Reseller Club Blog

Varnish Cache vs. NGINX Cache: Performance Comparison

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.   Flexibility 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. Summarizing 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!

4 Steps to Picking the Perfect Domain Name for Your Business

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 (sales@myretailstore.com) so your emails will make it to their inboxes, whereas a Gmail email might not (sales.myretailstore@gmail.com). When you choose your email address, make it easy to spell. Something like firstname@website.com is easy to remember and rattle off when people ask you for your email address rather than Sales_and_marketing.retail@website.com. You can also create emails for different departments (even if you’re a one-person show), like sales@website.com or accounting@website.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.

MEAN stack vs LAMP stack: Choosing the right stack for your business

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. The USP of MEAN stack is that it uses only one language (which is JavaScript) at every stage of the application. The likes of Google, Uber, and Netflix use Mean Stack i.e all those companies which use a ‘NoSQL database’ like BigTable, MongoDB, Cassandra, CouchDB, etc. make use of the MEAN stack. 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 In MEAN, JavaScript is used for both the server and client alike. Using JavaScript for frontend and PHP for backend helps in coordination within teams. In the case of JavaScript disablement, it may render websites ineffective. This can create issues between the user and website owners. 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. Owing to the versatility of JavaScript (the core programming language of MEAN), it is highly adaptable for a vast range of web apps. JavaScript tends to make websites slower to load, and this could reduce its popularity. 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. It is challenging to switch between PHP or Python and then use JavaScript or HTML. The question that arises now is what should you go for – MEAN or LAMP? If you deal with large amounts of unclustered data or big data, then chances are you would be using MongoDB or databases belonging to the same JavaScript family. In this case, MEAN stack becomes the most suitable stack for you. Whereas, on the other hand, if you deal mostly with developing simple non-high end websites then LAMP is the most preferred choice of a stack. 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!

Is the absence of vital security patches a big concern for Magento sites?

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 The testing friendly environment makes Magento a top choice of the developers as well. Why? Because they know that they will be able to build a superb solution which can be easily tested for perfection. The 100% testing-friendly environment is powered by a seamless testing framework. This framework is just ideal for performing a variety of tests including the JavaScript Unit Test, Static Test, Legacy Test, Performance Test, Unit Test, Migration Test, Integration Test etc. Security 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.

A Step-by-Step Guide Creating a Blog for Affiliate Marketing

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 Joomla Wix 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: Customizable design 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. Final Thoughts 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!  

Empowering Your Project Teams with Data Analytics

  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. Risk Assessment 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. Predictive Analytics 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 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. TIBCO Spotfire 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. In Conclusion 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!    

New gTLD Report – December 2018

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 Infogram   *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!

Server Location and its Influence on SEO

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. In summary, 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!

What are containers, and what are the benefits provided by containers?

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.

NGINX vs Apache: What sets them apart

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: 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: 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. Static 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. Dynamic 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. Security 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.

Wireflows – What They Are and How They Can Transform Your Design Deliverables

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. Conclusion 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.

Cross Browser Testing: What, Why and How to Test your WordPress Website

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. Browsershots Browsershots is an open source tool that allows you to select browsers and operating system along with screen size, colour depth, Javascript, Java and Flash based on your choice. This is a great cheat sheet tool for designers to test if their website is responsive. 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. Test Complete 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!

New gTLD Report – November 2018

With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday mania in November, there were plenty of reasons for the increase in the numbers of new gTLDs registered during the month.One of the new gTLDs driving the numbers was .ONLINE that witnessed a massive jump of 1200% in its registrations. Let’s dive in further to know which new gTLDs made it to the top and helped fuel a 60% jump in the total registrations of the new gTLDs in November. Here’s a peek into the top 15 new gTLDs during the month of November: New gTLD Report – November 2018 Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .ONLINE: It was .ONLINE that dominated the list of trending new gTLDs during the month of November by grabbing the 42% share of the total new gTLDs registered. We started the month of November with a drop in the price of .ONLINE to $3.99 and further during the Black Friday sale, the price of this new gTLD was lowered to $1.49  for a period of 8 days that helped boost the registrations of this new gTLD by 1200%. .XYZ: .XYZ continued to trend on the top 5 list of new gTLDs registered by securing the second spot during the month of November. This new gTLD grabbed a 13% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .XYZ was also being sold at a low price of $0.49 for a two day period that helped boost registrations of this new gTLD in the global market. .TOP: This new gTLD was able to hold on to its third spot during the month of November with a 7% share of the new gTLDs registered. .TOP continued to be sold at a promo price of $1.59 that sent its registrations up in the global market. .ICU:  Being sold at a special price of $0.79 for a short period during the month of November may be a reason for the spike in the registrations of this new gTLD in the China market, where it has been gaining immense popularity. .ICU was able to maintain a spot in the top 5 list and grabbed a 6% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .SITE:  Registrations for .SITE has also been gradually improving month on month. This has helped the new gTLD land a spot in the top 5 list. .SITE had a spike in registrations in the global markets due to the promo price of $0.99. With a whopping jump of 168% in registrations, was .SPACE that secured the sixth spot in the trending new gTLDs. Following suite was .GLOBAL  that landed on the seventh spot with a 175% jump in its registrations. The other new gTLDs that also contributed to the 60% rise in the registration numbers during November were .FUN, . STORE and .SHOP. .SHOP also did witness a 63% spike in its registrations. Here’s a peek into the exciting domain promos lined up during the month of December: Reach out to the tech savvy customers with a .TECH domain extension at just $8.99. Resell the trending new gTLD .ONLINE at just $6.99 and establish an online space for your customer’s business. Personalize your customer’s brand with a .ME domain extension at just $3.99 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!

WordPress Podcasting – A Definitive Guide for Business Websites

    These days, there are thousands of different ways to broadcast yourself and promote your business online. Blogging, YouTube, Podcasting, Instagram and Snapchat are some of the best ways to highlight your business. These options are overwhelming, and you may not be able to promote your business on every platform. The success mantra states- wherever you shine, that’s the medium you should focus on! This simply means, what suits your business is what you need to continue to promote your brand online. Podcasting is one such medium that modern businesses are taking into serious considerations. This audio form is transforming businesses every day and we call it the “podcast revolution”. This revolution is encouraging, compelling and exciting people all around. A complete guide to podcasting in WordPress Podcasting is a great way to develop a relationship with hard-to-reach audiences. Your users can subscribe to the podcast and get notified of new content available. Moreover, they can download the podcast on their mobile devices, iPods or computers and listen to it as per their convenience. In this post, we’ll walk you through a comprehensive guide about WordPress podcasting. Get ready with the things that you’ll require to start your podcasting journey- an episodic series of audio files. Let’s get started! For example, you’re already owning a WordPress site for running your hosting solution business. You create a different blog post to promote your hosting business. Now, probably you want to start a podcast for giving your audience a demonstration of your offering. The first thing you need is solid equipment to record the podcast. And once you’ve recorded and edited the final version of the podcast, you’ll require the perfect tools to enable publishing the podcast on your website or blog. A proper podcasting equipment First, you need a good microphone to start a podcast recording, however, an entry level microphone is good to start your podcasting journey. Remember that a computer’s built-in microphone should be avoided to record your podcast as they will result in bad sound quality. Thus, it is recommended to get a good microphone to record your podcast. Start recording your podcast To start with recording your podcast, you’ll require voice recording equipment and an audio recording software. Audacity is a free, cross-platform, and open source platform for podcast recording with studio quality output. It can record live audio through a microphone or mixer and you can edit, import and combine sound files. Audacity supports 16-bits, 24-bits and 32 bits sound quality and allow easy editing options to cut, copy, paste and delete audio files.Follow these simple steps to continue with your podcasting process: After successful installation, open it up and start a new project from the File menu. Now you can start recording your first podcast. Don’t worry about the awkward pauses, breaks, and other glitches while recording the podcast as you can edit it as many times as you want. Also, you can import suitable music files from File >> Import to set them as a background music for your podcast. Once you’ve created the podcast, now you need to export it. Most of the podcasters export their podcasts in MP3 format due to its smaller size and better quality. Choose a smart name for your podcast. Your podcasts are episodic series, so naming your podcast series using a number series along with a proper name is recommended. Save the final version of the podcast file on your computer. Choose a media hosting service Next, you’ll need a media hosting service to accommodate your podcast media files.Yes, podcasts are large media files and you need a media hosting service to facilitate the podcast so that your website doesn’t get slow due to heavy and large media files.As you know, WordPress development agency offers you the best tools to enhance your capabilities in the form of plugins. So, WebbyMonks have tested and sorted out the best podcasting plugins that can help in building up your podcast in a professional style without much technical knowledge.PowerPress Podcasting and Seriously Simple Podcasting are the best two plugins you can download and install to start with the podcast. Check out this detailed article on how to install WordPress plugins, to help ease the installation process.PowerPress Podcasting by Blubrry is a popular podcasting plugin for WordPress. It has many features such as: Subscribe tools: Create a separate subscribe page or place a sidebar subscribe widget on your podcast page with the help of exclusive subscribe shortcode embed. These are highly optimized for responsive websites, Apple Retina and screens displays. Podcasting SEO features: Make it easier to discover your podcast with search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. and with the Apple Podcast directory. 7 Advanced modes, players and more: It includes 7 simple and advanced modes and multiple audio/video player options. It fully supports Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, TuneIn, Stitcher, Blueberry podcasting directories. The plugin fully supports Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Podcasts (Google Play), as well as all podcasts apps. The plugin makes you manage your podcasts from WordPress site easy. Also, it has a huge user community consisting of many successful podcasters. PowerPress Podcasting comes with great tools such as iTunes optimization, ID3 tagging, automatic media management, etc. It makes your content delivery faster and reliable with its top-tier content delivery network. Publish your Podcast with WordPress Now that your podcast is ready, login to the WordPress admin area of your WordPress site/blog.As you’ve already configured Blubrry PowerPress in your WordPress, you can now upload the podcast file to the media hosting service by logging in to your Blubrry hosting account.Click on the Podcaster Dashboard and upload new media file under Podcast Hosting section. That’s how you can be able to use it on your WordPress blog. Once you’ve uploaded your podcast media file you’ll be able to use it on your WordPress site or blog. As everything is in order and you are set to publish the first podcast. Go to Posts » Add New and publish your first podcast. It is recommended to create a separate category for your podcast series. It will allow keeping your podcast series separate from the rest of content on your website/blog. Click on the folder icon and select the file you’ve uploaded on Blubrry media (if you’ve opted for Blubrry hosting). However, the other users need to paste the media file URL and click on the Verify URL to check whether you’ve placed the right URL. Also, using Blubrry PowerPress Setting you can switch to advanced mode and publish your podcast on iTunes, Google Play, etc. But to do so, you need to download the updated version of iTunes on your computer. Make sure to get a preview before sharing your podcast on iTunes, Google Play and other applications. Hosting a podcast on your WordPress site can make it heavy and slower to load. To make this less of a problem, you need to have a reliable hosting provider for your WordPress website. ResellerClub has a reliable and simple cloud-based hosting solution for your WordPress websites. Podcasting takes lots of hard work and it is not for every type of business, but it can be great for those who are looking for innovative ways to promote their business. If you have created podcasts for your business, then do let us know of your experience in the comments section below!

Importance of Anchor Link and How to Add it to your WordPress

We have covered the different kinds of linking a lot on our blog, right from internal linking to backlinking for SEO purposes. However, there is another type of linking and this isn’t really related to SEO or how to boost your website ranking but is equally important as it can improve the user experience on your website. These links are known as anchor links. In this article, we’ll cover what is an anchor link, benefits of anchor linking and how to create anchor links. So let us begin! What is an Anchor Link? Anchor links also known as jump tag/jump menu links or table of contents, are links that enable you to jump to a section within the specified linked page instantly. Anchor links help ease the transition of going from one part of the webpage to another especially in a long post. Advantages and Disadvantages of an Anchor Link Advantages: Anchor links help enhance the user experience. Say, for example, your website blog has really long but informative articles. If a reader wants to read a particular section they can directly jump to it instead of scrolling all the way down. This helps users in saving their time. Helps organise the content on the website in a systematic manner, especially if the content is long. For example, an online user guide for a specific product or a tutorial. Another advantage is that at times, Google takes these anchor tags into consideration while displaying the results on the search engine. This can help boost your CTR as users might end up noticing something useful to them that wasn’t covered in your meta title or description. Disadvantages: Although anchor links speed up the process of finding data for visitors by reducing the scrolling time, it indirectly affects the average time a visitor would spend on your website, as chances are they might abandon the site no sooner they are done reading what they want and forget the starting position from where they navigated. To make sure the visitor doesn’t abandon your website immediately you can redirect them to the previous reading location so they don’t lose track. If your website relies on Ads to generate revenue then adding anchor links can reduce the number of impressions and clicks. This is because impressions are only counted if an Ad loads & display in front of the user. If by any chance an Ad fails to load in front of a user it might result in loss of revenue to the business website. It is safer to say, you need to test how and when the Ads display on your web page else you might be on the losing end. How to add an Anchor Link: Now that we’ve seen what can anchor link is and covered both the pros and cons of using anchor links on your website. Let us see, how to add them. There are two ways to add an anchor link: Manually Using a Plugin Adding an anchor link manually: To add an anchor link to your WordPress post directly, all you need to do is make changes in the HTML section. Step 1: Select the text you wish to add an anchor link to, this is a normal line in your article and the link should be added like you would add a normal hyperlink. However, instead of adding the link of a URL we would assign it to an anchor name. For this, we would link it using a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). The URI for an anchor contains the ‘#’ character followed by the anchor name. Keep the name short and in line with the text, you’re anchoring. For example. this is a text from one of our articles where we had used anchor linking. The text we linked was ‘how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode’ and should a user want they could directly jump to the method. And the anchor text used was ‘#wordpress-maintenance-mode’ Step 2: Should you want to see how this looks in the HTML format, you can go to the ‘text view’ section of the editor and see the code. Alternatively, if you prefer writing in HTML, here is the code to use. <a href="#wordpress-maintenance-mode">how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode</a Step 3: Finally, you need to add an ID to the header you want your anchor link to jump to. Switch to the ‘text view’ section of your WordPress editor (HTML) and add the relevant Header size (we prefer H4). Now add the ID along with the anchor name you mentioned in the above step 2. Note: The ID and anchor name have to be exactly the same for the link to work. <h4 id="wordpress-maintenance-mode">how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode</h4> You’ve successfully added an anchor link to your post. We added one anchor link, however, depending on the length of the post you may add as many as you want. Adding anchor link using a plugin Some people are not comfortable with the idea of making changes in their HTML, partly because they are not so tech savvy. To help them add anchor links to their posts, there are several plugins available. Some of the plugins available are, Scroll to Anchor, TinyMCE Advanced Plugin, WP Anchor Header and others. We have used TinyMCE Advanced Plugin, this is one of the most popular plugins with 2+ million active installations. Being a visual editor it can be used for a variety of things. Step 1: Download the plugin from WordPress.org and install it. Post the successful installation, select the text you want to anchor and create a hyperlink. Just like the manual step, we will prefix a # character before the designated URI.   Step 2: Select the header you wish to link to and then click on ‘Insert’. The Insert tab is available because we installed the plugin. In the Insert tab, select ‘Anchor’. Step 3: A new window pops up, here in the ID section mention the same anchor name you used in Step 1. Now, you’ve successfully created an anchor link. Conclusion: Adding an anchor link to your posts is an optional thing, however, if you post long content you might as well take advantage of anchor linking. This way you have a higher chance of the visitor reading the content relevant to them on your website instead of skipping it altogether. And well it eventually does help improve your CTR. So what are you waiting for? If you still haven’t tried anchor linking on your WordPress website try it today. Or are you already using them? If yes, do let us know your experience in the comments box below.

How to Choose the Best URL Structure for Global E-Commerce SEO

Every day, more and more customers are making purchases from e-commerce websites. In fact, the global online market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, reaching nearly $4.9 billion by 2021. When you are working to expand to global markets, you need to approach the SEO aspect on a local level. Regardless of how big or small, your operation is, localization is critical for website visibility. This process involves everything from using location-specific keywords, understanding how the search engines work in different areas, and how certain demographics navigate the web.   If you’ve got a business idea that involves selling products online, there are a number of big advantages; you are not restricted by location, time zone, regular business hours, etc. However, the ability to sell to people across the globe certainly has its fair share of challenges. Most importantly, making sure the website is visible in online searches requires several critical tweaks for international users.   If your website is going to attract customers in different countries, one of the first things you will need to do is adjust the URL structure for e-commerce SEO purposes. Since search engines are always trying to offer the most relevant results to a query, they are not likely to pick your domain first if it is not optimized for that customer. This is why your site must be structured for local SEO in your targeted countries.   Your website’s URL structure is one of the clearest ways to send signals to search engines for a higher ranking. There are three main options for e-commerce URL structures, all of which come with their list of pros and cons. Let’s discuss.   ccTLD   A Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) is what shows users and search engines the country of origin that a website is targeting. This is the two or three letter code at the end of the website. In the United States, the ccTLD is “.com” whereas in the UK it is “.uk”, France is “.fr”, and China is “.cn”. Most search engines will automatically input the correct ccTLD based on the user’s location, but this can be manually entered as well. For example, if you type in www.amazon.com, you will be automatically routed to the American version of the website. However, if you put in www.amazon.mx, you will be taken to the website that is optimized for Mexico. A ccTLD is the single best way to signal a targeted location to Google because it treats this URL as an individual site that is locally optimized. However, the downside is that it does not signal the website’s language. Say that your company is trying to target customers in Korea – so your website’s ccTLD ends in “.kr”. Customers who speak Chinese but live in Korea may find your website thanks to this local SEO strategy, but it is not relevant to them because of the language difference. Another downside to using a ccTLD structure is that it is quite expensive and time-consuming. Essentially, you will need to create separate websites for each targeted region, which could cost you up to $1,000 per domain, in addition to the cost of design and maintenance. This approach would work best for an e-commerce company that wants to establish their brand as separate entities in global markets. The ccTLD structure means that each global version of your website will have its own set of keywords and domain authority that is not influenced by your other sites. This is great for businesses that will have dedicated teams for each targeted country and have the resources to keep up with website demands, but not really a feasible option for smaller organizations. Subdomains Using a subdomain allows you to add third-level domains for language or location options. The country or language subdomain is placed before the gTLD of the website to signal to search engines what group that website is targeting. Generally, a customer will arrive at your home site and be able to choose the language or the location option and then be directed to the correct subdomain. They can also be directed to your site automatically through location signals or from a search engine result. This is great for micro-targeting your audiences and it is fairly easy to set up within your website’s original domain. It is also easier and cheaper to set up than a ccTLD. You can easily delegate subdomains of your main web domain through Resellerclub’s DNS Service. This allows your business to target better based on your customer’s location and optimize their experience for specific programs. Subdomains are commonly used by e-commerce companies to separate the “sections” of their websites, such as their blog pages and product pages. Talk the SaaS company WalkMe as an example. Walkme.com is their main website domain, and their blog is a subdomain. One of the downsides to using a subdomain is that it does not guarantee that your domain authority will automatically transfer. A subdomain does not receive the same level of link equity as the main domain of the website, so your team will essentially have to start at square one in terms of SEO for that site. There are a lot of cons to the subdomain option in terms of SEO, making it one of the least popular choices for URL structures. However, it should be noted that subdomains allow businesses to operate these separate sections of their site on different servers. If you need to use a CDN for faster global loading speeds or are running global versions on your site on international servers, this is a good option. Subdirectories If you think of your website as a filing cabinet, a subdirectory would be a folder within that site. These are displayed to the right of the domain with a forward slash separating the two. H&M’s website uses this option that allows customers to choose their country and language preference if they are not automatically taken to the correct subdirectory. Say you are an English-speaking Canadian customer. Once you click that option, you are redirected to the “hm.com/en_ca” subdirectory. Subdirectories do inherit the domain authority of the main hosting site, which is a huge bonus for e-commerce companies that are ranking highly in their original market. It is also quite easy to set up since it is connected to the main host.   The downside to subdirectories is that it limits your site to a single server location, which could negatively impact your global UX and cause your site to load slowly in other countries. You will also need to do thorough research on the vernacular and search engine behaviour of your targeted customers. Customers may not understand what the subdirectory is leading them to if the code is not clear, which could hurt your click-through rates. All in all, using a subdirectory is a good option if you are able to keep your website host unified without compromising on international UX. For instance, if you are located in the US but want to expand to reach customers in Canada and Mexico, adding subdirectories for these customers would be an easy option since they are not too far from the hosting server. Conclusion Expanding your online store to reach growing global audiences is a great opportunity. However, it’s not necessarily easy. There is a lot that goes into global expansion, like figuring out logistics, currency calculations, global marketing strategies, and language differences. But one of the most important steps an e-commerce company will need to take for expansion is ensuring that their website is optimized for global success. The process of earning good rankings on the SERPs encompasses everything from choosing the right hosting platform, optimizing for action-driven keywords, getting high-quality links, and much, much more.     Each structure option comes with its pluses and minuses, and some offer unique benefits to specific situations. Before you start global expansion, be sure that you understand the details of these options and pick the one that best supports your goals.

Your Guide to using WooCommerce with WordPress

WordPress really is the Holy Grail of the internet. Over 32% of websites are powered by the script. The downside or really, the upside to WordPress is that it allows customization to the T. Web professionals can use thousands of plugins to customize their WordPress experience to fit exactly what they need and want from the script. For e-commerce website owners, one of the most popular plugins to do this on WordPress is WooCommerce. Read on to learn more about WooCommerce and also how to use the WooCommerce plugin in WordPress. WooCommerce, like many other ecommerce plugins, transforms a WordPress website into an ecommerce store. How popular is WooCommerce? Let’s see what the data says:   What the numbers say about WooCommerce: Active installations : 4 million+ Rating : 4.5 (based on over 3000 reviews) Available Languages: 54 Price: Free WooCommerce is used by 13.6% of all websites that use WordPress and 28% of all e-commerce websites on the internet. This not only makes it the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress today but also the most popular plugin overall. Source : W3Techs.com WooCommerce’s growing popularity: This November, WooCommerce announced a partnership with Codisto, an app that allows you to sell via online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay quickly and easily. The partnership will enable all WooCommerce users to connect their websites with Amazon and eBay’s network of over 40 online marketplaces, expanding customer reach manifold. Launched in 2011 by Automattic (which is also the creator of WordPress), WooCommerce also happens to be free, open-source, available in 54 languages and requires no technical knowledge from a user to get started.   How to use WooCommerce in WordPress: Installing the WooCommerce Plugin: Login to the admin panel of your WordPress website Search for the WooCommerce plugin on the plugin page Click ‘Install’ > ‘Activate’ Run the ‘Setup Wizard’. You will see a form that is meant to help set up the building blocks of your online store. Setting up your store – One of the more important sections to fill is your selling currency and the tangibility of your product i.e digital, physical or both. For more on adding products, refer to this guide.   Payments:   As the form says, you can install different payment gateways. Some of the 80 options available include PayU, Alipay and Amazon Pay.   Website Theme & Layout: The next step is to activate ‘Storefront’. Storefront is the recommended theme for WooCommerce.  ‘Storefront’ is free and you can customize it with several premium extensions. If you are not keen on the ‘Storefront’ theme, WooCommerce has a list of other workable themes that you can use. As of now, around 3 of these themes are free. The main idea is to ensure that there are no conflicts with your website theme with future WooCommerce plugin updates.   Jet, Set, Go! WooCommerce also recommends that you connect your store with Jetpack to get more out of the store. The free Jetpack plugin will share store analytics, ensure store protection, downtime alerts and more.   Create your products: There are two ways to do this- individually or through a CSV file import.   Extend the functionality of your store: Now that the initial set up of your store is done, you can extend its functionality by adding several extensions for marketing, payments, shipping, store management, products and more.   Websites built with WooCommerce: I found some really beautiful and functional storefronts built with WooCommerce to inspire you.   Nobogadget.pl boboandboo.com.au   Mikesorganicdelivery.com   mindspaceny.com Learn More: For an even more in-depth look at setting up your store, check out the WooCommerce help documentation. Looking for a great WordPress Hosting product? Check out ResellerClub’s WordPress on the Cloud! I hope you found this blog on ‘How to use the WooCommerce plugin in WordPress’ useful and are all set to get started and create a great e-commerce store. All the best with your online business!

Using the Cloud: Public vs Private Cloud

There is no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionized the world of information technology. Moving to the cloud is a choice that every business that is serious about scaling up must face. A critical step is understanding the right cloud computing model; for example- the difference between public cloud and private cloud. If the next step for your small business is to move your IT infrastructure to the cloud, this blog will explain the choices available to you and what they entail. First, what is a ‘Cloud’? Many businesses are still not quite sure what the ‘cloud’ is and how important it is for a modern business. ‘Clouds’ are virtualized data centres that are made available or shared to meet the dynamic demands of any business application that wishes to plug into it. As everything here is entirely virtualized, cloud computing can be more efficient and valuable in terms of cost than regular, physical data centers.   What are common reasons that companies use the ‘Cloud’ for? To set up and manage; Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools Human Resource Management Tools Collaboration across different geographies Business Analytics, etc.   Businesses do this in 3 main ways: Through the ‘Public’ version of the ‘Cloud’- also known as ‘Public Cloud’: In a ‘Public Cloud’ model, services are rented out by the Cloud provider over the internet to the public on a pay-as-you-go model. In other words, if you, as a small business, require cloud computing services, you can partner with a cloud service provider that will be responsible for the set up, upkeep and management of the data center and services for you, freeing you from having to purchase, manage and maintain all the infrastructure yourself. As you can gather, most companies who favour a public cloud do so to save deployment time and management complexities. Unlike the popular opinion of public cloud services, security breaches are in fact quite rare. Who are the top Cloud providers in the industry right now? Amazon Web Services Google Cloud Microsoft Azure All 3 offer a 1 year free trial of services. Other notable providers include OpenStack, IBM, Oracle and Cisco.   Private Cloud/Enterprise Cloud/Virtual Private Cloud: Unlike a public cloud which is available over the internet, services through a private cloud will be made available only behind a firewall to your employees. You can think of it as a highly virtualized cloud data centre provisioned inside a company’s firewall that you can control and customize to fit your needs. Exclusivity is the defining characteristic of the Private Cloud set-up. The services are for the dedicated use of a single organisation. As you can guess, however, this model will need to be managed with your own internal resources. Servers, storage and related infrastructure will be owned and paid for by your organisation.   How do you benefit with a Private Cloud? Private Clouds are best suited for organisations that have unpredictable computing needs such as government and security organisations. Private Clouds are preferred for their robust security and greater flexibility compared to a public cloud set-up. Since you have the infrastructure, you have greater control than in a public cloud and can control how you deploy applications on the infrastructure. You can also expect lower latency  as services are used only within the organisation   Difference between Public Cloud and Private Cloud -in summary:   Public Cloud Private Cloud Clients Multiple 1 Location of infrastructure Cloud Provider Organisation Access Over the internet Internet/Private Network Cost Low High Security Lower than that of a Private Cloud High   Most companies today, however, would insist on a combination of the two- or what is know in the industry as ‘Hybrid Cloud’. The Hybrid Cloud offers the benefit of both models including a feature that allows you to deploy applications on the private cloud and utilize resources on the public cloud during demand spikes. Did you get a simpler, clearer understanding of the difference between public cloud and private cloud and what computing model would work? What choice have you made for your business? Let us know! Since we are on the topic of the ‘cloud’, if you are looking for an easy, affordable cloud solution, be sure to try our unique Cloud Hosting product.

How Cloud Hosting Works

While the ‘Cloud’ has forever changed how applications, storage and web hosting has worked over the last few years, what exactly the term is and how it works is still lost on many people. This blog tackles this misunderstood question – what is cloud hosting and how does it work? What is ‘Cloud Hosting’? In traditional web hosting, a website is supported by a single server. In ‘Cloud hosting’ on the other hand, a website is supported by hundreds of servers working together as one. This cluster of servers together is termed the ‘Cloud’. This set up makes hosting on the cloud more flexible than hosting on any other hosting model.   How Cloud Hosting works/ the Advantages of Cloud Hosting – If there is an outage in one server, another takes over, ensuring zero downtime Thus, this also ensures that a cloud hosting set up has a near unlimited ability to handle traffic spikes of any magnitude Customers visiting your website will face no issue and you will see no drop in your website visits/conversions, also contributing to the maintenance of a healthy search engine rank You pay only for the resources that you consume You can scale up on demand Virtually, the processing power is unlimited as you can always add a new server and scale up- provides great flexibility and scalability, making it easy to upgrade or downgrade your hosting environment and accommodate for periods of higher or lower traffic. All of this makes cloud hosting a powerful solution for large, high-traffic internet sites and applications that require the highest level of performance. You may have already guessed that managing a cloud hosting solution is not a simple process. It takes the skills of an experienced Linux server administrator or IT professional, so it’s not a good solution for most small businesses or do-it-yourselfers. Before you opt for cloud hosting, be sure to weigh its pros and cons against your online needs, budget, and business goals. While there are several providers that offer hosting via cloud servers, few offer a unique Cloud Hosting solution for web professionals on a budget. At ResellerClub, our Cloud Hosting solution combines many of the benefits of Cloud Hosting with the simplicity of Shared Hosting. With our Cloud Hosting offering, web professionals receive: 1. The ability to upgrade your resources with a single click as you need it With upgradable RAM and CPU along with a free cPanel dashboard 2. Fully Managed Hosting Our Cloud Hosting experts will handle any hardware & OS upgrades, security fixes, etc. 3. A Powerful caching with Varnish Varnish Cache is a powerful web application that will speed up your websites by 1000%. 4. Ceph Storage Ceph Storage provides 3N redundancy which ensures that no single point of failure can affect your data in the Cloud. 5. Quick Install An Easy, 1-click installer from Softaculous for over 400+ apps including WordPress, WHMCS, OpenCart, Magenta, etc. 6. 30-day money-back A guaranteed refund if you’re not satisfied 7. 24X7 support All day support along with a dedicated account manager.   We hope you enjoyed this blog on what Cloud Hosting is and how it works. What are you waiting for? Get out of the dark ages of web hosting and give Cloud Hosting a try!

Conversational Commerce and the Reasons Businesses Need to Use It

Consumer satisfaction is at the heart of any brand. A satisfied consumer is more likely to return and even publicize your brand to others. In today’s day and age, one key thing that customers expect is value for their time and quick turnaround time for queries. Technology to the rescue! A business running without the aid of technology is a thing of the past. Today it is very unlikely for such a venture to sustain in the long run. In this ever-evolving and competitive business world, businesses need to discover newer ways to adopt technology to woo consumers and stay ahead. One way is to start collaborating consumer preferences and individual choices. But what should they do with this? Improve their products? Certainly yes, and much more. Collecting data on consumer choices and reiterating questions have helped marketers to come up with something called “Conversational Commerce” to make the customer feel at ease when they are in your e-store. In this article, we’ll walk you through the 3 W’s of conversational commerce – what, why and how (working). Additionally, we’ll also be covering the core benefits of conversational commerce. What is Conversational Commerce? Prior to the technological evolution, we had marketing tactics like outbound/offline marketing and inbound/online marketing. However, with the increasing penetration of technology in our daily lives, it has impacted the way we interact with our consumers and market our products. Conversational Commerce is a platform possible as a result of Artificial Intelligence. These are basically AI-powered platforms where the system interacts or chats with the consumer and answers all the queries. So if you are on a shopping site and need some quick answers to save time or avoid surfing the entire website all you need to do is say “Hi” on a chatbot and this (AI-powered) chatbot will instantly cater to your needs. While certain brands have an executive interacting with you viz. Tata Sky in India or Bloomberg globally, we also have large global brands like Louis Vuitton and Dominos adopting an AI-powered interaction model. Conversational Commerce is a personalized experience, see the video below. Why Conversational Commerce? According to BI Intelligence, messaging apps today have surpassed social networking apps by leaps and bounds. The graph below shows the active users per month for each of these apps. This has much to do with the way living styles are changing. People are more glued to their cell phones, laptops and tend to reduce direct interaction with businesses. Though online stores try to give their customers the ease and, look and feel of being present in an offline store, the sales executive in times of need is absent while shopping virtually. However, if there was a virtual assistant to talk to your customers to resolve their queries then it would be cherry on the cake. All in all, consumers are ready to accept more and more of what makes their life easier and caters to their individualistic choices. Working of Conversational Commerce: Conversational commerce essentially is chatbots driven marketing where the human interaction is limited so that the processes are faster and more evolved. Ideally, it works based on the kind of business you run, though to broadly classify, this kind of marketing is data-driven, real-time, personalized and easily scalable. It encompasses everything right from an automatic email thanking the customer for purchasing a product, as well as, noting down customer feedback should there be any the customer wants to provide. The idea is simple – target that part of the customer journey on your e-commerce store that would prove to be helpful should there be an intelligent assistant waiting to guide in case of any help.   3 Benefits of Conversational Commerce for your Business Having seen the what, why and how of conversational commerce and its working let us now move onto the benefits of incorporating conversational commerce as a part of your marketing strategy. Improved Sales: Visitors convert to consumers if they are guided properly when they are stuck with any particular problems. Conversation is the key to this. The right and helpful conversation can help your customer whereas, confusing and misleading information can drive them away. With customer care being automated, it not only saves the waiting time of the user as the bot answers their queries but also ensures they are satisfied with the quick help, which otherwise would not have been possible with limited resources. This, in turn, improves sales. Customer-driven: Conversational commerce is customer-driven, that is, you need not always reach out to customers proactively but they would get in touch with you as and when they need. Direct chats on your website help with this as the customer can contact you at any given point of time and would get assistance even if no executive is there to answer their queries. For example, we are ResellerClub incorporated conversational commerce in the form of Direct Chat service on our website homepage. This helps you easily serve & support customers who are interested in your brand enabling you to cater to the right customers. Personalized and User-friendly The way brands interact with customers is extremely important. Integrating AI and bots with your CRM helps make the user experience more personalized and user-friendly. With conversational AI you not only help solve customer issues but also provide them with additional aid they might need while shopping. For example, if a customer is shopping for home furnishing items, then the AI-powered bot can help them by showcasing other items they might need in the form of suggestions, recommendations, pop-ups, etc. These can be things like home appliances, decorative items, etc. that might be needed in a home. Does the Website Platform Matter? With several website development platforms like WordPress, Magento, Shopify, Weebly etc. available for launching an e-commerce website, it can be confusing which one to choose. WordPress, however, is a diverse platform chosen by several businesses owing to the various elements like themes, plugins, support and managed hosting service it provides, and as such is a popular choice for starting an online website. When it comes to incorporating conversational commerce in an e-store WordPress has an array of plugins available that can help businesses stand out. Some of the popular WordPress chat bot plugins you can check out are: Live Chat: Live Chat is a chat support plugin that has a 24/7 automated bot that keeps your customer service awake and ready to talk to a customer whenever need be. GoBot: GoBot is a 24/7 automated chatbot that helps you grow leads, sales, get email subscribers, answer customer queries etc. enhancing customer satisfaction. Virtual Spirits: Virtual Spirits is an automated chatbot that helps convert website visitors into customers, leads, as well as, replies to the website visitors instantly 24/7. Conclusion: Technology is ever evolving with the voice-activated systems to messaging apps. As an SMB, if you are new and emerging chances of you having a conversational commerce system right at the start can be rocky with only customer feedback systems, however, with the right inventory management system you can set your foundation. If you have any comments, feel free to leave them in the comments sections below.    

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