Reseller Club Blog

Impact of Artificial Intelligence on your WordPress Powered E-commerce Website

The world changed, slowly and subtly at first and at a rapid speed in the past few years. This change has evolved with the numerous inventions and progress in science and technology. We are now in an age where machines are able to understand and process human tasks, performing them in a far efficient manner than we humans could. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have become an integral part of our life, be it voice search, chatbots, Google search predictions and so on. This impact affects the way we run our businesses both online and offline. However, one of the key leveragers of AI is an e-commerce website. In this article, we will cover how far has AI penetrated into our businesses, as well as, its impact on an e-commerce business website. Integrating AI with E-commerce websites Before delving more into how AI will impact e-commerce website, let us have a look at where AI stands today. Artificial Intelligence is a broad term covering a wide range of technologies. Our focus in this article is how it impacts the business aspect of running a website. How it improves the web design eventually enhancing the user experience? Thereby aiding in converting your website visitors to customers. In a recent marketing research conducted by Business Intelligence Insider, AI is one of the fastest growing technologies today with the highest anticipated growth. Source: Business Intelligence Insider Enhanced Customer Experience Take, for instance, one of the prime concerns of a new e-commerce business owners is, what new can they provide to the customer that would make them stand out from the rest? The answer to this question is simple. Personalization is what makes any brand stand out. For example, when a customer goes into a local shop to purchase something, the shopkeeper suggests items should the customer be stuck, to enhance their shopping experience and also, that they do not leave the shop empty-handed. On the other hand, when a customer is shopping online, they are essentially alone, and chances are if they do not find what they are looking for, they might abandon your site. Artificial Intelligence (AI) aids in solving this issue by providing the customer with a more localized and customized shopping experience. It does this by suggesting items after analyzing the customer’s past and recent search history. For example, you may have noticed pop-ups or ads like ‘Frequently bought together’, ‘You may also like’, ‘Other similar products’ etc.In fact, according to Boston Consulting Group, a personalized shopping experience helps in increasing the company’s revenue by 6 to 10%. Another positive impact of using AI on your e-commerce website is that it reduces the user’s search and response time, therefore, the user doesn’t need to wait for long. This we can conclude based on the prediction and suggestive style of the website to the user. However, search time even depends on your hosting, if you have a WordPress powered e-commerce website then opting for WordPress Hosting will aid in improving your website load speed. This coupled with AI’s fast search can boost your website in the sight of visitors. Thus, integrating AI with e-commerce websites helps in increasing not only the customer satisfaction level but also, increases the company’s revenue. Optimized Content Generation Content if rightly created and displayed can have a major impact on your website. As an e-commerce website owner, you would have hired a content writer to generate SEO focusing content. This content leads to improved SEO, as well as, helps improve the visitor count on your website on a daily basis. This type of content is heavily keyword focused and helps in attracting the search engine bots to effectively drive traffic to your website. However, humans can commit an error while reviewing content to check if there are keywords and if they are placed correctly, and all of this in the right proportion. AI generated content is created using a set of algorithms and takes less time to be created. Thus, it optimises your content generation strategy. An earlier article we wrote, covered one of the tools that web pros can harness to enhance their SEO. Having seen how AI impacts your e-commerce website, let us now look at some AI tools that can help you. Here I am assuming, you have opted for a WordPress website and will cover 3 tools that can be easily integrated with your WordPress powered e-commerce website. Askimet Askimet (Automattic and Kismet) is a pre-installed plugin that comes with every WordPress website. This plugin helps detect spam comments on your website using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The Askimet algorithm works in predictive behaviour manner by learning from its mistakes and learning from millions of websites across the internet. It is able to detect comments made by bots, as well as, humans. Albert According to Albert’s website, ‘Albert is the world’s first and only fully autonomous digital marketer.’ That means, Albert is able to create content, curate it and also, organize cross-channel marketing campaigns to market your product. Thus, Albert can improve your customers’ digital experience and help in increasing your sales. IBM’s Watson Assistant Formerly known as Conversation, IBM’s Watson Assistant helps businesses by automating their customer support to improve customer interaction and experience. The interface is automatic and operated via a bot that helps connect customers to actual customer care executives should their query require deeper assistance. This tool is extremely helpful for businesses that have a dedicated support team and e-commerce is one of them. At the end: Marketing is a niche that requires an in-depth understanding of your business such that you can come up with new ideas and strategies. And although investing in AI may be a smart move with these trending times, you should exercise caution before moving to it completely. However, by this, we do not mean that you shouldn’t leverage AI, in fact, the right amount will help in scaling your business to greater heights. Have any questions or a suggestion to make? Feel free to drop your comments in the comments section below!

How to Build an E-commerce Website – A Step by Step Guide

If you’re one among those who have been thinking of launching an online business, then this post is for you. Starting a new business requires the right strategy with a lot of time and effort. And one of the most important things is building an online store to sell your products. In this article, I’ll walk you through what you need to take care of before launching a website and then how to build an e-commerce website. Setting the Base for Your Business An idea is what gives birth to everything we decide to do and later on accomplish. Thus, setting the base of anything is important before you actually start it. Likewise, when it comes to starting an online store, it is very important that you decide on the following things: The niche of your business The initial amount you should invest The products you’re going to sell Pricing your product for an effective profit Once the blueprint of your basics is ready, you’re set to roll out your idea to the world and to do that you need to set up your e-commerce website. In the below section, we see how to build an e-commerce website step by step. How to build an E-commerce website: Select a domain name and hosting Before deciding the e-commerce platform to build your website on, one of the important things is choosing and registering the domain name for your website. Your domain name is the face of your e-commerce website and should reflect the brand’s name. After you’re done choosing your domain name, the next step is to host your e-commerce website. WordPress Hosting is one of the best hosting platforms for a new e-commerce website. Here is an article on how to choose a domain name and host it. Choose an e-commerce platform The second more important factor when it comes to the success of your e-commerce website is choosing the right platform to create your website. There are several platforms right from open-source Content Management Systems viz WordPress, Joomla, etc. to platforms like Impress.ly, Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Weebly, etc. to create an e-commerce website. If you’re a beginner and not well-versed with technological aspects like coding, then open-source CMS platforms can be tricky to manage. It is at such times that smart e-commerce website solutions provide you with a platform where all you need to do, to set up a website, customize it and you’re good to go . Build your e-commerce website on your preferred platform Now that you’ve chosen an e-commerce platform, the next step is to build your website on it. Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. have a user-friendly user-interface that is easy to understand and navigate. These platforms have drag and drop options, as well as, plenty of customization features available. After adding the products to your site and customizing the look and feel of it, you need to structure it in a manner that would make it complete. Deciding on the right theme and designing it is crucial. Some of the items that your website needs to have are: An ‘About Us’ talking about the vision and mission of your business A ‘Contact Us’ to help customers get in touch with you An interactive homepage that displays featured deals and any ongoing sale It is essential you have a blog to publish press releases, new information on products, how to use them, FAQs etc. Lastly, you need to install plugins like Google Analytics to measure your traffic, security plugins etc. Secure your website using SSL and Install Backup Services You’ve decided on your products, the platform to build your website on, figured out how to create an e-commerce website, this means you’re done with the major portion of setting up your e-commerce website. After figuring out the design and data of your website, it is now time to secure it. A secure website builds credibility in the eyes of the customer, as well as, helps improve your SEO thus, getting more traffic to your website. The best way to making your website secure is by installing an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate encrypts and authenticates your sensitive information and keeps the eavesdroppers and hackers at bay. Another thing you need to take care of is backing up your website. Even though you may have a reliable hosting provider for your e-commerce website, chances are if your website doesn’t function properly you shouldn’t lose data. Setting up backup right from the moment your website is launched is important. Set up your payments Setting up payments is the next steps in building your e-commerce website. Here you need to take care of both how is the money coming to you and how would you transfer it to your bank account. This needs to be a secure gateway an setting up a merchant account is thus, a vital process. Some of the options you can choose from are PayPal, Visa, American Express etc. if you’re planning to set up your business with ResellerClub, here are the payment options provided by us. Begin Selling Your website is now officially ready to be launched to the world, and you can start selling the products. However, to make your website known you will need to employ various content marketing and social media strategies for your potential customers to know you’ve arrived in the market. Here are some of the effective marketing tips you can try for your e-commerce website. Conclusion: Setting up your e-commerce business is not a cake-walk, however, with the right guidance, it can be simplified. Hope you now know how to build an e-commerce website and will soon build it and start selling. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Importance of Contact Us Page and the Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Websites

Communicating and connecting with your website’s visitors is essential as each of them are your potential customers. However, capturing their interest and getting to know their concerns in order to cater to them is tricky as you run an online business. A ‘Contact Us’ page is the perfect solution to give out important information to your customers so they can get in touch with you. A ‘Contact Us’ provides the most basic information like registered address of the company, phone number, e-mail addresses and social media links. Alternatively, it even includes a customer-centric form asking details like name, the subject of the message, e-mail address and a description box. Further down the post, we will be covering the importance of having a Contact Us page in detail and how to create one. One way to create a Contact Us page is by designing and coding in manually another is using a plugin if you have a WordPress website. In this post, we would be covering the latter and list down the best Contact Form plugin for WordPress. So let’s begin. Importance of Contact Us page A contact us page, in a nutshell, is a simple web page on your website featuring basic information so that your visitors can get in touch with you. An example of a contact us page is below: ResellerClub’s Contact Us Page Even though a contact us page seems like any other page on your website, it is of high importance. Here are some reasons why it is essential to have ‘contact us’ page on your website. A Contact Us page helps you establish a communication channel between you and your visitors should they want to get in touch with you. The reasons are innumerable to give you feedback, contribute as a guest writer (if you have a blog), general inquiry about your business etc. Search engines usually display contact information about your website. The more information they are able to provide the more credibility it builds. Thus, increasing your website’s visitor count. As a Contact Us page helps in boosting your visitors, it furthermore helps in improving your SEO, as well as, website traffic. Ways of creating a contact us page There are two ways of creating a contact form. You can code it the manually way (if you are a hands-on developer or you deal with website design) If you are a beginner, the best way to creating a contact us page is using plugins. In this post, we will be covering the latter. Here are our top 4 Contact Us page plugins. Top 4 contact form plugins for WordPress websites There are several plugins available for creating contact forms. Here are our picks and the best contact form plugins for WordPress. Contact Form 7Contact Form 7 developed by Takayuki Miyoshi is one of the most popular contact form plugins for WordPress websites. It has more than 5+ million active installations and is available in about 50 languages. It is open-source software and supports AJAX powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet Spam filter support etc. Listed below are some of the features of this WordPress contact form plugin: Contact Form 7 requires WordPress version 4.8 or higher to function properly. Its new version 5.0.4 has been officially released and is a security and maintenance release. It is easy to install and integrate with your WordPress dashboard, as well as, customize it as per your requirements. For further features, you can refer to this post. Contact Formby WPForms Contact Form by WPForms is a drag and drop contact form builder that allows users to create different types of forms for their WordPress website, one of them being contact forms. WPForms is supported by WordPress version 4.8 and higher and PHP version 5.2.4 and higher. This makes it important for you to regularly update your WordPress website and keep all the bugs at bay. Listed below are some of the features of this contact form plugin: WPForms are responsive in nature. They adjust according to the medium they are browsed on, be it mobile, desktop, laptop or tablet. WPForms’ contact forms are web and server optimized. Thus, they help in improving your website’s loading speed. They are one of the best contact forms for WordPress website in terms of SEO. Also, if your website is powered by WordPress Hosting, then it helps in boosting your website loading speed. Form Maker by WD Form Maker is a responsive drag-and-drop plugin built by WD. it is user-friendly and helps in creating multiple types of forms, one of them being a contact form. This plugin is freemium and has over 1+ million active installations. Form Maker is supported by WordPress version 4.6 and higher and available in a total of 4 languages. Listed below are some of the features of this WordPress contact form plugin: This plugin is multi-purpose in nature. Users can create multiple forms on different pages of their website. What makes this an advantage is that it doesn’t tell you to upgrade to a premium version to avail this feature, instead, it provides 7 form fields. Should you want more, well then you have the choice to upgrade! This plugin provides 15 customizable themes to their users, to choose from depending on what they like. Also, there is a custom CSS editor, as well as, easy submission tracker and customized email sending option. Caldera Forms Caldera Forms by Caldera Labs is a freemium contact form plugin for WordPress having over 1+ million active installations. It is supported by WordPress version 4.7 and above, and PHP version 5.6 or higher. This plugin can be translated into 12 languages. The plugin is responsive in nature and a drag-and-drop editor. Listed below are some of the features of this contact form plugin: The plugin has a powerful intuitive user-interface and various user-friendly add-ons that are beneficial to both, web developers and beginners. It has an Anti-Spam filter that takes care of bots and spam entries. Moreover, it allows website owners to export the entries received in CSV format. Conclusion: A Contact Us page is an essential part of your WordPress website irrespective of it being an e-commerce website or not. It helps in not only aiding the customers on your website but also, helps in generating leads for your business. And with best contact form plugins for WordPress, your task of creating a Contact Us page is solved significantly. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel to drop in your message in the comment box below!

What is a Multi-Cloud Strategy? How to Mitigate Multi-Cloud Security Risks?

69% of enterprises are going to use a multi-cloud strategy by the year 2019, according to 451 Research. Still, few of them are aware of multi-cloud potential risks and ways to prevent them. In this article, you will learn what is multi-cloud and how to secure your business when working with multiple cloud providers. What is Multi-Cloud? Multi-cloud is the usage of many cloud computing services at the same time, often from various providers. While multi-cloud and hybrid cloud seem alike, there is a huge difference between them. Unlike in a hybrid cloud model, where public and private cloud environments are mixed and work together, in multi-cloud each cloud has its own task. Thus, all processes happen inside the environments. Companies choose a multi-cloud strategy for various reasons – to minimize potential risks, achieve higher performance or lower costs, and some of them want to benefit from the unique features of different clouds. Either way, the fact that cloud computing changes business can’t be denied. It is a flexible, cost-effective and convenient tool. According to an Oracle study, companies of all major industries will migrate to the cloud environment massively by 2020. As the multi-cloud strategy becomes widely used, it brings significant security risks to companies. So, anyone who decides to opt for cloud development should implement a security & risk-preventive strategy. By doing so, companies can avoid losing precious revenue & data. While traditional strategies don’t work here, business owners should apply a multi-layered approach to solving this issue. Down below are presented the key measures companies could take: Ensure complete visibility into the network & endpoints when adopting a multi-cloud strategy: A large amount of distributed endpoint devices make visibility a real challenge. It is nearly impossible to monitor the whole multi-cloud at the same time. Meanwhile, cyber threats evolve constantly, and they can happen to several clouds at the same moment. Thus, you should be able to detect these issues and resolve them as fast as possible. Choosing SIEM solutions are a great starting point for your risk mitigation strategy. SIEM is a Security Information and Event Management software, which monitors, collects and reports on log & event data in real time. These effective tools include firewalls, tools for preventing intrusion & threats, allowing you to manage it all in one place. Moreover, employees often use different devices to access business data remotely, which increases their vulnerability level significantly. To avoid “blind spots”, companies might use Endpoint Detection and Response tools (EDR). Using these solutions, you can constantly monitor everything happening on the endpoint devices. This, in turn, helps to resolve the emerging issues in real time. Make sure that these tools support all types of platforms your end users prefer to use. Secure your apps/data hosted in the multi-cloud: Cloud-hosted apps often become the number one target for cybercriminals. That’s why these applications should have a strong control & threat protection system to find all the weak points before hackers use them. To do this, consider using one SSO (single sign-on) in your agency. When each cloud service has its own user account, there are many sets of credentials. All of them can be easily exposed. By adopting the SSO strategy, you reduce the total number of credentials which reduces greatly the risk of exploited data. Another useful type of software is the backup solutions such as CodeGuard, BackupBuddy and VaultPress. These systems offer regular backups and restorations of your website to avoid possible downtimes. To ensure all the valuable info is safe, you can choose a reliable Cloud Hosting platform as a working basis. Apply automation to secure your multi-cloud strategy: To take advantage of the flexibility that multi-cloud computing offers, agencies should set the right automation strategy. In particular, they could automate repetitive security actions and develop a system responding to possible attacks. The newly-emerging automation tools allow admins to move workloads between the clouds while managing the environment more effectively. A great range of processing actions provides for the in-depth analytics at each risk level. Consider automating threat event processing to minimize the risk of human error. Ensure proper management of your multi-cloud: As the multi-cloud network grows, the risk of poor management also increases. Thus, managers should create a centralized control system to ensure data security across various cloud environments. Consider using specific software to create a centralized management system with an option to monitor all subsystems in one place. Workloads should move effectively across the whole cloud infrastructure. Moreover, you should limit the network access, by allowing only authorized users to approach your applications or data. Each user should be able to access the amount of data necessary to accomplish his/her tasks, through a multi-factor authentication system. Avoid opening access to your valuable/sensitive data for all users. Choose cloud vendors carefully and respect the shared responsibility model: Last but not least, you should understand that providers are responsible only for the cloud security itself. Thus, only you can protect the data & apps placed IN the cloud. The way how you use a multi-cloud network and how you secure it depends on you. Furthermore, not all cloud types are alike. For example, public clouds are more subjective to potential threats than the private ones. So, choose the type which fits your workload & needs. Now, here’s how to choose a good cloud service provider. Check their data security policies, as they should be aimed at solving risks and similar to your own safety policies. Make sure your data will be encrypted before even uploading it. Ask him security questions about your specific industry & case. The main goal is to get a clear understanding of security measures & mechanisms that each provider offers to protect your data. In addition, make sure to provide a high level of security on a regular basis. Since your network structure will know various transformations during the work, you should regularly update your security techniques. For this purpose, get tech experts to help you by making the in-depth audit of your current multi-cloud strategy & network. The key to a zero-risk multi-cloud strategy: To make your multi-cloud strategy a completely risk-free process, follow three simple steps: plan, prepare, adopt. By adopting a multi-layered approach to security on each of these stages, you can protect even the most complex software solutions. With the help of several techniques listed above, business owners can use multi-cloud strategy to their benefit only. With its help, they can achieve better customer service, business efficiency and, most importantly, higher profits.

5 Things to Look Out for in SEO Friendly WordPress Themes

Choosing a theme for your WordPress website is a tough task. The theme should be user-friendly and enhance the design of your website. Imagine you are running a clothing line business, and your website theme gives emphasis to text rather than images and where the colours are all dull and black. Won’t it put off your potential customers as opposed to a lively and colourful theme that would instead encourage visitors to explore more and eventually purchase a product? However, amidst choosing the theme and customizing the design, one thing that is usually overlooked is the SEO aspect. As a WordPress website owner, it is crucial that you make sure your theme is SEO optimized. This not only helps your website to rank higher on search engines but also enables you to attract more traffic. In this article, we will be covering WordPress and SEO, as well as, the importance of an SEO friendly WordPress theme for your WordPress website. So first off, let us see how WordPress websites help you with your SEO efforts WordPress is an easy to use platform that has a number of built-in features that help improve the SEO of your website. Some of these features are the various URL structures available that help in improving your search engine ranking along with categories, tags, plugins etc. Also, WordPress releases regular updates for fixing bugs in the code making your websites faster and more efficient. This impacts your website and it’s search engine rankings. Having covered some of the features of WordPress let us now move to the look and feel of a WordPress website. WordPress has default themes, as well as, customized themes. The idea of a theme is to present your website to the visitor in a manner that makes it look appealing, and at the same time, it reflects the heart and soul of your business. In one of our earlier posts, we talked about the 6 things to look for in a WordPress theme, and one of the features covered was SEO. To help with this there are a plethora of SEO friendly WordPress themes. But how do you figure out which is the best amongst them all? Let us take a look at the 5 key things you need to keep in mind when deciding on an SEO optimised WordPress theme. Responsiveness and Mobile-First Design Nowadays most users browse websites not only via desktops and laptops but also, via mobile phones and tablets. This makes it imperative for the website to be responsive. That basically means that the layout adjusts itself depending on the medium it is viewed on. If your website isn’t responsive, chances are many of your customers might abandon it owing to the fact it might be difficult to navigate. A theme plays an important role when it comes to the responsiveness of the website. Choosing a non-responsive theme can hamper not only your customer prospects but even your SEO. When users stay on your site for a good duration, it enhances your website’s SEO. Also, with the rollout of Google’s Mobile-First Indexing algorithm, it is important that your theme is compatible with mobile devices. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly rank lower than the mobile-friendly websites, eventually impacting your SEO on Google search engine. Cross-Browser compatibility Just like your theme must be responsive and mobile-friendly, it is equally important that it be compatible with various browsers. Cross-browser compatibility is important because users not only view your website on different mediums but also on different browsers, and each browser interprets the code in a different way.If a particular browser doesn’t support your website then even if it is responsive it might not display properly. This might lead to visitors abandoning the website within a few seconds leading to an increased bounce rate which eventually would affect your SEO. An SEO friendly WordPress theme is compatible with the top browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari. Compatible with various SEO plugins Compatibility of an SEO friendly theme with the elements on your WordPress website is important. One of these elements is plugins. Most websites make use of various plugins and they are an inseparable part of a WordPress website just like the theme.Now imagine, a scenario where two integral parts are not compatible with each other. It will give rise to a host of issues, and the SEO capabilities won’t be utilised in its entire capacity. To overcome this issue, make sure that the theme you install is not only SEO friendly but also, compatible with the plugins you have or need. If the theme is truly SEO optimised, then it won’t override the SEO actions taken by the WordPress SEO plugin. Load Speed of the theme If your theme is too bulky with lots of elements, it will take time to load. A slower loading theme would, in turn, slow the load speed of the website with some or most of the elements not loading. In fact, according to a study, if you have a mobile website and it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, then 53% of the users are likely to abandon your site.Most SEO friendly WordPress themes take care that the theme isn’t too bulky. However, as a good practice, you too should check whether the theme is heavy or light-weight. Another important aspect that affects the load speed of the theme is the type of hosting you choose. Even if you have the most optimised themes and plugins, it will not help if your hosting service is slow and laggy. We recommend WordPress Hosting as the best option for hosting your WordPress powered websites. WordPress Hosting coupled with an SEO optimized WordPress theme is sure to improve the loading speed of your website. Includes Schema.org Markup Themes that make use of scheme.org markup tend to enhance the quality of the website from an SEO point of view. With this documentation, the search engine is better able to understand the website content by better classification in their listing.One of the key things it can help with is increasing the number of visitors on your website through search engine results. Here is one example where scheme.org markup makes it possible for the right rich snippets to pop in. All the user typed was ‘Justin Timberlake tour’ in their Google Search, and the Ticketmaster website displayed a list of events within the search results itself. Here are some examples where scheme.org is implemented. Conclusion: On a closing note, make sure that you choose the right theme for your WordPress website as it will help you present your website better. Hope this post helped you figure out the things to look for in an SEO friendly theme. As a quick reference, here are some of the best SEO friendly WordPress themes you can check out for your website. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments box below!

New gTLD Report – September 2018

With the end of the third quarter and the launch of our all new SSD VPS hosting, the month of September saw a 50% increase in the total counts of new gTLD registered as compared to the month of August. The domain extension .XYZ, continued to retain its top spot, and was not the only new gTLD driving our registration numbers. Registrations of .SITE climbed 335% in September, thus propelling it to the second spot on the list. .ICU, .TOP and .ONLINE also witnessed a considerable spike in  registrations and were able to make it to the top 5 list of trending new gTLDs. Let’s dive into the trending new gTLD list for the month of September : New gTLD Report – September 2018 Infogram     *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .XYZ: Not only did .XYZ retain its top position among the trending new gTLDs in the month of September but also witnessed a 70% spike in its numbers. Registrations for .XYZ saw a sharp rise in the global market that recorded 97% of the registrations of this new gTLD. .XYZ was being sold at a promo price of $0.99 in the month of September. .SITE: It was the massive jump of 335% in the registration numbers of this new gTLD that landed it on the second spot in the list. .SITE that was able to grab an 8% share of the total new gTLDs and secured the second spot on list for the first time. .SITE was running at a promo price of $4.99. .ICU: Despite a shift in its rank, registrations for .ICU were on the rise with a 5% increase compared to August. Being sold at a promo price of $0.99, .ICU has undoubtedly gained popularity in the China market. This new gTLD was able to grab a 6% share of the total new gTLDs registered in September. .TOP: The promo price of $1.59 sent the registrations for .TOP soaring to 112% in September and thus, it secured the fourth spot on the new gTLD trending list. Just like .XYZ, .TOP has been consistently performing well since the start of the year. Again it was the global market that helped boost the registrations of this new gTLD. .ONLINE: This Radix new gTLD was able to grab a 5% share of the total new gTLDs registered. The promo price of $3.99 spurred the registrations of this new gTLD. tIt was the global market  that recorded higher registrations of this new gTLD. Outside the top 5, while .SPACE was able to hold on to its sixth spot, .LIFE moved up a rank to the seventh spot with a 57% jump in its registration numbers. The new gTLD, .LIVE which was able to secure a spot in the top 5 list in August got bumped out in month of September, settling in at the 11th position. The new entrant for the month was .NEWS that secured the ninth spot with a 400% spike in its number. Don’t miss out on our exciting domain promos coming up during the month of October: Take your customer’s business global with a .GLOBAL domain extension at just $12.99 Resell the trending new gTLD .SITE at just $4.99. Get your customer’s business online with a .BIZ domain extension at just $4.99 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 Thin Provisioning in Ceph?

In today’s world, everyone is looking to have faster and more efficient storage systems to power their IT services. It is also observed that over time, we have come a long way from simple file systems to advanced and self-managing storage systems like Ceph storage architecture. In this post, we are going to discuss what Thin Provisioning is and what it does to make Ceph highly effective. If you want to learn more about what Ceph is and what its features are, you can check out this post here. Thin provisioning is one of those great features that makes storage systems efficient and manageable. Let’s try and understand it better. The primary benefits of Thin Provisioning are: The efficient utilization of storage space and Ease of scalability Before we go in-depth, let’s first try and understand what happens in a storage architecture without Thin Provisioning. In the traditional storage system without Thin Provisioning, consider you have 6 storage disks of 1 TB each available at your disposal. Now to allocate usage of these disks, the storage system creates virtual disks called LUNs. LUN stands for Local Unit Number which is essentially a logical representation of a disk array pointing to the actual physical storage space on the disk. These LUNs can then be allocated to the sites being hosted across the network. Let us see an example of what happens without Thin Provisioning. Let’s say a LUN of 4 TB is created, it will actually block 4TB out of the 6 TB regardless if the whole 4 TB is used or not. So, if you come to look at it, the first thing is there is a huge possibility of wasting storage space or underutilizing the storage space. Secondly, you can at any point of time only create LUNs of maximum 6 TB. This can drastically hamper the scalability of the whole storage system and you will need either a very smart storage management system or a really active storage administrator working full-time. Thin Provisioning changes the game a little bit. Similar to the traditional system, Thin Provisioning enabled storage systems also create LUNs which can be then allocated for usage. However, when a LUN is created actual physical storage units are not blocked, rather just pointed to. So technically even if you create a LUN of 4 TB out of the 6 TB disk space, the LUN, if nothing is actually written in it, will virtually occupy Nil amount of space. In simple words, actual storage space is only allocated when a write command is executed on the LUN. With this flexibility, even if you have 6 TB of actual storage space available, you can still create 4 LUNs of 4 TB each virtually which will account to 16 TB of storage space. The storage space will only be used when actual write operations happen and with good management. You can scale up the physical storage space when you understand the LUNs are being utilized at full capacity and make the system infinitely scalable. Couple of things to be careful about: One needs to be vigilant about LUN utilization. Suppose you create LUNs of higher capacity than what is physically available, and if the LUNs are used, you might face a crunch Thin Provisioning gives you the advantage of creating an unlimited number of LUNs to serve more users but can be hellish to efficiently manage them. At ResellerClub, our Cloud Hosting makes use of Ceph Storage architecture, within which, Thin Provisioning is one of the key features. This allows us to not only efficiently utilize storage space and minimize memory wastage but also give you a highly scalable Cloud Hosting environment to handle any kind of load that you can bring to the table. Hope this gives you a better understanding of what Thin Provisioning is, how it works and its uses. Please feel free to share your questions or feedback in the comments section below and we would be more than happy to address them. Stay tuned for more!

Image SEO 101: How To Optimize Your Website’s Visual Content

When it comes to websites, visual content plays a key role in enhancing a user’s experience and their impression of your brand/business. Websites use images for a wide variety of reasons. Studies show us that about 37% of people are visual learners. Images can tell a convincing story, which is the reason brands use imagery to convey their stories and idealism. E-commerce stores have also been growing at an exponential rate, and images obviously play a huge part in their website structure. Besides this, images pretty much form the core of any website or portfolio that is part of a creative field of work. Additionally, given the fact that there is no actual limit to the number of images that you can use in a single web page, web designers tend to be liberal with the number of images they use. In fact, images make up over 65% of the web content. The result of this can be seen across the internet today, with a lot of websites like this one using stunning visual imagery to guide the user’s journey through their site. That being said, how many of us actually pay attention to optimizing the images that we use on our website? And why is it important? Well, first, let me tell you why this is important. I’m sure most of us are aware of the fact that images take up most of a web page’s weight. Consequently, the heavier a web page is, the more time it takes to load. Additionally, statistics show us that the probability of a user leaving a web page increases by 32% if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Images, being one of the heaviest elements on a web page, take up more weight. This causes the webpage to slow down, which might cause an increase in the webpage’s bounce rate. In order to minimize this, we need to take a closer look at optimizing the images that we use. To help you with this, I’m going to be listing down the five best ways to optimize your website’s images to make your website’s performance and SEO better. Cropped Images Cropping the images that you use to optimal dimensions provides value beyond just visual appeal. Since images are made up of pixels, and each individual pixel carries certain image data, they add to the weight of the image. Simply put, the more pixels in your image, the heavier the image will be. By cropping your images, you are eliminating as many pixels as you can, which directly translates to a lighter image weight. Additionally, you also need to keep in mind that resizing your images also helps, apart from cropping them. What I mean by this is that you need to resize the original image, according to the display size on your web page. For instance, let’s say that you are using an image with dimensions of 1000*800 pixels. If your display size for that same image on your website is 600*400 pixels, then you need to resize the image accordingly, before uploading it. There are a ton of tools that you can use to do this, such as these. Image Compression Most of us are aware that compressing your images is a standard practice before uploading them on a website. However, you also need to pay attention to the type of compression that you use, as this could affect user experience when it comes to certain end uses such as photography. There are two main types of compression that are used by every image type out there. They are lossy and lossless compression. Lossy compression works by taking advantage of how the human eye perceives images. It does this by eliminating pixel data wherever surrounding pixels have the same or similar composition. The omittance of this data is often almost unnoticeable unless zoomed in to a certain extent. On the other hand, lossless compression merely compresses all the image data as it is, and as a result, has a slightly lower compression rate than lossy compression. However, since no pixel data is eliminated, the images are more crisp and detailed, even when zoomed in. Images with lossy compression are best suited for websites that primarily use textual content or simple infographics, without much emphasis on visual content. A good example for this would be government websites, blogs (that are not based on creatives), and websites that host research articles. On the other hand, images with lossless compression are usually used in visually heavy websites where you need images to remain clear, even when zoomed in. This includes websites such as e-commerce, travel, and social media sites. You can even combine these two compression techniques and get a sharper image with a higher compression rate. Image editing software like these can be used for such purposes. Appropriate File Type Once you have edited the images that you will be using for your website, you need to choose the most appropriate file type for the same. The file type that you choose will depend on the type of compression that you need, and the end use of that particular image. There are three image file types that are widely used, and they are JPEGs, PNGs, and GIFs. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is the format that is most commonly used when it comes to images. This is due to the fact that JPEG offers the highest colour depth, and supports both lossy and lossless compression. You can easily adjust the quality and the file size in this format, as you require. JPEGs are normally used for complex images with rich detail. PNG, which stands for Portable Network Graphics, is another image type that produces rich and sharp detail. However, this file type uses only lossless compression, due to which it has a considerably higher file size. Therefore, this format is more appropriate for logos and simple imagery. GIF, short for Graphics Interchange Format, has very low colour depth, being restricted to just 256 colours. It also uses only lossless compression, but this format can support animation. Hence, it is used for animated loop images. This is used mostly in websites where visual cues are essential to communicate with the viewer, such as websites for digital media businesses and ones that host tutorials online. Remove Excess Data In most cases, when a picture is taken, there is a bunch of data that gets saved along with the image. This is called metadata. Metadata is mostly just information such as geolocation, make and model of the camera, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc. All this information adds to the weight of the image, and most of the time is completely unnecessary. So it is advisable to remove all this excess metadata, wherever it is redundant. You can use several free online tools to do this. Raster Vs. Vector Just as choosing the right file type for your images is important, so is choosing the right type of graphics. When working with digital images, you will mostly deal with two basic types of image graphics – raster and vector. Your end users will determine which type of graphic you use for your images. Images that use raster graphics are formed by pixels, and hence exhibit a high level of detail regardless of the complexity of the image. However, this tends to leave you with images that have a higher file size, and are susceptible to blurring when zoomed in. On the other hand, vector images use paths such as points, lines, and polygons to portray an image. They are resolution independent, meaning these images don’t blur out when zoomed in on. They also have a smaller file size, since they don’t use pixels. Vector graphics are best suited for simple, geometric images such as logos and icons. These are the five main things that you need to do to ensure that your visual content is optimized for web usage. Apart from this, you should also make sure that you include all the right image tags and alt text, to make it easier for search engines to understand what the image contains. However, optimizing your images is just a small part of improving your website’s SEO. In order to make the most of it, you need to look at optimizing every aspect of your website, right from the layout to its local schema. It can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but here’s a downloadable checklist that you can use to do this in a systematic manner. Hope it helps!

How Page-Level Targeting Helps Improve Customer Conversion Rates

An important element when it comes to the success of a marketing campaign is the way it is targeted. Be it a website, an email newsletter or an Ad campaign, the success lies in the way you’ve targeted and then re-targeted your product. Targeting can be defined as a way to distinguish potential customers from the general visitors and directing your marketing efforts at them. There are several ways in which we can carry out targeting. In this post, we will be covering page-level targeting for business websites, so that they are able to generate more leads and, in turn, improve the customer conversion rates. What is Page-Level Targeting? Page-level targeting is a lead generation technique used to reach your target audience at the very moment when they are interacting with your website or a page on your website. Depending on the type of visitor (either new or returning) you can target them with relevant ads. This is usually done with the help of optins. OptinMonster defines optin as the act of someone granting permission to be added to an email list. Reasons to implement page-level targeting Customer conversion is an important aspect as it means the customer is taking the steps you would want them to. If your content doesn’t appeal to customers or they aren’t able to interact with your content and respond to it the way you would like them to, it would mean a drop in sales. Page-level targeting helps resolve this and helps you, the business owner, create a more personalised approach toward your customers. Let us have a look at the two important reasons to implement page-level targeting: Reduces Shopping Cart Abandonment: If you’re running an e-commerce website then you must be familiar with customers viewing a product, adding it to their cart and then abandoning it at the last moment instead of purchasing it. One way of reducing this is by implementing page-level targeting by strategically triggering a pop-up that has a discount coupon or a deal on an item they were looking to purchase. This encourages users to complete the purchase, maximising customer conversion and thus, reducing cart abandonment. Increased Subscriber Count Subscriber count is proportional to the kind and quality of content your website publishes. If your content is rich, detailed and tailored for your business, then your customers would want to read it as well. For example: If your website deals with electronic products but most of your content focuses on a variety of generic content with little or nothing to do with your business, it would mean that most customers do not stay long enough to read and explore. Instead, if you use page-level targeting showing an optin or ad relating to the latest technology, etc. it would interest the customer. And if in the middle of this a subscriber window pops-up chances of the customer clicking ‘subscribe’ are high. Page-level targeting thus helps in improving subscriber count as well. Page-level targeting eventually leads to an increase in the customer sign-ups, as well as, increases your subscriber count which can then indirectly contribute to your email marketing strategy improving the CTR and the open rate of your emails. How to go about it? We’ve seen the two key reasons to implement page-level targeting. However, like everything else, it looks easier on paper than in reality. Implementing page-level targeting isn’t tough by any means. Nevertheless, it needs meticulous planning and analyzing. Let us have a look at the two important things that you should keep in mind when trying to implement page-level targeting for your website. Understanding your target customer: One of the most important things when running a website is understanding your customer. This is irrespective of whether you consciously follow page-level targeting or not. If you don’t understand your customer and his/her needs, then you would never be able to cater to them, and this would not contribute to your business in the long run. The more customer oriented content you have, the more it would lead to them interacting with your website eventually, leading to conversion. Some of the ways of understanding your customers are by tracking their engagement with your website and products. Tools like Google Analytics can help you measure the time the customers spent on a particular page, the most popular landing pages, the pages that were abandoned sooner than they should have, etc. Another way of understanding your customers is by tracking them socially by means of social analytics, digital interactions, as well as, service and support. Placement of offers/adverts Often times the placement of an offer is far more critical than the offer itself. The page segment where the advert is placed is critical. For example, if you have a blog that publishes content regularly having the ‘Subscribe’ button down below, at the end of the web page might make the button go unseen by several visitors. The best place to put this is on the top corner where it is most likely visible to the reader. Also, if a user is new to your website, then a pop-up window for subscribing helps. This way, even if the customer hadn’t decided to subscribe, he/she might end up subscribing. However, if the quality of your content is not good, they might not subscribe no matter how perfect the placement is. Conclusion: Overall, page-level targeting is an extremely effective way to boost your customer conversions. All you need is patience to chalk out things, keeping the customer as your main focus and you’re sure to succeed. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments section below!

How to Skyrocket Your E-commerce Business Using these 5 WordPress Plugins

Your e-commerce business is eager to process more orders. However, the competition is tough, and every player is trying to stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of their niche audience. Of course, you’re looking for a way to gain some competitive advantage. The solution? Work smarter by leveraging the best e-commerce plugins for WordPress. Every WordPress user can effectively optimize his/her platform regardless of their designing or web development experience thanks to amazing customized features called WordPress plugins. These tools, that basically serve as critical resources for e-commerce websites, can change the face of your business. If you’re looking for better solutions for your e-store in 2018, you’ve landed on the right page. In today’s post, I’ll cover the best e-commerce plugins for WordPress that can provide solutions for e-commerce professionals who are looking for a quick and steady growth. However, before I dive into that, I want you to clearly acknowledge the benefits of having an e-commerce website that acts as an intermediary between your future clients and your e-commerce business. The Benefits of an E-commerce Website If you’re not exactly sure why an e-commerce website is necessary for the expansion of your business, here are the primary reasons that will probably trigger your interest: You’re making your clients’ ordering process more accessible. A domain, a shared or reseller hosting service, which costs a few dollars per month, or perhaps a WordPress Hosting that’ll make your life easier. Compared to a physical space, that’s a really fair price. When people buy something once, they’ll know where to return as long as the previous buying experience was satisfying. By developing a professional e-commerce website, you’ll improve your brand reputation and look like a real pro. Your prospects will trust you more so their barriers to purchase will disappear. You can scale your activities and turn into a global brand. Gaining additional traffic, unlike attracting physical customers to your store, is a more flexible and reliable process. Digital marketing isn’t as complicated as it looks – you have to establish the right target audience and market your products well by emphasizing the benefits and the solutions they can bring. An e-commerce website that runs on WordPress gives you full control over your business promotion and sales process. You can analyze your customers’ behavior, collect useful feedback, and use it to improve the experience of your future prospects. In time, your optimized brand will be able to scale its operations online and bring additional revenues. Let’s be honest – every big brand is now present on both Google and on the main social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, etc.). You must be present too, and you’ve got to give a great first impression to your unique online visitors. Now let’s figure out which e-commerce plugin suits your business needs the best and see how you can effectively leverage it to improve your long-term revenue performance. MemberPress MemberPress is a successful plugin that allows you to offer subscription-based services or digital products on your WordPress site. Simply put, if you’re selling something and demanding a recurring payment, MemberPress helps you do that by providing a simple-to-use interface that charges your visitors securely.Features: This plugin has been live since 2011 and offers great access rules, which allows you to personalize the permissions of more segments of users and easily create content restrictions based on more criteria The Basic plan includes over 20 features and add-on integrations, 1-year support and included updates, and allows you to sell unlimited subscriptions The customizable registration form is extremely user-friendly, helping you create high-converting squeeze pages Integrated automated emails – keep your list updated with your content & product updates MemberPress offers Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, French translations (included). However, if you want to translate and implement a different language, you can do so   LemonStand LemonStand is an e-commerce platform that allows users to develop their own highly-personalized e-commerce stores. Their mission is to help growing retail brands and subscription-based businesses create exceptional digital stores that truly sell.Haley Merlo, CEO at Assignment Geek Essay Services, describes this tool in an enthusiastic manner: “LemonStand is a plugin that allows you to design your user’s experience the way you want by giving you simple yet effective front-end development features and tools. It also includes built-in features that allow you to sell products and recurring subscriptions without having to use an external app. There’s nothing more that a newbie can hope for!” Features: LemonStand has been offering top-notch quality since 2016 when they effectively entered this niche market. The plugin is accessible even to the most newbie designers. LemonStand’s easy-to-use features allow you to shape your brand’s design, copy, and unique value proposition Customizable checkouts and several free open source themes available to premium members LemonStand offers 95+ payment gateways like Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, Paypal, etc. It comes with an awesome customer support that does everything to help you in a matter of minutes. Also, they have a strong social community that’s eager to help If you’re new to e-commerce, LemonStand should be a great e-commerce plugin for you! Easy Digital Downloads This is a useful plugin that encourages you to “say hello” to the simplest method of selling and distributing digital products with WordPress.If your business deals only with online products, Easy Digital Downloads can offer you all the features you could possibly use to sell easily and effectively. Features: This plugin has been live since early 2014. It comes with a full shopping cart, allowing your prospects to buy multiple products at once. Allows you to easily create discount codes and promotions for your customers Restricted to authorized access to subscribers/customers only, with the option of establishing download limits and link expirations It features a customer account dashboard page – so only your customers are able to access content/products Analysis features – everything you need to know about the selling performance of your products Detailed bookkeeping – you get regular reports of the most important data in the shape of easy-to-read reports WooCommerce WooCommerce is yet another effective all-in-one solution that many e-commerce store owners leverage. Interestingly, WooCommerce has been acquired by the owners behind WordPress, so the two platforms blend extremely well.It’s one of the most recommended e-commerce solutions for WordPress site owners because the features and options in it are exceeding everyone’s expectations. Perceive WooCommerce like the most comprehensive resource that you’ll want to access in order to personalize your web store. Features: WooCommerce has been up and running since early 2012. It provides a huge number of extensions and themes that WooCommerce users can get access to You can sell both digital and physical products with much ease, without handling the technicalities of e-commerce selling You can sell other people’s products through your own e-commerce site It offers a complete inventory management Offers all the popular payment gateways and options It provides a comprehensive documentation and a reliable customer support service These were just some of the main features, but to see their entire value proposition, you have to become a member. The value proposition of this e-commerce plugin is huge, and it’s truly worth giving a shot. MarketpressMarketpress is one of the oldest yet most reliable WordPress plugins that serves the needs of e-commerce businesses. Using this tool, you can sell everything from physical goods to online products of all sizes and shapes. You can personalize your users’ experience by delivering product variations and personalized downloads, all from a simple and efficient digital marketplace.A big benefit of Marketpress is the fact that besides the fact that it offers great applicability, it is also free. Features: Marketpress has been launched in 2014. It features 15 payment gateways and 120 currencies. You can sell digital goods, as well as, customize single-page checkouts. It comes with a built-in wizard. Also, you don’t have to worry about VAT and Tax because they come ready. You can implement social media share buttons, coupons and features pricing. Also. you can test infinite product variations.If you can’t afford a premium e-commerce plugin, Marketpress is surely the best solution you can aim to automate and improve your e-commerce business activities. Takeaways The performance of your e-commerce business is always influenced by your ability to manage your resources. As you know, WordPress plugins serve as great helpers for anyone who’s eager to indulge in their solutions. Check out the before mentioned plugins as they are the best e-commerce plugins for WordPress and select one or two to test. Once you find a tool that completes or automates your daily work schedule, you’ll be thankful and eager to seek new ones. Good luck!  

Strategic Marketing Tactics For Saas Companies

Introduction SaaS (Software as a Service) is a method of distributing software where the software applications are being centrally hosted by a service provider. It is an incredibly difficult and tricky service to market as it deals with something which is ever-changing but at the same time intangible. SaaS marketing needs to be engaging, as well as, data-driven, and customer-focused. According to statistics, in 2008, the overall SaaS market was worth $5.5 billion. Now, it is worth $116.4 billion and is expected to reach $164.29 billion by 2022. And with 4 billion people using the Internet as of 2018, the potential customer base is huge and there’s only more success to look ahead to. (Reference) Three key metrics required to create a successful demand generation model Marketing metrics are the backbone of every successful SaaS marketing strategy as they not only tell you how effective your marketing strategies are but they also show potential areas of opportunity. The three most important metrics for SaaS companies are: Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Customer Acquisition Cost shows how much it would cost you to convince people to purchase your product. This metric gives a clear idea of the investment outcomes and can be easily calculated by dividing the total number spent on all the marketing expenses in order to gain more customers by the actual number of customers acquired in that time period. Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV): If you have managed to retain your customers then it means, they are loyal to you. The lifetime value of a customer is a metric that can help firms to focus on the long-term value they derive from their customers. This metric can serve as a good estimate on how much you can actually spend to acquire new customers. Lifetime Value of a Customer is high if you focus on engaging your customers. Return On Investment (ROI): ROI is elemental and is best used in combination with metrics like LTV and CAC. It is the benefit of your investments (the amount of return on your investments), relative to the cost of the investment. With the help of this performance measure, you can analyze the efficiency and the profitability of your investment. This helps you decide whether you are on the path of achieving your goals or not. SaaS marketing strategies The market is vast but there is still the pressure for growing the customer base before all the funding runs dry. You need proper, efficient, and proven marketing strategies if you want your software to push through and succeed in the huge market with ever-increasing competition and pressure. Exceptional customer service, proper targeting, giving out freebies, developing and reinforcing user trust, leveraging paid advertisement, recognizing your ideal customer base, building your authority and building your team on an international level are examples of the SaaS marketing strategies which are most effective once you personalize them according to your own needs. Content marketing Those SaaS company websites who are leveraging the power of content marketing to increase brand awareness and online presence see a significant increase in their conversion rates as content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing while costing about sixty per cent less at the same time. Content marketing drives SaaS sales Content marketing drives traffic and converts leads into customers by combining various tactics such as blogging, landing pages, promotional marketing activities like social media and email marketing, lead nurturing, and conversion offers like freebies, webinars, e-books, etc. Content marketing reduces your SaaS churn rate Churn rate is the annual percentage rate at which customers who have made an initial purchase stop subscribing to a service. It is the opposite of retention and you need to decrease it as much as you can by investing in the content generation to show your customers value. Having the right distribution channels in place and not losing sight of email marketing is extremely important. Being mobile-optimized is also very important as not having mobile-optimized content may be the biggest mistake you make. Product Trials It basically means “test-driving” your product and making a sample available via your website. Product trials are an increasingly important source of lead generation for the SaaS industry. It is a cost-effective way of demonstrating product value and increasing leads.As more and more people get to enjoy the smartly tailored product, they understand it better and visualize the profitability of the product. This makes it easier for them to purchase it and utilize the more customized features of the product for their project. Referral marketing One of the most effective types of leads, referral marketing is typically low-cost and closes relatively quickly. It is the method of promoting services through referrals which are usually the words of mouth. The New York Times states that 65% of all the new businesses come via referrals (Reference). This suggests that on an average around 2/3rd of consumers buy a product after getting a recommendation for it. Where do they get the recommendation from? Here comes the role of the employees and marketing personnel. They help the business sell product to the customers who then further recommend it to their friends and relatives. As the word of honour for the product spreads around, the sale of the product increases. This is known as referral marketing. Reward incentives for referrals You can increase your customer base and conversions simply by asking existing customers to refer you in their social circles to other potential customers. In turn, reward these customers with freebies. Google AdWords Millions of people click on search engine ads per day. Ads are becoming more prominent in Google search results so you should keep investing in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) so as to not miss out on a portion of potential leads. Pay-per-click not only delivers targeted traffic, it is also highly scalable and predictable in terms of cost and results. Through the pay-per-click internet marketing, you can increase the traffic to your official product website. In this, as an advertiser, you get the opportunity to advertise your product on different eCommerce websites. And then, with every single click on the ad, you get to enjoy the increasing number of traffic at a very reasonable and economical price. Target Review websites Business software consumers turn to review websites to read and compare reviews before making a purchase. Online reviews by customers are only growing in influence. Send all relevant information to the editorial team and then encourage people to write reviews and give ratings. For example, if you have a Magento based eCommerce website you may use customer reviews extension to collect reviews and ratings. Popular SaaS review platforms Capterra G2Crowd GetApp Trust Radius Upsell and cross-sell: Image source: https://www.smartrmail.com/ Upselling means encouraging your customers to invest in a comparable higher-end product than the one they’re considering while cross-selling means inviting your customers to buy complementary or related items. The overall point of this tactic is to gradually but surely attract each prospective customer towards the highest package price appropriate to what they’re looking for. Your SaaS product marketing plan should outline how to increase MRR the smart way MRR is the Monthly Recurring Revenue. Increasing MRR should be your ultimate goal so you’re most likely looking for effective marketing tactics to increase your MRR. Some things you can do for your clients are: Acquire new users: New users can be acquired by leveraging channels like social media blogs, industry associations, Google AdWords, forums, etc. Be present at the right events, as well as, get customers through online reviews and referrals. Add new services: Think of products which can create additional revenue like up-sells or add-ons to your core product. Refine and improve your differentiation: Be unique in your selling proposition and be crystal clear about what sets you apart from your key competitors. Don’t forget customer retention in your SaaS marketing plan Even small differences in customer retention rate can create an impact on the money in your bank. It tells you what percentage of customers and revenue you keep getting each month and is also a good benchmark to keep track of how many customers you lose. Don’t forget customer retention, if you want to use your current rate as a benchmark and add your goal about where you want to be a year into the future. Facebook Retargeting Facebook retargeting helps you re-engage those people who have shown interest in your products and compel them to convert. You can retarget them by offering free trials and other freebies, specific product ads, limited time discount offers, and endless other offers to give them a push to sign up and become a customer. There are events where just seven days of Facebook retargeting process has helped some companies achieve an ROI of 1,284%. Taking your SaaS marketing to the next level SaaS marketing is tricky for sure but you can optimize your long-term success rate by laying some foundations in place such as: Enhancing your website and using it as a lead generation tool Focusing on business benefits instead of technology Nurturing your prospects by adding value to their every stage when they’re making decisions Marketing regularly to existing customers and increasing customer retention rates Opting for marketing automation once you have an active strategy Conclusion Listed here are the strategic marketing tactics which will help you generate leads as well as retain your customers. Increasing the number of leads and the rate of customer retention will doubtlessly make your SaaS business stronger.  

Black Hat SEO: And Reasons To Avoid It

Search Engine Optimization commonly referred to as SEO is one of the driving forces of traffic on your website that, in turn, helps your website grow. However, just like everything else in life, there is a code of ethics to be followed. Deviating from them and resorting to unethical means can turn a potentially good thing bad and the same holds true with SEO. In this post, we will be covering what is unethical SEO, otherwise known as ‘Black Hat SEO’ the common practices and, ways to avoid it. According to Wikipedia, “Black Hat SEO follows those techniques of which search engines do not approve.” One of the major reasons website owners resort to black hat SEO is so that their website ranks higher in the search engine results. And instead of the website improving its rankings, it ends up receiving a penalty from the search engines affecting rankings for a much longer-term. Let us now look at 5 techniques that fall under Black Hat SEO and could adversely affect your website should you resort to them: Keyword Stuffing: Keyword Stuffing in simple words means adding too many keywords to your article, website post or text. Some of these keywords might be relevant, however, a majority of them are plain clutter. Also, the repetitive use of keywords makes the article monotonous and irrelevant. An example of keyword stuffing. Suppose the keyword is ‘WordPress web hosting’ and, this is the paragraph it is used in; “WordPress web hosting is the best web hosting for your WordPress website. With WordPress web hosting your WordPress website performs well. Also, 99.9% uptime is guaranteed with WordPress web hosting. WordPress web hosting is the best hosting.”This repetitive usage of the keywords can frustrate the reader as it doesn’t add any value to the text written and can simply be cut down. Although it is true adding keywords to your post or metadata increases the chances of improving your search engine rankings if you practice keyword stuffing your rankings will be affected adversely, as stated above. Paid Links Just like internal linking on your website helps search engines rank you better, backlinks also help in the same way. They are one of the easiest ways to know whether your content is doing well on the search engine or not. However, unethical means such as buying or purchasing links can lead to a hefty penalty from search engines. Google, for instance, has strict rules on this and has banned this practice. As per their link scheme guidelines, “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”Without resorting to Black Hat SEO practices, you can boost your SEO rankings. Here are some tips you can incorporate. Spam Comments on Blog Spam comments on blogs are those comments that contain a backlink to the commenters website or a product page. At times, if you’re new to blogging you may think what is the harm if the comment talks about the article or is an appreciation post. In that case, the comments can still be considered and might be approved instead of marking them as spam. However, most spam comments have nothing to do with the article and are just trying to get a backlink. Though this practice has reduced to a considerable extent with Google’s algorithm update aimed to reduce Black Hat SEO practices, as a blog commenter, it is best if you don’t include links in the comments but follow ethical practices of backlinking. Misusing Structured Data Structured data is a type of data that makes your content easily searchable on search engines. It is also known as rich snippets. Structured data helps you gain an edge over your competitors by providing credibility. However, there are times when websites resort to unfair means of gaining popularity by modifying the content of the structured data in such a manner that it passes of as authentic. This is an example of abused structured data by CognitiveSEO. If you don’t know how to add structured data, it is best to follow the guidelines provided by Google as it enables your content to be eligible for incorporation in Google search results. Not resorting to Black Hat SEO may seem like tedious and a painstaking process when it comes to being discovered by search engines. However, it is beneficial in the long run. Misleading Redirects We covered Redirection in detail in one of our earlier posts. In simple words, it means when an individual clicks on a link, they are taken to a different URL instead of the one they intended to visit. Usually, redirects are employed when users have changed their URL or have purchased a new domain name. When it comes to Black Hat SEO, the intent of redirection is malicious and, they purposely redirect users to one page and the search engine crawlers to another page. Misleading redirects have only one intention which is to increase their search engine rank which otherwise wouldn’t have grown. The website may or may not have relevant content. However, this is a moot point as unethical means can jeopardize the ranking and indexing of the web pages in the future as it violates search engine guidelines. Why and How to avoid Black Hat SEO Like all things, the easiest route seems far more tempting. However, the recupressions are not always favourable. Black Hat SEO is one of those tempting routes to increase rankings of your website. As you have read above, one of the most important reasons Black Hat SEO should be avoided is because it is unethical and can lead to complications for your website as it resorts to violating several search engine guidelines leading to a penalty. If your webpage earns a penalty then recovering the lost rankings is a farfetched dream as you will not only lose your ranking but even your traffic is bound to reduce drastically. If you run an e-commerce website, resorting to Black Hat SEO tactics can create trust issues with your customer base once the search engine penalizes you, which it would sooner or later. Hence, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Following White Hat SEO practices, on the other hand, results in you respecting the search engine guidelines and also, improving your rankings. Although this might seem like a slow process and definitely requires effort and patience, it is totally worth it. We always recommend that you follow the best practice for SEO and to help you out, here are some ways you can optimize your content for Google.

.ME: Flaunt your identity online!

From just a ccTLD to being accepted as a generic domain extension representing family and individuality, .ME has become widely used. Today, the domain name has a large number of registrations. The domain extension is a perfect match for bloggers, freelancers, personal websites and more. Why .ME domains? Adds a personal touch: A yourname.me feels personal and at the same time, gives you full ownership. It carves out your space on the internet! Exclusively yours: A .ME domain name creates an exclusive space for you and your family. You can book your family name on a .me domain & flaunt your roots! Memorable & short: A domain name on the .ME domain extension is guaranteed to be easily recalled & remembered. The ResellerClub Advantage With ResellerClub, you can get the .ME domain at a special price of $1.99 till 30th September, 2018. Login now to resell this domain extension to your customers! Make your profits today!

How OTT Content Can Grow Your Brand

Ever since high-speed Internet connections became commonplace in many homes across the globe, on-demand video content has experienced an explosion in popularity in the best possible way. According to a number of sources, the industry has generated more than $15.5 billion in revenue since January 1 2018, alone. 173.3 million people actively engage with this type of on-demand video content on a daily basis, a number that is growing year-over-year at an incredible rate.   This, in essence, is why OTT (Over The Top) content is so popular. The term describes content that is delivered via an Internet connection as opposed to something like a cable television provider, but the implications are far deeper than that. Short and long-form narrative content, educational videos, how-to videos, product demonstrations, live marketing events – all of this and more, is the type of OTT content that can grow your brand in critical ways that are certainly worth exploring. The True Power of OTT Content If 2018 has taught us anything up to this point, it’s that online video is here to stay. IGTV or “Instagram Television” is perhaps the best example of this. Earlier this year, Instagram launched its own OTT app to enable its users to watch long-form, vertical videos from all of their favorite creators. Not only is it available both in a standalone app and from within the Instagram platform, it’s also incredibly simple to use. IGTV content literally starts playing as soon as the app is accessed. It offers personalized recommendations, subscriptions and more – all in a way that is easy to engage with and even easier for people to enjoy. Instagram was already an online community of over a billion people across the globe, but even a brand as big as that one can still see the forest for the trees. Audience tastes are changing and content distribution needs to change with them, which is ultimately what OTT content is all about. So How Can OTT Content Transform Your Business? It’s long been written that the key ingredients to any successful online marketing campaign are as follows: You need to create timely, relevant and specific content for your audience. You need to create as much of it as you possibly can. You need to deliver that content to your audience in a way that is easy to access, even easier to engage with and in a format that compels them to keep coming back for more. Therein lies the power of OTT contents: it can help you accomplish all of these, and more, at the same time. By creating something like an explainer video for your products or services, you can help new customers get to know your products, which in turns, allows them to get the most value out of them! But because your videos live in perpetuity on your website and your YouTube channel, they’re always available for future customers to consume! At that point, your content is the best type of salesperson you can have, the one that never has to eat, sleep or take a vacation and who is always making new and meaningful connections with your audience!   But the true power of OTT content comes by way of its natural flexibility. Regardless of how the worlds of video and marketing, in general, continue to change, you’re in a better position than ever to naturally change with it. Depending on the needs of your audience you can open up content in a rental capacity, on a subscription basis, via a one-time purchase model or all of the above – all the while preserving this secondary income stream at the same time. You can even launch your own OTT branded apps using services like Uscreen, and deliver your content directly to your audience!   All of this goes a long way towards future-proofing your business so that you can continue to thrive, regardless of how the industry evolves over time! At this point, it should be clear that the future of branding rests within the larger realm of OTT content. There’s nothing we can do to change this – it’s a trend that shows absolutely no signs of reversing, or even slowing down, anytime soon. Therefore, the only thing that we can do is be prepared for it – the massive shift that is far, far closer to reality than a lot of people seem to think it is. Therefore, if you truly want to guarantee that your brand thrives within the ever-changing landscape of online marketing – and make no mistake, you should – you need to start thinking of new and innovative ways that you can make this type of on-demand content a core part of the experience you offer your customers. Not next year, not next week, not tomorrow. Today. Because truth be told, OTT content may very well be the most powerful weapon you have when it comes to future-proofing your business in all the ways that you need when you need them the most.

New gTLD Report – August 2018

With .XYZ  back at the top spot to .ICU retaining its second spot, the month of August saw a 24% spike in overall registration numbers. Just like .TOP, .ONLINE also made it to the list of top 5 trending new gTLDs witnessing a 56% increase in its sales numbers. .LIVE continued to be the surprise element during the month of August. Let’s dive in further to know why! Before that, here’s a peek into the trending domain extensions for the month of August: New gTLD Report – August 2018 Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .XYZ: It was the global market that sent .XYZ to the top of our trending new gTLDs list for August.  Due to a 507% increase in its sale numbers, .XYZ saw a wild shift in its rank as compared to July. This new gTLD was able to grab a 53% share of the new gTLDs registered in August and was running at a promo price of $0.99 .ICU: Continuing its second spot streak, ICU was able to grab a 8% share of the new gTLDs registered in the month of August. There is no doubt that this new gTLD is gaining popularity in the China market .ICU was being sold at a promo price of $0.99. .ONLINE: With significant improvements in its registration numbers month on month, it was no surprise that the sales for .ONLINE rose to 56% in August. Not only did it hold on to its spot in the top 5 but also climbed up a rank. .ONLINE was being sold at a discounted price of $3.99. .LIVE: Registrations for the new gTLD .LIVE increased by 66% in the month of August. The promo price of $1.99 was able to put this new gTLD on the top 5 list for the first time. .LIVE was able to grab a 4% share of the new gTLDs registered in August. .TOP: Despite an increase in the promo price of this new gTLD to $1.59,  .TOP has been consistently performing well. The month of August did witness a dip in the registration numbers of this new gTLD compared to July, thus bringing it down a few spots. .SPACE  climbed up to the sixth spot with a 157% increase in its registrations as compared to the month of July. Another Radix gTLD, that witnessed a spike in its sales numbers was .SITE. Along with .TECH and .OOO making it to the top 15 list, .TODAY was a new entrant that made it on the list with a 117% jump in its registrations. Registrations for .FUN which had secured the fifth spot in July saw a decrease in its numbers that got it down in the list. In case you haven’t noticed there has also been a tie in the registration numbers in August between.GLOBAL and .OOO. Check out our exciting domain promos coming up during the month of September: Every startup needs a .CO website. Get one for your entrepreneurs at just $8.99. Get your customers local business online with a .ONLINE domain extension at just $3.99. Resell the trend setting new gTLD .XYZ at just $0.99. Now, that you know what’s trending and what’s not, check out all our domain promos here and get the right one for your customers. 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!

Domain names and SEO: Everything you need to know!

The two most frequently asked questions that business owners ask in the context of SEO when buying a domain name are: 1.      Do domain names affect SEO? 2.      How do new domains help with search rankings? In this post, we’ll solve the mystery sans the complicated jargon. A new website is like a blank slate in the eyes of Google and other search engines. This website is treated the same way as any other new site. According to Google, two newly registered domain names are given equal weight when it comes to search rankings, provided everything else is identical. For example, www.laptops123-new.com will be considered equal to www.laptop.store as long as both have relevant content, authentic info and credible backlinks. So, the question still stands… Do domain names affect SEO? In a way, yes, they do. A study on the impact of new domains on SEO suggests that choosing a keyword-rich domain name help websites get on-topic backlinks on those keywords. This is good news for those who want to be discovered organically. For example, if www.kindle.store gets backlinks on the anchor text ‘kindle store’, then overtime it helps the website rank for the keywords ‘kindle store’. However, it is important to note that new domain extensions alone don’t affect SEO. Search engines consider multiple ranking factors to place one website over another in the search results. Moreover, these factors are only going to increase with the incursion of Artificial Intelligence and Voice Search affecting algorithms and search. How do new domains help with search rankings? New domain extensions such as .tech, .store, .press, .fun, .space, .website, etc help businesses get keyword-rich domain names that are relevant to the business and the industry they belong to. For instance, domains such as www.emirates.store or www.freedom.press make it easier for the users to guess what the website might have to offer, thus making the domains more memorable and trustworthy.  This further helps them get clicks when they start showing up in organic search results. And as they say, the more web traffic you get, the more web traffic you get. Let’s take a deeper look at how new domains can actually help a website rank: 1. On-Topic Backlinks A study from Stone Temple indicates that backlinks from reputed, credible websites help in improving SEO rankings. One of the aspects of backlinks that further helps with the rankings is anchor text (the blue, underlined, clickable text in a hyperlink). The more relevant the anchor text is to the link it is supporting, the better it is for the SEO. For example, if the anchor text ‘Halloween store’ redirects to www.halloween.store, it sends a positive signal to the search engines about the authenticity of the website. 2. User perception A web page, even the ones that look like www.smartphone-49.html can rank well in organic search results if the content on the website and other factors affecting SEO are met. However, if www.smartphone-49.html showed up in your search results, would you click on it? Chances are you won’t because it may come across as spammy. On the other hand, a domain name such as www.smartphone.store will seem more credible and will encourage users to click on it. Keyword rich domain names help in building a positive brand connection with the user. Search engines care about people. So, if people like a website, search engines will like it too. 3. Voice search We’re slowly moving into the era of voice search, which means it is imperative that domain names are easily understood by virtual search assistants such as Alexa and Siri. New domain extensions give businesses the benefit of having domain names that are short and easy to understand by these artificial assistants. For instance, if you ask Siri (or Alexa) to visit www.new-bagz.com, they may miss it. But if you ask them to go to www.newbags.store chances of landing on the right website are high. The more searchable the domain name, the easier it will be for customers to find it.  This means that whatever domain name businesses choose, they don’t need to compromise on it by adding extra letters, numerics, hyphens or replacing ss with zz. New domain extensions make this simpler because, unlike legacy domain extensions, a large inventory of brandable, keyword rich domain names on new extensions are easily available. Conclusion Building and maintaining SEO wealth for a website is a slow process however new domain extensions can make that process easier. To know more about how new domains help in building a website’s SEO, check out this report: https://newdomains.online/seo/

What is Managed WordPress Hosting?

WordPress occupies the largest market share in terms of personal blogging and CMS platforms. This is largely because WordPress is free and easy to setup, very user-friendly and has a plethora of plugins and themes that can help you design and develop a website just the way you want it. The rise in the user-base has led to hosting companies offering WordPress Hosting. The whole objective of this Hosting is to have a hosting environment that is highly compatible with WordPress websites and its development. When we talk about Managed WordPress Hosting, it is more so to provide maximum support for managing and maintaining WordPress for your website. To understand what is Managed WordPress Hosting, let us first define it: Definition of Managed WordPress Hosting It is a web hosting type which is tailored for WP websites and provides support to take-up WordPress specific management and maintenance tasks. Thus, the business owner or the webmaster need not spend time and resources in managing and maintaining WordPress as the hosting company takes care of it. What are the Features of Managed WP Hosting? WordPress Instance Maintenance: As a default feature of WordPress Hosting, you get WordPress pre-installed on the hosting server. This takes away the need for developers to download and install WordPress on the hosting server. This saves a lot of time and effort. Especially for WordPress developers, when you have to constantly develop new WP-based websites, having WordPress Hosting makes things easier and faster. Moreover, it also ensures automatic updates so that you do not miss out on an update and you always have the latest version is running on the site. Apart from this, the Managed WordPress Hosting team also takes up other WP optimization and maintenance tasks such as optimization of WP-Database. This database contains all the important aspects of the site such as pages, posts, form entries, comments etc. As the website keeps getting bigger, more and more data is added to the WP Database. Because of this, over time, the WP Database becomes slow and sluggish. As the WP-Database becomes sluggish, every data retrieval request from the database becomes slower, thus slowing down the website as a whole. The optimization service offered as part of the managed services help prevent this. Managing Plugins and Themes: Another important feature that Managed WordPress Hosting has to offer is the management of plugins and themes. WP website development depends heavily on the use of various plugins and themes. More often than not, these plugins require maintenance such as updating them regularly, cleaning up the cache so that their performance is not diminished, etc. Moreover, certain Hosting providers also keep a tab on the usage of various plugins. If certain plugins are not being used for a long duration, then they also initiate clean-up of such plugins to save space and keep the WordPress instance lean. Additionally, this Hosting by default also comes with certain pre-installed plugins to make the job easier. Many of the Managed WordPress Hosting providers also offer support in terms of Plugin and Theme suggestion and recommendations. Suppose you want to integrate certain functionality in your website, then the Hosting team will do their own research and provide alternatives as to what can be used. System and Data Backups: Managed WordPress Hosting also includes support to maintain backups of your website. As you know, having backups to the website is essential for disaster recovery processes. However, taking backups requires a lot of time and resources. You also need to make available enough storage space. But in Managed WP Hosting, this task is taken up by the managing team. They not only take care of periodic backups of your website or app but also help in the restoration process in case of disasters. This, I think is a very important feature. When your website is down and you are in the disaster recovery process and when you and your team are scrambling across the workspace to get things in order, having some support from the hosting team who take care of the restore points, migration, and activation of your website in such scenarios is a huge plus. Better Security and Protection: Security is perhaps one of the most important aspects to be considered in the online world. Setting up great security not only depends on the hosting provider, but also on the website owner and the webmaster. This includes setting up a strong firewall, installing security software and constant monitoring of the website to detect security threats. This again is a time consuming and an expensive task. However, with Managed WordPress Hosting, this is again simplified where the managing team does all the heavy lifting. The team ensures that they have all security and anti-malware software up and running, they initiate periodic website scans for threats and malware, they analyze threats detected and share reports on a regular basis with the website owners to take necessary action. Dedicated Support: Everyone who has experience working with the service industry understands how important great customer support is. The primary advantage of Managed WordPress Hosting is that you get a dedicated team to help you with tech and general support. This means lesser wait time, more urgency and a better system understanding of your website as they work more closely with it. Things usually work a lot smoother if you build a rapport with your hosting team and they start working as an extension of your own team. As you can see from the above points, Managed WordPress hosting provides us a lot of support from the hosting provider’s team to do most of the heavy lifting. Although Managed WP Hosting comes at a higher price than basic WordPress Hosting, it brings with it a lot more peace of mind. The fact that you and your team can focus on the business and not spend time on WordPress maintenance, can actually go a long way. Hope this helps you get a better understanding of what is Managed WordPress Hosting and if you have any other questions or queries regarding this, please feel free to write about them in the comments section below. We would be more than happy to get back to you on them. Also, while you are at it, you can visit the ResellerClub website to know more about our WP Hosting plans and packages.

What is Hybrid Cloud? What are the benefits of Hybrid Cloud?

Cloud Computing is the present of technological advancement and a glimpse into what the future will be. It has integrated itself firmly with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) etc. and has changed the way users store, access and exchange data across the globe. Cloud, in a nutshell, solves several issues by making collaboration simpler over the internet. Not only that, it eliminates the need for expensive external hardware and storage devices. There are primarily three types of cloud viz. Public cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud, as well as, three types of cloud models viz. SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. In this article, I’ll walk you through what Hybrid cloud is, its benefits and when should you as a business decide to make the switch. Let us begin by understanding the building blocks of Hybrid, Public and Private Cloud. Public Cloud: Public Cloud, is an open cloud environment whose server space is accessed by everyone sharing the server. It is the most common form of cloud and is available through third-party service providers. Here the hardware, software and any other infrastructure required is handled by the cloud provider. Public cloud is usually accessed via a web browser.Examples of public cloud are Infrastructure-as-a-Service environments like Amazon Web Services (AWS)and Microsoft Azure,. Platform-as-a-Service environments like AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Software-as-a-Service like Microsoft Office 365. Benefits of Public Cloud: Public cloud costs the lowest as compared to the other cloud services It requires no maintenance from the user end, is reliable and easily scalable Private Cloud: In Private Cloud, the cloud is restricted to one particular group of people/organization. Here the cloud architecture is dedicated and can be physically present at your organization’s data centre. Otherwise, it can even be hosted on a third-party service provider. However, in a private cloud, the services can only be accessed within the company’s network.Example of a private cloud is, cloud architecture used by SMBs and various government and financial agencies. Benefits of Private Cloud: Compared to a public cloud, private cloud is far more secure as only a dedicated set of people have access to its services It is highly customizable and can be scaled to fit the company’s demands Having seen what public and private cloud mean, let us now have a look at what is Hybrid Cloud. Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud as the name suggests, is a combination of both public and private cloud, providing ‘the best of both worlds’. With a hybrid cloud, business owners have the flexibility of shifting to a partial cloud base while retaining some applications on-site. Hybrid cloud acts as a great incentive to move users to adopt the cloud.Being a distributed system, hybrid cloud organizations can easily migrate their data and applications, as well as, share applications amongst each other. Source: KPMG International, 2016 Benefits of Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private and has the benefits of both. Here we see the top 3 hybrid cloud benefits. Flexibility: Hybrid cloud allows users to transfer resources from an on-premise private cloud to public cloud and vice-versa. This way you can avail additional resources with ease (on-demand infrastructure). Agile and Secure: Application and service deployment is swift. Additionally, it provides end-to-end security for the data stored. Moreover, if your business deals with a huge amount of data then, hybrid cloud is perfect to analyze this data and easily manage the workload between the environments to match the changing business needs. Cost effective: Hybrid cloud is highly cost-effective because of its ability to quickly organize, use and scale data and applications as and when needed. This way you need to only pay for the extra resources when you need them. Should you make the switch? Having seen what a hybrid cloud is and the advantages it has for your business, the pressing question is, should you switch to hybrid and secondly when to switch to non-hybrid models? Chances are you’re an old-school business and have always used the traditional way of computing. Asking you to switch from the traditional model to cloud can be a bit intimidating as you may be wary of trusting a third-party service provider with your data. In that case, a hybrid cloud comes as the rescuer, blending on-premise, private cloud and public cloud services. The decision of switching to either a public, private or a hybrid cloud totally depends on your business model, as well as, the hardware and software capabilities of your business. If you have sufficient on-premise infrastructure, then you can opt for a private cloud or a hybrid cloud. Also, if you wish to move your business completely over the cloud and not worry about managing the infrastructure, then a public cloud is the one you should switch to. Also, since you’re reading about the cloud and the various models, you can even visit our website to know more about our Cloud Hosting. It helps businesses by providing infrastructure and easy maintenance, as well as, management of data, enabling you to concentrate on building your business. Hope this article helped you understand what is Hybrid Cloud and when to switch to it. If you have any suggestions or queries, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below!

What is Erasure Coding?

Erasure Coding (EC), is a method of data storage which helps improve data redundancy and reliability. In an age where data integrity and reliability of storage structures is so important, techniques such as Erasure coding go a long way to building robustness into Storage Architectures. In Erasure coding, the data stored across the disk is fragmented into bits and each of these fragments is then encoded for a high level of protection and then stored in different disks for high data reliability. If you are someone who is looking to learn what is Erasure coding, then this post will take you through it in great detail. We are going to talk about aspects such as the origins of erasure code, the objective of erasure coding, how erasure coding works and the benefits erasure coding brings to the table. Let’s get started and get Erasure coding explained. Origins of Erasure Code Erasure coding has a rich 40+ years of heritage and was introduced in communications systems to make them a lot more fault tolerant. Since the beginning of time, there have been many storage types in a wide range of shapes and sizes. However, there was one thing that was common across all of these storage types and devices, which was that they all could fail. Failure can happen because of multiple reasons including physical failure, natural calamities, power outages, etc. This can lead to a lot of hassle and waste of time and energy. Given this, engineers started thinking of ways to make the storage devices and data within them redundant. The very first version of erasure coding was introduced in a very popular storage system reliability technique called as RAID-1. What happens here is basically every Byte of data which is stored on a drive is replicated on to another drive. Because of this if the main storage drive fails, the data is safe on the secondary drive and can be plugged in to resume operations. But this comes with a huge drawback which is also fairly obvious. Replicating all this data twice takes up a lot of storage space and a lot of resources are just spent on backup, which is not very efficient. Overtime erasure coding has become a lot more advanced but it is important to understand the origins to have a very clear understanding of it. Let us move on. Objectives of Erasure Coding The basic objective of erasure code is, of course, to increase the data redundancy and secure a failsafe in case your primary data drive or storage system fails. But it does not end here. Owing to the high amount of storage space being utilized just for backup, a higher level need of ensuring data redundancy with better resource utilization was need of the hour. So simply put, erasure coding strives to create a failsafe for the data by data replication across multiple drives without sacrificing on resource efficiency. It has been observed that erasure coding is a perfect fit for advanced storage architectures such as Ceph Storage Architecture which is used in our Cloud Hosting, making it a more reliable and scalable hosting option. How does Erasure Coding work?  This part is a little tricky as the data replication needs to happen without occupying a lot of storage space. Let me try and explain this in the simplest way possible. What erasure coding does is that it generates a mathematical equation known as polynomial interpolation. This equation splits the data into a considerable number of chunks, then extra or redundant symbols are added to provide protection from failures and to help in accurate data retrieval. These chunks are then distributed across multiple disk drives. The ratio of data chunks to checksum chunks determines the fault tolerance the system can achieve. For instance, let ‘k’ be the number of chunks and ‘m’ be the number of redundant symbols. Now, a higher number of ‘k’ than ‘m’ would result in higher speed and capacity of the storage system and on the other hand, the inverse would mean greater redundancy. Depending on the requirement, the ratio of ‘k’ and ‘m’ can be set up to find the balance between capacity and redundancy. Let’s look at this mathematically. Consider we keep ‘k’ as 10 and ‘m’ as 6 i.e. we have 10 data chunks and 6 redundant symbols. These 16 chunks will be placed on 16 different drives/nodes. What this would mean is that from the 16 drives that we have, any 10 of them can be used to recover the original 10 chunks of data and this also means any 6 drives can fail, which is much more than traditional RAID where it can only handle a failure of 2-3 drives. Moreover, based on the above calculation, you only need to add an additional 60% of the capacity to attain this high level of fault tolerance. The result of this can be summarized in the benefits of erasure coding in the upcoming point. Benefits of Erasure Coding First of all, erasure gives you a lot more control over the system to maintain the levels of capacity vs. data redundancy. If the system needs to work on a higher capacity to better performance, that can be done without sacrificing on the data redundancy. And if having a stronger failsafe is more important, the system can be made a lot more fault tolerant. This can vary from time to time as per the need of the hour. This makes it perfect for applications such as Cloud Hosting where you need a perfect balance of scalability to reliability and the option to move in one direction whenever required. Another advantage of erasure coding is that it reduces the costs and resources needed to have a very reliable and data redundant storage system. As seen from the above example, even if 6 out of 16 drives fail, you will still be able to restore all data and all this by only adding 60% more capacity. This definitely saves storage and resource costs. We at ResellerClub have adopted this in some of our advanced hosting options so that you can enjoy the benefits of this cutting-edge technology. Erasure Coding is integrated into our Cloud Hosting services, integrated with Ceph storage architecture. Hope this helps you understand what is Erasure coding. Moreover, get a better grip on how it works and what are its benefits. If you have any further questions, please feel free to talk about them in the comments section below. We would love to see all your thoughts and spur up a discussion to discover more!

How to Set Up AMP On Your WordPress Site

If you aren’t aware of it already – load times are important, especially for mobile. In fact, one research suggests that up to half your visitors will click away if your mobile site takes more than 3 seconds to load. This might be news to you – but it shouldn’t be. Load times have always been important. But they’re even more important on mobile. Many website owners neglect thinking about how fast their site runs while they think about other aspects of their business. The reality is, page-loading speed is as important as creating a compelling offer, writing great content and getting good quality backlinks. It could be one of the main reasons why people stay on your site and do business with you – or simply click away after a few seconds. Before you continue with growing your business, you need to test your site speed and know exactly how many users you’re losing from slow loads. You need to make site-loading time your priority, and give it the importance you give to the other parts of your business. The growth of mobile Mobile searching used to be a small fraction of total internet users – but that’s simply not the case anymore. Now mobile is one of the main ways people connect to the internet and browse – meaning your site needs to be optimised for mobile browsing. Many website owners have been slow to catch up with this trend and spend more of their efforts optimising for traditional web browsers. While you will still need to make sure your site works well on such browsers – you shouldn’t neglect the importance of mobile – and especially your site’s loading speed on mobile. How can you improve site loading speeds on mobile? Recently, Google launched a new software that’s designed to do just that – improve your site’s loading speeds on mobile. Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) aims to speed up mobile traffic and improve revenue streams for those who target mobile extensively. Google AMP has been specifically designed to revolutionise your site’s mobile version and helps speed it up by creating a “lighter” version, actually hosted on Google’s servers. That means anyone who visits your site on a mobile will get ultra-fast load speed, being able to access your content much faster than before. That means you’ll lose far fewer of them. Hopefully, it also means that as people spend more time on your site – it improves revenue as they would be more likely to make a purchase or interact positively. That’s why mobile loading speeds are so important. With more and more people using their phones to not just browse – but also make purchases and do business, faster loads and longer sessions on your site should mean more revenue. How does AMP really work? In order to make your site load faster, the lighter version of it that Google creates purposely ignores some parts of your site. Google will hide certain parts of your site so that what is actually displayed on the mobile version loads much faster. While this might make your site look simpler than its full version – it’ll load much faster. It’s also an open source project, allowing independent programmers to contribute to improving and utilising the service. AMP relies on a minimum level of HTML and Java to load pages – it ignores some of the other more elaborate languages that many modern websites come with. While AMP could be huge for your revenue stream, you need to make sure your site is optimised to make the most of it. While AMP could improve your rankings for some mobile searches – you need to be aware that certain widgets and optimisation techniques will not load. This could affect the way you’ve designed your site for SEO, so it’s something you need to consider carefully. How to set up Google AMP for your WordPress website Setting up AMP for your site should be fairly straightforward, especially if you’ve already got some WordPress experience – which you probably have if you’re reading this article. There’s an official Google AMP plugin that makes things easier. Simply click on “plugins” in your WordPress panel Then click “Add New”  Search for “Accelerated Mobile Pages” and you should see the official Google plugin, click download.  After this, simply click “Activate” and follow the process to install. While the actual installation really is that easy – you might want to take a bit longer to configure some of the options and set up Google AMP properly for your site. Firstly, let’s look at configuring Google Analytics for Google AMP. One small drawback of AMP is that it doesn’t currently support any other third-party analytical packages. This could be a problem if you don’t use Google Analytics. You’ll need to find your Google Analytics tracking ID. For this, log into Google Analytics and click on the”Gear” icon at the bottom left of the page. This takes you to the admin panel. Under the Property section, you will see a tab called “Tracking Info”. Click this to find your tracking ID. After this, login to WordPress and click Navigation on the left sidebar. Then go to AMP and click on Analytics. Paste the tracking ID you just found at the Google Analytics section. Then save the changes and exit. This should have integrated Google Analytics into AMP. Configuring the plugin Once you’ve got the plugin installed – the next step is to get everything working well by configuring a few of the options. If you’ve got Yoast SEO installed – then follow these steps to configure the plugin: Go to the Yoast plugin page and click on AMP Then click Post Types From there – you can select the type of posts you want to be able to be used on AMP. You don’t have to send all of your posts to the AMP infrastructure. You’ll also be able to customise the appearance of your content on AMP by clicking on the Design tab. This is a reasonably important step, as AMP will optimise your content and not show everything – so you need to make sure the design works for you and your business. After this, you might want to start testing your site on AMP. Make sure all your URLs work properly. Load up your mobile browser and try a few of your pages to make sure not only that it loads quickly – but importantly that it looks great and has all the info you want. Also, make sure Google searches for your content are getting to the right place. You can also go to search.google.com/test/amp and enter your site URL (or a few of your other pages). Running this simple test will give you some diagnostics and let you know how well things are running. You can also try validating your site with another test found on validator.ampproject.org. Submit your URL Once you’ve seen that the test results are ok, you can simply click “Submit to Google” so that your AMP mobile sites can start being indexed on the search engine (an important step). You can also do this through your Google Search Console account, by also clicking “Submit to Google”, but this is sometimes slower. You might also want to check in your Google Search Console and click on “Accelerated Mobile Pages”. This will show you how many of your AMP pages are indexed and any errors for ones that haven’t been. You can then troubleshoot some of these errors to help get all your pages indexed. You can also test your page load speeds with a few useful tools such as WebPageTest. Hopefully, you’re now sorted with Google AMP and you should start to see improved results with your mobile users for your WordPress website.

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