendly interface, and free hosting.
Make a choice according to your needs and convenience.
A domain name is something you need to carefully think through as it will be the first thing your readers will see. Make it memorable, short, and related to your topic. Use a name that is well-understood when someone pronounces it – this way it is more convenient for people to remember your site when hearing about it in conversation. It will also be useful for a voice search, which has been progressively becoming popular. Pick a few names and discuss it with your friends and family before deciding which one is the best.
After picking your domain name, you should register it. You will see which domains are available and which are already taken.
Step 3. Designing and structuring
The design of your blog has a much more significant influence on your reader than you probably think. It not only presents your theme but also helps you to stand out from the crowd. If it is done correctly, your blog design makes people stay on your site longer and has a pleasing influence on your audience’s attitude towards your content.
Quick tip: Don’t use very vibrant colours, complex fonts, or a coarse background. Pick the colour combinations that will not distract from your content. Choose fonts that are easy to read.
Structuring your blog is also essential to make it organized. Decide what categories you need or what widgets you want to add. Add images or video-clips you think will be useful for your audience.
Step 4. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is one of the most essential things you should learn in order to run a successful affiliate blog. It helps to get more traffic and boost your earnings from affiliate programs.
There are a few tools you can and should use for your optimization, such as:
SEMrush – This software will help you to get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building. Also, it provides data on website traffic, backlinks, keywords positions. There are several helpful in-built tools; for example, SEO Content Template gives you ideas to write well-crafted content, optimized for search engines.
Moz – A tool that is created to check your ranking score – links authority and the importance of your site in relations to others. Moz rank for each website depends on the number of backlinks, their value, and the domain authority. Moz scores each website from 0 to 10. The higher the value of backlinks is, the higher the score a site gets. An average score for a website is 3.
Ahrefs – A tool that helps you monitor and analyze your backlinks and their types. It has its own crawler and provides a complete report on all of your backlinks and referring domains. You can check out your competitors’ backlinks too. That way, you’ll get an idea of what websites you can get backlinks from.
Google Trends – A tool that is used to check the level of interest for a prospective keyword and find which keywords are getting more popular. It works the best with Google Keyword Planner. Though they are much alike, there is an essential difference – GT shows the relative popularity, which is the number of particular queries divided by the total number of searches of the same geography and time range.
Google Keyword Planner – A software which is designed to build keyword lists for pay-per-click campaigns. It helps to build ad groups and find new keywords that you can add to your ad campaigns.
Try all of these tools out and decide which ones are the most convenient for you to use.
Step 5. Blog content
Good content is key. Every marketer knows that. In order to earn more from affiliate programs, you need to provide valuable and interesting information. The more users read your posts, the more they will follow affiliate links.
Be honest with your audience. Including affiliate links so that they look good in your text, is real mastery. Be truthful when you speak about products and services, and you will get your audience’s trust. Honest reviews are the key to making your content more credible.
That’s why it’s essential to know a lot about the products you promote. If you have the opportunity, try them yourself.
Be careful while using links and keywords. Don’t clutter your text with keywords as they make it clumsy and rough. You want to make your content unique and easy to understand, that’s why writing skills are very important.
Get help if needed. Some bloggers post a lot and use the help of freelance writers for editing texts to make great content every day. You can find such help on platforms like EssayTigers, Freelancer, UpWork, etc.
When putting affiliate links, remember to follow these tips:
Make words or phrases clickable. Add anchor text – the visible clickable text in a hyperlink – to affiliate links; they look much better than a link itself.
Don’t put too many links – it’s better to add one or two links for a piece of content.
Make links more noticeable, using bold fonts.
Make your links look more neat or professional using link shorteners like Google Shortener, Bitly, etc.
Use sidebars to make links more noticeable. However, you should be attentive to keep them user-friendly and convenient. Too many sidebars distract from content and annoy users.
Use visuals. Don’t forget to add visuals to your content. They help make your posts easier to digest even for boring texts. Using images or videos polishes up your blog and gives it a more interesting look.
We believe that everyone can start making money from affiliate blogs right at home. Creating a blog is interesting and exciting; making it a profitable hobby is even better.
Nowadays there are a lot of tools that will help you to start your affiliate marketing blog and run it yourself without struggling. Even if you have no knowledge of creating websites you can easily make yourself a blog page with customized design and necessary options. Use our guide to start to monetize your writing right now without too much effort.
If you are looking for an affiliate program, check out the ResellerClub affiliate program. It allows you to choose and promote the products you want through your blog, website, or social media and get a commission for every referral. You need to invest nothing but your time. Start getting your commissions today!
Data runs this world. Numbers are what help any businessman make sense of exactly how his concern is performing. Growth cannot be proven if there are no numbers suggesting the same. People place their faith in numbers, even though some agents might misuse numbers to state a point. Hard data is the lifeblood of business processes. And with the increasing abundance of data, it becomes all the more important to derive the right insights from it.
There is an overwhelming surplus of data present in our shared digital universe today. We’re currently generating about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day and it needs to be made sense of. Which is where analytics comes in. The presence of staggering amounts of data does not mean that your business will benefit from it. You need to extract useful insights from the abundance of data you have at your disposal. Data analytics makes it possible for organizations to extract trends and insights from business data and convert it into tools for strategic decision-making.
Why is Analytics Important in Project Management?
Big data and analytics have proven their capacity to streamline humongous amounts of data into actionable insights, bridging the gap between data and actual business outcomes. And this goes for businesses of all sizes. Despite what their names suggest, Big Data and Small Businesses can and do go hand in hand. In this article, we will attempt to shed some light on how small businesses can make use of the right data analytics to improve their project outcomes.
First things first, how does big data impact project management? Broadly, analytics enables project managers to avoid tunnel vision by providing a complete picture of the project so far. It takes the project data generated from various sources including project management software and turns it into a strategic asset for the project team. Here are some of the main ways in which data analytics empower project managers and teams.
Project Viability Studies
Analytics makes a feasibility/viability study for a project more precise. It can use past data from previous projects and predict whether your project plan is likely to be successful.
The next step is assessing the risk associated with the project. Analytics can assist the project manager in identifying and evaluating the biggest risks. It will eventually enable him to come up with a proper action plan to control/combat these risks successfully.
Analytics can predict a number of things about your project based on past data, and the present ongoing work on the project by capturing the work rate. It can predict whether your project will be completed in time, whether it will go over budget, etc. It’s like a continuous, ongoing assessment which will help keep the project on track and help project managers take proactive action for the same.
Project Performance Analysis
Are your project KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) being met?
Data analytics gives project managers a 360o view of the project in real-time. This enables them to take preventive measures for any possible upsets, and ensure that KPIs are being met. This is one of the main reasons that more businesses are investing in project management software equipped with data analytics capabilities.
Strategic Decision Making
As previously mentioned, analytics converts raw data into strategic assets that can be used for making the right decisions at the right time. Ultimately, the decisions taken with regard to your project determine the final quality of the deliverable. Analytics helps managers control the quality of this deliverable with continuous analysis of relevant metrics.
Analytics will very soon be an indispensable feature of project management in all industries. Better to be an early adopter. That being said, let’s take a look at how project managers across various domains have been using data analytics to improve project outcomes.
BitMar Networks, a small media streaming platform, used data analytics to study customer preferences, especially when it came to support. Analytics revealed that a majority of their customers preferred to talk to one another rather than with official tech support. So, the company built a self-help platform for the customers, which allowed users to help themselves. It cost next to nothing and increased customer satisfaction to boot.
The American agrochemical company, Monsanto, started using machine learning for predictive analytics and prescriptive recommendations. Its models leveraged statistics and past data in order to prescribe the best time to plant and the best place to do so. It increased yields while reducing land utilization. The marriage between learnings from Agriculture and advances in IT really paid off for the company; it was able to save $6 million, while also reducing its supply chain footprint by 4%.
To tie it all up, here are some excellent tools that your business could invest in right now. Harness the power of big data for your small business with these specialized tools which have analytics capabilities dedicated to SMBs.
Qlik Sense is a web-based tool which quickly highlights patterns or trends in data. Its visualization features allow you to pull in different views, annotate them and present the compilation without the need for Powerpoint or other presentation tools. Data visualization and discovery are its major selling points.
How will it help you a Small-medium business: It is flexible and scalable, allowing your small business to explore complex data to find all possible associations, even as the business continues to grow. It can unify data from various databases and document management software. It can be integrated into new applications for automated data capturing.
Pricing: Get started for free with Qlik Sense Cloud Basic. You can upgrade to Qlik Sense Cloud Business, starting at $15/user per month.
Spotfire provides everything that a good data analytics/BI tool for SMBs should have: dynamic dashboards, visualization, and robust mobile access. Teams can collaborate on their smartphones entirely if the need arises. So, it’s a great option for businesses which have remote teams or offsite team members. It integrates easily with existing databases (including Excel) and with other software such as the CRM or ERP.
How it can help your small/medium business: It connects all your data points, making reporting effortless. Its multimodal interface allows you to interact with data the way you want to and delivers lightning-fast insights. Like Qlik Sense, it is scalable. With its robust AI capabilities, you can spot trends, patterns, and outliers in any data.
Pricing: You can opt for a 30-day free trial. The Tibco Cloud Spotfire Business Author plan starts at $65/ user per month or $650/user per year, making it a pricey option for smaller businesses. However, its evaluation capabilities more than make up for it.
SAS Visual Analytics
The most well-known and also the costliest of the lot, SAS Visual Analytics might not be the first choice for an SMB looking for an analytics solution. However, its features justify its cost. To start with, It has data access transformation, data mining, visualization, and reporting capabilities. It is the market leader because of its top-notch statistical and predictive models. If you feel that your core business growth is undoubtedly going to be heavily reliant on data analytics, then this is a viable option for you.
How it can help your small/medium business: Apart from the usual self-service data preparation and analysis capabilities, SAS can go as far as analyzing text over social media and show you whether the sentiment is positive or negative. You can create interactive reports and dashboards, summarizing key metrics for your team in a way that each member can comfortably comprehend.
Pricing: SAS follows quote-based pricing for all its products and you can rest assured that it’s going to be a significant investment. If you feel that your core business growth is undoubtedly going to be heavily reliant on data analytics, then this is a viable option for you.
Businesses of all sizes and in all domains can benefit from the use of data analytics. This holds true for small businesses as well. However, small businesses must go out of the way to ensure that the data analytics tools they choose are of reasonable cost, easy-to-use, and reliable. Empower your project teams with a good data analytics tool to augment the existing project management software and, in turn, the project outcomes. It is only a matter of time before this becomes the norm, be ahead of the curve!
We celebrated Christmas in style with a bunch of exciting discounts during the festive season which contributed to the spike in new gTLD counts. Let’s dig in and find out more!
The new gTLDs like .TOP, .ONLINE, and .XYZ not only landed the top spots but also drove the overall counts of the new gTLDs registered in December by 96% compared to the month of November. While .SITE moved up a rank, .SPACE made it to the top 5 with an 11% spike in its registrations.
Here’s a list of top 15 new gTLDs that were trending during the month of December:
New gTLD Report – December 2018
*Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub
.TOP: .TOP undoubtedly topped the new gTLD trending chart in the month of December as it witnessed a 2100% jump in its registrations in the global market. .TOP started the year with a modest number of registrations and was successful in securing a 72% share of the new gTLDs registered by the end of the year, which is huge! This new gTLD was being sold at a promo price of $1.59.
.ONLINE: Despite a rise in the promo price of this new gTLD compared to November, the fact that .ONLINE was able to secure the second spot in the month of December, pretty much says a lot about the increasing popularity of this new gTLD in the global markets. Along with a jump in its registration numbers, this new gTLD was also able to grab 5% of the total registration in December.
.XYZ: It is the promo price of $0.99 that has caused a gradual rise in the registrations of this new gTLD during the year. .XYZ has been trending all year long and was consistent in securing a spot in the top 5 list every month in 2018. .XYZ grabbed a 5% share of the total new gTLDs registered in December.
.SITE: The month of December saw an 8% rise in the registrations of this new gTLD that helped .SITE move up a rank. The registration count for .SITE surged in the last quarter of the year. The low promo price of $4.99 has also been one of the factors for the spike in its registrations in December.
.SPACE: This Radix new gTLD, was able to fight its way to the top 5 list after a long time. Registrations for .SPACE jumped 11% in the month of December and hence it was able to secure the fifth spot along with a 2% share of total new gTLDs registered. .SPACE was being sold at a promo price of $4.99.
Apart from the top 5, there were quite a few other new gTLDs that contributed to the rise in the overall registration count in December. While .ICU secured the sixth spot, .LIVE witnessed a jump of 17% in its registrations. Along with being a new entrant in the trending new gTLD list, .EMAIL also saw a massive spike of 89% in its registration numbers in December.
Here’s a peek into the exciting domain promos we’ve got lined up for the start of new year in January:
Expand your customer base to bloggers by reselling a .BLOG at just $5.18!
Get the recent trending new gTLD .ICU at just $0.68 and increase your profits today!
Resell the new entrant of the month .EMAIL at just $2.68!
And that’s it folks!
You can check out all our trending domain promos here and get the right one for your customer’s business
Also follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get updates about our trending domain promos. Just look out for the posts with #domainpromos. See you there!
Have you ever wondered why some websites load faster and some take an infinite amount of time? Well, the answer is simple, it all depends on the web hosting provider, the size of the images uploaded on the website, other media files if any, and the server location. The next few questions that come to mind are: What is server location? How does it affect the website performance? How can it ensure productivity?
Before we delve further into the topic, let us take a quick look at what is server location and does server location affect SEO.
What is server location?
Server location is the location of the data centre where your website is hosted. This location can be anywhere in the world irrespective of where you are based.
For example, I reside in India and my web hosting provider, Resellerclub, too has an office in India. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the server my website is hosted on is in India itself. It could either be India/US or any other location where my provider (ResellerClub in this case) has servers.
The answer to the question you had on server location and if it impacts website performance then the answer is a well resounding, yes! After all, it is an important factor in determining the loading speed of your website.
Coming back to the earlier example, if I run an e-commerce website and my customer base is primarily the Indian market, then hosting my website on the US or UK server increases the geographic distance between the location of my customers and the server, thus increasing the time required to fetch the data when a user requests it. On the contrary, if I were to host my website in India, then the loading time would reduce which, in turn, would increase the speed of my website.
Here are some facts and figures to help explain the importance of page load time:
According to a study by Kissmetrics, 40% of the users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Given the reduced attention span of consumers, this is an alarming number.
The previous study even concludes, 51% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that has crashed, frozen, or received an error.
Research conducted by Firefox showed that a 2.2-second improvement in Page Speed led to a 15.4% increase in download conversions.
Moreover, Google itself takes into consideration the website loading speed when ranking a website.
Taking a cue from all these facts and figures, two things are certain if you don’t choose an optimal server location. One, you will have a high chance of having dissatisfied customers and second, your website ranking will be impacted.
So the answer to the pressing question does server location affect SEO, is yes, it does! But how do you overcome it?
Choosing the right server location
To avoid your website from being negatively impacted by the server location you can either
Choose a server location closer to your customer base
Choose a web hosting provider that offers CDN
Choose a server location closer to your customer base
As explained above, if your customer base is in a particular location then it is better you choose your server location in the same place or as close to that location as possible as this would provide minimum latency.
However, what happens if the web hosting provider you choose doesn’t have a data centre where your customer base is? Is your website going to be impacted? Yes and No.
It is your choice of hosting provider, the services they provide and the type of hosting you choose that determines the quality of your page load time. That takes us to our second point.
Choose a web hosting provider that offers CDN
Choosing a web hosting provider that offers CDN (Content Delivery Network).
A Content Delivery Network is a network of servers located in strategic geographical locations that store cached content. One of the most important features of CDN is that ensures your website loading time remains the same irrespective of your users’ location to that of the server, reducing the world wide wait.
We at ResellerClub offer both, we have servers located in the US, UK, Hong Kong and India, as well as, hosting options that have CDN. All of our web hosting packages viz. VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Hosting etc. are available on both India and US servers. Moreover, all our Shared Hosting packages come equipped with Cloudflare CDN services.
Yes, the server location matters, however, other factors like quality of the data centre, the technical aspects of the chosen web hosting, the plugins you add to your website, etc. also make a difference when it comes to the website loading speed which eventually impacts your SEO.
We hope you found this article useful and it helped in answering your questions on server location and does server location matter. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact our support team or drop in a comment below!
One of the many challenges faced by web professionals is how to get their software to run efficiently and reliably while migrating from one IT environment to another. Now, this migration could be from a developer’s laptop to a testing environment, staging to a production environment or even a cloud environment. Obstacles surface when supporting software environment (or even the network topology for that matter) of the two is not the same. In such situations, containers are a viable option.
What are containers?
A container is a packaging mechanism in which applications can be separated from the environments in which the applications actually run. This packaging approach, also known as decoupling, allows container-based applications to be easily deployed, irrespective of the target environment’s nature i.e. data center, public cloud, private cloud, developer’s laptop. Containerization facilitates clear and secure separation of applications since developers can now focus on its logic and dependencies without bothering about nitty-gritties like software versions and specifications.
Is virtualization similar to containerization?
As far as virtualization is concerned, an entire operating system that consists of the application is run as a single package. So, if three applications had to run simultaneously, there would be three separate operating systems running on top of it.
However, if a developer were to run containerized applications and a single operating system, then each container would end up sharing the kernel with other containers within the system. Which is why container systems are light-weight and use fewer resources than virtual machines.
Now that we have understood ‘what are containers’, let us look into the benefits of containers and why are enterprises, both big and small, making the most out of cloud applications with container systems.
What are the benefits of containers while hosting applications in the cloud?
As web professionals, you might have employed cloud hosting at some point in time. But not many know how containers act as a catalyst in boosting the performance of applications that are hosted in the cloud. Moreover, container systems are compatible with cloud hosting packages that offer CEPH storage as well as Varnish caching. These features allow container systems to operate faster without facing scalability issues. ResellerClub’s cloud packages have taken these factors into consideration and hence facilitate these two major components that boost the performance of container systems. So, going ahead, let us look at some of the benefits of using containers in cloud hosting environments, shall we?
1. Containers can be replicated
Building applications is a task. More so if these applications need a lot of infrastructural support. This dominoes into an effect where costs start increasing and no matter what size the organization has, as a web professional, the vision for your application goes for a toss.
But, not if you have containers that can be integrated with applications in the hosting environment. Allow us to tell you why: container systems are packages that can be deployed away from the operating system, machines and also from the code. Which is why containers can be moved not only within the cloud easily but also to other platforms and hosting environments. This flexibility (portability rather) enables applications to be scaled across various cloud hosting environments. This attribute has made container systems a trusted tool for enterprises across various segments.
2. Containers have a unique way of ensuring cloud security
Since containers are separated across IT or cloud environments, they do not interact with each other. However, they end up securing their own activities and protecting the application from virus attacks. Let us see how – if a container gets attacked (unless they are left unprotected), the applications in other containers do not get affected. They continue operating at the set pace. Moreover, if multiple containers are attacked, the application itself can be put on hold. You can stop the application from running at a set speed in one container without affecting the speed of the whole container series. This is a huge benefit provided by container systems.
3. Developers can improve their productivity with container systems
Containers enable applications to function locally. This absence of environmental inconsistencies simplifies testing and debugging for developers since there are few differences in terms of running apps on the workstation, test server or any production environment. Even if as a web professional one were to update these applications, the process would be the same: modifying the configuration file, creating new containers and destroying the old ones in a matter of seconds. The total time taken to execute these actions is reduced considerably as compared to what developers would do otherwise. Hence, the huge jump in productivity.
4. Overall agility of the cloud environment receives a big boost
Containers do not disturb the cloud environment they are hosted on because they can be isolated. Now, this isolation allows an application in one container to run at a speed slower or faster than the application in another container. This decoupling of container systems benefits developers and deployers in many ways. For one, containers remain consistent across the IT environment. And secondly, they are quick when it comes to managing and updating the applications. Since the speed of an application in one system is independent of each other, the applications can run smoothly, boosting the overall speed of the cloud environment.
It doesn’t stop here. Containers facilitate platform independence, resource efficiency and operational simplicity. This is only possible when a good cloud hosting environment is supported by an operating system that updates itself consistently. Containers also operate with the same efficiency in multi-cloud environments. But to ensure that they perform well, you need to deploy a sound multi-cloud strategy with a roadmap to mitigate security risks.
Here is hoping that you have enjoyed reading ‘What are containers and what are the benefits of containers?’ If you have understood the benefits of using containers, you can leave your feedback in the comments section below.
Apache and Ngnix are two of the most popular open source web servers today. These web servers power most of the websites hosted over the internet and can handle a vast variety of workload. Although it may seem like these two are similar and provide the same output, they differ in their performance and working.
In this article, we will cover the basics of these two web servers and the difference between Apache and Nginx that set them apart.
Apache HTTP Server or Apache as it is usually called was created in the year 1995 by Robert McCool. It is developed and maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache web server is a secure, flexible and fast web server. Being one of the oldest web servers, it provides widespread support. It is one of the components of the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP)
In the early years after its inception, Apache was a popular and a widely used server mainly till around mid-2000s, however, over time there has been a fall in the number of active sites powered by Apache. According to a November 2018 survey by Netcraft, the total number of sites active on Apache are 31% and 34% of the top million websites.
Nginx (engine x) is a free and open source software developed in the year 2002 by Igor Sysoev mainly to overcome the performance limitations of Apache. Nginx web server can be used as a load balancer, reverse proxy, mail proxy, as well as, an HTTP cache.
As per a recent October survey by BuiltWith, it is used on 40.13% of the top 10,000 websites whereas, the total number of active sites on Nginx is 22%. Moreover, 26% websites out of the top one million websites run on Nginx web server. It has grown more popular in recent times owing to its lightweight resource utilization and easy scalability requiring minimal hardware.
Difference between Apache and Nginx
Now that we have a basic understanding of both Nginx and Apache. Let us delve into their differences.
Nginx vs Apache Performance:
We’ll be checking the performance of Nginx vs Apache via event MPM (Multi-Processing Module) for both static and dynamic content.
According to one Benchmarking report, Nginx is about 2.5 times faster as compared to Apache. The results were concluded based on 1,000 concurrently running connections. Another test run by Speedemy ran 512 connections concurrently and found the results to be the same, Nginx twice as fast as Apache.
This concludes that in terms speed and efficiency the overall performance of Nginx is far better than Apache when it comes static content.
If your website is hosted on CMSs like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal then the chances of it having static content are very less as compared to a non-CMS website.
We again look at Speedemy’s Benchmarking result and find that the performance is exactly the same. This is because most of the requests are processed in the PHP runtime environment as opposed to the core part of the web server. And the PHP runtime environment is almost the same for both the web servers.
Operating System:Apache runs on all Unix like systems like Linux, BSD, etc. as well as, completely supports Windows.Nginx too runs on modern Unix like systems however it has limited support for Windows. To get the best performance out of Nginx, it is recommended that you install it on Unix based operating systems.
When comparing Nginx vs Apache in terms of security it can be said they both fare exceptionally well with a great track record. Both the web server’s keep their users updated with the latest security tips like how to deal with various attacks like DDoS etc. as well as, how to mitigate them.Apache shares its security updates and historical releases regularly n their security reports. Nginx on the other hand too releases security advisories on a timely basis.
Towards the end
The most crucial decision is which web server when it comes to the hosting type of your website. If your website is hosted on Shared Hosting, then choosing Apache is convenient due to easy access of the .htaccess file. On the other hand, if you have VPS Hosting or Dedicated Hosting, then Nginx is the most preferred choice.
We at ResellerClub provide managed hosting and our Shared Hosting, as well as, WordPress Hosting comes pre-installed with Apache. Furthermore, our Plesk VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting offer compatibility for both Apache and Nginx.
However, the choice of web server depends more on the incoming traffic to your website. Should you have high traffic with a lot of static data then Nginx is a better choice. With dynamic content, either web server will do a good job. In the end, the hosting provider is what makes the difference when it comes to the performance of your website.
Well, there you have it, our comparison of Nginx vs Apache. If you have a preference or a comment do leave them in the comments section below.
Wireframes and flowcharts are often the first things UX designers use when spinning their magic. When designing web pages, a wireframe is used to convey the basic layout of the page, with clear demarcations for what goes where. Flowcharts are immensely useful at describing user task flows and back-end processes, depicting the detailed path the web page will take depending on the user input. Together, these deliverables map the user experience journey in terms of direction, route, as well as, the appearance. Sounds adequate enough, right?
However, things get a little complex when we are designing mobile apps. Mobile apps do not usually have as many pages as a regular website. They instead have a few core pages, where the page contents change dynamically with the user action. Designing app pages, therefore, need a stronger deliverable that can display page design in context with common user tasks.
A basic wireframe. Image: Softwareideas.net
Enter wireflows – a combination of wireframes and flowcharts – that can document screen design and workflows together, in context to the user interaction on pages that change dynamically.
Despite their timeless nature, wireframes and flowcharts tend to be suboptimal for dynamic mobile app development. Wireflows effectively fill that gap by providing a hybrid of the two. They marry wireframe-style page layout designs with a simplified flowchart-like representation of interactions. In essence, wireflows effectively document the holistic user interaction. They show complete views of different pages using a series of wireframes connected by arrows representing the path taken and communicating the functionality. As a result, they add another powerful tool to the designer’s arsenal of deliverables.
A low-fidelity wireflow depicting a simple user task. Image Source
Now it is indeed hard to introduce a new deliverable, as it tends to confuse the stakeholders and raise ambiguities initially. But after the initial deliberation, stakeholders too can clearly see the benefits of using wireflows. Here are the two major advantages of using wireflows, as an alternative to flowcharts and wireframes:
Wireflows Map the User Journey More Clearly
To explain this, let us consider a common user interaction like adding a product to cart and making a purchase.
A wireframe would depict how the different pages look, separately. There would be a wireframe for the products page, another wireframe for the cart page and other respective wireframes for the address, payment and checkout pages.
Now, sure the good designers would present these wireframes in a chronological manner, but user journeys tend to be more complicated than that. Users often go back from the cart to the product page and take a detour to a different product from there.
A flowchart would show you all the possible actions a user can take, and what page that action would lead to. That still wouldn’t clearly establish the proper sequence of screens that will appear.
In comparison, a wireflow can easily show the sequence of app screens that would appear at every stage after every user action. Often in an app, multiple dynamic changes take place on the screen, while it’s technically the same app page. A wireflow can easily depict the activity hotspots and changes that happen on the same page throughout the user interaction.
Wireflows Are Highly Collaborative
In today’s digital workspaces, various teams, often located in different cities altogether, can be working on the same project. Effective collaboration becomes paramount here, and designers need highly collaborative tools.
They need to work in tandem with developers and convey their vision effectively to the stakeholders. Especially if you are in an agile environment, the collaboration-friendliness of a deliverable is a precious asset.
Wireflows take a swift lead here, as they are easy to convey, as well as, understand. At the early stages when you are using low-fidelity wireflows, designers, developers and stakeholders can all suggest edits or discuss options easily with a wireflow. Since wireflows can be easily made without advanced Photoshop and Sketch skills, they are easy to edit, adapt and adjust. You can simply use tools like wireflow.co or Visual Paradigm to easily create your own wireflows. Even a high-fidelity workflow is more suited to collaboration as it paints a much more wholesome picture of the path, allowing everyone to understand your vision and contribute their ideas, opinions and feedback seamlessly.
Mobile apps have unsurprisingly upturned the norms of UX design. Even things that look so seemingly simple and uniform all across tend to get diversified in the deeper layers. Wireframes and workflows are undeniably the foundations of a solid UX design, but something as dynamic as mobile apps needs a new solution that can multiply the advantages of both wireframes and workflows, enhance their collective power and mitigate the few shortcomings of them. That is what wireflows were born for and that is what they do. They depict complex interactions and same page content changes, mapping the user journey much better than wireframes or workflows alone. They are also a highly collaborative deliverable that allows all teams to work in tandem and create beautiful user experiences.
The growing popularity of mobile phones, laptops and tablets has led us to browse the internet for viewing various websites like social media, e-commerce etc using these devices, as opposed to the past when we only used a desktop to surf the internet. It is this trend that has made responsive website design extremely important. Every product developed needs to be tested both for the hardware and software, and a website is no exception.
In this article, we’ll cover the software side of things – testing our website if it is compatible on different browsers the user will open it on, the importance of said testing and how to test a WordPress site for multiple browsers. So without further ado, let us begin!
What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross Browser Testing, as the name aptly suggests is a way of testing websites for several web browsers, operating systems, size of the viewing screen and devices. The primary aim of cross-browser testing is to make sure that the website runs perfectly on different browsers thus, assuring the quality of the product.
Having seen what is Cross Browser Testing, let us move on to the Importance of Cross Browser Testing.
Just like every device has different hardware specifications, web browsers too have different specifications and with each consumer being different, they might prefer one browser over the other.
According to research statistics, 79.6% of users use Google Chrome followed by Firefox at 10.1% and then Edge/IE, Safari and Opera respectively. With this diversity, it is imperative that your website looks consistent to the users across platforms.
A consistent website across web browsers, operating system and screen size, after all, add to user experience. Since these errors are not due to WordPress, figuring them out can be difficult. And rather than a user pointing it out, it is better if you yourself do cross-browser testing. Post the testing, once you figure out areas that need to be fixed, you need to make changes to the website code, and then launching it officially.
Does Website Audience Preference Count?
Given the vast number of web browsers available, chances of customers using one out of them is plausible. However, testing your website for multiple browsers is easier said than done. This being so because the code changes for each would be different and this can become a whole lot tedious. One of the ways is to figure out which browser your audience uses frequently.
If your website is already live then this way is probably the best, as all you need is a tool to know the stats.
One of the most popular ways that almost every website uses to track their audience is Google Analytics.
All you need to do is:
Log in to your Google Analytics account
On the extreme right corner, modify the date range you wish to see the stats for
Navigate to Audience >> Technology >> Browsers & OS
By default, Google Analytics will display the ‘Top 10’ list to you along with parameters like Sessions, Users, Behaviour etc.
If you have recently launched your WordPress website and haven’t yet set up Google Analytics, here is our article for a step-by-step guide on how to add Google Analytics to WordPress website.
Tools to make your testing easy!
Given the advancement in technology, we even have tools to make cross-browser testing feel like a breeze. Listed below are 3 tools to ease your testing process.
CrossBrowserTestingCrossBrowserTesting is a cloud-based premium tool and offers a 7-day free trial period.
It allows you to run Live Testing (interactive and manual), Visual Testing that allows users to take multiple screenshots, as well as, test the responsive layouts quickly, Automated Testing like Selenium & Appium for multiple desktop and mobile browsers and, Record & Replay in the Beta mode. Some of the other features include simple CI integration with tools like GitHub, Jenkins, Jira etc., an intuitive REST API and over 1500 different test configurations.
All you need to do is, enter the URL of the website you want to test and your website joins the queue. When your turn comes, the tool displays screenshots to you. However, this is not real-time as it doesn’t run live tests.
TestComplete allows you to create automated GUI tests in one browser and run them in parallel across 1,500 remote test environments – like browsers, operating systems, resolutions, and devices in the cloud. It supports integrations like Jenkins, git, Selenium, Visual Studios, Jira etc.
TestComplete also provides you with real-time test results and lets you export the automated test results into CSV and XLS files for easy sharing. Moreover, this tool has a 30-day free trial period post which you need to upgrade to the premium version.
Lastly, does hosting matter?
Now, that your website is tested you need to make sure it is hosted on the right service provider. We at ResellerClub understand the importance of time and how crucial it is for small-and-medium-sized businesses who are stepping in this giant online world. Our cloud-based WordPress Hosting is managed by tech experts which gives your business wings to fly, with super fast website load speed. Moreover, with the hosting being managed you need not worry about the WordPress maintenance and can concentrate on running your business.
After all, the right hosting and cross-browser compatibility can make and break your online business website. So what are you waiting for? Go test your WordPress website for multiple browsers today!
If you have any questions, suggestions or, have already tested your website and prefer a tool, do let us know about it in the comments section below. Au revoir!
The Industry Buzz section is divided into three major sections, which is then subdivided into smaller sections.
Corporate Blogs which include official blogs from web hosts, registrars, search engines and other related sites.
Magazines & Blogs include interesting websites related to the hosting industry, but not necessarily from official company blogs.
Industry Leaders include personal blogs from important industry leaders, such as employees from Google and WordPress. These blogs sometimes include insights on how industry leaders think, but also may contain topics not related to hosting.