Reseller Club Blog

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.    

Black Friday – Cyber Monday Deals now Live! Up to 55% off on Web Hosting

After an overwhelming response last year, we’re back again with huge discounts on web hosting and domains. Our Black Friday – Cyber Monday sale is now live! We’re offering up to 55% off on web hosting and domains starting at less than a dollar! Snag these deals before the 27th of November, 2018! What have we got for you? Our Black Friday Special product is Reseller Hosting at a promo price of $9.49. We also have discounts on web hosting, servers, add-ons and domains. Our recent product portfolio addition, Plesk VPS hosting is also at a discounted price of $6.99. Having interacted with a number of our customers at our recent event, Cloudbazaar, we thought it fitting to offer these high-demand products at low prices so you, our resellers, can make huge profits. We hope you take advantage of these low prices to boost your business. Happy shopping!

How Big Data will Impact Future Marketing Efforts

It’s no surprise that big data is expected to have a sizeable impact across many industries. In healthcare, big data will allow for earlier detection of diseases and more accurate association of risk factors. Big data and advanced analytics in the financial services industry will lead to a faster detection of fraudulent activity. But one industry, in particular, will apply big data in a variety of ways to gain deeper insight about its customers. That industry is marketing. Quick Rundown of Big Data If you’re not caught up on big data, here are a few quick things you should know. With the digital universe expected to reach 163 trillion gigabytes by 2025, according to IDC and Seagate, big data is expanding faster than we can keep up with. But what exactly is big data? Big data is essentially all forms of structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data. In simpler terms, it’s every type of data generated by both humans and machines – and the speed at which it is generated. This means every social media post, text message, email, video, and much more is a piece of the big data puzzle. You can understand why big data is seen as valuable for businesses everywhere, especially in marketing. Marketing and Big Data Marketing is about finding new ways to introduce prospective customers to your product or service. It’s about nurturing leads along the funnel, ultimately converting them into lasting customers. Finally, marketing helps increase brand awareness through events, demos, content, social media, and more. In today’s data-driven business landscape, it’d be very difficult to lead a successful marketing strategy without the use of data. Why is this? Data assists marketers in personalizing content and targeting the right audience. This, in turn, should lead to higher engagement rates with more budget in-tact. The data most commonly used for a marketing strategy includes demographic data like gender, age, race, location, profession, estimated income, etc. Prospective customers can also be targeted based on previous engagements with your brand. Marketers are then able to make informed decisions based on the collection of this data. This is why marketing and big data are uniquely linked. With more data at a marketer’s disposal, they’ll get an even clearer picture of customers, their intent and brand sentiment, and have hyper-calculated next steps through the use of big data analytics. The Big Data Market Roughly 77 per cent of businesses consider big data analytics a priority, according to a survey by QuinStreet, Inc. Many businesses have, in some way, devised a plan to adopt big data soon. The widespread acceptance of big data is why Wikibon estimates $92 billion in revenue is expected to be generated from it by 2026 – and this number could easily rise as big data software becomes more accessible. For those wondering, “Wow, that’s a lot of money tied to big data,” let’s look at some of the ways it’ll be applied in regards to marketing to help make sense of its value. Targeted Marketing Campaigns One of the most common ways marketers target their campaigns today is through the creation of customer profiles and buyer personas. These profiles are curated through the data we mentioned before.While factors like age, gender, customer location, and others are fairly good at building a targeted audience, other factors can certainly bolster your marketing campaign. This is where big data comes in. Big data, more specifically big data analytics, can harness massive data sets not just within a business, but outside one as well. For example, valuable data can be acquired from social media, search engine history, and customer reviews on external websites. What’s the purpose of this data? It gives us a clearer view of customer behaviour and swaying trends. Advertising firm 360i put big data into action to target its advertisement during the 2013 Super Bowl. When a power failure occurred and temporarily halted the game, 360i ran a “Power Out? No Problem” advertisement within minutes. By analyzing behaviour across various channels, Oreo was able to boost its social capital immediately – making them the brand-winners of Super Bowl 47. The above advertisement resulted in over 10,000 retweets and 20,000 likes on Facebook. This wasn’t just a targeted marketing campaign, but a timely one as well. Customer Predictions and PersonalizationOne of the most attractive features of big data analytics is its ability to generate extremely complex predictive analyses through the use of AI and machine learning.What this means in layman’s terms is that your customers’ next step can be predicted based on massive amounts of data fed through an artificial neural network. The results are then visualized for business end-users and decision-makers. A brand that we’re probably all aware of, Netflix, applies predictive analytics to learn more about its customers’ viewing tendencies. Here’s how. Netflix currently has 130 million subscribers globally – so you can imagine how much data Netflix has at its disposal. Some of the data Netflix sifts through is: When a viewer pauses or leaves a show, and if they ever come back to it. The time and date a viewer is likely to watch a show. Browsing and scrolling behaviour, and how long a user views a show’s trailer. Which device someone commonly uses to watch a show. Ratings, search history, and behaviour after a show has ended. Running this data through advanced analytic programs, Netflix personalizes content for each subscriber in a way that is likely to keep their accounts open. Predictive intelligence helps marketers stay one step ahead of their customers. Tracking and Boosting ROI You’re only as good as the information you have, and in marketing, having access to the right numbers and information is key to keeping track of and boosting ROI. Since advanced analytics harness big data, this means your results will be much more robust and allow for a greater overview of ROI. Let’s look at an example of this in action. In 2004, data analysts at Walmart mined transaction and inventory data and found a unique link that could boost ROI. What was this link? They discovered there were a seven times increase in strawberry Pop-Tart sales right before hurricanes would reach land. Beer sales had also sharply spiked upward. With this information in hand, Walmart was sure to stock up. Big data and advanced analytics helped Walmart unveil a new product opportunity by utilizing internal and external data. What may have looked like a simple tactic on the surface was actually possible thanks to the application of big data. It’s clear that big data is highly valuable to businesses, however, it does pose a few challenges for those looking to adopt it in the near future. Big Data Challenges One of the most prominent big data challenges stems from the ways we find value out of the three types of data. Most businesses today are making decisions based on the structured data they possess. This is essentially any data that can be easily quantified – like age, email addresses, most recent purchases, spending amounts, and more. It is highly organized and structured in relational databases. Structured data, however, accounts for just a portion of all data that is generated. Unstructured and semi-structured data account for more than 80 per cent of big data. This data is seemingly random in nature, and cannot be collected, processed, and analyzed in conventional ways. Harnessing unstructured and semi-structured data is currently time-consuming and expensive. Thus, big data isn’t the easiest entry point for many businesses – which is why you really only hear of enterprise-level organizations utilizing it today. Accessible Big Data Another challenge is visualizing and optimizing data for business end-users. No matter how much big data is analyzed, it can’t be put to good use until decision-makers within a company know what they’re looking at. Big data can be downright overwhelming. Those who aren’t technically inclined will require the help of data analysts and scientists to make sense of the results. This is why data science is one of the fastest growing fields of study today – with an estimated 2.72 million jobs expected to be posted by 2020, according to IBM’s Quant Crunch. Silencing the Noise around Big Data Believe it or not, not all data is actually valuable to a businesses’ bottom line. This is what is referred to as “noise.” As the digital universe continues to expand, it’ll become more difficult for businesses to decipher which data is relevant and which data is noise. Again, this is why there is a high demand for data science professionals. Organizations that make it a priority to discover and analyze relevant data could generate an extra $430 billion in productivity by 2020, IDC estimates. Without a strategy to distinguish the good data from the bad, that could lead to some serious productivity losses. Wrapping Up Once big data becomes more accessible for smaller and mid-market businesses, you can expect marketers everywhere to get extremely creative. Ads will be hyper-targeted, content will be curated in a way that’s proactive instead of reactive, and marketers will get a better understanding of what customers actually want – instead of what we think they want. Big data, essentially, will lead to more customer-centric and refined marketing efforts in the future. This doesn’t just benefit businesses by helping them understand their customers on a deeper level but opens up customers to new product opportunities.

Grow with .CO

.CO is more than just a web address! While .CO started off in 2010 as a ccTLD for Colombia, it was not until 2010 that .CO opened up to just about anyone in the world. Today the 2 letter domain ending conveys a whole lot – COmmunity. COmmunication. COrporations. COmpany. Why opt for .CO? .CO is perfect for innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, businesses, communities and more. It’s globally recognized, has great recall value and is professional. More .CO domain names are available in the crowded Internet space. You can find the perfect domain name without having to compromise. Need more reason? .CO has over 2.2 million domain registrations worldwide. As far as search engine optimization (SEO) goes, Google confirmed that “it will rank .co domains appropriately if the content is globally targeted” (source: https://www.alphr.com/news/359704/google-approves-co-domain-for-international-use) Who is .CO for? When .CO was opened up for anyone to register, everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies registered a .CO domain. American Express (http://amex.co/) and Vine (https://vine.co/) are among those on a .CO extension. Today, .CO is registered by: Innovators Entrepreneurs Communities Businesses Startups Grow your business by reselling this domain extension to your resellers at your own price! We have a huge profit margin for you! Register .CO domains for just $2.79 today!

How to put a WordPress site in maintenance mode

Maintenance is an important aspect of keeping everything in order, be it organising files or your business website. Anything that is well-maintained and up to date keeps you at the top of your game. In this post, we will be dealing with website maintenance. Imagine you run a WordPress powered online business and need to update your website to include certain new features. These features can range from revamping the design, content, fix a security flaw or a plugin etc. To achieve this, you will most likely have to disable your website or a particular page temporarily, in turn, displaying a different page stating the issue to the visiting user. If you don’t do this, your website might display a 404 Error, a broken page etc. In this article, I’ll walk you through the maintenance mode in WordPress. I will also cover why and how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode. What is WordPress Maintenance Mode? WordPress Maintenance Mode is the state you put your website into when you wish to make major changes to the site that may take a long time. If your site is broken or inactive for a while, it can affect the user experience, especially if you get heavy traffic. At such a time it is advisable that your website is offline and a splash page saying ‘Coming back shortly’ or a similar message is put up. Some situations during which you can put your WordPress site in maintenance mode are: When you are configuring a new theme or plugin for your website Redesigning your website or making other cosmetic changes Fixing critical security bugs Fixing website issues that affect customer data etc. Having seen what WordPress maintenance mode is and the common reasons to put your website into the maintenance mode. Let us now move on to ‘how’ do you go about it. We shall cover two ways of doing so: Manually Using the Built-in Maintenance Mode feature: The built-in maintenance mode in WordPress in an automatic feature that runs whenever you run a WordPress update for updating either themes, plugins or core files. This happens with the creation of a .maintenance file in your WordPress root. During this time, if any visitor lands on your site, the following automatic message is displayed. Using WP Maintenance Mode Plugin The WP Maintenance Mode plugin is an open-source software having over 600,000 active installations. It can be used for creating a splash page that can be used when your WordPress website is down for maintenance or if you are launching a new website.Some of the features of this plugin are: It has multiple templates for Landing Pages and Coming Soon pages It supports WordPress multi-site Allows customizing colours, text and background It is GDPR compliant and Excludes URL from maintenance. Let us now see, the steps required to setup WP Maintenance Mode Plugin: Setup Maintenance Mode Using WP Maintenance Mode Plugin Once you install the WP Maintenance Mode plugin, you need to configure the plugin. For that go the Settings and then select WP Maintenance Mode. Key things to note: There are 5 tabs General, Design, Modules, Manage Bots and GDPR. Let us first cover, the ‘General Tab’. The Status is by default selected as ‘Deactivated’ when you need to put the WordPress site in Maintenance Mode, select ‘Activated’ Should you want Search Bots to see your website despite it being in the maintenance mode, select the option as ‘Yes’. The ‘Yes’ is recommended if your site is an already established one The rest of the options on the General Tab page are fairly self-explanatory. Click Save once you make changes and proceed to the next Creating Your Own Splash Page for Maintenance Mode Next is the Design Tab. Using this tab, you can design the splash page and customize it for text, colour, background and even the heading. Once you are done, click Save. Modules The third tab is ‘Modules’. Using this tab, you can add the countdown specifying when your site will be up and running. If you have subscribers then, you can even personalize the module so that they are notified when the site will be back. Manage BotShould you activate the Bot here, then it will reverse the setting for Bot on the General Tab and vice – versa. GDPR Complaint Finally, if you have any sensitive data that you want to collect or anything that requires customer approval or related to privacy then simply activate the GDPR status in the GDPR tab.If you’re still trying to understand what is GDPR and should you Activate or Deactivate it for your website, read about it here for better clarity.Having finished all the steps, your maintenance mode is now ready to be displayed to the world. Conclusion: Putting your WordPress site in maintenance mode is a better way to complete maintenance activities instead of having a broken link. Just follow these steps and you’ll have your page ready in no time. For timely WordPress updates, it is best to have WordPress Hosting as your hosting for your WordPress website. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

New gTLD Report – October 2018

Along with the launch of the all new Plesk VPS hosting, the month of October did witness gradual improvements in the registration numbers of the new gTLDs as compared to the month of September. While registrations for .LIFE  climbed 18%, .LIVE witnessed a 103% jump in its numbers. With a considerable spike in its registrations, .TOP was able to secure the third spot during the month of October. Let’s dig in further into the trending new gTLDs! Here’s a peek at the new gTLDs that made it to the top during the month of October: New gTLD Report – October 2018 Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .XYZ:  It was the global market that boosted the registrations for .XYZ during the month of October. The promo price of $0.99 drove the registrations of this new gTLD and helped it retain its top spot on the list. .XYZ was able to grab a 21% share of the total new gTLDs registered in the month of October. .ICU: With a 11% jump in its registration numbers, .ICU was able to move up a rank and thus landed the second spot in the list of new gTLDs registered. It is the increasing popularity of this new gTLD in the China markets that has assisted it in grabbing a 14% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .ICU was being sold at a promo price of $0.99 during the month of October. .TOP:  The promo price of $1.59 boosted the registrations of this new gTLD during the month of October. .TOP took the number three spot on the list by grabbing a 11% share of the new gTLDs registered. The increasing registrations in the global market has helped .TOP climb up the list month on month. .SITE: Being a recent entrant in the top 5, this new gTLDs has been able to hold onto its spot with a 10% share of the total new gTLDs registered. The promo price of $4.99 surged sales of this new gTLD in the global market and helped fuel its registrations during the month of October. .ONLINE: Following the trend with .XYZ and .TOP, is .ONLINE that has consistently been able to hold onto a spot in the top 5 list of the new gTLDs registered. This Radix new gTLD that was running at a promo price of $6.99 was able to grab a 5% share of the total new gTLDs registered. Apart from the top, there has been noticeable changes among the new gTLDs that made it to the top 15. .LIFE has again been successful in moving up a rank to the sixth spot with a 18% spike in its registrations. Following its suite has been the new gTLD, .LIVE which saw its registration numbers soaring 103% during the month of October. Having no new entrants during the month, it can be concluded that these top 15 new gTLDs have shown consistent improvements in registration numbers as compared to the previous month. Here’s a peek into the exciting domain promos lined up during the month of November: Reseller the all time trending .XYZ at just $0.99 Help your customers establish their start-up business online with a .CO web address at just $2.79! Expand your customer’s business in the Asian subcontinents with a .ASIA at just $0.99. 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!  

What is WordPress Optimization?

WordPress is one of the most popular website development and CMS platforms available out there. More often than not, it is the first choice for website owners and developers owing to the fact that it is easy to use, stable, free of cost and offers a ton of plugins and themes to make your website look and work, exactly the way you imagine it. As a result, WordPress commands approximately 31% of the CMS market share and you can read more about these statistics here. With such a huge market share, it is easy to imagine that there are a ton of WordPress websites out there and a multitude more who are planning to use WordPress for their upcoming websites. That being said, it is extremely essential to have a good understanding of what WordPress Optimization is. WordPress optimization is the process of enhancing, tweaking and customizing the WordPress set up in order to improve performance, make it faster and more easily discoverable. It consists of many things, including, having the right specifications, updating WordPress, optimizing databases, managing plugins etc. All of which are geared to make the WordPress website a lot more efficient. Let’s get into the specifics of WordPress management and see what it entails. Having the right system specifications: WordPress like any other software has its specific requirements in terms of hardware and utilities to run it smoothly. For WordPress, you need the following: PHP version 7.2 or greater MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater HTTPS supportThe first thing you need to do is ensure your server has these specifications squared away. A simpler alternative would be to opt for WordPress Hosting as it already takes care of the system requirements and specifications. Not running WordPress on its ideal specifications has the threat of making your website run slow. There is also the issue of experiencing website crashes. Resolving these issues should be the first thing you need to do in the WordPress optimization process. We at ResellerClub offer a host of options on WordPress Hosting which you can check out here. Keeping WordPress and your Plugins Up to Date: The worst thing you could do to your WordPress website is to run it on an outdated version of WordPress. Not only will it affect the performance of the website negatively, but it will also affect the security of the website. It is observed that it is easier for hackers to break into a WordPress site that runs on older versions of WordPress. The truth of the matter is that with every update WordPress releases, there comes a lot of bug fixes and improvements to the platforms security fixes. It is highly recommended that your website makes the best of these aspects. Another aspect apart from keeping WordPress updated is to keep your plugins and themes updated. This will ensure that everything works to its full potential and there are no backward or forward compatibility issues. Also, it is recommended to only keep the plugins that you use and delete the ones that you don’t use. This will take away the need of keeping the plugins you don’t need updated and also make the overall WordPress ecosystem a lot lighter and faster. If you keep the plugins that you do not use frequently or regularly or plugins that don’t really make your job easier, then there is an unnecessary wastage of space and need for maintenance for these plugins. It is best to just keep what you use and what is helpful to your site. Optimize WP-Database: The WP Database holds everything that is dear to your website. This includes all the pages, posts, forms, form entries, plugin settings, theme settings etc. As your website keeps getting better, more and more data is stored in the WP Database. Over the period, the WP Database becomes heavy and sluggish. Due to this, the overall speed of the website goes down. To avoid this, it is very important that the WP Database is periodically optimized so that it stays lean and fast. There are ways to manually do this, and you can find it in this post. There are also quite a few plugins available that can help you to keep your WP database optimized. Some of these are, WPOptimize, Advanced Database Cleaner and WP DMManager which have proven to work in the past. Optimizing Speed: Speed is important for a good user experience. Moreover, having a fast website helps with organic search visibility. To understand where you stand on the speed front, use tools like Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed Insights. These tools will not only help you understand where you stand in terms of website speed but also provide a clear plan of action to improve it. Some basic things that you need to take care of are: Enabling Gzip on the server Ensuring that you compress and optimize images utilize sprites to deliver images more efficiently and try to make the best of server-side and browser caching. There are also certain really good WordPress plugins that can help you improve the speed of the website. Check them out here. Security: Security should definitely make it to the list of your optimization action items. No website owner wants to go through the painful process of recovering from a website breach or data loss. That being said, there are ways to optimize the security of your WordPress website as well. The first thing you need to ensure is that your WordPress is updated, and we have covered this in the earlier point. Another aspect you need to take care of is to ensure you have SSL setup on your website. Moreover, ensure that the directories such as WP-Content and WP-Upload do not allow any. PHP code to be run on them. Additionally, it would be a good idea to have 3rd party sophisticated tools to ramp up the security. For instance, our WordPress Hosting comes with SiteLock and Codeguard as standard on our WordPress + Security plans which takes care of the security of your website and is a customized solution we have crafted especially for our WordPress audience.   These 5 steps should be the starting point of WordPress optimization and you can evolve over time once you get into the groove of doing these things. If this interests you, it would be worth your time to also check our post on the top three ways to optimize WordPress for search engines, here. Hope this helps to help you understand what WordPress Optimization is and how to go about it. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

What are the Benefits of WordPress Hosting?

WordPress Hosting is, in most cases the ideal hosting for WP websites. Not only does it provide great performance owing to the fact that it is configured to be highly compatible with WordPress, but it also provides a range of WordPress management features. This makes it very easy for website owners to manage and maintain the website without having to allocate additional resources to do the same. Although different hosting providers provide different features, we will talk about the benefits of WordPress Hosting. Highly compatible with WordPress Enhances the performance of WP websites. WordPress is pre-installed to provide a plug and play environment for developers. Automatic WordPress updates to keep you up to date all the time. Cloud-based hosting infrastructure that provides a high level of scalability. Automated backups using CodeGuard. Daily malware scanning and security with SiteLock. Pre-installed plugins that make your job easier Managed services that take-up WordPress maintenance. To get a better understanding of the benefits of WP Hosting, let’s look at them individually in detail. Performance: Every software will have its own system requirements that determine how efficiently the software will function. With that in mind, even WordPress as a software has its ideal system requirements. WordPress Hosting ensures that the hardware, firmware, and software configuration is highly compatible so that it runs efficiently. Having a system that is compatible ensures that you do not run into performance issues and system freezes. If the system does not function properly, the hosted website may crash, or temporarily be out of service which will have serious implications on the website’s authority and visitor’s experience. WordPress is Pre-Installed: Developers who take up WordPress projects regularly would love this feature. With WordPress pre-installed, you have no need to spend time downloading and installing the CMS on the server. You just purchase the plan and begin developing the website. This saves a lot of time and you never have to worry about compatibility issues. Automatic WordPress Updates: Another important benefit for WordPress Hosting is automatic WordPress updates. Every update that is released comes with a bunch of improvements and bug fixes. If your instance of WordPress hosting is not up-to-date, not only will you lose out on these essential improvements and bug fixes, but also become more susceptible to external security threats. The automatic update feature of WP Hosting ensures that you are covered on this front. At times, the website you are hosting is not compatible with newer versions of WordPress. Although this scenario is very rare, it still persists. In such cases, turning off automatic updates is just a switch flip away. Cloud-Based Hosting: One of the biggest benefits of WordPress Hosting plans is that the hosting is Cloud-Based. Which means the advantages of Cloud Hosting are cascaded to the WordPress Hosting. These advantages include scalability at the click of a button and a high level of reliability as there is no single point of failure. Moreover, we integrate Varnish Cache within this Cloud-based environment that has the potential to increase your website’s speed by 1000%. Great Security and Backup: Our WordPress hosting packages provide the option to include premium website security and backup tools. One of them being CodeGuard, which automatically takes website backup periodically so that you have enough restore points in case of a disaster. The other tool that our WP Hosting contains is SiteLock. This software regularly monitors the website for malware and security threats and notifies you to take necessary action. SiteLock can also be configured in order to deal with security threats automatically in case of an encounter. Pre-installed Jetpack Plugin: Plugins form a very strong base for WordPress development. Any task or functionality that you can imagine can be made possible with plugins. Our WP Hosting plans integrate certain essential plugins such as Jetpack plugin. This plugin can be used for a variety of functions including provisioning of WordPress themes, lazy loading, marketing services such as analytics, automated social media and SEO tools, Payment gateway integrations and high-end security for your website. Managed Services: Another very useful advantage is the inclusion of managed services. What this means is that the WP Hosting team takes care of dealing with all your website maintenance tasks. Without managed services, you as the website owner are responsible for taking care of the WordPress maintenance which requires resources. Managed services include a barrage of activities like scalability of hosting resources such as CPU, RAM and storage space. As your website grows, you will need more hosting resources to handle the incoming traffic load. This can be easily done by the managed team without you having to worry about the specifics. Another example of managed services is the optimization of the WP Database. The WP Database holds all the important information of your website such as pages, posts, form entries, cookies, plugin settings, theme settings etc. As your website grows, this database becomes bulky. Bulky WP databases are usually slow and need to be optimized so that they do not affect the overall speed of the website. The managed hosting team takes care of this on their own without you having to intervene. As you can see from the above information, WordPress Hosting brings a lot of advantages to the table and should definitely be considered for WordPress sites of all sizes. If you have any questions or if you require any clarity on the benefits of WordPress Hosting, please feel free to reach out to us or pen down your thoughts in the comments section below. We will be more than happy to read through them and get back to you. If you are interested in looking at various WordPress Hosting plans available at ResellerClub, please have a look here. Hope this helps and stay tuned for more great content!

How Great Design Boosts Your Business Growth

For the last few decades, design in all its types and forms made a fantastic twist. Traditionally, it was about beauty and aesthetics. But somewhere around the 2000s, design started to become a primary motor of innovation. Today, it’s not only about making things look nice, but also about the way of thinking and working. In fact, design principles became so appealing that people started to use them as guiding points for transforming organizations. This led to the emergence of business design – a discipline about applying design thinking to the organizational structure. Though this approach is all the rage now, not all companies embrace it. However, every business can make design work for their brand. Being a marketer, I saw many businesses rise and fall because of design. All those succeeding seemed to follow a few simple guidelines. I’ll list some of these trends here for you to try them out and maybe onboard them in your company. And since we live in the age of e-commerce, when most companies have their online presence, I’ll explore these trends through the lens of web design. The article will rely on the research conducted by Warwick Business School, as well as on some expert tips and case studies. I’ll also share our team’s experience at Chanty, a tech company I’m working at. So, how do we make design work for our brands? What works? Design trends in business Make your design customer-based The story is as old as Methuselah. Business is not just about making money, it’s about serving our clients. You’ve got to keep that in mind, especially when design is on the agenda.According to the Warwick Business School research, the benefit of design is the greatest when it is intimately related to solving customers’ problems. Our ultimate goal, therefore, is not to create great design, but to develop a product (or service) that meets our clients’ needs. In other words, we should create a great Customer Experience (CX).In the context of web design, it means setting up a great customer journey. First, we deliver value to our website visitors, sharing some great and easy to navigate content with them. Second, we make sure they don’t get lost on our website, so if we match their needs, they’ll engage with us by making a call, a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, etc. This is usually called ‘journey mapping’. Nowadays, creating a great UX for a website seems like a must. However, it’s surprising how many businesses neglect this step. There’s no doubt the game is worth the candle. As an example, let me share a case of Chrome industries. Here’s how their homepage looks now. Chrome industries homepage. Not long ago the brand redesigned its webpage. Basically, they worked exactly on enhancing user experience. After mapping the customer journey, the designers built the navigation for company products exploration, as well as the path to purchase. This resulted in a 142% improvement in time on page and 10% increase in conversion rate. Setting up a great customer journey can be even more important when creating an app. Chanty team explores this customer-based approach to design on a daily basis. Building a simple AI-powered team chat, our point is not merely to create a nice-looking app. We strive to design a great experience for our users. Here’s an example. Below are two images – the Chanty UI at its early days and now. To make the tool more convenient for users, we wrapped up the icons we had in the right panel. We also made the left vertical panel smaller so our users can have more space for chatting. The Chanty UI in the early days. By making constant amends to the UI and UX, Chanty became a powerful team chat tool with a simple interface. This is how Chanty UI looks like now. To sum it up, journey mapping as a crucial trend in web and app design. This tendency goes ways beyond your online presence, as it’s always a good idea to take care of your customer. Use design strategically It’s all about the role of design in your company. It can be used as a service, as a key perspective, and as a strategic perspective. According to the Warwick Business School research, a strategic way of using design leads to greater benefits. But what does it actually mean to use design strategically? To put it simply, the strategic use of design means it is integrated into your product (or service) development from beginning to end. In other words, it is embedded into the organizational processes and informs your far-reaching choices. Apple is the classic example of a company where design is used strategically. Obviously, Steve Jobs backed the approach. Years back, his foundational solution – industrial design – allowed Apple to get back to the profitability. Now, it’s the world’s largest technology company. Let’s apply this trend to web design. Using design strategically (at every stage of building your website) should result in creating the authentic and principle-based online presence. Imagine a user who has never heard about your company. For them, your business in the real world will be associated with your website. That’s why your online presence should build trust and credibility – it’s a must for getting leads and conversions you strive for.Let us see the case of Nixon, a lifestyle and accessories brand. The company had redesigned its website (here’s a whole story), which then received Webby Awards: 2016 Site of the Year. Nixon homepage. The crucial point in the report is about “taking into account the company’s values”. The new website was “designed in the style of its roots, philosophy, and future ambitions” of the company. Combined with other factors, this resulted in a 10% increase in average order value and 85% increase in conversion rate. Apparently, for achieving results like this, business people and designers should meet each other halfway. Managers will benefit from learning how to design the customer experience. Designers, in their turn, should do their best to understand business in its multiple contexts. This will allow the design to work strategically – no matter its object. Use design to add value to your brand Design can add value to your business in multiple ways. It serves as a powerful differentiator, sparking innovation and strengthening your brand.In the context of web design, this trend manifests in creating an uncluttered layout and strong visuals. A picture is worth a thousand words! And the marketing world is filled with proofs of that. For example, BB Dacota, women’s clothing brand, after redesigning their website achieved a 700% increase in CRM sign-ups and 60% increase in unique page views. All this because of implementing “bold typography, strong images, and a minimal elegance”. Here’s the whole story in case you are interested. BB Dacota’s web page. In terms of marketing, videos can be even more effective than images, as including them on a landing page we can increase conversions by 80%. Animation also works great for drawing visitors to the home page, as it can communicate complex messages easily and portrays a brand as digital savvy. Luckily, you don’t have to spend all your money on the top pros nowadays. If you don’t have a design unit in your company, these marketing freelancer platforms help you easily find experts to satisfy your design demands. Wrapping up Design can boost your business growth in multiple ways. Being a key agent to transform brands, it can improve sales and production efficiency. Three global trends of design as a coherent discipline manifest in practical guidelines for building a website. By making our online presence customer-based, we create a great customer journey and lead users along the conversion path. However, they are unlikely to take any actions on your website if your brand doesn’t have credibility and trust. This can be fixed by making your online presence authentic and principle-based. Finally, strong visuals and video enriching your design can spark innovation, straighten your brand and differentiate your product (or service). That’s all for now. Feel free to share your take on how design can boost your business growth! Drop in the comments.

Cloudbazaar 2018: India’s premier Conference and Trade Show

It’s that exciting time of the year when our office is buzzing with Cloudbazaar planning and preparations! It’s amongst the most intense weeks of the year for our team here but also I think one of the most enjoyable.  Cloudbazaar is India’s premier conference and trade show for the Cloud and is ResellerClub’s flagship event of the year. Event details When: 1st November, 2018 Where: Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hall 3, Goregaon (Mumbai) Registration: https://cloudbazaar.org/ Entry fee: FREE Who is it for? The event is a fantastic platform for web developers, web designers, and web hosting & domain providers to meet, network and learn. Our attendees make up a diverse audience of online businesses from the following industries: What can you expect? We have a stellar lineup of speakers including our very own Business Head, Shridhar Luthria, Deepak Kanakaraju (DigitalDeepak.com), Shashi Tripathi (Google Cloud India), Rajesh Dhuddu (Tech Mahindra) and 12 other eminent experts. These insightful sessions by the industry stalwarts will cover topics on Cloud, SaaS, Big Data and IoT among others. The event has historically drawn a footfall of over 2000 attendees every year. If you’ve been an attendee earlier, you know the energy at the event – there are dozens of booths, lots of exciting games, giveaways, freebies, an iPhone X prize and lots more! Here’s a sneak peek at what you can win this year at the ResellerClub booth. If you haven’t registered yet, do so now for FREE: https://cloudbazaar.org/ I am going to be at Cloudbazaar and I hope to see you at the event! Before I go, let me leave you with some amazing pictures from the event last year!

How to Develop and Test a Site Using Mobile-First Design

Back in 2015, an Ericsson study forecasted that by 2020 70 per cent of the world’s population will be smartphone users. Three years later, it appears the study’s findings still ring true, as 51 per cent of the total global internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. It may seem like a natural progression for users, but for designers, this further highlights the importance of embracing a mobile-first website design. And although there is an increase in app usage, mobile-first design continues to be advantageous as it makes any site compatible regardless of operating system or device used, allowing businesses to reach a broader market. It also costs less to upgrade a website, instead of maintaining multiple apps across different mobile platforms. Just as how important hosting is when laying the foundation of your website, you should also look at designing with mobile users in mind. Below is a brief discussion on mobile-first designs, why it’s important, and a guide on how to develop and test a site using a mobile-first design. Building websites for mobile devices At the start of the decade, designing mobile first was a strategy that suited certain companies. But as the world continues its steady march into the digital realm, it’s also becoming increasingly mobile. With nearly 5 billion people using mobile phones to navigate the web and apps, building mobile-first is no longer just a strategy. It’s a priority. What this means In the most basic terms, mobile-first is a design strategy that began with conceptualizing for the smallest screen first, before eventually moving up to larger screens. A part of this was also referred to as progressive advancement – that is, designing a version for a relatively lower browser, with only the most basic functions and features. It may seem natural now, but just five years ago, mobile websites were considered almost an afterthought in the design process. Back then, designers focused on giving desktop users the best UX experience. It’s about delivering the right user experience to the right device. And today, the most commonly used devices are mobile. Since the starting point of being mobile-first immediately considers restrictions like bandwidth and screen size (among others), designers need to seize product key points, aiming for a lean and clean product, with certain prioritized features. Advantages of mobile-first design Google factor Google has already said that it is looking to implement its mobile-first index. This means that the mobile version of your website will be the starting point for what Google includes in their index – essentially becoming the baseline for how their rankings are developed. When this becomes the SEO reality, your mobile-optimized website will likely rank well on both desktop and mobile devices. On the flipside, if a search term or phrase isn’t represented or flopped to mobile users, there’s a likelihood that the page will underperform. Strong foundation When you build a mobile-first design, the most important elements of the product are part of the starting point. When done correctly, this translates to having a strong foundation, which can eventually be used to strengthen designs for tablets and desktop. Content is king even in mobile-first design, where navigation takes a backseat because users need to get information quickly. Mobile-first design forces designers to focus and maintain clarity by removing unnecessary UI. With a more focused design sans distractions, improved UX usually follows – which always makes good business sense. Speaking of business sense Mobile conversion rates best the average desktop conversion rates by 64 per cent. As well, mobile advertising is projected to reach $46 billion by 2019. And you definitely want a piece of that giant pie. Since approximately half of all online searches are conducted on mobile devices, designing with that in mind allows you to provide better customer service by being easily accessible based on the device they are using. This would also benefit you marketing-wise, as 57% of users will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. How to Develop a Website For Mobile It’s important to keep in mind that a mobile user will have different needs than a desktop user. Whereas a desktop user tends to look for more in-depth information and more features, mobile users need their information as quickly as possible – which is, again, why content takes central focus. Content inventory and visual hierarchy This is basically a document listing all the elements you want to be included in your streamlined mobile-first design. Source Taking UXPins’ example, a bike manufacturing company might have the following listed by order of importance: Website name Latest model Best-selling bike “Find your perfect ride” CTA Navigation Search Second best-selling bike Gift certificates Testimonials Latest blog post Compressing that into a mobile screen might look like this. Source In this example, sales is obviously the bottom line, which is why highlighting the top-selling bike and the company’s latest model take centre stage. The CTA is also made as prominent as possible. As you move on to tablet screens, you also move down your list of priorities as you can see here: Source Secondary information and expandable navigation are added, with a testimonial at the bottom of the screen complementing the CTA. An important point to take note of is that the lines between secondary and tertiary information become blurry at this stage. You need to resist the urge to condense too much information on the screen. This is why having a content inventory and hierarchy helps. When you decide what to leave out, it’ll also make it easier to fill out the screen as you transition into a desktop, as you can see here: Source You’ll notice that the link to Gift certificates and the latest blog post have been added. Design device-appropriate layouts Of course, there are many UX design platforms. But sticking with UXPin, you’ll find it’s fairly easy to create different layouts for different screens. Of course, there are plenty of UX design platforms out in the market that will help you build a mobile website, such as Fluid UI, Marvel App, and WebFlow.Of course, there are many UX design platforms. But sticking with UXPin, you’ll find it’s fairly easy to create different layouts for different screens. Of course, there are plenty of UX design platforms out in the market that will help you build a mobile website, such as Fluid UI, Marvel App, and WebFlow. To start, open a UXPIN prototype and tap “add responsive version.” You can either choose a preset size or enter your own dimensions. An added feature is that you don’t need to recreate everything from scratch, as you can choose a size from which to copy your design’s elements. From there, you can easily switch between breakpoints by tapping the different sizes above your canvas, which you can adjust depending on your needs. For a comprehensive HTML guide for mobile-first design, click here. Mobile-first Design Best Practices Save the navbar for later As you might imagine by now, on mobile, maximizing space is of the essence. And a great way to create more space for more important elements is to drop the navbar. Again, navigation takes a backseat to content on mobile, so while it’s incredibly helpful, it doesn’t necessarily fit mobile users’ needs. This is why the hamburger menu has become the go-to option for almost all designers. This drawer allows users to pull out the menu items only when they need it. Source Front and centre You know what you want your audience to do. Now put that where they can easily reach it. Do you remember the first iPhone? It seems like such a ridiculously small screen compared to the giant phones we have now. So as you might imagine, the way our thumbs interact with our phones has changed as well. Because phones have gotten bigger while our hands have stayed the same, the screen hotspots have changed as well. The outer screen’s edges take much effort to get to now as you can see here: Source Designers today need to organize content in a way that puts primary interactions front and centre, with secondary and tertiary functions for the top and bottom screen edges. Source Mind file sizes The bigger the file sizes, the slower the load time. Add to that the fact that mobile connections are less reliable, then you not only lose users’ patience; you also lose rankings. This is why you need to make sure that all file sizes are optimized. Tools like Photoshop’s “Export for Web” make sure you minimize the file size of images before uploading them to your site. Of course, you’ll have to keep in mind what the images are for, where they’ll be placed, and how big they should appear. You want to keep your at a high enough quality while reducing file size as necessary. One example is if the column where the image will be placed is 600px wide, you don’t need an image that’s 1000px wide. Link what matters Mobile users want information and action. And they want it fast. This means you need to make accomplishing what matters as streamlined as possible, taking as few taps as possible. For example, if reaching you via phone or email is a key element of your service, make sure that information is clickable. This way, when they tap on your phone number, it automatically takes them to the actual phone part of their phones. Similarly, your physical address would be best served it if it linked to Google Maps. It’s the little things that matter in mobile-first design, so link to them! Takeaway Delivering the best UX is the name of the game these days – a game which is increasingly played on mobile devices. And this works both ways. As a designer, you build a strong foundation that allows you to increasingly incorporate elements into your design as you move on to larger screens. For users, you’re providing a pleasant experience that will keep them coming back. Is your website optimized for mobile? What improvements are you thinking of implementing? Sound off in the comments section.

How to Diversify Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

The marketing landscape has shifted dramatically over the last thirty years. For three decades since the dawn of the internet, marketers have been adapting to innovations to reach their intended audiences. In 2018, that basically means social media. But not all social networks are created equal. First, dig around and see where your target audience is active. For example, some brands can achieve monumental success on Facebook while having virtually no presence on Twitter. Enter Instagram. It’s pretty hard to imagine that eight years is all it took for Instagram to transform from a minor photo-sharing app into a bona fide marketing strategy. It seems everyone is on the app, from the biggest celebrities to the next startup for every industry imaginable to your grandparents —and their dogs too! To help imagine Instagram’s insane reach, just picture this: at this point in time, there are already 800 million people scrolling through their IG feeds. Of that number, a cool 500 million of them (or should I say us?) are on the platform every single day. And it’s not just the US either. Statista noted that a vast majority to the tune of 80% of these daily users are found outside the United States. But so what if 500 million people are daily users of Instagram? Let’s put this into perspective. A quick Google search reveals that the entire population of the European Union stands at 508 million individuals. That’s a LOT of people who represent a wealth of real-world potential. For marketers, these numbers mean one simple thing: for anyone selling anything, Instagram is the go-to resource to engage, sell, and develop a lasting relationship with the people who buy anything and everything online. But it’s likely that you already know this. Perhaps you already know the inner workings of Instagram for Business and even built a comfortable following of loyal customers. At this point, maybe you’re prepared to take your business to the next level. But what exactly comes next? Summed up in a single word, it’s called diversification. Why diversify? Startups who have limited capital and manpower know the perils of marketing firsthand. It’s much more doable to focus on just one or two marketing channels to get a project off the ground and start making sales. Instagram is great, there’s no doubt about it. But having the sole focus on it as your entire marketing strategy is dangerous. For one, Instagram algorithms change all the time. Who knows if you hit the sweet spot today but, after a minor algorithm change that happened overnight, your targeting gets all out of whack? An extreme example is Frank Body. The body scrub brand amassed 10,000 followers in a single month from its launch. Frank Body quickly made a name for themselves as a cheeky brand that wasn’t afraid to show skin in their posts. Until catastrophe struck. One day, the page simply wasn’t there anymore. All the aggressive marketing, the hour by hour posts, all the half-naked digital assets, all gone in the blink of an eye due to Instagram’s strict censorship on nudity. While the experience was unsavoury, the founders say it turned out for the better and forced them to become very creative with the new account. They have proven to be resilient and currently, @frank_bod has 686k followers on Instagram. Let’s all take a page from Frank Body’s book since getting our accounts deleted is simply less than ideal. Instagram marketing is awesome but we can’t rely on follower counts to power a brand’s success from start to finish. Also, respect Instagram censors or face the consequences. But now comes the nitty-gritty. How can your business diversify Instagram marketing? Meet the people in your niche Setting up posts, crafting witty captions, and analyzing statistics. These are just the very tip of the Instagram marketing iceberg. Have you heard of micro-influencers and brand ambassadors? Influencers have developed a kind of reputation in the past years. But it’s the rise of a specific type, the micro influencer, which has brands talking. These account types typically have less than 10,000 followers which makes tapping into their influence much more affordable. Another curious thing is that micro influencers generally have higher account engagement, delivering a high return on investment (ROI), compared to macro influencers. Another type of people you want to meet are your brand ambassadors. These folks are typically unpaid and real users of your product or service. Unlike influencers who you might tap for a one-off sponsored Instagram post or story, brand ambassadors will continuously post about you simply because they love your brand. Start with these guys. Reach out to these existing customers and have a chat on how you can turn their positive comments into a long-term relationship. Another aspect of diversification involves the actual channels used by micro influencers and brand ambassadors. Some folks command a huge Youtube following while remaining okay on Instagram. Depending on your brand, you may want to try this cross-channel promotion. This decision also largely falls on the influencers you’re dealing with. Where can they enjoy the best results? From the brand side, remain open to suggestions and avoid shutting off channels outside of Instagram. Explore paid advertising So Instagram is your primary source of traffic and sales. Great! Paid social is the natural next step for a diversified marketing strategy. For starters, tap into ad retargeting, a nifty service that goes after users who have already shown interest in your product. An audience of at least 1,000 people is needed to start serving them ads. One real-world way to use this is to check how long it takes a user to convert. Forbes noted an example where 80% of people who visited your site have not made purchases within eight days. Make the most of this opportunity and retarget ads to put yourself in front of these users once more. Retargeting ads are basically reminding an already interested audience why they want to buy from you in the first place. Try out different ad types too. There are lots to choose from like video ads, product carousels, and even customer testimonials. Keep an eye out for which ad types proved to be most compelling to conversion. For sponsored Instagram Stories, use a photo editing app to customize your visuals and attract your target audience. Successful ads give an ROI of at least three times based on experience. Foster organic search traffic No matter your industry, you must invest in your own e-commerce website and blog. If you’re thinking of immediate sales, then sorry, this step doesn’t promise anything like that. As for your blog, what you’re creating is content that answers the questions of your customers. Do this enough times and be genuinely helpful and organic search rankings will increase in time. If you have a new product that requires research before a customer buys, then you need content that assists in product research. If your product is something more mainstream, then focus should be on brand awareness. These blog posts don’t sell your product directly. Instead, they engage your customer base and answer questions they may have—questions that they didn’t know they even wanted answers to. Instagram marketing has proven to be extremely successful for brands of all sizes. But to keep things moving forward, you must make sure you build a brand that can adapt to the future by diversifying your Instagram marketing plan.

Reducing the World Wide Wait: CDNs, Explained

Several reports suggest (one being from Business Wire) that the Content Delivery Network market is expected to grow enormously in the next few years. Several companies make use of CDNs today to ensure that they have an edge in online reach. The misconception that many have about CDNs is that they are only used to reduce latency. As you will find out in this blog, CDNs can do much, much more for a business. If you’re not even sure what a CDN is and how do CDNs work, read on. What is CDN (Content Delivery Network)? A CDN or Content Delivery/Distribution Network is a network of servers located in strategic geographical regions to store cached content. This ensures that web content is delivered faster to users around the world regardless of their location to the originating server. Source: moz.com Why do they exist: While the primary objective of a CDN is faster content delivery or faster web page loads, there are several other advantages to using a CDN: Reduced bandwidth consumption & lower costs: As content is shared from caches, the load on the originating server is reduced. This also helps prevent the possibility of bandwidth limits being breached with your web hosting provider. To look at a typical scenario for an e-commerce company, a large percentage of traffic will browse a website, first looking through products/content to see if it’s worth their time and money. Only a small percentage will decide to proceed with a conversion. In this case, the company can use a CDN to cater to their browsing traffic (a larger percentage) and serve customers in the conversion stage with updated content from the main server. Security: CDN technology today is equipped with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) mitigation, bot mitigation, WAFs (Web Application Firewalls), spam blocking, bot blocking, TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption and hacking prevention. These preventive measures are used to detect and eliminate any threat before it reaches the main server. Considering present cybersecurity issues, these security features are a huge boon. Improved SEO: With a reduction in page load speeds, the potential of a website to rank higher in Google search results is increased. Speed is a key factor in search engine optimization. Increased Performance: Offloading content to their CDNs helps the main server effectively handle traffic spikes that may occur. Reliability: If one server is unavailable, the request is automatically routed to the next available server, ensuring a no-fail setup. Dynamic content: A traditional understanding of a CDN is one that just caches static content (such as HTML, CSS, JS and image files). However, today CDNs cater to serving dynamic content as well. Most brands are trying to reach their audiences with the best content possible. However, video content could affect your web page load time. For example, some CDNs promise to make that easier with features to support broadcast-quality video. Advanced Analytics: CDNs today offer advanced analytical insights into network traffic and how content is experienced. Saves complex infrastructure upgrades for small companies: Most importantly, CDNs allow small and medium-sized companies to accommodate large amounts of traffic without having to upgrade their IT infrastructure. Thus, CDNs let you give your customers an uninterrupted, smooth and secure experience of your online services. What is the exact difference that a CDN makes? Performance with a CDN vs. no CDN: This is an illustration of the difference a CDN makes by Cloudflare. Source: https://www.cloudflare.com/cdn/ To a web user, these numbers are a huge difference. How does CDN work? The geographical locations across which the CDN’s data centres are spread are known as ‘Points of Presence’ or PoPs. These will be placed according to the location of website traffic. The servers at each PoP are known as ‘Edge Servers’. Edge servers cache the content from the originating server. Source: em360tech.com When a user requests for a web page, the CDN redirects the request to the nearest connected server to the user’s geographical location. This happens if the content of the web page is cached with the CDN server in the first place. Which businesses should use a CDN? Large businesses with usually pull in a large amount of traffic and those that serve locations all around the world will benefit from the use of a CDN. A CDN really isn’t necessary if you are a local business and don’t expect to expand your areas of operation. CDNs and hosting packages: Most web hosting solutions today already include a content delivery network. For example, all shared web hosting packages at ResellerClub come equipped with Cloudflare CDN services which offer all the benefits of a modern CDN that we’ve talked about here including DDoS mitigation and internet security services. I hope we have helped you better understand what CDNs are and how to make a better choice for your website or web hosting business.

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