Reseller Club Blog

Pros and Cons of the 5 Most Popular WordPress Page Builders

There are quite a number of fully featured WordPress page builders in the market. Each of them have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. In today’s post on our blog, we will take a brief look at the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular page builders. After finding a good WordPress hosting package, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is which WordPress page builder plugin you’ll want to choose. We will highlight some of their most popular and useful features so that you can make a decision about which would be most suitable for you. Divi Some of the features of Divi Visual Builder are its large number of elements which can be used as the drag and drop components for your web pages, all of which can be seen being edited live (the actual end-result can be seen in real-time). Of course, responsive design is built right into the builder, allowing you to specify on which devices the specific component is visible.The premade layouts are also a touch of class which really goes a long way to help web designers. This is because besides saving a lot of time instead of starting from scratch, a designer can also save and then reimport their own layouts. This allows them to become very productive.Other features such as Custom CSS, locking of elements, duplication of elements, Undo and Redo options and a collapsible design view allows for a smooth experience when working with Divi. Pros Great User Interface Divi probably has the most colourful and most intuitive UI of all the other page builders. When designing web pages using Divi, the different elements of the page are displayed using different colours as you drag and drop them into the design view. Its intuitiveness arises mostly from the fact that everything is well placed, and similar elements are marked using the same colour on the design view. This gives a very nice graphical representation of the design work being done. Great price Divi cannot be used on a free license or trial version. It is fully premium. However, it is priced very reasonably. The two ways in which you can use Divi is by either paying an annual fee of $89 or a one-off fee of $249. Either subscription gives you access to all of ElegantThemes products including access to all themes, all plugins, theme updates, premium support and unlimited use in any number of websites. Cons A bit slow Divi is quite a “heavy plugin”. Its simplicity of use and great UI comes at the cost of slower performance because of the many things going on behind the scenes. However, this is mostly an issue when either you have a slow internet connection or when your web hosting is slow. Otherwise, performance is quite normal for such a builder. Stores content as shortcodes Divi makes it quite difficult to switch to other builders because it stores updates as shortcodes. These builder specific codes can present a major challenge, especially when switching page builders or even themes. Beaver Builder There are a number of features which we love about Beaver Builder. The most important these days is that it is able to generate fully responsive designs, whilst allowing you to customize your designs with custom CSS on each element, allowing a designer to style everything to their own needs.BB produces content which is both translation-ready and supports WooCommerce, two features which are essential if you plan to develop internationalized sites focused around e-commerce. SEO is something which is also kept in mind when the content is generated.Beaver Builder is not restricted to any particular theme, in fact, it is compatible with most themes available on the market today. Beaver Builder is a very lightweight component, allowing one to enjoy working with it, given how responsive it is.As with Divi above, Beaver Builder is able to save and reuse layouts, modules and rows, such that you can reuse your own work over and over again, for more efficiency in your work. Pros Top notch support The beaver builder team is fully focused on providing top quality support to maximize the developer’s usage of their product. They have very active developer communities on social media which act as forums for sharing information regarding the builder’s use. They also provide support from their website to complement their social media avenues. Developer-oriented Beaver has some tools that benefit developers immensely. First off, developers have access to a wide variety of page templates to help get them started quickly. Secondly, they can save modules as well as rows and reuse them globally when developing other websites. Thirdly, they have reliable support options that include social media support, online forums, online chats and email support. These make it much easier for developers to get things done in a short time. Cons Quite expensive Unlike Divi builder, Beaver builder provides a free version, though it has very limited features. Its premium pricing starts at $99 for the standard version. This is quite expensive as compared to Divi. Its pro version is priced at $199 while the agency version, the fully featured version, costs a whopping $399 per year. As compared to the highest tier version of Divi, which costs $249 as a one-off payment, beaver builder is very expensive. Constant loading with almost every action Whenever you are dropping any element from the elements bar to the design view, there is always some loading time. Although it takes a few seconds, it can be quite annoying especially when one is used to the fast response times of builders like elementor.Still undecided between these two? If you’re undecided between these two-page builders above (Divi and Beaver Builder), which are two of the most popular products around, this Beaver Builder vs Divi review can help you make your decision. Elementor Elementor is another plugin which features live editing, allow you to drag and drop elements while designing pages, but still being able to see exactly what the end result will be. As with the other major page builders, the responsive design options allows the designer to decide which elements are visible (or not) on which devices.The Undo and Redo changes is something which we find necessary, given that you might sometimes perform a drastic change (such as deleting a whole row) which you need to revert.The templates built-in (hundreds of them) are a great way to start your work from a “base-template” so that you can then just customize to your own needs. Elementor also supports WooCommerce and both RTL and LTR languages (allowing this plugin to be used in international sites translated to various languages). Pros Clean and Fast UI Elementor’s user interface is very neat. It has plain, simple colors mainly white and maroon with elements placed at the right spots to give you a pleasurable user experience. Additionally, designing a website on this UI is quite simple. The drag and drop feature is very fast while any changes made can be seen instantly. Responsive design Elementor builder automatically adjusts web layouts when loaded onto different devices. Additionally, it has an instant testing tool where web layouts can be tested on desktop, tablet or mobile screens, with instant results. This helps you create custom layouts for different devices quite easily. Cons Quite expensive Although elementor has a free, limited feature version, its premium versions are quite expensive. The personal bundle costs $49/ year but is also quite restrictive because you can only use it to design one website. The business bundle costs $99/ year but can only be used to design 3 websites. The unlimited version costs $199/ year. It is cheaper than beaver builder’s unlimited version but Divi offers the best deal with a one-off payment of $249. Occasional Bugs Sometimes developers experience bugs when updating text fonts. They do not apply properly when changes are affected, which might be annoying. SiteOrigin As with the other page builders we have mentioned SiteOrigin features live editing with drag and drop components, custom CSS, and a history browser to undo changes as necessary.SiteOrigin is compatible with most themes, is able to incorporate WordPress widgets into designs and unlike most of the plugins we mentioned so far, SiteOrigin is completely free. Pros Mature plugin SiteOrigin is by far the oldest plugin among the well-featured WordPress page builders. With old age, comes a fully built plugin that has evolved over the years to contain all the basic features to design a functional website. Absolutely Free For SiteOrigin, there is no premium version. Their page builder is free to download and use. The developers behind it also provide regular updates and full-time support for free. Cons Plain UI Free is not always the best. SiteOrigin has a very plain UI with very dull colors. Some of its widgets have WordPress icons instead of custom icons for the builder. A lot of emphasis is placed on its functionality rather than balancing it with the user interface. Requires an additional widget bundle The SiteOrigin plugin is normally downloaded without its widget bundle. Before using it to build or edit web pages, you must download and install its widget bundle separately. This is quite cumbersome for some developers because it adds a layer of complexity, which is unnecessary. Other page builder plugins like Elementor and Divi are usually downloaded as a complete package, which is very convenient for developers. WP Bakery (ex-Visual Composer) The final page builder we’re going to mention here is also one of the most advanced drag and drop page builders. It has a very intuitive UI which includes plenty of easy options for implementing responsive web design. WP Bakery has both front end and back end editors so you can work in the zone that you prefer. Besides the Undo and Redo options, one can implement such advanced options as parallax effects, smooth-scrolling, fly-in animations etc.Pros Extensive functionality WP Bakery stands out due to its many features that include front-end and back-end development editors. It provides tons of features that enable full customization of websites, making it very powerful, yet easy to use. Additionally, it has an intuitive user interface, which makes it even simpler for developers to come up with good web designs. Responsive design Just like elementor, WP Bakery has responsive design settings. Without any extra coding steps, you can control how different elements stack out on different device screens, which include desktops and mobile screens. This enables you to design responsive layouts, with good user experience when accessed from any device. Cons Quite expensive WP Bakery plugin is available in two licenses. The regular license costs $45/ year but can only be used on one website. The extended license costs $245/ year but also limits you to use on a single SaaS application. In the price category, Divi provides the best costing (a one-time payment of $249 for a full license). Stores content as shortcodes WP Bakery stores content as well as any other updates as shortcodes. These usually make it difficult to switch to another page builders or themes because the code is mostly compatible only with this page builder. Conclusion: Now that we’ve highlighted the most popular page builders, you should probably check out the ones which you believe would be most useful for you. All of the above are proven products, they are quite popular for a reason, so none of them will be a “bad” choice and it’s usually a matter of preference. Eventually, you will settle on one which YOU prefer!

How To Use Instagram To Promote Your Brand?

If you are running a business in 2018, you are aware of the importance of being present online and having a strong voice on social media, especially Instagram. With 800 million active users and over 95 million posts per day, it’s no surprise that over 70% of business use Instagram as a marketing tool to promote their business. It is a lot easier to engage directly with your audience, share your business brand values and increases the chances for new business opportunities. Additionally, with Facebook’s algorithm change, we see a natural inclination for business’ to try to build their brands on Instagram. However, to be able to succeed on Instagram, you need to be realistic, set goals and expectations and be authentic. People tend to follow and interact with accounts that add value to their everyday life, either by providing useful information or because their content is aesthetically pleasing. To start using Instagram for business you will have to understand and start practising the following guidelines. Understand how you will use Instagram and set your goals The first thing is to identify what you will use Instagram for and what part it will play in your overall social media marketing strategy. There are many different approaches that you can take when using Instagram for business. It is an excellent platform where you can showcase your products if you’re running an e-commerce business, or demonstrate the community culture around your brand. For example, if you’re running a social club, or maybe you want to use Instagram as a lead generation tool. Whatever the strategy you want to go with, it is good to identify it from the beginning as it will help you choose your tone of voice, aesthetics and goals. Instagram, in comparison to other platforms, allows you to show a more personable element to your company and brand, adding value to your social media mix. It provides companies with a way to promote their brand and product in a friendly and transparent way without directly selling to your customers. Understand who your audience is with the use of analytics To be able to produce valuable content you will have to first understand who your audience is. The best way to get to know your audience is by the use of analytics. Instagram provides all business accounts with metrics that will show them where their audience is from, what age group they belong to and how they engaged with their posts. Using this data will be useful to see which posts did well, what time is best to post and how your audience engaged with each post. Understand the importance of branding As this is the most visual social media platform of all, you get the chance to use your brand guidelines wisely by using your brand colours and creating a theme inspired by these colours. It allows you to choose images that align with your branding, giving you the option to include your logo, font and colour scheme. These are all important things to consider. Ideally, you need to train your audience in such a way that they will identify your brand by your photos and style without seeing that it is your brand. High-quality content is a must. The use of a content calendar The use of a content calendar is crucial. In advance, it is very important to have a plan in place with all the content you want to publish. Apart from only knowing what to post, knowing when to post is the key element of having a content calendar. The way to find what times work for your brand is by testing. Post at different times to see the results of how your audience interacts. Social media scheduling tools are a great way to help you to map out and plan your social media calendar, many of which are free and easy to use. Understand the use of hashtags to grow your account and business opportunities The use of hashtags is almost the equivalent of growth. Using the correct hashtags and creating a branded hashtag is the way to grow your account, increase business opportunities, be discoverable and improve lead generation. It is wise to research all the relevant hashtags to find out what people are posting about and which hashtags are trending. Although this is a great way to attract views and followers, you will also need to use more niche and specific hashtags that might target a smaller audience but it will guarantee that your post will be seen. Understand how to turn followers into customers Having followed all the above tips you will see that your account will start to gain attention and if your content and imagery remains on brand your followers will continue to grow. To be able to turn your followers into your customers you have to add value to all your communication and show them the benefit of using your products or services. Understand the value of advertising and Instagram influencers Another way to turn followers into leads is by using Instagram advertising through the app to show your products to a broader audience. Apart from the classic way of online advertising, using Instagram influencers is a fresh and useful way to help boost your sales. In 2017 Instagram was the number one platform for such advertising. It allows brands to assign brand advocates who have the power to increase your brand awareness and increase sales. Instagram is a powerful medium that can help increase your brand awareness and in turn, convert followers into loyal customers. A social media marketing strategy needs to be in place in order to capture your brands’ visual identity. With over 800 million active users, there is no doubt that Instagram should be incorporated into your strategy. The personable platform can help reflect your brand in an authentic manner.

.DESIGN: The Domain Extension that Matches your Passion

.DESIGN is an nTLD that’s perfect for design professionals, interior designers, websites, UX & graphic designers, etc. For people in such professions, a domain name ending with a .DESIGN extension looks professional on a business card or a flyer. The domain extension is unique, therefore making your customers’ domain name memorable. .DESIGN is already in use by premier organizations such as Facebook ( and Airbnb ( to display their design work. While these two organizations use the domain name to showcase projects and share blog articles on UX and design, the domain extension could be used to hire talent in the design space, share ideas, etc. Why .DESIGN? Attractive: .DESIGN is unlike any other domain name. It’s professional and for a designer, speaks his profession exactly. It allows a designer to create a powerful yet elegant domain name. Engaging: With a .DESIGN domain name, your customer can create an immediate connect with other designers, studios, departments and creative thinkers. Recognizable: A .DESIGN domain name instantly puts your customer among the inner circle of artists and aspiring and professional designers. The domain extension speaks for itself and gives the domain owner a recognizable identity. Available: Unlike other domain extensions that have been around for years, .DESIGN is new, fresh and therefore, available. Your customers can get the domain name of their choice without compromising. Who is .DESIGN for? .DESIGN is for: Artists Interior designers UX & UI designers Web designers Architects Design departments for brands Fashion designers The ResellerClub Advantage With ResellerClub, you can get .DESIGN for just $5.99. This offer is only valid till 31st July. Hurry & resell this domain & make your profits!

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing: What it means for SEO

There was a time whenever I heard the word SEO, I was left with several questions and a cloud of confusion. However, I soon learnt the finer nuances of marketing, social media and website ranking. It was during this phase that I stumbled upon words like ranking and indexing and, how they help with website search. With the rise in the smartphone usage every individual we see today has a smartphone and is often browsing some or the other website. It is this trend that led to Google’s ‘mobile-first indexing’. In this article, we’ll decode Google’s Mobile-first indexing and its impact on SEO. Understanding Mobile-first indexing There’s a 50% chance you’re reading this article from a mobile device as opposed to a desktop. My assumption is based on the mobile usage statistics where an average mobile website viewer has scaled up in comparison with the desktop. The current percentage as of 2018 is 52.2% globally. This rise in the use of mobile devices raised a doubt if there’s an impact on page ranking and indexing. Owing to this Google announced its Mobile-first indexing and on March 26 this year Google eventually began rolling out mobile-first indexing. In simple words, mobile-first indexing means if you have a mobile as well as a desktop version of your website, the mobile website is where Google will start indexing first. The reason for it being called ‘mobile-first’ is that it’s not just a mobile-only index. For example, if you don’t have a mobile version of your website the desktop version will still be indexed as before. The diagram below, explains the difference between mobile-first and desktop-first indexing: Now that we’ve understood what mobile-first indexing is let us look at the changes that Google has made: If you only have a desktop website or a responsive web design or your web pages were created in canonical AMP HTML, then there are no changes to your website during indexing. This is because the mobile version is the same as the desktop version. Earlier, having a mobile website meant that your index and rank would get divided between the desktop and mobile website. It was, therefore, preferable to have a responsive website only. However, if at the moment you have two different URLs for your website, then Google would index your mobile website first and later index your desktop website, such that you do not lose out on ranking and indexing. If the content of your website varies depending on different users and devices i.e you have dynamic content then again your mobile website will be preferred for indexing first. If you designed your web pages using both AMP and non-AMP, then there would be two different URLs. In this case, Google will prefer the non-AMP mobile version of your website while indexing. Now that we’ve seen the changes Google has come up with in mobile-first indexing, as a business owner, it is important to consider the implications of SEO. The best practices more or less remain the same. Let us cover the 3 best practices: Content: When talking about mobile-first indexing, this goes beyond keywords that help Google rank and index your website. What this primarily means is that if you have a mobile website, you should have the same primary content for both versions of your website. Metadata: Metadata is another important aspect when it comes to ranking your website. You need to make sure that the metadata and the titles in both these versions are the same. A different title or description would create confusion while crawling and indexing. Server Capacity: The capacity of your servers plays an important role. You must take care that your server has enough capacity to handle an increase in the crawl rate of your mobile website. Choosing the right hosting matters a lot. It, after all, determines the load speed of your website and contributes to your search engine ranking. If I were to recommend, I would suggest Cloud Hosting for the very reason of easy scalability and blazing fast website speed. On the whole Google’s mobile-first indexing doesn’t change much when it comes to SEO and indexing. It is a set of best practices websites should strive to follow should they wish to attain optimum results in a market driven by users using both mobiles as well as the desktop for browsing your website. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave them in the box below!

How to optimize WordPress Database

If you have a WordPress website, it is bound to have a database irrespective of the website being functional or redundant. A WordPress database stores all the data of your website. It includes posts, pages, comments (if any), website, theme and plugin settings, as well as, entries from forms and links if any. Anything that’s filled with unwanted data hampers its performance. Optimization is, therefore, the key to efficiency and increasing performance. Optimizing your WordPress database ensures that your database size is reduced and the load speed of your website is considerably improved. In this article, I’ll walk you through how you can optimize WordPress database. How to Optimize WordPress Database There are two ways to optimizing your WP database we’ll be covering both: Method I: Using phpMyAdmin phpMyAdmin is the most preferred tool to manage your WordPress database. You can find phpMyAdmin in your cPanel under the Databases section. Once you login to phpMyAdmin you can have a look at the size of each table in your database. The size of a table is dependent on the amount of data stored in it. More the data stored, more are the rows in a table which in turn means increased size. Apart from size, there is another column known as Overhead. Overhead is a temporary disk storage space that stores queries. Even though the overhead of a table might increase it hardly affects the performance of the website. The figure below shows the landing page of phpMyAdmin and the extreme right-hand side columns show the ‘Size’ and ‘Overhead’ column. To optimize your database select all the tables in your database by clicking on the checkbox. Next, click on the drop-down menu and select ‘Optimize Table’ and click on ‘Go’ Alternatively, you can also use a SQL command to optimize the tables. The command to be used is: Query: OPTIMIZE TABLE ‘tablename’ Example: OPTIMIZE TABLE ‘wp_links’ After this, the command is executed and you get a message saying your WordPress database has now been optimized. You can even refer to the official WordPress guide for Automatic Database Optimizing. Method II: Using a Plugin If you’re sceptical about using phpMyAdmin to optimize WordPress database then using a plugin for the same is a safe option. Before optimizing your WordPress database it is preferable if you can take a backup. Some of the options for taking backup are Codeguard or UpdraftPlus. Once you’re done taking a backup install a plugin to optimize your WordPress database. WP Optimize is one of the popular plugins with over 7,00,000+ active installations. Check out this post on how to install a WordPress plugin. After your plugin is installed and activated, click on the WP-Optimize tab in your WordPress dashboard and the settings page will open. In the above figure, click on the checkboxes you want to optimize. Before clicking on the red text icons make sure to take a backup as these store sensitive data. After clicking on the items you want to optimize click on ‘Run all selected optimizations’ button. The plugin now starts optimizing your WordPress database. On completion of the operation, you will be notified. I hope this article helped you understand how to optimize WordPress database. Did you face any issues will optimizing your WordPress database or have a tip to share? Please let us know in the comments section below.

New gTLD Report – May 2018

With the advent of summer and our exciting summer hosting promos, the sales for the new gTLDs witnessed a 65% spike in total counts compared to the previous month, which was a massive leap. .XYZ, retained its top spot in May with a 91% increase in its overall sales. .TOP continued to secure the second spot among the trending new gTLDs with a relatively modest 18% jump in its sales. The trending gTLDs in the top 5 list for the month remained the same, with a few of them swapping their positions. Here’s a precise summary of the top 15 domain extensions for May: !function(e,t,n,s){var i="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName(t)[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(s)&&(s=d+s),window[i]&&window[i].initialized)window[i].process&&window[i].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var a=e.createElement(t);a.async=1,,a.src=s,o.parentNode.insertBefore(a,o)}}(document,"script","infogram-async",""); New gTLD Report – May 2018 Infogram   *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .XYZ – Proving to be one of the undefeated gTLDs for the past few months, .XYZ was again able to boost its overall registrations by grabbing a 78% of the total share of new gTLDs registered. With a promo price of $0.99 and its exceptional performance, .XYZ has had a major impact on the trending new gTLDs list. .TOP – Following its trend of securing the second place, this gTLD has been growing remarkably. .TOP was able to grab a 10% share of the total counts of the new gTLD sold. .TOP was running at a promo price of $0.99 which helped drive its sales in May. .ONLINE – Shuffling between the third and fourth position for a few months now, .ONLINE was able to secure the third spot this time. Though there was a 6% decrease in its sales compared to the previous month, this Radix gTLD was able to grab 2% of the total share. .ONLINE was running at a promo price of $6.99 .SITE – Leaving behind its fifth spot, .SITE was able to surpass .SPACE and climb up a rank. This gTLD grabbed a 1.2% of the total share of new gTLD sold. .SITE was at a promo price of $1.99 which resulted in a 35% jump in its sales numbers. .SPACE – Well the chase among .ONLINE and .SPACE was disrupted with a 49% decrease in the sales of .SPACE that got it to the fifth position for the month of May. This Radix gTLD was at a promo price of $2.99. With Radix celebrating World Press Freedom month with .PRESS, this gTLD was able to make it to the top 15 list as one of the new entrants along with .HOST and .GLOBAL. Despite being a new entrant .HOST was able to secure the seventh position while .STORE saw a 54% decline in its sales and consequently ended up way below in the list. .GLOBAL was at a promo price of $12.88 which landed the domain extension a spot in the top 15. We’ve got a lot of exciting domain promos coming up during the month of June : Get your customers the hottest gTLD with a .XYZ at just $0.99 Expand your customers’ business worldwide with a .ASIA at just $2.99 Help leverage the power of the internet with a .ONLINE at just $6.99 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.

Why Influencer Marketing Might be Right for Your Brand

Influencer marketing is everywhere. Brands are using influencers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & all sorts of social media platforms. The original influencer marketing dates back to television ads (yes, I talk about it like I talk about dinosaurs). Influencers (back in the day) were celebrities in advertisements. Shah Rukh Khan for Lux, Saif Ali Khan for Lays, Roger Federer for Rolex, to name a few. Today, influencer marketing is not restricted to television. Neither is it restricted to celebrities. In fact, influencers are those who are prominent / leaders in their field / platform but do not necessarily have a celeb status. Think of YouTube and Twitter influencers. I worked for a well-known TV channel in my previous job and for our digital marketing efforts for a show launch, we often used influencers to create a buzz around the upcoming show on social media – Twitter especially. Let me explain what  influencers can do good for your brand and how they can do that how. What is influencer marketing? According to, “Influencer marketing is the process of identifying, researching, engaging and supporting the people who create high-impact conversations with customers about your brand, products or services.” The crux of influencer marketing is relationship. I mean, the relationship between a brand and an influencer as well as relationship between the influencer and the audience. Here’s where the benefits come in: Benefits of Influencer marketing Wide audience reach: The great part about influencer marketing is that the audience is already there. You don’t need to gather an audience; the influencer’s base of followers is the audience. You don’t have to spend money on research & testing for an audience. Through your influencer, you can effectively reach your niche. However, the key is to identify the right influencer. A style/ fashion blogger is a great tie-in with, say, a clothing brand. Trust is established: Because influencers already have a following & possibly a relationship with their subscribers / followers, trust and credibility with their fans is already established. Marketing through the influencer will also transfer that trust onto your product / brand. Improves awareness for your brand: As I mentioned in my first point, with an influencer, the audience is large and active. An influencer can greatly expand your brand reach online. You ,as a marketer, need to therefore maximize your influencer reach by providing valuable content to your influencers’ audience. Building partnerships that matter: Of course, influencer marketing will mean you will build a good rapport with influencers and maybe even their network. This could extend offline where you partner with the influencer for live shows, meet-ups, events, on-ground product launches etc. Improves SEO: Influencer marketing actually helps improve SEO. This is because backlinks from credible sites / profiles help boost SEO. Therefore, links from high-authority domains (the influencer’s websites) improves your site ranking. Not just this, search engines also look for unique content & social shares when ranking. Influencer marketing checks both these boxes. Trick the social media algorithm: Social media algorithms are always changing. When you’re just getting used to a Facebook algorithm change, Instagram changes its own! It’s never easy. Influencer marketing actually helps beat this. How? Well, social media algorithms always prioritize the best and most engaging content. Influencer marketing hits bang in the center of that idea. Brands have come to recognise that influencer marketing is a great way to beat the algorithm through live videos, account takeovers etc. Goals of Influencer marketing (source: Sprout Social) Influencer marketing best practices Choose the right influencer: As I mentioned earlier, it’s imperative to pick an influencer who fits your niche – like a clothing brand and a lifestyle blogger or a foodie and a restaurant brand. It’s important to make that fit or your marketing efforts will fail as you will be targeting the wrong audience! Offer something that adds value to the influencer: When marketing, it’s often easy to solely focus on getting the best visibility for your brand. However, with influencer marketing, you have a duty to think about how it adds value to the influencer as well. At the end of the day, it is a business and in order to even get an influencer to promote your brand, you need to provide value. Apart from the monetary value you’d provide influencers, think of content that will enrich their social presence as well – creative content, fun video ideas, etc. Allow creative freedom: If you’re going to use an influencer to market your brand, you’ve got to give him / her some creative freedom.  A lot of complaints from influencers is that brands are too restrictive or imposing in the content creation process. Restricting influencer content can often impact the authenticity of the campaign altogether. You could also risk souring the relationship with the influencer. Conclusion Influencer marketing has proven to be a very effective medium. In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with a few statistics that prove just how effective this is: According to a survey conducted by Collective Bias, involving 14,000 respondents in the US: 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions. Additionally,  30% consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger While shopping at a store, 60% consumers have been influenced by a social media post or a blog review. Still sitting on the fence? I suggest you start right away!  

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

If you were to simply ask the question- What is a content management system (CMS), I would simply reply that a Content Management System (CMS) is a tool used for building websites and managing web content. It facilitates a set of integrated tools to allow tech-savvy as well as non-technical web publishers to create, manage and maintain content on a website. As the name suggests, Content Management is a system wherein a large amount of information about a product, service, topic or a field is created, curated, managed and finally published on the website. What is a CMS platform and why did we need it in the first place? With the growth of the internet, managing online information became essential. One could no longer publish information manually. Moreover, assessing, revising and updating this information gained prominence since content consumers such as customers and even search engines could access the most up-to-date WordPress version of the same. So, in a bid to meet the needs of organizations having a growing online presence, deploying a system that managed online content became necessary. Some of the major advantages offered by a CMS are: Ease of content creation as well as editing for all kinds of content creators Archiving different versions of the content Provision of templates for a steady output of content Check in and check out for distributed users of content Now that you know what is a CMS system, let us see what roles it allows users to get into. You can take on the following roles while navigating through a CMS- a) Owner– A user is assigned the ownership when he or she creates a web page or a folder, etc. Generally, the role applies to the user for only a particular item i.e the information stored on the item. No user can explicitly assign anyone as an owner. It is the system that does the job of assigning the role. b) Administrator– A user is given the role of an administrator when he or she will be managing the site. As an admin, a user can add, delete or edit the content. They can also add/remove users or assign them the roles of editors, reviewers and also have the liberty to configure the site to a certain extent. c) Editor– As an editor, a user cannot publish content to the live site. They need to submit their drafts to the Reviewer who can approve them to be published or send them back to be corrected/revised. In most cases, content writers are assigned the role of an editor when a CMS is deployed. d) Reviewer– A Reviewer is a user with limited access. Their role is to review the content submitted by editors and decide when the content is ready to be published. This exercise brings in an element of quality control in the publishing process. On the whole, what are the benefits of having a CMS? So, what are content management systems capable of? As opposed to the traditional method of managing content especially where distributed teams are used, a Content Management System provides us with the following benefits- Content consolidation A CMS allows businesses to update their online content quickly without the need for too much technical knowledge. Any user or a business owner with a content management system can find any information they need. This also facilitates reuse of content and consolidates the same. Optimizes costs A CMS optimizes and lowers costs significantly. By creating own content, businesses do no have to hire IT specialists to re-configure content from the programming point of view. Removing such intermediaries helps businesses optimize and save on unnecessary costs. Managing the content also takes less cost since it is maintained by business users and standard processes are automated. Simple tasks like archiving old pages or checking for dead links can be done transparently with the CMS. Even tedious tasks like generating navigation menus or enforcing information architecture do not require detailed technical labour or know how. Finally, when it comes to publishing, businesses can schedule content in advance without any hassles. In this way, a CMS reduces costs in its overall workflow. Maximizes profit A CMS provides businesses with newer ways to monetize. Since the time-to-market is considerably reduced, a CMS brings in more opportunities to make money. If the content, gets published online quickly as compared to getting published after hours or minutes, there is an opportunity to draw or attract hordes of customers especially if you are in the news making or media related business. In such cases, advertisers come flocking to such websites in search of high traffic. Maintains consistency Any content published on a website needs to be consistent and be aligned with the objective of the website. One such tool that helps with visual consistency is a template. A template allows CMS users to maintain a consistent look and feel, of the website and create a lasting impression on the visitor. Also, a CMS facilitates band integrity by limiting logos and layout designs with corporate facilities. How different is a CMS as compared to traditional online information updating? Parameter CMS Traditional Creating a new page Page gets created by default. Navigation links are auto-updated and a trial link is available. New page is a copy of an existing one. The site-map and navigational links are updated manually and standards are enhanced in an ad-hoc manner. Consistency of content Template helps in maintaining content consistency throughout the site. These templates are separated from the page content. Content and template are tied up together and it can get difficult separating the two. Hence, developers need to interfere to determine consistency. Workflow process Workflow process reflects the process as it happens in organizations where approvals from the right stakeholders are necessary. Workflow happens in an ad-hoc manner which is done via emails sent to different people working in the organization. This process is timestaking and error-prone. Time of publishing Content can be published or even scheduled. It is independent of the webmaster. Content publishing is dependent on the webmaster where reconfiguration is key. Legal compliances The system maintains records of content changes and publications which helps with compliance. In this case, compliance is handled by the team members which can be manually backed up with a log of content publications.   A CMS enables business owners with modern tools to boost their website. Some of the most prominent CMSes being WordPress, Drupal, Joomla which are being used by some great brands worldwide. What these CMSes have done is that they have removed every major or minor bottleneck that would allow a business owner to take full control of the site. Moreover, it has also allowed faster response to customer demands, enhanced content distribution for the business and its partners and improved accessibility of content to employees. To get you started, you can avail a WordPress hosting deal to help you start building a WordPress website.   We hope that you have understood what is a Content Management System (CMS). In case you have any queries, please leave them under the comments section.

What is the role of cloud computing in IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has gradually transformed the way daily tasks are completed. Take smart homing for instance. People can start their cooling devices remotely through their mobile phones. This earlier used to be possible via an SMS, but today the internet has made it easier. Apart from providing smarter solutions for homes and housing communities, IoT has also been used as a tool in business environments across various industries. However, with the amount of big data that is generated by IoT, a lot of strain is put on the internet infrastructure. This has made businesses and organizations look for an option that would reduce this load. Enter cloud computing- an on-demand delivery of computing power, database storage, applications and IT resources. It enables organizations to consume a compute resource, like a virtual machine (VM) instead of building a computing infrastructure on premise. Today, cloud computing has more or less penetrated mainstream IT and its infrastructure. Many tech biggies such as Amazon, Alibaba, Google and Oracle are building machine learning tools with the help of cloud technology to offer a wide range of solutions to businesses worldwide. This article aims to inform you of the role of cloud computing in IoT and why IoT and cloud computing are inseparable. How IoT and cloud complement each other Cloud computing, as well as IoT, work towards increasing the efficiency of everyday tasks and both have a complementary relationship. On one hand, IoT generates lots of data while on the other hand, cloud computing paves way for this data to travel. There are many cloud providers who take advantage of this to provide a pay-as-you-use model where customers pay for the specific resources used. Also, cloud hosting as a service adds value to IoT startups by providing economies of scale to reduce their overall cost structure. In addition to this, cloud computing also enables better collaboration for developers, which is the order of the day in the IoT space. By facilitating developers to store as well as access data remotely, the cloud allows developers to implement projects without delay. Also, by storing data in the cloud, IoT companies can access a huge amount of Big Data. So, in a bid to lay down the relationship between IoT and cloud, here is a table that will let you know how they fit into each other like a glove.   Parameter Internet of things Cloud computing Big Data Acts as a source for big data Acts as a way or a means to manage big data Reachability Very limited Far spread, wide Storage Limited or almost none Large, virtually never ending Role of Internet Acts as a point of convergence Acts as a means for delivering services Computing capabilities Limited Virtually unlimited Components Runs on hardware components Runs on virtual machines which imitate hardware components   Why is Cloud essential to the success of IoT? Just like cloud computing is built on the tenets of speed and scale, IoT applications are built on the principle of mobility and widespread networking. Hence, it is essential that both cloud and IoT form cloud-based IoT applications in a bid to make the most out of their combination. This alliance has led to the success of IoT. In addition to this, here are a few more pointers as to why the cloud is important from the point of view of IoT’s success. Provides remote processing power Cloud as a technology empowers IoT to move beyond regular appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators etc. This is because the cloud has such a vast storage that it takes away dependencies on on-premise infrastructure. With the rise of miniaturization and transition of 4G to higher internet speeds, the cloud will allow developers to offload fast computing processes. Provides security and privacy IoT’s role in harnessing mobility is immense. However, its prowess would be incomplete without security. Cloud has made IoT more secure with preventive, detective and corrective controls. It has enabled users with strong security measures by providing effective authentication and encryption protocols. In addition to this, managing and securing the identity of users has been possible for IoT products with the help of biometrics. All of this is possible because of cloud’s security. Removes entry barrier for hosting providers Today, many innovations in the field of IoT are looking at plug-and-play hosting services. Which is why the cloud is a perfect fit for IoT. Hosting providers do not have to depend on massive equipment or even any kind of hardware that will not support the agility IoT devices require. With the cloud, most hosting providers can allow their clients a ready-to-roll model, removing entry barriers for them. Facilitates inter-device communication Cloud acts as a bridge in the form of a mediator or communication facilitator when it comes to IoT. Many powerful APIs like Cloudflare, CloudCache and Dropstr are enabled by cloud communications, allowing easy linking to smartphones. This eases devices to talk to each other and not just us, which essentially is the tenet of IoT cloud. It would be fair to say that cloud can accelerate the growth of IoT. However, deploying cloud technology also has certain challenges and shortcomings. Not because the cloud is flawed as a technology but the combination of IoT cloud can burden users with some obstacles. If you ever go ahead with an IoT cloud solution, it is better if you know the kind of challenges you may face in advance. What are the challenges posed by cloud and IoT together? Handling a large amount of data Handling a large amount of data can be overwhelming especially when there are millions of devices in the picture. This is because the overall performance of applications is at stake. Hence, following the NoSQL movement could be beneficial, but it is not tried and tested for the long run. Which is why there exists no sound or fool-proof method for the cloud to manage big data. Networking and communication protocols Cloud and IoT involve machine-to-machine communications among many different types of devices having various protocols. Managing this kind of a variation could be tough since a majority of application areas do not involve mobility. As of now WiFi and Bluetooth are used as a stop-gap solution to facilitate mobility to a certain extent. Sensor networks Sensor networks have amplified the benefits of IoT. These networks have allowed users to measure, infer and understand delicate indicators from the environment. However, timely processing of a large amount of this sensor data has been a major challenge. Though cloud provides a new opportunity in aggregating sensor data it also hinders the progress because of security and privacy issues. Conclusion The integration of cloud computing and IoT is indicative of the next big leap in the world of internet. New applications brimming from this combination known as IoT Cloud are opening newer avenues for business as well as research. Let us hope that this combination unveils a new paradigm for the future of multi-networking and an open service platform for users. We hope that you know what role cloud as a technology can play in unlocking IoT’s true potential. If you have any doubts about- What is the role of cloud computing in IoT? please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below.

Top CMS Compared: WordPress vs Joomla Vs Drupal

I’ve been a blogger for over 10 years now and in the past decade, I’ve seen the way internet has evolved. From personal blogs to dedicated business websites, the internet domain has seen a tremendous change. Owing to this rapid growth in technology, e-businesses and online startups have been on a rise. One of the resources to help these business establish themselves has been a Content Management System (CMS). CMS’s help users design, deploy and manage a website in a hassle-free manner. In this article, I’ll be comparing the three popular open-source CMS’s viz. WordPress vs Joomla Vs Drupal. Overview of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal WordPress: WordPress is one of the most popular and widely used CMSs. It powers over 30% of websites and has a market share of 59.9%. It is a simple, flexible and a user-friendly platform with an intuitive dashboard. WordPress is easy to install and the most suitable CMS if you’re starting as a beginner as it requires little technical knowledge. Also, WordPress Hosting being easy to understand. It is a customizable CMS having more than 4000 + themes and over 55, 000+ plugins. Some of the firms using WordPress are CNN, Forbes, Wall Street Journal etc. Joomla With a market share of 6.1%, Joomla powers 3% of the websites and ranks next as the second most popular CMS. It provides ease-of-use, extensibility and structural stability. Joomla has an active developer community and provides an established, flexible and powerful UI. It is slightly tricker to install as opposed to WordPress but requires minimal technical knowledge. It is suitable for building e-commerce online websites as well as social networking sites. Some of the firms using Joomla are:, Harvard University, etc Drupal With a market share of 4.1% Drupal and powering over 2.3% website all across the globe, Drupal is the third most preferred CMS. It is a powerful, flexible and an efficient CMS and can be used for high-end enterprise websites. Drupal provides a back-end framework and is quite popular amongst the developer community. It is an enterprise level CMS that can be used for content-driven websites with huge data and clientele. Some of the firms using Drupal are Warner Bros, The White House, etc. Let us now look at the CMS comparison infographic comparing WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal for easy understanding. Choosing the Right CMS There is no such thing as right and wrong CMS, it all depends on the kind of website you are running. If you are a newbie and are running a simple business then WordPress is the best choice. If you’re confident your website will grow significantly or you’re an established website whose requirements aren’t being fulfilled by WordPress you should opt for Drupal. Lastly, if you’re powering a social network website or are confused about whether to migrate from WordPress to Drupal or not, Joomla is a good middle ground. At the same time, you may have questions like is migration from one CMS to another possible or can you build your own CMS? Then the answer is a ‘YES’. Also, the process is quite relatively simple. If you have the right service provider then they can help you with hassle-free migration. Conclusion: So there you go, a comprehensive CMS comparison of WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal to understanding CMS’s better. Hope this helps you make an informed choice depending on which CMS best fits your needs. If you have any queries feel free to drop your suggestions in the comment box below.

.GLOBAL: Connecting Across Communities, Countries & Continents

The .GLOBAL domain extension is one that transcends geographic boundaries to bring people together and take brands across borders. The .GLOBAL TLD is perfect for small businesses, start-ups and just about any brand reaching out to a global audience. Nothing says ‘Worldwide’ like a .GLOBAL! It’s limitless, borderless & non-discriminatory. For you as a domain reseller, .GLOBAL is great for your customers’ brand to be viewed as international & therefore is a fantastic investment. Today, there are over 43,000 .GLOBAL domains registered. Why .GLOBAL? It is universally understood Not restrictive to a particular business or industry Establishes your global presence It is a direct connect to international audiences Who is .GLOBAL for? Entertainers & artists Businesses Engineers Though-leaders Educators Activists Charities Networkers Innovators Distributors And just about anyone! The ResellerClub Advantage At ResellerClub, we’re offering .GLOBAL at just $12.99 till 31st May, 2018! This limited period offer gives you margins high enough to make huge profits. Resell .GLOBAL today! You’ll find a range of digital assets here including .GLOBAL logos, email copy, ready-made banners in a range of sizes and formats to help you with your domain reselling business. Help your customers boost their brand reach & power with a .GLOBAL.

Designing with Audio

Sound is an integral part of our daily life. Right from the sound of birds to the tick-tock of the clock, we are surrounded by sound in all forms. It soothes us after a tiring day and brightens our mood when we listen to it randomly. Talking about natural sounds, it also reminds us of the highly sought after man-made sounds. Yes, you guessed it right! We’re talking about music, recurring mobile notifications and so on & so forth. While music started in the technology world through radio, it got passed onto television to personal computers and cell phones with the help of websites. A good website not only has a catchy design but also, can add sounds if necessary to enhance the user experience. Sound embedded in a website may vary from push notifications, pop-ups to tunes playing on musical websites. Using sound in design varies depending on whether it is a mobile application or a website. Let us see, where and how can we use sound in Design: If you are designing a mobile or an interactive app that pops up messages or triggers events, integrating sound to help notify the user can enhance the user experience. If your website is an interactive, musical, live or a gaming website then adding sound to it can help the user navigate better. Pros of Designing with Audio Helps in creating a calm environment with light background sound on clicks Helps boost user engagement Helps make the user feel connected to the web design/app Cons of Designing with Audio If your website/web app has sound playing in the background it could be annoying to users while browsing through it A user might leave the website and this could drop conversion rates From a consumer perspective, it could mean more consumption of data Now that we’ve seen both the pros and cons of using audio in the design process. Some of you must be thinking, it is a bad decision to include audio in design while the other half loves the idea of it. However, done subtly and in the right proportion can help increase user engagement and enhance it. Let us see, where can audio be used so that it improves the customer experience. Branding There’s a quote by Paul Rand that says, ‘Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.’ A tailor-made audio for your brand can become its signature. A good, non-disturbing audio can give your brand a unique life apart from the look and feel of it. Some examples of brands having their own audio are Microsoft, Nokia, Redmi.Audio can also be used for branding purposes, you can apply a unique sound and music to convey a brand’s essence. For instance, if you’re a media-themed website you can include the audio and music in a way that it elevates user experience that still images cannot attain. Some examples being Jazz Delivery, an instrument delivery website or New Music USA that serves musicians and composers. Adding Personalization Imagine you winning a trophy that just reads ‘Best Employee of the Year’. Nice, right? Now think of winning the same trophy with your name engraved on it! Feels good, right?Personalization is the key to win consumers’ hearts and minds. Audio can always help do that, be it in apps or consumer products. Moreover, it helps build an emotional connect with your web app. When a consumer feels important and honoured the chances of staying loyal and recommending the product to friends and relatives increases manifold.For example, if you are a Facebook user and have liked on one of your friend’s achievement-related post or have typed ‘Congratulations’ you must have experienced a wonderful appealing sound. A user feels as if he/she has been responded to or got acknowledged.Accordingly, such forms of personalization in your design can make a user feel honoured and important enough to continue with the app. For Notifications Audio in notifications is the most common and generally used form. App notifications enable the customer to get real-time messages helping them give real-time responses.However, some users might find the sound distracting. To overcome this issue you can add in a ‘mute’ state for the comfort of such users. Take note that, providing both the sound and mute options is equally important to have a varied consumer base. Gaming We all remember the old days’ video game Mario and Contra not only because of the way Mario used to jump but because of the audio accompanying it. And as you are reading this you are trying to make that sound in your head. Audio has the power to connect consumers for long and recall consumers even after a couple of slow years with proper rebranding.If you have a gaming website or a game app then it is important to incorporate audio in the design. This not only enriches the user experience but makes the user excited and stay glued to your web app. Conclusion: Designing with audio is a vast field, there might be some who might argue that a website should have neither audio nor video. However, it all depends on the kind of website/web app in which you are embedding the audio and the volume. Loud and random audio can be disturbing to the user resulting in the user bouncing off. But at the same time, a calm and well-timed audio can help enhance the user experience. Hope this article helps you in adding the right audio to your design should it need one and wishing you happy designing! If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments box below.

Google’s Major Gmail Redesign is now LIVE: Here are the changes

Last month marked 14 years since Gmail came into existence. Funny story – when Gmail was announced to the public on 1st April, 2004 not only did it arouse skepticism from those in the industry (owing to Google’s popular April Fools’ Day pranks), but it didn’t even have the infrastructure required to provide millions of users with reliable service. However, Gmail quickly became a force to reckon with. Its popularity threw competitors Yahoo and Hotmail off their game! By 2016, Gmail had a 20% market share and by 2017, had 1.2 billion users (source). Ever since we added G Suite to our product portfolio, we at ResellerClub have also seen the success and popularity of the product among our customers. I’ve come to understand why Google is always so brilliant – constant evolution. I mean, a few days ago, Google introduced us to the improved Google Assistant (Google Duplex) which WOWed me and many others. Google’s commitment to product upgrades to not just to keep up with the current trend but set benchmarks by never stagnating is what makes Google invincible. With Gmail, Google has been no different. Over the years, Gmail’s updates included adding 57 languages including Hebrew, Arabic and Cherokee, Gmail for domains, forgotten attachment detector, undo send (this one changed my life!) and priority inbox, to name a few. More recently in April of this year, Google announced a major redesign for Gmail. The new features & upgrades are now live on your Gmail. If you haven’t had the chance to explore the changes, here’s what’s new: The side panel slide: The web version of Gmail has a slide panel slide for easy access to other apps in the Google suite like Keep, Calendar, Tasks etc. (no more pinned tabs for me!). When the side panel icon is clicked, the panel opens out to share the screen between your inbox and the preview of the selected app. Google says the panel should work with 3rd party business apps as well. On hover actions: Hovering on an email gives you action options such as Mark as Read, Delete and SNOOZE! The new Snooze feature allows you to set reminders about an email. Along with this, rounded, clickable icons under the subject of the mailer allow accessibility to attachments. This makes the search for important files easy. Nudge feature: The new Gmail design will have a text reminder to reply to emails which haven’t been responded to. Google says this is an AI-powered feature so it could be that Gmail assesses if the email/sender is important or the timeliness of the message for the alert. Smart replies:  Gmail’s one tap responses feature makes replying easy. Text templates like “Thank you”, “Approved” etc. at the bottom enables fast responses. While smart replies was available on Gmail mobile apps previously , it will now be available on the Gmail web version too. Gmail Confidential mode: Once this feature is rolled out for the general public, you will be able to set expiry dates and revoke previously sent emails through Gmail’s Confidential Mode. This enables you to protect sensitive content. Once the date is passed, actions such as forwarding, downloading, etc. cannot be done. The recipient is notified of expiration date in the email itself. Bigger, bolder security warnings: In light of recently security breaches, Google doesn’t want you to miss out on security warnings that could be important for you. The redesigned security warnings within Gmail will be simpler to understand, bigger, bolder and have clear calls-to-action buttons. Important Notifications only: Gmail on mobile has a new feature where push alerts only from important messages are displayed. This helps minimize interruptions and clutter on the notifications tab. Google Task – I love this one! This feature allows you to simply drag emails to the Tasks side panel to add a new ‘To Do’ item. Great for when you’re pressed for time but also don’t want to miss out on a task. Smart Compose: The latest feature to be announced by Google is ‘Smart Compose’ which predicts what you will type next. The suggested text appears in the background in a light coloured font. You can press the tab key to accept a prediction. Conclusion While Google added some swanky new features to Gmail, the email service also got a facelift. The visual presentation was tweaked to be in line with Google’s Material Design Philosophy. Some other changes included font changes from Arial to Product Sans for interface elements and Roboto for email & messages – to make text reading easier on mobile devices.   Great, right? Well, if you’re not ready for change, Google as always respects that and you can revert to the old version with a single click. If you haven’t yet started using Gmail and these features excite you then head over to ResellerClub and you can get Gsuite for your business. A huge advantage with G Suite for businesses is that you can have branded email addresses for those in your organization.  Which means, you can have a or a all on the same Gmail platform. Here’s more information if you’re interested. I enabled the New Gmail for my inbox a few days ago and I love it! I love how easy it is to mark mails as ‘Unread’, to drop emails in the To-Do & have my calendar on the same window tab. It’s user friendly and efficient. Try and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

How to start a blog and make money- Part II

Welcome to the second part of ‘How to start a blog and make money’. In the first part, we discussed how you can get started with a blog and the advantages of becoming an affiliate. In this article, we discuss the monetization tactics used by bloggers in detail and why affiliate marketing is a much better monetization strategy than CPM/CPC or selling private ads. But before we talk about the same, let us understand why blogging has become a worthy source of income and what are the advantages of the same. By now, I’m sure that you would have a fair idea of the kind of topics you want to blog about. It could be a topic you are passionate about or something you know in depth. However, this passion and knowledge can prove to be very fruitful if you, as a blogger, know how to make money blogging in different ways. There are so many bloggers today that generate revenue from writing blogs. Some of the benefits of doing so can be given as follows: 1. Improved quality of content- Monetization through the blog makes one write better content. Allow us to explain – Writing a blog to make money, compels bloggers to push their standard of writing. This brings in more relevant viewers and increases the traffic on the blog. An increase in traffic, in turn, drives one to further improve the quality of the content and brings in more money as well. Many bloggers also use this revenue earned to promote their blogs on various other channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and gain more traction on the same. 2. Many streams of income- When it comes to monetizing through your blog, you can open the door for more than one revenue stream. A blogger can monetize your blog through native advertising, subscriptions, micropayments etc. This diversification helps you to relieve the pressure on a particular source of income and brings in more viewers as well as bucks through the blog. Now that you know what you want to write about, let’s understand how to make money writing a blogging by leveraging your passion and knowledge. What are the different ways of making money from a blog? There are some tried and tested ways that have given success to bloggers when it comes to adding revenue streams. Here are some of the key sources for doing the same: a. Monetizing through CPC or CPM ads One of the most common ways bloggers earn money is by putting banner ads on their website. We agree that ads could be a distraction, but not if you place ads that are relevant to your blog. For instance, if you have a blog that talks about fitness, then running ads about health products or supplements will make sense since the audience is likely to buy that product. Hence you can run ads based on a CPC model (cost per click) where you will get paid based on the total number of clicks or on a CPM model (cost per mille i.e per thousand impressions) where you can get paid based on the number of people that view your ad. In order to make this possible, you can approach an ad network like Google AdSense. One of the key benefits of doing so is that you won’t have to be in direct contact with advertisers. All you need to do is create an account with Google’s AdSense to get started with advertising on your blog. This account takes six months to get approved. Once it gets approved, Google will provide you with an ad placement code for you to insert. After inserting the code, Google will do rest of the work of selecting and choosing relevant ads to your content. However, do bear in mind that you will be able to earn a good amount only once you have a healthy and steady web traffic. This process takes consistent effort and time so you need to be at it for quite a while. b. Selling private ads The main difference between this and monetizing through CPC or CPM ads is that won’t be a middleman or an ad network in between to decide which ads run on your blog. This means you can set the ad rates yourself based on the credibility and web traffic that you have built through your blog. While making money from a blog, you can charge a one-time fee for posting an ad for a certain period of time. Or even charge on a monthly basis. In a bid to maximize your income, you can also sell sponsorship space in your email newsletters. c. Becoming an affiliate Affiliate marketing is a tactic used by many marketers to promote their products and services. This is how it works: A company makes a product or offers a service and wants to advertise it to the right target audience. Hence, they approach bloggers who can reach their audience, asking them to promote their product. In return, the blogger gets a commission from each sale if the buyer is coming from their site/blog. To make this foolproof, the company provides bloggers with an affiliate link to track purchases against the code given to the blogger. This way, the company knows when a buyer has used your link to make a purchase. When the reader clicks the link/banner ad and buys the product, the blogger earns their commission. A blogger can become an affiliate by joining an affiliate network such as Amazon Associates, vCommission, Commission Junction etc. They can also become an affiliate by approaching a brand or a company directly to earn money from blog. d. Selling digital products and resources You must already be aware of digital resources such as online courses, workshops, videos etc. that people can use in their own content. These products can be used to make money through your blog. There are so many users online that need eBooks, plugins and integrations to enrich their website. As a blogger, you can use your flair in writing to describe the features and benefits of such products. In addition to this, you can also sell renowned e-Commerce integrations such as Shopify and WooCommerce to attract a large number of readers. e. Guest blogging Guest blogging has allowed bloggers to not only add another revenue stream but also put themselves in front of a different audience. As a guest blogger, one can develop their relationship with a different set of bloggers in the field. This is beneficial from a networking point of view and finding newer opportunities. In addition to this, guest blogging is also a splendid way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your market. This helps bloggers attract brands and companies organically. Before choosing to become a guest blogger you should know whether sharing the space with another blogger is really going to help you. Try to understand what kind of a domain or page authority this blog holds and charge the partner accordingly. But most importantly, make sure that you write great content as a guest blogger since it is an effective tactic to attract a new audience on your blog. f. Becoming an online coach Mentoring is a great way to monetize through the blog. If you know that you are knowledgeable about a field, topic or a discipline, you should go the whole hog and monetize. There are so many users that are looking for online courses to learn a new skill or update themselves with new practices etc. In such cases, you can create a blog and give such users tips as to ‘how to go about doing’ something and make a video to supplement the content. You can also have Skype sessions and charge on a per hour basis or make ‘ask me directly’ chatbots to interact with your audience. However, becoming an online coach is not so easy. It not only takes dedicated hard work but also takes physical evidence to showcase that you are capable of delivering what you say. For. eg. there are so many dieticians and fitness instructors who claim to have years of experience but they don’t have physical evidence in terms of client testimonials or videos to show that they are capable of turning things around. So, if you are looking to become an online coach, pick a field that you know through and through and blog about it. After knowing these different means of earning money online, it is natural for one to feel ‘Okay, but which of these is the simplest form of making money through a blog?’ To this, our reply would be- becoming an affiliate. In the earlier part, we have seen how becoming an affiliate has a great advantage of making money online. We also saw that it involves zero investment in terms of money. In addition to this, there are many more benefits of becoming an affiliate by joining an affiliate program, especially if you are new to blogging. Let’s see what they are, shall we? Why is affiliate program a much better option than others for someone who has started blogging? First of all, being an affiliate does not require a blogger to be an expert about the product or the service. In fact, it is a great way to quickly maximize your earning potential from visitors to the blog with little or no effort (except your writing). Moreover, affiliates do not need to worry about processing orders or logistical details pertaining to the product after the sale is made. Neither do they need to worry about making ad banners to promote the products. On the contrary, bloggers will be given all the collateral material that is there to promote the product/brand. They will also have the liberty to promote as many products/services as they want and earn healthy commissions on the same. Secondly, affiliates can choose who they want to work for. They are not tied down to a particular brand /product or even a company. Hence, affiliates do not really have specific days or hours when it comes to work. They can choose their working hours according to their convenience. With an affiliate program, a blogger-turned-affiliate need not worry about the traffic coming to the website. In fact, joining an affiliate program will increase the probability of genuine leads to the blog since there will be a correlation between your blog and the product/service that you are advocating. A great affiliate program will look something like this: Allows you to sign-up for free Does not expect any commitment from you Does not charge you at any point in time Provides a good commission on every sale that you make Assists you with an affiliate manager to lubricate sales conversions If you compare an affiliate program to the other sources of making money from a blog, you will realize that becoming an affiliate has very little or no effort. By joining an affiliate program, you are not only adding an easy source of income but are also steering your reputation in your field/ industry as a trusted entity. At ResellerClub, we also offer an affiliate program and over the years have witnessed many such websites and blogs related to our industry earn handsome commissions by selling our products on their sites. Conclusion Many successful affiliates around the world started with a blog, just like you. But today, they are much coveted because of their blogging prowess and their ability to entice the right audience. We hope that you have understood how to make money blogging and why an affiliate program is a much more beneficial when it comes to earning money online. In case you haven’t started blogging yet, you can get yourself a WordPress hosting and start right away and go through our article and understand ‘how to start a blog’. Even though garnering a good number of followers on your blog may seem difficult in the initial stages, publishing relevant content with consistency, will help you attract a strong audience. You can also make your blog look better by availing some great themes. As your audience grows, so will your authenticity and reputation in your field as a blogger and then, earning money by becoming an affiliate will get much easier.

Top 5 Cloud based Security Solutions

In one of my earlier articles, I had covered one of the basic questions that comes to mind when thinking of moving to the Cloud – how secure is cloud storage? And I figured out despite the myths surrounding it, the cloud is as secure as any online service can be. However, there are always malicious entities on the lookout for attacking a vulnerability. One can minimise such a situation, by employing some cloud based security solutions. In this article, I’ll be covering the reasons to choose Cloud based security for your firm and the top cloud security solutions. Why Opt for Cloud Based Security Solutions It doesn’t matter whether you’re a startup or an established company, if you’re connected to the internet then you’re prone to cyber attacks. Hence, it is important to be vigilant and protect your network from hackers. One way is to employ Cloud-based security solutions as they are always accessible. These solutions offer to help secure your website in the following ways: Cloud-based security has better tracking and monitoring of attacks than non-cloud based security solutions. They provide real-time firewall and signature updates blocking harmful traffic. Provides 24*7 security and live monitoring of the website by encryption and tech support. Apart from the application and network scanning Cloud-based security solutions also boost the performance of your website speed by enabling CDN. Now, that we’ve seen the benefits of cloud based security, let’s see the top 5 cloud security solutions. Sophos Established in the year 1985, Sophos is a Security Company that provides cloud solutions like encryption, firewall, mobile and web security, etc. Its cloud based console is known as Sophos Central. Features that Sophos offers: Sophos Central provides runtime protection against attacks like ransomware, preventing external DLLs to load, mitigating exploits in the web, java applications, plugins etc. Provides security solutions like web, email, wireless, mobiles, encryption, web servers etc. SiteLock Established in the year 2008, SiteLock secures over 12+ million websites all across the globe. It is a cloud based security solution that protects websites from malware and other cyber threats. Features that SiteLock offers: SiteLock offers website protection by scanning vulnerabilities, detecting and eliminating malware, backdoors, and against attacks like DDoS, SQLi & XSS. It also offers static & dynamic caching, global CDN (Content Delivery Network) and load balancing thereby, accelerating and improving website performance. Proofpoint Established in the year 2002, Proofpoint is another leading cloud based security solution providing protection against various cybersecurity threats. It is a security and compliance company offering cloud based encryption support and solution. Features that Proofpoint offers: Proofpoint offers SaaS, email, social, attacks from email attachments and mobile solution from targeted cyber threats. It protects sensitive business data through cloud email security, providing solutions to small business and digital brands. Qualys Established in the year 1999, Qualys is another secure cloud solutions provider that offers security to your web and device apps, compliance and related services. It enables data protection by identifying compromised assets and securing them. Features that Qualys offers: Qualys offers end-to-end solutions like Cloud Infrastructure Security, Web App security, compliance, Endpoint security, DevSecOps etc keeping your teams in sync with each other. Offers security and reliability across public and private clouds, Vulnerability Management, Threat Protection, File Integrity Monitoring, etc. CipherCloud Established in the year 2010, CipherCloud is another popular cloud based security company across the three cloud models – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. It helps in protecting your data by monitoring and analyzing it. Features that CipherCloud offers: CipherCloud offers services across various sectors like government, telecommunication, pharmaceutical firms etc. It protects popular cloud applications like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Office 365 etc. Some of the services CipherCloud offers are preventing data loss, cloud encryption gateway, cloud computing and related security, tokenization etc. Conclusion: The following 5 were my picks for the top cloud based security solutions. Different Cloud security solutions have different features and pricing. When choosing a security solution, figure out your needs and then choose the one that is best for you. Take care that the solution you choose provides you adequate support and monitoring. Also, if you’re a new startup who is yet to figure out which cloud security solution to invest in, one basic protection can be choosing the right cloud hosting. As right hosting can go a long way in providing you additional security from hackers.

7 Vital Aspects to Remember in UX and SEO Website Optimization

There was a time in the history of search marketing and SEO when everything was simple. Most of the time, you would magically appear in the top of search engine results page by simply stuffing a certain keyword on your page, but times have changed. As time progresses, a myriad of factors is being considered by Google and other search engines when choosing what pages appear on top. However, these search factors were not imposed on websites overnight – it took Google a few years to significantly minimize, if not eradicate, spammy SEO methods that undermine search engines’ and websites’ user experience. Even up till today, the best practices in SEO are evolving, slowly shifting the focus from landing on top of SERPs to providing the best web experience to users. This shift is making the relationship between SEO and UX deeper, where SEO is tackling the technical comportments in search marketing, UX is making sure that websites and search results appeal to human visitors. To align your SEO practices and aim a balance between UX and SEO, here are some major tips you should bear in mind. Analyze What’s on Your Plate When working on any project, it is very important for any business or organization to know where you currently are first and what you intend to do. This is even all the more important when planning your SEO strategy. Know and establish what you aim to do with your website because the purpose of your business’ website must always be the focus of your website.However, it could be tricky to do as there are usually a number of business needs that are being served by a website. To help you identify what areas are important, try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask these questions: What do I expect to see on the website? Is the website designed holistically to support its purpose? Is the website organized, with good content structure and easy navigation? Does the website work on most mobile devices? When working on a project, it is common to get too focused and lose perspective, allowing personal biases and blind spots to prevent you from addressing key issues. Listen to suggestions from trusted influential people in e-commerce and take a step back to see the whole picture. Humans are your Target Audience Since SEO and UX concepts serve two different purposes, keeping these concepts in consideration can become complicated. Thankfully, as Google is slowly improving on their search engine and teaching it to read content as humans do, it is becoming easier to strike a balance between the two.However, web designers and search marketers must still be wary as some UX design elements are detrimental to SEO. Despite this, it’s best to still follow Google’s advice by keeping UX in the front seat and let SEO fall into place on its own. Importance of Load Time and Page Speed A website’s loading speed is very crucial in both user experience as well as SEO. It affects vital aspects such as your site’s bounce rate, conversion, and page abandonment, among others. Data from Kissmetrics established these striking pieces of data that underscore the importance of website page speed: 47% of website visitors and users assume pages to load in 2 seconds or even less. 40% of them will abandon a website if it takes more than 30 seconds to load. 79% of online shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website performance are less likely to buy from the same website again. 52% of the online shoppers stated that fast page load is crucial to their site loyalty. Improve your website’s load speed by looking into these factors: Compress your website and reduces redirects Eliminate render-blocking Javascript Take advantage of browser caching and improve your server response times Utilize a content distribution network Optimize images for faster loading Site Structure and Navigation A well-optimized website allows its users to quickly find information and content they need. To do this, your website must have an intuitive navigation that doesn’t only make it easy for your visitors to navigate your website but also improves your search ranking. An intuitive website adheres to best practices, such as the 3-click rule, which ensures that a user can see an overview of your website in just three clicks.When creating your site’s structure, remember to stay simple and concise. An elaborate website menu with intricate designs and fancy wordings tend to confuse users and turn them away. An overly elaborate website menu also prohibits search engines from properly reading your site, making it hard for search engines to make sense of your website. Don’t Ignore User Signals Although Google has disputed several claims saying that user indicators such as reviews, bounce rates, and time on site are directly affecting page ranks, there are studies that say otherwise, where a strong correlation between top ranking sites and user signals were established. Which is why more SEO experts are saying that user signals are poised to have a heavy influence on search engine rankings.If you have posts on your Google My Business page that visitors click on if customers are leaving 5-star reviews for your app, and if your visitors are clicking on the click-to-call button on your site’s mobile page, then these elements are most likely helping you rank better on SERPs. Mobile-Friendliness is a Must As more users are turning to mobile devices over desktop computers in connecting to the internet and searching for information, Google is integrating mobile-first search ranking factors. This means that Google’s algorithm will start giving mobile sites more weight compared to their desktop counterparts. Although not having a mobile version of your website will not cause it to drastically drop in search rankings, at this point, you should start planning to create a mobile website version.Should you choose to stick with your desktop website version that doesn’t adjust on mobile, the time your visitors spend on your page might get affected, which in turn, can influence your page rank.When creating a mobile website version, keep these thoughts in mind: Responsive design Readability on various device sizes without the need to zoom Relative button sizes for easy interaction Contains same high-quality content Structured both for mobile and desktop access Metadata is loaded on both versions Responsive Design Given that users are browsing from varying device types and sizes, a responsive website design is a recommended factor by Google. This allows websites to load according to specifications of the device a website is being accessed from, despite its lack of a mobile version.A responsive website design usually has these characteristics: Fluid website grid with proportional design elements Loads quickly Uses flexible images and texts Flawless usability Optimized divisions for future design updates UX and SEO work hand in hand As SEO-focused digital marketing teams realize the importance of skills related to UX, and as UX teams see the benefits of having a wider perspective in SEO – keeping the balance between these elements is slowly changing how an optimum website performance is achieved. By aligning a point of view from a user’s perspective in designing websites, proponents in search engine companies such as Google are making radical shifts on how websites are being ranked on SERPs, making websites work for humans better than ever before.

Top WordPress Security Plugins in 2018

WordPress is one of the most trusted and widely used CMS’s powering over 30% websites all across the globe. As a website owner, taking care of the security of your website is a key concern. Encrypting your website using an SSL Certificate or a website security solution like SiteLock are some common forms of WordPress security. Another way to ensure the security of your WordPress website is by installing security plugins. In this post, we’ll be covering how plugins can help in securing your website and feature our list of the top WordPress security plugins. How do plugins help in securing a website Most folks think that installing a plugin is equal to inviting problems. However, this is not at all true. Installing a plugin is the easiest way to integrate a feature in your WordPress website. However, you must take care that the plugin you install is from a trusted source and has a good rating. Some of the ways in which WordPress plugins offer to secure your website are – monitoring vulnerabilities, managing access control, backups, protection from spam emails, data theft protection, email, firewalls, etc among other things. Now that we know the basic functionality a plugin provides in helping secure a website, let us check the 4 top WordPress security plugins. WordFence Security With over 2+ million active installations, WordFence Security is a popular open source firewall and malware scanner. WordFence protects your website from being hacked and alerts you if it senses your site has become vulnerable. It scans your website’s core files and themes & plugins installed via official WordPress repository to check their authenticity. It is one of the top WordPress security plugins. Features of WordFence Security: Has a database of over 44,000 malware signatures known as WordPress security threats. Apart from core files, plugins and themes it also checks bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects, malware and code injections. It protects the website from a brute-force attack (continuous login attempt with incorrect credentials). It has a premium version too which includes features like Real-Time Blacklisted IP address and firewall. iThemes Security iThemes Security, formerly known as Better WP Security has over 900,000+ active installations. It is open source in nature and available in both free and premium versions. The plugin is one of the best WordPress security plugin and is available in over 10 languages and helps solidify user credentials by halting automated attacks and fixing vulnerabilities. Features of iThemes Security: To run the security plugin one the foremost requirements is that your WordPress should be up to date as it doesn’t run on outdated versions. iThemes Security strengthens server-side security and prevents brute-force attacks by forbidding users, bots or agents when they’ve crossed a login attempt limit. It has a 2-way authenticator (Google) and Google reCAPTCHA to protect your website from spammers in its pro version. It also provides wp-cli integration, automatic WordPress dashboard management and online file comparison to check if any source code was modified or not. All In One WP Security & Firewall Available in over 4 languages with more than 600,000+ active installations, All in One WP Security & Firewall is a free and open source plugin that secures your site by monitoring for vulnerabilities and attacks. It encourages the user to set-up strong passwords to minimize login attempts. Also, the plugin can be translated to any language. It is currently available for translation in 11 languages. Features of All in One WP Security & Firewall: Monitors malicious login attempts by protecting against Brute-Force attack. However, apart from just stopping the user from logging in, it even notes down the user id/password, date and time, as well as the IP address, used to login into the WordPress website. Apart from this, to strengthen the security of the website it logs out all the users logged in after a certain amount of time. It also enables manual approval of the WordPress user accounts. The plugin allows the admin to schedule one-click automatic backups and email notifications. Enables firewalls and blocks several attacks like XSS (Cross Site Scripting), crawlers like fake Google bots and also prevents image hotlinking. Sucuri Security Another best WordPress security plugin is Sucuri Security. It is a free and open source plugin with an active installation of over 400,000+ and available in two languages. It is an auditing, malware scanning and security hardening plugin. It also includes a firewall to protect your WordPress website. Features of Sucuri Security: One of the key features of Sucuri security is Security Activity Auditing. In this, the system admin has the ability to monitor who the had logged into the system or made any changes to it. It allows remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring scanning and file integrity monitoring. Although almost all features of Sucuri are included in the free version, the website firewall feature is a part of the premium version and can be activated on purchase. It secures your website from attacks like DoS/DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), Brute-Force attacks etc. It provides security notifications that are used to notify the owner of any security related issue as and when configured. Conclusion: Ensuring the security of your website is a crucial and critical task. Apart from installing the top WordPress security plugins perform regular security checks, update your WordPress website regularly and take backups. In the end, installing a plugin helps you monitor and protect your website with ease. If you have a simple blog, you can opt for a free plugin. However, if you are an SMB then once your traffic and reach increases, you can plan to switch to the premium version of the plugin.

What is Ceph Storage?

Enterprises deploying cloud hosting needed storage solutions that can help them manage critical business data. With the rise of open source software and high-performance storage systems, their penetration into cloud technology became imminent. Underlining this principle of high-performance storage systems for fast compute speed, Ceph storage was formed. What is Ceph Storage? Ceph is an open source software put together to facilitate highly scalable object, block and file-based storage under one whole system. The clusters of Ceph are designed in order to run commodity hardware with the help of an algorithm called CRUSH (Controlled Replication Under Scalable Hashing). This algorithm ensures that all the data is properly distributed across the cluster and all cluster nodes can assimilate as well as retrieve data quickly without any constraints. Think of Ceph this way- you have a large amount of data that can be sorted into clusters as well as subclusters. Now, the subclusters have to be a part of a cluster so that the right information belongs to the right lineage. Enter CRUSH, a scalable hashing algorithm which helps you divide the data into the right clusters as well as subclusters. This data, properly slotted can be retrieved as and when one wants. Thus, Ceph can not only store large amounts of data but also simplify access to the same. Hope this answers your question to- What is Ceph storage? In addition to this explanation, the article aims to give you a complete understanding of the working of Ceph storage, its features, advantages and why is it used. So, let’s dive in and know more. How does Ceph storage work? Ceph uses Ceph Block Device, a virtual disk that can be attached to bare-metal Linux-based servers or virtual machines. RADOS (Reliable Autonomic Distributed Object Store), an important component in Ceph, provides block storage capabilities like snapshots and replication which can be integrated with OpenStack Block Storage. Ceph also makes use of POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface), a Ceph file system to store data in their storage clusters. The file system uses the same clustered system as Ceph block storage and object storage to store a large amount of data. On the whole, Ceph’s functioning as a storage system is quite simple. Hence, it is deployed by many hosting and IT solution providers for their clients. What are the features of Ceph storage and why do we need it? Since data is growing at an exponential rate today, organizations need a solution that can store large data volumes effectively. This has been a major challenge. Ceph storage is an effective tool that has more or less responded effectively to this problem. In addition to this, Ceph’s prominence has grown by the day because- 1) Ceph supports emerging IT infrastructure: Today, software-defined storage solutions are an upcoming practice when it comes to storing or archiving large volumes of data. One of the prime reasons for this being legacy infrastructure and solutions cannot meet the storage needs at a reasonable cost. Moreover, with cloud technology being increasingly leveraged by IT organizations, providing a solution as befitting becomes necessary. All these factors have helped Ceph steal an important spot when it comes to new infrastructure. 2) Ceph provides dynamic storage clusters: Most storage applications do not make the most of the CPU and RAM available in a typical commodity server but Ceph storage does. Right from rebalancing the clusters to recovering from errors and faults, Ceph offloads work from clients by using distributed computing power of Ceph’s OSD (Object Storage Daemons) to perform the required work. 3) Ceph is scalable, reliable and easy to manage: Ceph allows organizations to scale without affecting their Cap-ex or Op-ex. A Ceph node leverages commodity hardware and intelligent daemons along with Ceph Storage Clusters which communicate with each other to replicate and redistribute data dynamically. These nodes are monitored by Ceph monitors to ensure their high availability. To put it in a nutshell, Ceph has transformed IT organizations when it comes to data storage. How is Ceph storage beneficial for web professionals and how can they make the most out of it? Ceph runs on any commodity hardware without any vendor lock-in. As a software-defined storage solution, it provides flexibility in hardware selection as well. This has made it quite popular among web professionals. In addition to these benefits, Ceph provides many advantages which can be listed as follows: a) Data safety– Ceph makes each data update visible to clients. In addition to this, they also let users know that this updated data is safely replicated on a disk and will survive power or other failures. Moreover, RADOS dissociates synchronization from safety while acknowledging updates in a bid to allow Ceph to realize low-latency updates for app synchronization and data safety semantics. In this manner, Ceph storage ensures data safety for users. b) Failure detection- Spotting errors or failures at the right time is of essence while securing data. However, this can get difficult with too many clusters on a large scale. OSDs (Object Storage Daemons) can self-report in such cases. If OSDs do not hear of any failures from peers then a RADOS considers two dimensions of the OSD- a) whether it is reachable or b) whether it is assigned data by CRUSH. In case the OSD is not responsive, it gets marked down and any primary responsibility that it holds is passed to the next OSD on a temporary basis. Thus, Ceph monitoring detects anomalies, if any, in a distributive environment. Also, this distributed detection allows quick detection without burdening the monitors while resolving inconsistencies. c) Cluster recovery and updates- In case of OSD failures, OSD cluster maps undergo changes. In a bid to provide fast recovery, OSD maintains a version number for each object and a log for recent changes. So, for example, let us consider OSD1 and OSD2. If OSD1 crashes and is marked down, its status is updated and OSD2 takes over. Once OSD1 recovers, it will request the latest map on boot and a monitor will mark it as up. This OSD2 realizes that it is no longer required to conduct primary responsibilities and allows OSD1 to take over to retrieve log entries. In this manner, Ceph not only allows data storage to remain safe but also recovers clusters of data quickly. d) Data distribution & replication- Ceph adopts a simple strategy when it comes to distributing data. Ceph maps objects into PGs (placement groups) using a simple hash function. These placement groups are then assisted to OSDs using CRUSH to store object replicas. This differs from conventional approaches where one has to depend on a lot of metadata, though Ceph also uses metadata in a very small way. Also, when it comes to replication, data is replicated in terms of these placement groups each of which is mapped to an ordered list of OSDs. This distribution and replication have made Ceph a scalable storage solution. Conclusion If you look at Ceph as a whole it has addressed three crucial challenges when it comes to storage systems- scalability, reliability and performance. Most importantly, its central tenets- RADOS, CRUSH, and POSIX have made Ceph a holistic storage system. In addition to this, it is also useful in securing cloud storage. We hope that with this article, you have understood what Ceph storage is and why is it preferred by hosting providers and businesses. If you have any queries about -What is Ceph storage? feel free to write about them in the comment section below.  

Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

A recent survey conducted by hashedout, revealed that 49% of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress’ latest version. As the most popular CMS in the world with over 60 million users or 30% of websites running the script, it is a huge target for several cyber threats ( WordPress version releases: 2018 marks 15 years since WordPress was first introduced to the world. It has undergone quite a transformation since then. As an open-source software, its features are continuously supported and updated by WordPress developers all over the world. Once a bug, issue or change request is identified or reported, these dedicated members of the WordPress community update and release the changes as soon as possible. In fact, any WordPress user (including yourself!) can report an issue or suggest a change in WordPress. You can take a look at existing issues and also find out how you can contribute to WordPress in your capacity as a web developer. Further, if you have any ideas on how to make the WordPress platform better, you can submit your idea and have other users vote to endorse it at You can also take a look at the WordPress roadmap which has links to all future releases. You could see an idea you’ve submitted go live soon! WordPress version 4.9.5 (which was released on April 3rd) is possibly one of the last releases to go live before the huge revamp to the WordPress Editor, ’Gutenberg’ releases later this year as WordPress version 5.   Highlights of WordPress’ latest version 4.9.5: PHP recommended version 7.2 Image source: WordPress is largely built with PHP. Like WordPress, PHP is also continuously updated for improved security and functionality. Its latest version 7.2.2 was released in November 2017. Updating your PHP version will speed up the performance of your WordPress website and offer improved security. WordPress recommends a PHP version of 7 or higher to run the script effectively for your website. Tests done by phoronix.xom states the vast difference in performance by PHP 7.2 vs. PHP 5.3 Image source: Here’s how to check if you have PHP version 7.2 or how to upgrade to version 7.2- A short note before you upgrade your version, take a backup of your website content to be on the safe side. You will also first need to check that your theme and plugins are compatible with the latest PHP version as well. Log into your cPanel Go to ‘Software’ Select PHP version You may see a version 5 as your default version Check the drop-down list for the lastest 7.2 version Set it as your current version        2. Install the upcoming Project Gutenberg in just 2 clicks! Image source: While the release is slated for later this year, users can easily install the beta version of the new editor to try it out.   3. ‘Cheating, uh?’ Error message has been replaced Image source: This rather weird message usually occurs when people try to access a function that is not available in the admin panel. The new message (apart from being more polite) will now also explain to people what exactly went wrong.   4. Security updates to WordPress version 4.9.4 WordPress version 4.9.5 plugged 3 security issues present in the previous version: To no longer treat the localhost as same host by default. To use safe redirects when redirecting the login page if the SSL is forced To make sure the version string is correctly escaped for use in generator tags Twenty-five other bugs were fixed in WordPress 4.9.5. Particularly of note were: Previous styles on caption shortcodes have been restored WordPress now supports cropping on touch screen phones and devices A variety of strings such as error messages have been updated for better clarity The position of an attachment placeholder during uploads has been fixed Custom nonce functionality in the REST API JavaScript client has been made consistent throughout the code base You can read more about the changes/introductions with this update here.   How to update to the latest WordPress version; If you have an old version of WordPress, you will see a message like this when you log into your admin panel. Click on the version link. For most, this one-click way should work. If it doesn’t, you may need to update your WordPress website manually. If you have purchased WordPress hosting from ResellerClub, you don’t need to worry about anything- your WordPress version will be updated automatically.   We hope you we’ve helped you discover some insights into the dynamic world of WordPress! Do you know which WordPress version you’re running? Make sure you upgrade now to WordPress’ latest version for great website performance.

Designing Dialog to improve UX

After writing about GDPR and Themes, Plugins and Logos I’m back to writing about my favourite subject – design. Today I’m excited to write about best practices for designing dialogs to improve UX. Let me first spend a little time talking about what a dialog is. What is a dialog? The dialog in design is a prompt or an overlay that requires the user to interact with it to make an action. An example of this is Microsoft Word’s prompt when you attempt to close a document before saving it. A dialog informs the user : That he / she needs to take an action Of critical information That attention needs to be given to a specific task Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for designing these dialogs: Limit the number of dialogs you build in: No one likes multiple interruptions. Interruptions force users to stop their current task and deal with the dialog. I suggest limiting the use of dialogs unless absolutely necessary like in the case of a ‘Save’ option in Word. It’s also a good practice to show a dialog only when the user does something like click a button. Sometimes an unnecessary dialog could even put the user off, making him exit the webpage altogether. Like a mandatory ‘Subscribe’ dialog in a blog or a subscription to a newsletter. 2) Ensure the questions & options are clear: A lot of time, dialogs have language that is not user-friendly. Dialogs should speak the language of the user. Instead of a ‘WARNING’, use a ‘Delete your account?’. The question should be clear with a line of explanation. One way of being clear is to let the user know the impact of his decision. You can do this by providing additional information in the dialog. 3) Use dialogs to indicate to the user his action has been processed: When an action is complete, let the user know through a dialog. 4) Keep it short, silly: I cannot stress this enough – minimal is best. Especially with a subscribe dialog or if you want your user to fill out a form,  less is more. Additional, unnecessary fields will only confuse the user. Take a look at this simple, 2-field form. 5) Avoid multiple forms within a single dialog: As I mentioned in my previous point, keep things simple. Multiple forms confuse the user especially if it’s on a dialog. A better way is to create a new landing page for the forms. If you find yourself cramming too many elements in a dialog, it’s probably best to create a new page. 6) The background is important: Using a darkened, greyed out background does a few things: It draws the user’s attention to the dialog It also lets the user know that can get back to the screen he/she was on once the user engages with the dialog Keep in mind the graying out cannot be too dark or too light. Too dark can hide the primary page and too light can miss the dialog box, thinking the primary page is still active. 7) Make the ‘Close’ or the ‘X’ clearly visible: Let’s admit, a dialog is intrusive to a user. While it may be to convey something important to the user, it could be frustrating too. It can be even more frustrating if the user wants to get rid of the dialog but is unable to locate the ‘X’ or the ‘Close’ with ease. Well, that’s a wrap! I hope this article helps you design some fabulous dialogs for your website. Got more tips? Feel free to drop us a comment in the box below. Until the next article, adios!


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