BigRock Blog

.BIZ – The Perfect Place for Your Online Business

A name is a powerful thing. It is the mirror that highlights the identity of anything it is associated with, be it a person, place, product, brand or a domain. And when it comes to your website to be recognised as a business website, .BIZ is a sought after option.  Moreover, branding is integral to a business and .BIZ domain extension is the quickest way to establish your business and find customers. .BIZ is an ideal choice for businesses, be it small, medium or large scale. The domain extension ensures transparency, professionalism and status of the online business it is associated with.  Now, more than ever owing to lockdown restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing an online presence for your business is important. If you’re worried about it being expensive, worry not. With BigRock’s Flash sale running 19th May you can avail the .BIZ domain extension at an unbelievably low cost.  Why choose .BIZ? It is synonymous with business It helps establish the online presence of your business  It is short, crisp and easy to remember It improves the SEO of your website Furthermore, .BIZ domain extension has seen a steady rise in registrations since the time it has been launched.  .BIZ is beneficial for: Kickstarting your online business Startups  E-commerce websites Business & corporate companies Online entrepreneurs of all sizes The BigRock Advantage With the BigRock Flash Sale, you can get the ever-popular .BIZ domain extension as low as Rs. 199. This offer is for a limited time period!  If you’re still considering setting up an online business then this is the right time! All you need to do is register your domain name with the .biz extension, select a hosting plan and set up your website, So, what are you waiting for? Get .BIZ at unbelievably low prices till 19th Match and enter the growing world of online business to make profits today! And just in case, you miss the flash sale price worry not as .BIZ will still be available at a nominal price of Rs. 399!

How to Ramp up Customer Engagement to Boost Business

Staying connected and actively communicating is intrinsic to human nature — now more than ever before.  Ever since COVID-19 has gripped the world, the need, value and essence of being connected and actively communicating have grown manifolds. Be it in our personal or professional life, people and businesses across the globe are ramping up communication through multiple customer engagement channels, and across platforms.  While some brands have come up with inspiring communication styles, others are still working on it. But what remains common across all, is the understanding that this is the need of the hour.  But, the question is, why stop here?  Great customer engagement is the foundation for building long term relationships, that is fostered by trust, reliability, brand familiarity and open communication.  These unusual times call for extensive communication plans with customers and clients, but why stop this healthy communication even when normalcy restores? Take this as a learning phase, a time to reassess your business’s communication strategies and work towards ramping up customer engagement — now, and from now on!  The Need To Boost Customer Engagement If you find yourself asking, “Why do I need to put time, effort, and resources to build customer engagement?”, think about this:  While reaching out to your customers on need-basis, is important, it’s surely not enough. You may send an email to confirm orders, give shipment details, notify about ongoing promotions, or notify about change in business operations. This communication does not classify as engaging with your customers. These are mechanical, dry, and often automated communications that evoke no human connection or inspire healthy communication.  Customer engagement, on the other hand, aims at showing the human side of your business. The side that cares for the customer’s opinions, needs, expectations and wants to hear from them. Healthy customer engagement inspires a two-way dialogue. The benefits of customer engagement include:  Customers stay updated about your business Your business receives first-hand information, opinions, and thoughts of customers Allows you to know needs, demands, expectations of customers, and work on them Customers know you’re listening, thus build more trust and loyalty for your business In a nutshell, customer engagement is a two-way street that benefits both you and your customers. You can deliver customer excellence, while customers can rely on you for a delightful experience of doing business with you.  It simply translates to: More Customer Engagement = More Business for you How to Ramp Up Customer Engagement  Now that we’ve understood the need to boost customer engagement, let’s dive deeper into how you can ramp it up. Looking at how customers look for, engage with and interact with businesses today, there are two customer engagement channels you need to invest your time, money and resources in:  Emails Social Media Platforms Email Communication: Your customer’s inbox is buzzing with emails, and you need to make an impact and stand out in the crowd. Sending out personalized email communication, that is relevant to your customers will get noticed, and keep your brand email top-of-mind. This includes promotional emails that notify customers about ongoing sales and offers, as well as tailor-made communication that engages and interacts with them.  Note: Never buy email lists, or you’ll risk being marked as spam. Always work towards organically building your email list to gain maximum benefits.  Social Media Platforms: Social media platforms have become the go-to place for customers to look for new businesses, interact with businesses, refer businesses, and engage with businesses. Depending on your business, choose the platforms that work best for you, and create a healthy strategy that allows people to engage with you, and gives them a chance to connect with you.  Plan. Innovate. Create   Alright, we’re all set to start building a plan to boost customer engagement, and in turn, your business. Now that we know that Emails and Social Media Platforms are the most effective customer engagement channels to build this plan, let’s look at what are the different types of communications we can build.  Customer Stories Highlight and talk about your business’s most valued asset — your customers. Customer Stories are a great way to showcase that your business values customers and at the same time encourage other customers to share their stories with you. Depending on the nature of your business, you could showcase how your customers are benefitting from your business.  For example, if a customer buys a domain name from BigRock, and their online presence helps them do more business, they become a success story to share. This will inspire others to buy their domain names and build their web presence. You can share customer stories via both email and social media.  Feedback and Surveys Getting first-hand information from your customers is the best way to make your business strategies stronger. Create feedback and survey forms, and request your customers to take them. First, decide what information you are seeking, and accordingly build your forms. This also allows you to understand pain points, demands and expectations of your customers. However, the most important thing to remember is to not only receive feedback and survey results but also take the result into consideration, so your customers know you value their opinion.  For example, if you are an ice cream store, and planning a special summer menu, you could build a survey form to ask your customers what flavours they would want to see on the menu. Once you have the results, you can call it the ‘Customer Special Flavor’ and thank your customers for their opinion.  Customer Contributions Encourage your customers to submit valuable content. You can create an email and social media post, asking customers to share their stories. This could be in the form of blogs, pictures, testimonials, stories, designs or other ways that work for your business. This gives your customers a platform to display your work, and also builds your credibility amongst existing as well as potential customers.  For example, say you have a business that offers interior designing services. You could ask customers to share their interior designing skills through pictures of their own homes, share stories about their interior design journeys, or even share DIY design ideas.  Contests Who doesn’t love a fun contest? Your customers will! Whether or not there is a reward at the end of the contest, you can create contests to boost brand engagement and present a fun and interactive side of your business. Adding a reward at the end will certainly boost participation, however, you can create a healthy mix of contents with and without rewards.  For example, let’s assume you run a photography business. Create a contest that invites people to participate in a photo-sharing contest. You can then create a poll for people to choose the best submissions. The reward could be as simple as featuring the winner’s picture on your social media platform or extending a free photography class to the winner. You could give a theme like ‘nature’, ‘abstract’, ‘black and white’, or let people pick their themes.  Product Updates and Promotions Use emails and social media platforms to boost brand engagement by notifying customers about upcoming and ongoing sales and promotions. You can also communicate about product updates, upcoming events, or even new products that you may soon be launching. It helps build excitement, grabs customer attention, and promises a better response for your business.  For example, say you’re adding a new line of men’s fashion wear to your apparels e-commerce store. Send out notifications to let your customers know about the upcoming line, what’s it all about, and what they can expect.  Discussions and Forums To boost customer engagement, sometimes all you need to do is provide a platform that allows customers to talk to one another, while you can listen and learn more about what they have to say. Social media platforms allow you to create discussion boards and forums where people can come and share their expectations, thoughts and opinions. You can get deeper insight from these to better build and grow your business.  For example, if you’re a business that offers web designing services, create a forum encouraging people to share the problems they face with their web design, and what solutions they are looking for. This will help you offer better services that solve common problems faced by existing and potential customers.  Connect, Communicate & Grow While COVID-19 has forced us to constantly keep communicating and staying connected with our customers, keep up the efforts even after this pandemic ends. Engaging with your customers helps you grow your business while ensuring complete customer satisfaction.  Using customer engagement channels for effective communication, like email and social media, allows you to connect to your customers at a personal level and let them know that you’re listening, and taking the right measures to offer excellence. Get creative with your communication!  Stop, reassess and reinvent your customer engagement strategies to build a flourishing network of customers that rely on you, recognize your brand, and trust you to deliver the best.  Do you have questions or suggestions? Please share in the comments. Let’s keep the conversation going! Read more Learning and Resources blogs that help you boost brand engagement and grow your business.   

Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting: Important Things to Know Before You Buy

Owning and running a successful website allows you to extend your reach, get more business, and claim an impactful digital space for your business or brand. Your website is your digital address where people can reach you, do business with you, and know more about the products or services you offer.  Whether you’re an e-commerce store, a blogging platform, or a business that offers services, one of the most important factors to consider is complete stability and security. This includes security of all the data you may collect from your website, the security of all your files, stable running — everything that offers a hassle-free and seamless experience for your website visitors.  Assuming you understand what is web hosting, and the different kinds of web hosting, let’s dive in and learn more about VPS Hosting — a highly advanced and secure hosting plan for websites.  VPS, or Virtual Private Server, hosting allows you to host your website on a virtual but private server that stores all your data and files needed by your website for smooth running. Although Shared, Virtual Private Server security is higher as your website’s resources are not being shared with other users. Think of this like owning a commercial property within a mall. While the mall shares space with multiple brands, your commercial space is exclusively owned by you, thus allowing you to completely control everything you store in there.  There are many advantages of a Virtual Private Server, especially for websites that receive medium-sized traffic. At this stage, a Shared Hosting plan may pose a certain risk to your website security, but with VPS hosting you can control security risks. Virtual Private Server security is undoubtedly high, but there are both advantages and disadvantages of VPS hosting that you must consider before you choose the right VPS hosting plan for your website. Advantages of VPS Hosting Cost-Effective As compared to Dedicated Hosting service that needs to use a physical server, instead of a virtual one as in the case of VPS, making it less expensive and cost-effective in the long run.  Customizable VPS hosting gives you root access which allows you to install scripts and software, making it customizable to fit your needs.  Security Unlike Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server security is much more enhanced, allowing you greater security and minimizing security risks.  Stability Since the server is private, fluctuations or surges faced by other users do not affect your website, thus boosting the stability of your website functioning.  Control VPS Hosting offers you higher control with full root access, giving you complete control over the management of how your server resources are deployed.  Disadvantages of VPS Hosting Budget If you’re just starting out, or have a limited budget, VPS Hosting may be slightly more expensive as compared to shared hosting. Although, if your website traffic is medium to large-sized, Shared Hosting may not be able to offer stable functionality.  Management VPS Hosting requires a higher technical understanding to self-manage. However, you can always opt for fully-managed VPS Hosting.  Technical issues In case you’re planning to manage your VPS Hosting, you need to ensure proper configurations or your website may be at a higher security risk.  How to Run a VPS Server  Now that we know everything about VPS Hosting, and the pros and cons it brings with it, you may have a fair understanding of the type of hosting service you want for your website.  If your website sees medium-sized traffic, VPS hosting is definitely the best option for you. Once you have chosen the type of hosting, the next step is to choose a hosting provider. BigRock, one of the industry leaders in web hosting and domains, offers great hosting plants and services, allowing you to run a VPS server, with a team of experts that provide complete support and customer-first services. Just choose your plan, and let the experts take over!  Grow With Virtual Private Server Security  Security is of paramount importance when it comes to running a successful website. Your clients and customers rely on you to offer a completely secure and reliable website experience, and this in turn also allows you to continue delighting them. With virtual private server security, you can be sure that your files and data are safe and risk-free — allowing you to grow, do more, and get more from your website.  Ready to get hosting? If you have any more questions, please feel free to share in the comments below.  To know more, and to stay updated with the latest in our hosting world, head to our Hosting Blogs category. 

5 Easy Tips to Secure your Website

You’ll be surprised at how common data breaches are! According to a study by the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds, on an average that’s around 2,244 times a day. Well, given the statistics, keeping your website secure is of utmost importance. Securing a website not only helps your website avoid bugs but also makes sure you don’t lose your data and, in turn, the money invested to run your website. The question that arises is ‘How should one secure a website?’ Here are 5 simple tips to keep your website safe and secure: Install an SSL certificate Installing an SSL certificate is the simplest way to keep your website secure. An SSL certificate ensures that your website is protected by encrypting the transmission channel between your website and the server.  One of the easiest ways to know if the SSL certificate is installed properly is by checking the green lock symbol in the address bar of your web browser and the ‘https’ at the start of your website URL. The ‘s’ in HTTPS stands for Secure and is added once the SSL certificate is in place.  SSL certificate makes sure that your connection is secure and private even when you enter credit card details, passwords and other sensitive information, along with the data on your website. At BigRock, we value our customer’s website and website security. To ensure this our web hosting packages come with a free SSL certificate to keep your website secure from the moment it is up and running! 2. Keep your website software up-to-date Whether you run your website on a pre-built CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. or have coded your own website backend, it is important that you keep the software up-to-date.  One way to ensure this is, by regularly updating the security patches that the software rolls out. This is important as hackers can take advantage of the bugs and security loopholes and exploit your website. Updating to the latest software version helps fix bugs if any.  Open-source software codes are more vulnerable to hacker exploits as they are available for all to use. If you use open-source software it is more important that you regularly check the software repository for the latest version updates to keep your website secure. If you use WordPress CMS your web hosting provider may regularly update the software version, nevertheless, it is a good practice to login to your WordPress dashboard and update your CMS regularly.   3. Install security plugins Plugins are another simple way to keep your website secure. There are tons of security plugins available that offer protection against hackers and malicious codes. Depending on the CMS you are using you may choose the security plugin of your choice.  Here are some security tools that you may find helpful: WordPress Plugins: WordFence Security All In One WP Security & Firewall Cerber Security, Antispam & Malware Scan iThemes Security  Drupal Security Modules: Challenge-response and spam detection modules like Captcha and reCaptcha Authentication modules like Secure Login and OAuth Password module like Password Policy Joomla Security Extensions JomDefender RSFirewall Antivirus Website Protection Eyesight 4. Use strong passwords  Setting strong passwords is sage advice. Most people despite knowing the threat a weak password poses, choose to keep it simple, only because it is easy to remember! Well, everything easy comes with a price and the price of an easy password can be quite high. Some of the common passwords that hackers will have no issues cracking include ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’, ‘qwerty123’, ‘iloveyou’ and other such easy to remember passwords.  Few steps you can take to set up a strong password are: Your password must be 8 to 12 characters long Your password must be a combination of at least 1 uppercase character, lowercase letters, special characters and numbers Don’t set up predictable passwords like date of birth, name, company name, country name, website service name, etc. depending on your website Remember, if you do run an e-commerce website it is of utmost importance. That said, even if you’re not an e-commerce website it is important to have a strong password. ! 5. Invest in automatic backups  It is always important to be prepared for the worst. Assume, the worst-case scenario of losing all your website data despite having all the security checks in place. At a time like this, it is important that you have an option to recover all your website data as trying to gather lost data can be quite a task.  Regular automatic backup services make sure that your data is backed up regularly and, in case of a data breach, recovering data is easy and less stressful. Moreover, automatic backups are not costly if that’s what you are worried about. Depending on your data you can choose a plan. One backup service we can vouch for is Codeguard. Codeguard is affordable and takes backup over the cloud, so you always have your data whenever you need it!  Learning how to secure a website and keeping it protected is a major part of keeping it safe and healthy. If you don’t have these security measures in place, it is time you make sure to take care of these to keep your worries at bay. Remember, time is of the essence and keeping your website secure goes a long way when it comes to mental peace and the future of your website. We at BigRock, aim to safeguard your website by providing security features. You can check our website for the same or get in touch with our support executive via call, chat and email.* *In these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, our support teams are still available on Phone and Chat. We regret any delays or difficulties that may be caused as we adjust to the countrywide lockdown. If you would like to know more about how to secure your website, check out our other blogs in the Security category.

7 Brands to Take Business Inspiration From During COVID-19

Businesses are being impacted like never before. COVID-19 has forced businesses to think out-of-the-box and continue functioning in ways, like we’ve never seen before.  As we collectively navigate through this global pandemic, it’s time to reimagine and reinvent business strategies that allow us to come out stronger, and profitable. The commitment to serve our customers and delight them even through these difficult times is enough driving force to keep at it.  While some businesses already had a basic foundation that needed tweaking to continue operation, others have had to make monumental shifts to their business strategies to stride over. It’s inspiring, as well as exciting, to see businesses come up with new and creative ways to maintain business continuity.  So what are some of the businesses doing to continue serving their customers?  As a customer, I have received communication regarding COVID-19 from many brands that I often interact with. While I feel each of these brands has done a commendable job at reassuring me that they will continue to serve me, some left a greater impact. Why? Regular and relevant communication, ease of doing business and multi-channel communication are some of the reasons that stuck with me. I have curated a list of 7 businesses that inspired and reassured me during these first-of-its-kind times that we are living through!  Inspiring and Reimagined COVID-19 Business Strategies 1. Swiggy — No contact delivery  Busy schedules, good food, the convenience of eating delectable food from the comfort of your own home, offers, promotions, exploring new food joints — these are just some of the reasons that almost everyone today uses food applications like Swiggy. Although only a few restaurants per area are functioning, Swiggy was one of the firsts to update their website and mobile application with a ‘No Contact Delivery’ option. It details how delivery partners could leave the food package at a central location outside residential buildings, or outside someone’s door to minimize contact, and thus the risk of spreading COVID-19. Here’s what the update on their application looks like:  2. ICICI — Reinventing promotional messaging Not only did I receive multiple emails and text messages from ICICI informing me that their online banking services can combat the need for me to physically visit one of their branch locations, but they also did a great job at churning out some crafty promotional messages. The organization has been using this current situation to their advantage, without being insensitive or using it as a time to push obnoxious offers. Here’s one of the emails I got; the crisp and to-the-point copy text was a pleasant welcome:  3. GoAir — Updated website Homepage with COVID-19 safety block With the travel industry coming to a complete halt, it was almost immediately necessary for all travel businesses to get into action and reach out to customers with information regarding the same. Since email communication may sometimes get ignored in a busy inbox, the need to update website information became top priority. Here’s how GoAir, updated their website Homepage with clear and concise content blocks dedicated to COVID-19:  4. Pizza Express — Safety and precaution update email A successful business always runs with a customer-first approach. Not every business is capable of running and doing business during these times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t communicate with your customers. A simple email communication informing customers about a business shutdown, and a heartfelt message that shows you care is all you need to reinstate the trust and credibility of your brand. Here’s an email I received from one such brand that I can’t wait to get back to:  5. Scribd — Thought leadership It’s time like these that leaders need to lead from the front and make important decisions. Hearing from leaders — of the country, an industry, or a brand — establishes trust and evokes a feeling of reliability. If you are a business owner, or managing communication for your brand, let your customers hear from those who are the face of the brand. The CEO of Scribd stepped up and directly communicated with customers, through the brand’s website. It’s a message that’s reassuring, acknowledges the current situation and includes a great offer for the customers. Take a look at it:  6. Nykaa — Continued email communication Impactful communication is an ongoing process. Sure, send emails and text messages to inform your customers about the situation, and how your brand is striding over — what next? Keep the communication going, keeping it relevant and useful. This brand has pleasantly surprised me with consistent communication that talks about all the important things, while sticking to an on-brand style of communication. Check it out:  7. Airtel — Text message Like most traditional industries, telecommunication stuck to traditional channels of communication too. While I did receive email communication from my service provider, I also received timely updates through text messages. An active email ID or not, everyone today has a mobile phone and thus text messages have a wider reach. This is a simple, to-the-point text message that I received:  Inspiring, relevant, useful, and a much needed initiative by these brands has definitely left a positive impact on me – their customer. It’s your turn now, to start, or reinvent your brand strategies to let your customers know that you’re there for them and willing to go the extra mile to continue serving them.  PS: It’s not all serious! If you, like me, are surprised to learn the facts about how often we touch our face — and we all know that’s one thing we have to stop doing now — amongst all the funny memes and jokes I stumbled upon, I think I hit jackpot with this website – www.donottouchyourface.com   Check it out; have some fun!   Don’t Be That brand!  While we’ve been talking about what we can do, must do, and should think about doing, there are some things we must steer clear from. This is a time to be sensitive and sensible towards our employees and customers, while also ensuring that we continue doing business in the best way possible. Keeping that in mind, here are certain things you should not be doing:  Do not create or share fake news Do not advocate news from unreliable sources  Do not value business goals over employee or customer needs Do not create panic Do not use this as a marketing opportunity for business growth Next Steps If you haven’t chalked out a plan yet, start by thinking about the new business plans you need to overcome this situation. Keep your customers and employees as your first priority, and then start by mapping out all the things you need to do to continue growing.  Communication, both internal and external, is the most important aspect to consider and work on.  The next steps may include: Get a domain name and a hosting package, and run your business online.  Updating brand website or application Multi-channel communication Steps for business sustainability  Safety and precaution measures Offers and promotions that benefit both brand and customers Take inspiration from competitors and other businesses doing their best, and inspire others with innovative working practices.   

Design Series Part II – Selecting the Right Colours & Fonts for Your Website

In our previous article of the design series, we talked at length about selecting the right theme for your website. However, a theme is not everything, is it? There are several elements that help design an appealing website.  In our second article of the series, we will explore colours and fonts, and talk in-depth about how they can help transform your website.  Do Colours and Fonts Matter? Colours can impact us – a sunshine yellow can cheer you up on a sad day or a blue may literally make you feel blue. Bright cheery colours give me fun and exciting vibes as opposed to subtle colours like grey and black that induce practicality. This visual feeling is even applicable to the websites you visit.  In fact, there is a whole field of colour psychology that talks about how colour sway emotions, help make you form perceptions and when it comes to a website, impact in the conversion rates. In short, your website colour can be a deal-breaker when it comes to capturing your audiences’ interest when they land on your website.  Similarly, fonts too are important. If the text is not readable or doesn’t go with the kind of content your website has, it can have a negative impact. Thus, it is safe to say that both fonts and colour matter.  Choosing the Right Colour  Decide the number of colours you need Too much salt can spoil the soup, and so can too many colours on your website.  Take a look at the image below. The web design is a mix of colours and none of them compliment each other. This goes for background colour, font colour, as well as, headings.  How does it look, appealing or too much? Well, if I were to visit such a website I wouldn’t return. This is true even though the colours are not harsh but pleasing to the eye. The simple reason for me would be too many colours when not required and none of them sync together.  So, is there any rule or the number of recommended colours? Well, most designers tend to follow something called as a 60-30-10 rule. For simplicity, think of a man in a business suit, 60% is the blazer and pants, 30% is the shirt, and 10% is the tie (the pocket square too will match the tie).  Similarly, if your website is divided into three colours then it would not only look presentable but also engage the user into reading the content. For this reason, there are three sections or types where colours are used namely: primary colour, secondary colour and the background colour. Primary Colour The primary colour otherwise known as dominant colour is the colour associated with your brand. This is the colour of your logo and will be scattered throughout your design.  Take, for example, our website. The brand logo comprises of three colours with black and orange being more prominent.  However, it is the orange colour that takes precedence visually. Throughout the website colour scheme, you can notice how the colour is used to capture customer attention. If you’re still unsure or confused about your primary brand colour, take this quiz, to help you select the best fit for your website.  Secondary colour  Finding the right secondary colour can be a bigger struggle than getting the primary colour right. You may wonder why? Well, simply because you need to match the colour scheme.  Visualise, yellow as your primary colour and light green or red as the secondary colour, clashing isn’t it? Hence, it is equally important to select the right secondary colour. Secondary colours are usually used for links, buttons and more so that they stand out.  Head to Colour Lovers or ColorSpace to find out which colours work well with each other.  Simple, isn’t it? Background colour  Now, we’ve chosen our primary, as well as, secondary colours. It is now time to choose our background colour.  Ideally, the choice of your background colour depends on the kind of website you have. However, most websites choose neutral colours as their background colour. Neutral colours include black, white and grey.   The idea of the background colour is that it should hold the entire web design together. If you’re an e-commerce website or a content-heavy blog it is best to stick to white. Dark colours like grey and black usually appeal more to tech, game-based or photography websites. Source: https://whatshotblog.com/ Fonts Selection Process Now, that you’ve decided the colour scheme of your website or blog, it is now time to choose the fonts. How to choose a font Choosing a font can be a tedious task, especially with numerous fonts available. However, one thing you must remember is that your font should be consistent throughout your website. In fact, it is right to say your font too is a part of your brand guidelines that you should adhere to.  Here are some basic guidelines when choosing a font: Use as few fonts as possible, the maximum number being four  Try using a different font for your website name, the heading and content Experiment with fonts when it comes to the brand/website name – it makes you stand out but make sure it is readable For the body of the text, it is advisable to choose fonts from sans-serif fonts family  Pairing font with content Pairing the font with your content is extremely important, as mentioned above in the second point. Imagine, you run a fashion blog and the fonts you have chosen for your website are simple.  Now, there is nothing wrong with choosing a simple ‘Times New Roman’ font but given the fact you have a fashion website, having a creative font style could add to your business portfolio. Similarly, if you run a technical blog, you can’t choose fonts that are cursive or similar, it is just not advisable. However, there is no rule that you can’t choose them. It is just how well can you merge them with your content that is of importance. Source: https://www.glorialo.design/ Conclusion While the colours and fonts are important, keeping them in line with your brand and engaging customers is also important. In a nutshell, research well, as well as, experiment with colours and fonts to find out which works well for you.  So, what are you waiting for? Unleash your creativity and paint your website in the colour of your choice! Until next time!

How To Maintain Business Continuity During COVID – 19

COVID-19, or Coronavirus, is a global pandemic that has gripped the world. Personal and professional lives, mental and emotional stability; have all been affected and disrupted. It’s testing times like these that make the world come together as one, fight back and do everything in one’s power to continue as normally as possible.  The global economy has and will take a great hit. Businesses cannot run at a scale as they were before this — be it a large, medium, small, physical, or an online business.  While preparing ourselves for the after-effects is important, the need of the hour is to think of ways to continue during this pandemic.  The most important aspect to look into right now is self-care.  Taking care of your own health, proper sanitization, being aware of possible symptoms linked to Coronavirus, and ensuring that you neither spread nor contract the virus has to be the first thing each one of us enures.  If you’re a business owner, taking care of your employees is a close second priority. Just like yours, the health and safety of your employees is the key to keeping your business running. Regulating mandatory work from home, minimizing the number of staff that comes to work, medical and financial assistance — are some of the key factors that need to be thought-out and implemented.  Business Continuity: Plan, Strategize and Execute While you may not be able to run your business at a regular scale, you can certainly plan, and execute, strategies that allow you to continue doing business.  First, plan your way ahead. Then, strategize and analyze to understand the steps you’ll need to take to execute your plan. Finally, execute. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps:  Step 1: Plan Just like any other business goal you set, business continuity must start with a proper plan in place. At this step, you need to understand what you need to achieve, and how you plan to achieve it.  If you’re an online business, what are the steps you need to take to continue providing your products and services?  If you’re an e-commerce store, how do you plan to deliver your products?  If you’re a physical business, how can you ensure safety and sanitization at your workplace? And, could you consider an online platform to continue the business, instead?  Analyze the needs of your business, your employees, your customers, and clients. Think of all the gaps and questions that may arise, and plan to offer solutions for the same.  Plan, plan, and plan some more before you move on to the next phase — Strategize.  Step 2: Strategize Once you’ve planned and chalked out all the questions you need to answer, it’s time to build a strategy that supports your business continuity plans.  By now, you should have a fair idea of the roadblocks, gaps, problems, and issues that may come in the way of you doing business. One-by-one, think of tools, people, or platforms that address these issues. Here are some things you need to start with:  Communicate with employees Set up a meeting (preferably online) to communicate the plan to your employees. Take suggestions, and offer solutions to tackle this as a team. Be a keen listener and understand the support your employees need to be able to carry on working efficiently. Be sensitive to their needs. If your business requires a certain number of employees to come into work, create a schedule considering everyone’s personal availability. Ensure the working space is sanitized, and has all the necessary measures in place to keep the working area safe for your employees. If you can run your business remotely, consider tools, gadgets or other essential support your team may need to continue working.  Multi-channel communication with customers  Once, as a team, you have strategized the best working plan, it’s time to touch base with your customers. It’s important that you reach out to them, letting them know that their best interests are your top priority. Using multi-channel communication, like email marketing, social media platforms, updated business listings, and others will allow you to reach out to all your customers. If there are any changes in your business plans or functioning, that directly affects your customers, now is the time to communicate to maintain credibility. Send marketing emails detailing the measures taken by your business and what it means for your customers, create social content to keep them regularly updated with your business and update your business work timings and contact information across business listings to ensure that your customers know how and when they can reach you.  Tweak delivery and pick-up options The global pandemic requires everyone to minimize human contact and maximize sanitization. If you’re a business that delivers physical goods to customers, you may need to think of the safest options to do so. You can collaborate with 3rd party delivery services, like Dunzo and WeFast in India, to continue the business. Additionally, there are many businesses, especially medical supplies and eateries, that have started self pick-up services. You can allow customers to call and place an order ahead of time, so they can just pick-up a clean parcel with limited or no human interaction from your physical store.  Set-up a basic online store  If you are a physical store, this may be a good time to consider setting up a basic online store. Buy a domain name, and a hosting package and set up a basic website for your store. You can slowly scale the products and services you offer online. As mentioned earlier, you can always tie up with 3rd party delivery services to fulfill online orders, and continue building revenue. Communicate to your customers about your online store through email and social platforms, letting them know that you are willing to go the length to continue serving them.  Step 3: Execute You’ve made a great plan, you’ve set up all the strategies you need to implement your plans — it’s execution time.  Put your strategies to execution and make changes, as and when required. You might discover new challenges along the way, but as long as you have a solid plan, you’ll be able to make the necessary changes to the strategies and carry on.  Move forward, keeping your team in the loop and with an open communication channel with your customers, and the execution will follow.  Take Charge; Stride Over COVID-19 has created an atmosphere of tension and despair across the globe. While the most important thing to do is practice self-care, one must also advocate best practices to keep employees safe, and businesses running.  This is the time to make the best use of technology, communication, and ethical work habits to stride over these difficult times. Every business needs to plan, strategize and execute measures that will ensure business continuity and minimize the effects of this global pandemic, on the global economy, as well as the existing needs of our customers.   

Design Series Part I – Selecting the Right Theme for Your Website

Setting up a website takes time and patience. After all, it is not just about registering a domain and purchasing hosting, there is a lot more. One of the most important aspects of website planning is designing your website. In this three-part series, we will walk you through the design process – what elements are needed and how to go about it.  In our first article of the series, we will explore themes and how they add to your website design. Themes – What and Why? Themes are ready-to-install design templates. They are a great way to design your website in a way that saves time and coding effort. In fact, if coding is a challenge or if you don’t want to hire a web designer then themes are a great way to design your website.  Simply put, a theme helps you –  Style your website  Look professional Define the layout of your website Enhance your user experience Save coding time and invest in generating the content  So, now you know how a theme helps you but how do you determine what kind of theme works with your content? Well, there is no definite answer to that, however, here are some tips that might help you. If you have a travel website/ photography blog/ food blog – basically a  website that might have more photos then a theme that showcases pictures is the one to go for. The idea is in such websites, the content is the photographs so they must stand out. If you have a medical website/ technical/ educational – ensure you go for a non-fussy and professional theme that doesn’t have too much clutter. Preferably white or other pastel shades. If you a are a web designer/ freelance writer/ artist/ interior designer – you can choose an artistic and colourful theme that speaks volumes about your skills and creativity. You can experiment with bold and quirky colours like blues, purple, yellow and more quite easily. Now that we have seen what themes are and how they help you design your website. Let us now understand the key things to look out for when choosing a theme. 4 Things to Lookout for When Choosing a Theme  Irrespective of the type of website you have (photography, medical, real estate, food etc.) there are some elements that are common to all. Moreover, with so many different themes available on the internet today it is important to figure out what the non-negotiable items are that your theme needs to have.  Here is a list of 4 things your theme should not miss: 1. Responsive Page Design A responsive theme is the one which adapts to the changing display model. Simply put, whether you load your website on a desktop or mobile device the design isn’t distorted and is easily adjustable to the screen size. Example of Responsive Website This is important because a vast majority of users these days prefer mobile devices over desktops.  One of the advantages of choosing a responsive design theme is that you need not create and manage multiple website copies. Furthermore, it improves the user experience. If you have a WordPress website, then here is a list of about 62 Best Responsive WordPress themes compiled by colorlib. 2. SEO SEO or Search Engine Optimization is critical when it comes to your website’s ranking. Moreover, given Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm, it is vital your website theme is mobile-friendly or it can result in lower page rank impacting your website’s SEO. Mobile-Friendly Test powered by Google helps you test if your website is mobile-friendly or not, and what changes to make. Fun Fact: If your website is responsive, it improves your website’s SEO. 3. Customisation options Don’t we all look for customisation in everything we purchase? After all, no one wants to be called a copycat, do they? However, with ready-to-install themes, this can be an issue. Nevertheless, a little bit of customisation always helps. Most WordPress themes, whether free or paid, offer customisation.  Customisation includes installing widgets and plugins, changing the layout of your website elements, changing title and tagline, changing header media and much more. Whenever you are customising your website make sure that you do not make it bulky by adding too many widgets or plugins, as it will slow down your website loading speed. A slow-loading website then affects your user experience, as well as, SEO ranking. 4. Social Media  Choosing a theme that has inbuilt social media sharing icons is a great way to connect your website to social media portals.  Take, for example, you have a travel blog. A reader loved a post on it and would like to share it on their Facebook page, they would have to copy the URL and then share it. However, the con of this is, the user might forget or think this is too much work and not share your blog. But, if you have social share icons on your website, it becomes easier for the user to share the content.  If your theme doesn’t have inbuilt social media sharing icons you can always install a plugin to support it, Apart from these 4 things, take care that the theme you choose has good support and is updated regularly. An older theme that hasn’t been updated for a while can be risky as they might not be compatible with the latest version of your WordPress. This increases the chances of security breaches and threats. Conclusion  The right theme can help make or break your website, however, it is not always possible the theme you like should have everything you need. Decide what all things are vital for you and opt for the theme offering the same. Research always helps, so don’t settle until you find the right theme for your website. Sometimes you will need to change and tweak things a bit, don’t be afraid and experiment. A theme is, after all, a template you can always go back to where you began. So what are you waiting for? Go explore and find the right theme for your website!  

Big Hosting Days: Discounts on Domains, Hosting, Email, Addons & more! 

It’s almost sale time! We’re excited to announce a huge upcoming promo for our customers! If there’s any time to start a blog, buy a domain name or begin your online journey, it’s now! We at BigRock are gearing up for Big Hosting Days, offering discounts on web hosting, domains, email solutions, add-on products  and more! The sale dates are 16th March – 18th March. We want you to make the most of this 3 day sale! The details of the discounts are below:   Discounts on .IN, .COM & more Domains As part of Big Hosting Days, enjoy discounts on popular domains such as .IN and .COM. .IN: Buy for 1 year at ₹299 .IN: When you buy for 2 years, get 1st year at flat ₹139  .COM: 10% off for 1st year .ICU ₹149 .CLUB ₹129 .XYZ ₹99 .LIVE ₹199 .EMAIL ₹199 .EU ₹199 .TODAY ₹299 .MOBI ₹299 .INFO ₹299 .SITE ₹109 .TECH ₹99 .STORE ₹199   Deals on Hosting & more Get upto 55% off on web hosting! Get online at affordable rates! Domain Value Adds BigRock Instant – 50% off ₹149/yr Privacy Protect ₹299/yr Bundled Deals Domains and Hosting Deals   Addon Offers Lockdown your website security with our addon offers! Codeguard Backup Service 20% off SiteLock Malware Protect 20% off SSL Certificates 20% off *Applies to Annual plans only   Email Solutions Want to look professional? Start with your email address! Choose secure and professional email solutions at discounted rates! Business Email ₹24/mo/acc Enterprise Email ₹49/mo/acc G Suite* ₹99/mo/acc *Applies to Annual plans only *Applies to 1-5 seats only   We hope you make the most of Big Hosting Days and get these products at discounted prices! Mark your calendars for 16th March because you don’t want to miss out!

Decoding the Hosting Types: Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting

As a small business owner, you surely know the importance of a strong and secure online presence. The right web hosting can be the answer to all your queries. However, if you’re confused about which one to opt for, worry not you’re in the right place.  In this article, we’ll walk you through two popular hosting types viz. Shared Hosting and VPS Hosting, their advantages and which one fits you the best. Shared Hosting Shared Hosting is a hosting type where multiple websites are hosted on a single server. In this hosting type, server resources like RAM, CPU, disk space etc. are shared by all the websites hosted. Owing to this, Shared Hosting is also known as a ‘Shared Service’. Since resources are shared, this is a low cost and affordable hosting solution for small businesses and bloggers. Advantages of Shared Hosting Is a low-cost hosting hence it is economical Having detailed technical knowledge is not a prerequisite Easy to set up and manage with enhanced control panel Hassle-free plan upgrades and are usually handled by the web hosts VPS Hosting VPS Hosting stands for Virtual Private Server Hosting. In this type of hosting, one physical server is partitioned into multiple virtual servers. Here, each server is isolated from the other and acts as a server in itself with their own dedicated resources. Although multiple websites are hosted on the same physical server, they are all isolated, this gives the feeling of a dedicated server. VPS Hosting is slightly costly and suitable for growing businesses.  Advantages of VPS Hosting It comes with full root access thus, so you can customise the server space as per your needs It is instantly provisioned the moment you purchase it It offers scalability of server resources  It provides an added layer of security as all servers are isolated from one another The Deciding Factors Shared Hosting is the best choice for you if: You are a new and small business or professional blogger You have less website traffic You do not require much server space and bandwidth You have less budget  VPS Hosting is the best choice for you if: You have a growing business You have high website traffic You are looking for greater security  You require more server space and bandwidth  The Best Choice for you  The comparison of Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting is not as comprehensive as it should be. This is due to the fact that both these hosting types are best for different website types.  If you’re just starting out your business or your website receives less traffic, then Shared Hosting is the one you should opt for. On the other hand, if you are a growing or well-established business with a high amount of traffic then VPS Hosting is the right choice for you. Regardless of the differences between these two hosting types, none is superior to the other.  In the end, it all narrows down to what you are looking for, your website needs and the amount you can invest. We at BigRock offer both, catering to your website irrespective of the type, kind or size of your business.  We hope you are now clear about both these hosting types and can make an informed decision based on your requirements. If you have any queries or suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below! 

5 Ways to Make Money with your Website

Got a website but think you can do more? You sure can! You can turn your hobby into an income source with the right ideas. Making money from your website could actually be a reality! Let’s explore how: Affiliate marketing One of the easiest ways to make money on your website is to become an affiliate. Find & endorse products you like on your website. If a visitor purchases the product / service, you get a split of the sale! Of course, ensure the products / services you endorse are genuine and you believe in them yourself. The commission on a sale could fetch you anywhere between 30-70% of the product price. Earn: 30-70% of the product price Pay Per Click Advertisement (Google Adsense) Google Adsense is probably one of the easiest ways to make money with your website. With Google Adsense, you are simply lending space on your website so other advertisers can run ads. How do you do this? Sign up with Google AdSense (in under 2 minutes), Google will then give you a code to paste in the header and footer of your website and viola! You’re good to go.  Once you’re signed up, the code identifies the content on your website and publishers can run relevant ads to your visitors. Everytime someone clicks on your ad, you get paid.  Earn: $0.5 – $5 / click Sell website ad space An alternative to AdSense is to sell space such as the side bar or the top of your website directly to companies to run ads. You can quote your own price for a sidebar, the hello bar, etc. Again, you would get paid depending on traffic to your website (measured by per one thousand impressions). Earn: Quote your own price! Sell products or services This one needs a lot more work but is probably most rewarding. To be able to sell products and services, you will need to of course, own products and services. If you’re a travel blogger, you could maybe create little booklets of information on cities you’ve travelled to and sell. Or, you could sell images of pictures you’ve clicked as wallpapers and desktop backgrounds. You could even sell a printable calendar with photos from your trips. Be creative. Use your website to sell products or services like apps, themes, eBooks, whitepapers, images etc.  Earn: The price of the product / service Create a premium membership You can also make money with a freemium or premium membership fee. This entails providing paid visitors special access to useful pages, a blog, discount prices etc. The New York Times uses the freemium model (also known as The New York Times paywall) well. They permit 5 free articles a month and charge a mere $1/week for unlimited articles. You too can earn by charging a small fee for premium content, special access etc. Earn: Quote your own price! With the right ideas, you can earn money from your website as a side business or perhaps even full time! Get monetising now!  

How to Start a Travel Blog in 6 Easy Steps

For me, travelling is the ultimate food for the soul. In fact, if given a chance to roam around the world while getting paid for it, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity. I am sure, you wouldn’t either but more than that, I would love to document my experiences and share them with the world.  Now, this isn’t a fantasy (yes, it is for me) but definitely not for some. True, there are struggles involved like the income is not always fixed or sponsorships aren’t available. Moreover, it is already a saturated niche with multiple travel bloggers, so you’ve got to be original while creating content. After all, it is going to be about a place that’s been seen by many and, so on and so forth. However, there is no limit to possibilities and if you would still love to be a travel blogger, well the sky is your limit and so is the web!  In this article, we’ve put together the key things you need to ensure while starting your travel blog. So, without further ado, let us jump right into it.  The Basic Six: Purpose of the blog   Diving deep into anything without figuring out the purpose might leave you in a lurch. The same is true when you’re starting your travel blog. It is extremely crucial to know the ‘why’ to figure out the ‘what’ and ‘how’ for a successful blog. Here are some reasons why you can think of starting a travel blog: It is a hobby or passion Document your travels Collaborate with fellow travellers to learn and grow  Build a travel repository (portfolio) to gain sponsorships Become an entrepreneur and help people travel with ease There can be several reasons. However, once you’ve figured out the purpose of your blog, you can start building content around it and promoting it.  Tip: Take out time and figure out why you want to start the blog because if you can’t, it might be difficult to create content in the long run. 2. Figure out your target reader  Once you’re clear why you want to start your travel blog you need to choose the niche of your blog. This is important if you want to reach the right target audience. Many-a-times bloggers end up choosing either too narrow a niche or too broad, however, both these cases are extreme and can hamper your blog.  Just like you figured out the purpose of your blog, figure out the niche you want to build your blog around. It can be as simple as, you either want to focus on cities, countries, hiking locations, etc. If it is cities then start off from the city you live in, explore parts of it and unravel the hidden gems.  Tip: It is often recommended that you start small and then widen your horizons covering other places.  This helps you promote your city locally and amongst people wanting to visit and, eventually, you can move to bigger prospects. Moreover, you never know local businesses might tie-up with you to promote their products and you can gain sponsorships.  3. Setting up your blog   There are three main things that you need to take care of when setting up a blog: Choosing the name of the blog Choosing the blogging platform and, Choosing the domain extension and hosting i. Let us start by choosing the name of the blog: Shakespeare wrote, ‘What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ However, when starting your own blog, the name is everything. The name of your blog should represent what it stands for, it should be a brand in itself. Now, this is specifically crucial if you wish to broaden the scope of your blog from a mere hobby and documenting to making it big. Deciding a name can be tough, so think carefully before choosing it. Here is a checklist, to help you find the perfect name: It should be simple – no complicated words or spellings It should be short and sweet – no one remembers long names Make sure not to include numbers or hyphens   Research it – i.e make sure no one is using it. If they are then don’t modify yours, choose a different one Eg: travelstory.com is taken don’t choose travelsstory.com or travelstori.com  Keep it as close to your niche as possible Use the appropriate domain extension (explained below) ii. Moving on to choosing the blogging platform: There are several options when thinking of blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Weebly, Joomla, etc.  However, WordPress is the ultimate best in my opinion. FYI, there is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The basic difference between these two WordPress types is that with the former you get end-to-end hosting services for WordPress whereas with the latter you can download the software and personalise it as you see fit. If you are thinking long term, I recommend WordPress.org as it is easily customisable, perfect for beginners and you can continue to use it even if you plan to monetise your business.  Fact: WordPress powers over 35% of all the websites hosted online.  Now, assuming you have taken our advice and decided to go ahead with WordPress. Let us move on to the final part of our initial setup: iii. Choosing the domain extension and hosting: You’ve decided the name of your blog, you’ve even decided our blogging platform. Now, you choose the hosting and domain extension.  Are you wondering, what a domain extension is? Well, to speak simply it is nothing but what comes at the end of your chosen domain name i.e .com / .org etc.  The right domain extension matters because it can speak a lot about your blog. Take, for instance, you choose the name ‘travellingme.domainextension’ think of what would look good. If it were me, I would choose something like: .com, .info, .co.in (if Indian), .travel, .me and so on. At BigRock, we offer amazing domain extensions at equally amazing prices. You can check if your desired domain name is available and register it before someone else chooses it. Now, you’re done registering your domain. Let us now head to giving your website a home (hosting). There are several options available for hosting a website but WordPress Hosting is perfect when it comes to a WordPress website. Reason being, it is simple, managed, has up to date security features, daily backups and more. So, all you need to do is create content and worry about nothing related to hosting.  4. Customising it Source After you’ve set up your WordPress website, it is now time to customise it to make it more you. Your website should reflect both what your blog is about, as well as, your personality.  Few things you need to keep in mind when customising your blog are: Themes – There are several theme options available, free and paid. Choose a theme that fits your niche. For example, if you want to focus on photographs, then don’t go for a content-heavy theme. Or travel is about positivity so the colour scheme also matters, choose light colours like pastels, white, sky blue as opposed to dark and bold colours like black and red. There are several themes available online, you can check them, preview them for free and then install them. If you’re thinking can I change my theme? Yes, you can.Tip: Choose a light-weight minimalist theme, a bulky theme could end up making your website speed slow. Colour Scheme and Font– Don’t mix up too many colours. Try to keep your website as professional as you can. The maximum you can have is 2 or 3 colours. Also, make sure they do not clash and are soothing to the reader’s eyes. The same goes for fonts, do not have too many fonts and make sure it is readable. If you’re confused you can stick to Montserrat which is a free Google font. Header – Your header should not be cluttered with too much information or a big image. If there is an image, please do not write text over it. You can either have the sections listed below the image or above. It is preferred if you can have them at the top of the header.This travel website is one example of keeping your header minimal and classy.  Images – Images on a travel blog are extremely important, however, make sure that you do not clutter your blog. Add text to distinguish between images and make the article readable.   5. Installing the right plugins Plugins can help you customise your blog and add functionality without coding, in fact, if you’re a non-techy person they are blessing in disguise. Some of the must-have plugins include: Backup plugin SEO plugin  Contact form plugin Travel plugins like Travel Maps etc. Social media plugins for your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube channel Tip: Having an Instagram and YouTube page helps to get you more audience.  Creating content Finally, we reach the end of your blog creation and that is creating content for it. As a blogger, it is totally up to you how you create content.  You can write blog posts, you can have journal type travel notes, you can list down itineraries, you can include infographics, checklists, to-do lists, image-based post, audio, podcasts, videos etc. It is up to you to decide what needs to be created.  However, marketing your content and making sure it reaches the right audience is also important. Make sure you include SEO keywords in your blog posts, have relevant footer content, don’t write jargon or repetitive words and most importantly, create quality content. In the end, quality and originality win over quantity.  Conclusion A travel blog is a beautiful way to collect memories, document them and share them with the world. Even though it might be a source of your income in the future, make sure it is worthwhile to your readers who will always keep coming back for more unique and original content.  We hope this article helps you create your own successful travel blog. If you have any queries or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments sections below.  We wish you happy travelling and blogging! 

Web Hosting 101: Your Ultimate Guide to Understanding Web Hosting

Let’s say you want to purchase a plot of land to build a house. What is the most important thing you take care of when deciding the place? Location, beauty? No, you find how the foundation of the land is, is it good and strong or otherwise. Once you determine that, only then do you start building your house.  Web hosting is just the same, in fact, for better understanding, you can call it the land you build your house on whereas, your website is your house. In this article, we will understand what web hosting is, its types and which one should you opt for. What is Web Hosting? Web hosting is the act of offering storage space to a website or an application over the internet by uploading it on a server. Once your website is available on the server, it is accessible to all the computers connected to the internet.  A web hosting service provider or a web host helps you upload your website over the internet. Essentially, the web hosting provider rents out their services to host (upload) your website. Once the hosting is complete you can access your website by typing in the domain name (eg: www.mywebsitename.com) in the address bar of your web browser.  Once you click enter, you are automatically connected to the server and redirected to your website. Remember, to view your website your computer needs to be connected to the internet otherwise you won’t be able to connect to the server.  Choosing the Right Web Hosting The choice of web hosting depends on:  The kind of website you want to host. Is it a blog, e-commerce website, a service offering website, editorial, etc.  The amount of traffic you expect on your website How much money are you willing to spend? The storage and bandwidth required  Do you want complete control of your server or not? Different Types of Web Hosting  There are several types of web hosting options available: Shared Hosting If you are just starting out your first blog or business website, then Shared Hosting is the best hosting to opt for. It is simple and affordable as you share the server space and resources with other websites hosted on the same server. Since you are just starting out your needs will be minimal hence, this is the best choice.  WordPress Hosting Made a blog or a website using the WordPress CMS? If yes, then WordPress Hosting is the best choice for you as it specifically caters to all needs WordPress. Cloud Hosting If you are a growing online business with low to moderate traffic then Cloud Hosting should be your choice for hosting your website. Cloud Hosting offers instant scalability and no single point of failure i.e if one server is down it doesn’t mean your website will be down, the control will be transferred to another server and your website will still be up and running. Dedicated Hosting With Dedicated Hosting, you get complete administrative control of your server with full root access. What this means is, that you have the entire server and resources to yourself and can customise the server as you see fit. This web hosting is ideal for mid to big business with heavy traffic. VPS Hosting A higher, advanced and better version of Shared Hosting with certain features of Dedicated Hosting. VPS Hosting is the ideal hosting for anyone who wishes to have complete control of their server, however, at a lower cost. Here you share the server (like in Shared Hosting) but have your own independent resources (Dedicated Hosting). This hosting is suited for growing businesses with moderate traffic. E-Commerce Hosting As the name suggests, E-commerce Hosting is the hosting choice for setting up your online store easily. Here you can easily deploy shopping cart platforms like Zencart, Cubecart, OScommerce etc.  CMS Hosting CMS (Content Management System) Hosting is a hosting type that helps you host your website based on the CMS you prefer using. It allows you 1-click install of the CMS of your choice Drupal, Joomla etc.  Reseller Hosting If you wish to start your own hosting business, then Reseller Hosting helps you resell or rent out the hosting services that are offered by your parent hosting company. Along with this, you can even upsell other web services to your clients. The choice of the web hosting provider  Here is the checklist you need to follow when deciding a web hosting provider: Uptime: Your website uptime is extremely important. Check if they give a 99% uptime guarantee and find out where are their servers located Round the clock Support: Customer care aka Support/Help is another factor you need to keep in mind. Do they offer 24×7 support? Calls, email, chats with trained professionals? Time in the industry: This can help you determine their credibility Reviews: It is important that you read ample reviews before deciding on a hosting company. There will be both negative and positive reviews, however, make sure you read many and on different websites Backup and Security: Make sure they provide these two essential services and also, their own website is ‘https’ secured Other web-related products: Do they offer web-related products like email services, backups, DIY builders etc? This could save your time and efforts in finding out different vendors for different needs We hope this helped you gain an understanding of web hosting is, how it works and the different types of hosting available. We at BigRock, have been offering world-class services to our clients for over 10 glorious years with domain names, web hosting and other products with a guaranteed 99% uptime and trusted support.  So, what are you waiting for? Choose a web hosting plan that will enhance your website and keep it up and running for the many years to come!

A/B Testing: The What and the Why & the How

Before we get into understanding what A/B testing means, let’s understand why we should learn and know about this concept. A/B testing is a method which helps marketers and developers gain insights into the behavior of the visitors and increase conversion rates. It is a very useful method and technique that hasn’t been as popular as SEO and Web Analytics mainly because people have not completely understood what this method is and how to use it adequately . This blog is meant to guide you through the theory of A/B Testing. What is A/B Testing ?  A/B testing, also known as split testing or bucket testing. As the name suggests, it is the process of experimenting or of comparing two web pages or apps against one another in order to find out which one works better. It’s a method which helps you to understand if any changes made on your web page or app will help you improve your conversion rates.  This method involves making two variations of the same web page and showing them to the predetermined percentage of visitors. So basically, there are two versions. One is the original web page which has the existing design, referred to as the “control.” and the second version where changes are made, referred to as the “challenger”.     An A/B test is the most common type of landing page test to conduct. Let’s take an example in consideration here and understand the entire process.  XYZ company is a client who has a travel business and provides hotel bookings, car rentals, air fares etc. over the Internet through a website and a mobile app. The challenge faced here is that the click-through rates and conversion rates for their airfare page are relatively low. Hence, the main aim is to redesign the airfare page to increase click-through and conversion rates for the mobile app.  What to test?  Your choice of what to test depends on what your goals are. Let’s take an example: If your goal is to increase the number of sign-ups, then a good suggestion would be to test the length of the signup form etc. The aim here is to see what is preventing your visitors from signing up. Is the form too long? Are visitors concerned about privacy? All of these questions can be answered one by one by testing the appropriate website elements. For the above example, these are the certain elements which can be tested:  Headline or the description of the product Layout of the website Images on the landing page Amount and size of text on the website Testimonials Call to Action buttons and many more How to conduct an A/B test?   In order to successfully conduct an A/B Test, you should follow the following framework:  Identify Goals: The very first step includes identifying your conversion goals. These are the metrics that will help you determine if the variation is more successful than the original version. Goals can be anything ranging from increasing sign ups to product purchases etc. Here, the goal is to increase the conversion rates over the mobile web.   Collect Data: The analytics of your website will provide you with the information that will help give you an insight about the performance of your website. It helps identify the areas which bring you high traffic or low conversion rates or drop off rates that can be reformed.   Generate Hypothesis: Once you’ve collected data and identified your goals, you can generate a hypothesis which helps you define a purpose for developing a new version. Your hypothesis can contain the elements that are needed to be added or removed from the website to make it better. For the above example, the hypothesis could be to redesign the entire air fare mobile webpage to provide a better virtual experience to their end customers which can help increase the conversion rates.   Generate Variations: Make multiple variations of the web page with the desired changes. It can be either changing the colour of the web page, shifting the call button from one position to another, making new customised navigation tools or anything that you want to change. Here, variations of the page can be made by adding different images or colour codes or navigation tools etc. which make the user experience good.  Run an Experiment: Kickstart your experiment and wait for your visitors to respond. The visitors will randomly be directed to the control or the variation webpage. Their interaction with each of these versions will be looked into and observed for further analysis.   Analyze the results: The interactions of the visitors with the pages, will help you figure out which one is working better and if there are any further changes that need to be made.  Whatever is your experiment’s result, use them for future tests and continue to optimize your website or app. There are certain tools which you can use to conduct your A/B testing successfully, viz: 1) Google Analytics Experiments  2) Optimizely  3) Marketizator 4) Unbounce And many more. These are popular plugins that help in optimizing your website’s conversion rates and they help in streamlining the A/B testing process. You can create various online surveys and banners to increase the audience satisfaction.  Successful A/B Testing snippets – A good designer or a developer is one who creates new designs or codes and tests them before putting it out to the end visitor to avoid mishaps. Just how you wouldn’t release a product in the market without testing it with a few buyers before, similarly, a new or edited version of a web page cannot go out without testing. A data driven design can be really effective in order to attract more visitors to your website.  Let’s take a look at these few examples that show the success of A/B Testing and how they did it.  Revolve –  Revolve is a virtual high end fashion brand which designer apparels, shoes and accessories for both men and women. Since they are a virtual store holder, their main aim is to provide the ultimate digital experience to their customers.  Revolve managed to do so by revamping their website and also revamping their mobile site aesthetic. They wanted to fine tune the experience of their mobile users and hence, their team ran a test to increase the number of shoppers or visitors on their website. They created a hypothesis which stated that directing the mobile web users to a splash screen which included heavy promotion, then that would motivate the customers to make purchases from the mobile app and hence increase the number of downloads.  As a result of this, Revolve found out that the variation page with the splash screen worked wonders and their page saw an overwhelming increase in the downloads of mobile apps through the web page directly.  2) Trulia –  Trulia is an online hub which makes it easy for home buyers to look for homes over the internet. Their main challenge was  low conversions and engagement metrics. They started observing that their conversion rates are dropping below average, leading to lower engagement rates.  This led them to trying out and putting a new call-to-action button and an infinite scroll. Hence, they added a new call to action button that would submit the lead information directly on the search result and help reduce and remove unnecessary friction and increase the conversion rates. They also decided to add infinite scroll so that the customer can keep viewing properties at a stretch. As a result, there was a 60% increase in pageviews per visit and also a 15% increase in leads per visit.  Hence, from a designers point of view, A/B testing can help you to prepare versions of the website with designs that would help the visitors to stay on the page for longer and help generate more leads. This can be done by changing the colour pattern of the website, making navigation tools for the ease of the visitor to go from one page to another etc.  As web developer, A/B Testing can help you try out new drop down menus to enable customers to look for more offers and a better experience, create clickable links to direct customers from one page to another etc A/B Testing is one of the many ways to increase the conversion rates on websites and is a simple one to conduct. Let us know in the comments below if this was useful!

Beginners Guide to Grow your Business In Today’s Fast-Paced World

Starting a business might seem like a cakewalk when you’re in the planning and implementing stage, after all, all you need is funds, ideas and a team. However, the real struggle lies in scaling your business. Right from advertising, marketing to interacting with your customers on a regular basis can take a toll on your business growth if not planned in advance. To save you the hassle and worry, we’ve come up with 5 sure-shot ways to grow your business and take it to the next level quickly. Here goes.  Get to know your target audience  Offer reliable customer support  Research your competitors  Use social media effectively  Build an email list   Let us now look at these ways in detail:   Get to know your target audience:   Knowledge is power, and this is especially true when it comes to growing a business. Customer is the king and it is imperative that you understand your customer when it comes to scaling your business.  One of the ways you can gain insight into your customers is by way of asking for honest reviews and feedback. If you have a sales or support team, then they can contact your customers for reviews. Another way of getting feedback is to send an email to all your customers with feedback or survey link. As a practice, you can do this exercise once every quarter or if any new changes are rolled out. This not only helps you personalise and enhance your services but also goes a long way in building meaningful relationships.    Offer reliable customer support    Nothing is perfect, not even your products and services. No matter how much you want to offer the perfect experience, not all customers are able to navigate it. At such a time, impeccable customer service is the key to all issues. Reliable, expert and always available customer support goes a long way in making a difference to your customer’s attitude towards the business they are engaged in.  Take, for instance, you run a small e-commerce business selling paints of different kinds. One of your customers is a newbie in the paint industry and wishes to inquire about them. Your customer support should be the first go-to choice for the customer when in doubt. What this achieves is, not only does the customer remember the great service but is likely to recommend your business to others.  Some of the ways are 24×7 call, chat and email support, getting in touch via personal messages on your social media accounts, and so on.   Research your competitors    Competition helps you flourish, as well as, keep you on your toes. When growing your business it is important that you research your competitors so that you are up-to-date with the market and what your customers expect.  Researching your competitors helps you gain better insights on your target customer and their expectations. It helps you analyse what is lacking in your business and how to overcome it with useful strategies. Some ways you can research your competitors is by following their social media handles, subscribing to their website/blogs/email lists, etc. However, it is important that you leverage the insight you gain otherwise it won’t be of much help.   Use social media effectively    Social media in today’s day and age is a powerful tool that can help make or break your business. The right use of social media can be effective in helping you connect to your customers (current or prospective) in a friendly environment. You can share content, videos, images, provide relevant and timely support on chat or engage in live conversations to engage your target audience. At the same time, relevant use of hashtags can take your business places and also help in finding the right influencers.    Generating leads    One of the easiest ways to scale your business is to generate leads. There are several ways of generating leads, like installing a live chat option and contact numbers on each web page, including testimonials and customer feedback in the website footer, a pop-up offering customers incentives or to subscribe to your blog, using social media channels like Facebook or Instagram with lead generate ads and more.  In fact, once you have enough leads you can even build an email list and regularly email your customers and leads about your products and services.  In a nutshell, growing a business takes time and effort along with strategic partnerships and leads. At the same time, make sure that you concentrate on engaging your customers and building customer-centric relationships. After all, happy and satisfied customers are the only way you can successfully scale your business in the long run!  

Gear up for the Biggest Sale of the Season – Black Friday and Cyber Monday

With Thanksgiving around the corner, the biggest shopping season aka Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not far behind. From consumers to businesses, this is the perfect time to get a sweet deal on products you’ve been eyeing for a long time.  Thinking of improving business profits or looking to start your own blog? Think no more! This is the season to indulge and invest as you won’t get a better deal than Black Friday at any other time of the year.  We at BigRock are having a BIG Black Friday Sale lined up for the month of November.  The BigRock Black Friday sale will be live from 28th November and end on 30th November. The Cyber Monday sale would be live on 2nd and 3rd December. So, without further ado let us move on to the deals you don’t want to miss!  Black Friday Domain Deals As part of our Black Friday Domain Deals, enjoy discounts on some of our popular domain extensions such as .COM, .IN, .CO and .BIZ! Along with this, we’re also running a Bonanza offer on New Domain extensions.  .BIZ ₹199 .CO ₹399 .COM ₹149 for 1st year (with 2-year purchase) .IN   ₹199 for 1st year ((with 2-year purchase) nTLD Bonanza offer Click here Exciting Web Hosting deals It’s raining discounts with amazing Black Friday Hosting offers with FLAT 60% off on all our web hosting packages! This is a ‘once in a year and not to miss’ opportunity. Additionally, you even get 25% off on our DIY website builder!  Special Offers on Email Hosting Starting new and want to establish yourself? Choose a secure and professional email address.  Get never before BigRock discounts this sale season on email hosting plans only from 28th November to 3rd December for unimaginable prices! Business Email 24/Mo/Account Enterprise Email 49/Mo/Account G Suite 179/Mo/Account Special Product Launch  MS Office-365 Email   * Applies to Annual plans only Enticing Domain Value Adds Value additions are great, aren’t they? They are even greater when you get them at a discounted price without burning a hole in your pocket!  BigRock Instant  50% Off, Effective price – ₹149/yr  Privacy Protect  FLAT ₹299/yr Bundled Deals Domain and Hosting deals In fact, if you’re a new website owner we strongly recommend that you make the most out of these BigRock Value Deals.  Addons for Everyone Want Google to rank you better? Secure your website today! Leverage the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale and get 20% off on Codeguard, SiteLock and SSL.   Codeguard Backup Service 20% Off SiteLock Malware Protect 20% Off SSL Certificates 20% Off * Applies to Annual plans only We’ve slashed our prices to empower you to take the first step and establish yourself in this vast internet domain! Take advantage of our biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale!  We hope you make the most of these deals! Happy shopping!

Contextual Advertising Simplified: A Beginner’s Guide

A couple of weeks ago, I was searching for the perfect hair care products to rejuvenate my hair. Needless to say, I did my complete research – browsing websites, seeing YouTube video, asking friends and even checking posts by influencers on social media. Eventually, I logged into my Amazon account, added the products to the cart but right before I could click ‘Buy’ I changed my mind. I didn’t want to purchase the products anymore until today when I finally purchased one of them.  Now, you might be wondering why am I sharing this here? Well, that’s because I realised, what you see frequently is what you end up buying. But more than that, it is the location or relevance where you see it. In our context – I am talking about an Ad.  Take, for instance, these two images listed below:  Note: The two products being shown in the images are brands I was actively searching for in the last couple of weeks and are actual screenshots. Image 1: Source: Instagram Image 2: Source: Look Like This (beauty, makeup & fashion blog) There are 4 main inferences, I would like to call out:  Both these products are different in terms of what they are, and the brand, however, hair care is the common thing These were the brands, if not the actual products I was actively searching for One ad is on my Instagram homepage while the other was on a website I follow And most importantly, which product did I end up purchasing and why?  The answer is, I purchased a Kama Ayurveda product shown in the 2nd image. However, the crux of this article is not what I bought but the ‘why.’ Why did I choose to go back to my abandoned cart and make the payment for only one product? And does this impact the decision making of other users as well? Let us begin with understanding advertising: What is Advertising? Advertising is a way to communicate with the consumer with a motive of persuading them to take action. The primary goal of advertising can thus be said to promote or sell a product to the consumer in an effective manner.  Advertising includes the advertiser, the page that promotes the advertisement, and the consumer who views it and decides to go through the purchase.  There are various types of advertising models available, some of the widely incorporated ones are: Social media advertising Native ads and sponsored content Paid search advertising Broadcast media Targeted advertising Depending on the type of advertising you think is suitable for your business you can incorporate it. Two of the most commonly known advertising types are pay-per-click advertising which falls under the paid search advertising model and contextual advertising under targeted advertising.  In this article, we’ll be covering contextual advertising. Namely, what contextual advertising is, its benefits and how to set it up. What is Contextual Advertising?  As a user, many-a-times you notice blogs and websites you frequent displaying ads for related products. Sometimes, you might find Ads that have no relation to the niche of the website, other times, they do. You’ve just seen a contextual ad!  Contextual advertising is a targeted type of advertising technique where the ad campaigns and the website or page the ad is placed is directly relevant to the user.  From a user point of view (me in this case), I purchased Kama Ayurveda Oil because I was being targeted with it every time I visited the fashion website to check a new product or review.  Now, from the business point of view, take, for example, if you are running a ‘Fashion and Beauty blog/website’, but your page displays a hosting or cooking Ad, the context is lost. The idea is that your website display Ads based on the product you sell, or the niche you write. In the same example, if the ad displayed on your website is a lipstick or perfume, then it will be contextual advertising. So, even though the type of ad doesn’t mean anything to the user, you have just lost on some brand building, ROI and conversions. Context is crucial when you’re trying to ensure that your users click on the Ad displayed on your web page, so you benefit from it.  Benefits of Contextual Advertising  Offers better user-experience to the viewers– this increases the chances of the Ads displayed on your page being clicked as they are based on website content. This also enhances the relevancy of the ad. Contextual Ads also improve the engagement rates of ad campaigns running on your website as it targets users based on context and not content alone.  How does contextual advertising work? Now that we’ve seen what contextual advertising is, how do you get relevant ads to display on relevant websites? Well, the answer to this is keyword targeting, topics and placements. Specific targeting helps to narrow down your pool and offers you a hassle-free experience. For this reason, Google AdSense is the perfect platform for contextual advertising. AdSense allows you to place text-based, video and image ads on the web pages of the relevant pool of websites. This way, your ad is visible to users who aren’t necessarily searching for you directly.  Take, for instance, the example shown below. As a user, I searched for ‘Relaxing Stress.’ However, before the video plays, I see an advertisement for ‘Mindvalley’ that talks about embracing our body energy etc. Now as a user, I didn’t search for Mindvalley, but since the YouTuber has chosen contextual advertising I could see this ad, and the chances of me clicking on it are high as it relevant to the content I searched. In this way, it is a win-win situation for both the advertiser and the page displaying the ad. So, what contextual advertising aims, is to target the user relevancy to the ad, such that the main purpose of ROI, conversions and clicks are fulfilled.  There are multiple advertising platforms available, however, Google AdSense is one of the leading tools. Google AdSense is one of the best and simplest tools to get started with contextual advertising. Follow the below-mentioned steps to kickstart your advertising journey! Steps to set up contextual advertising on Google AdSense: Setup your Google AdSense account Next, to set up your Campaign, select ‘Display Network’ and click on the what you want to optimise your ad for Next, you’ll be asked for ‘Campaign Subtype’ select ‘Standard display campaign’ over ‘Gmail campaign’ as this will give you a greater audience reach  Post this you need to select your target audience and their demographics. For this, your audience pool needs to meet certain criteria they are: Affinity – This allows you to target people based on long-term interests Intent – This is the actively purchasing products space Remarketing – this allows you to target your ads to users based on their age, gender, income, parental status etc. Once you’ve set up your campaign, it is time for customising it for ‘content targeting.’ After setting up the demographics, you will see this sign ‘+ Content Targeting’ click on this to choose keywords, topics, and placements. This is of the utmost importance when it comes to contextual advertising. Although content is said to be the king, this perspective is slowly changing with context being the new king. After all, ad campaigns targeted to users at the right place and at the right time, yield better results and improve the effectiveness of the ads to both the publishers and the users.  Have you switched to contextual advertising? If yes, do let us know your experience in the comments section below!

Learn all about installing and using OpenSSH on servers

In this article, we are going to learn about using OpenSSH on servers. But before we begin, let’s understand what OpenSSH is.   What is OpenSSH? Open Secure Shell (OpenSSH), also known as OpenBSD Secure Shell, is a set of secure networking utilities based on the Secure Shell aka SSH protocol. This Secure Shell provides a secure channel over an unsecured network in a client-server architecture. First released in 1999, OpenSSH was originally developed as part of the OpenBSD operating system.   OpenSSH is a suite of programs and not a single computer program. The programs in the suite serve as alternatives to encrypted protocols such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Telnet. OpenSSH can be integrated into several operating systems such as Windows, Linux and Unix. In fact, OpenSSH comes pre-installed with our Linux Hosting servers including Shared Hosting.    Features of OpenSSH OpenSSH is a completely open-source project, not covered by restrictive licencing. This means that their code is available and accessible to everyone via the internet, so as to encourage the developers to reuse the same. Besides, it boasts of the following features:   Strong cryptography: Encryption kicks in even before authentication begins. Also, no part of the information, including passwords, is transmitted.    Strong authentication: This feature provides protection against several security problems such as IP spoofing and DNS spoofing, fake routes, etc. Some of the authentication methods used include one-time passwords, public key authentication, and authentication using Kerberos.   Port forwarding: With the help of this feature, IP/TCP connections can be forwarded over to a remote machine with the help of an encrypted channel. This also helps secure insecure applications such as POP (Post Office Protocol).   Agent forwarding: With the help of this feature, the user’s authentication keys can be held on the user’s local machine as opposed to storing the keys on other machines in the network. This is done with the help of an authentication agent that runs in the user’s local workstation or laptop.   Optional data compression: With the help of this feature, the data is compressed before encryption, thus enhancing the performance for slow network links.   Installing an OpenSSH client Before a secure remote desktop protocol is established with a remote machine, there are a few basic prerequisites that one must take care of: You need to turn on the remote computer and ensure that it has a steady network connection You need to install and enable the client and server applications You need to have the IP address or the name of the remote machine that you wish to connect to You need to have all the necessary permissions that are required to access the remote computer You need to make sure that the firewall settings are allowing the remote connection   For establishing an SSH connection, you will need two components: a client, and a corresponding server-side component. The client will use the provided remote host information for initiating the connection. Once the credentials are verified, the client will establish an encrypted connection.   OpenSSH comes pre-installed on various Linux versions. In order to install OpenSSH on Linux, you will first have to check whether the client is available on your system. For doing that, you will have to: Run the following command:   On Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install openssh-client On CentOS: sudo yum install openssh-client   Enter your superuser password when asked Select ‘Enter’ to complete the installation   This will help you in installing SSH on any machine that has the server-side application on it. You won’t be able to complete this procedure if you do not have the hostname, IP address, or the necessary authority required to get access.   Installing an OpenSSH server In order to be able to accept SSH connections, the server-side part of the SSH software toolkit needs to be present on your machine. The steps for installation are as follows: Run this command to install the SSH server:   On Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install openssh-server ii On CentOS: sudo yum install openssh-server   Enter your superuser password when asked Press ‘Enter’ and ‘Y’ to allow the installation to proceed after the disk space prompt   All the required support files will be installed and you will be able to check the status of the SSH server on your machine by typing the following command:   sudo service ssh status   Now, that we’ve understood how to install OpenSSH. Here are a bunch of tips and tricks which can really help you with using SSH like a pro:     SSH Tunneling   The web traffic from your local system can be directed to a remote SSH server for encrypting it so as to prevent other users on a public wi-fi system from looking into your data and content.     Remembering the Public Key   Remembering the long string public key of the computer that you are using can be difficult, you can enable the ‘visual host key’ feature so that it is easier to remember the key. You can enable this feature by running the following command:    ssh -o VisualHostKey=yes user@host     Keeping a Terminal Session Open   A new terminal session is produced and ended after each log in and log out, respectively. In order to keep the session open, you can use the GNU (GNU’s Not Unix) screen.     Time-saving Combo Commands   In cases where you only need one command from a remote host, going through the log-in and exit process only for that can be quite a hassle. This can be avoided by combining the request with SSH.     Using a Different Port Name for Logging In   If the standard port 22 (standard TCP port) at your environment is blocked for some reason and you are required to use another port at your location, you can use the following command –   $ ssh user@example.com -p 3307 Here, 3307 is the alternative port number instead of Port 22.    That’s all from this article! Hope you understood how to use OpenSSH on Linux and install it too. If you have any doubts or suggestions, then please feel free to share them in the comments section below to help out the community!

How to Build a Professional Website

Every business begins with that one idea that the entrepreneur truly believes in. The first thing you do after you have had your eureka moment is to start thinking of what you’d want to call your business. This process also involves checking the availability of the domain name of your choice so that you can establish an online presence a.k.a. a website for your business.  Now, there are two ways of going about building a website – you either do it the old fashioned way i.e. by buying a hosting package, securing a domain name and hard-coding your website from the ground up, or by using a simple drag-and-drop DIY website builder. Both of these methods are capable of producing sophisticated and professional-looking websites.  While website builders are perfect for those who are working with limited resources and want to get a website built without having to get into the hassles of coding, coding a website offers the liberty of complete backend control, increased customizability, and scalability. In this article, we will walk you through how to build a professional website. First things first, the prerequisite to building the perfect website is having a goal in place. The process needs to begin with having a brand strategy in place, setting priorities in terms of the objectives that need to be achieved through the website, deciding the tone of the content, the colour scheme and design, usability, responsiveness, and most importantly, the layout of the website pages. Once the basics are taken care of, you can proceed with the procurement of basic necessities – Domain Name, a Web Hosting package and finally build your website from the ground up. Let’s go through this procedure at length: Step #1: Registering a Domain Name Of all things that are important for building a website, registering a domain name that explains the identity of the website in the best manner is of prime importance. There are numerous domain registration providers which also offer domain name registration services. You can select from the available options and choose the one that best suits your branding needs as well as your budget. You can select the tenure for which you need to register your domain name (hint: most providers follow a telescopic pricing model. In simpler words, the longer the duration, the lesser is the monthly cost). Your domain name is going to be the most important aspect of your business since it fulfils a lot of requirements –  Establishing an online home by giving you/your brand identity of its own in the online world Making it easier for the public to find your website easily Getting better exposure and ranking on search engines Safeguarding your ideas and your business by securing it with a digital security certificate Securing the perfect domain name is akin to making a calculated investment. We suggest that you prioritise this aspect. Step #2: Buy a Web Hosting Package There are several flavours of web hosting available in the market viz. Cloud Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, Shared Hosting, etc. You can choose from this wide variety of options basis your criteria and list of requirements for your website.  For businesses that are just starting out, Shared Hosting could be the best option to go ahead with. Essentially, Shared Hosting is a form of web hosting which allows multiple websites to be hosted on a single server. Each user will have a limit on the server resources that they can use, and this limit will be defined basis of your hosting package. Since resources such as disk space and bandwidth are shared amongst multiple users, Shared Hosting is easily the most economical hosting option. It’s definitely cheaper in cost as compared to the rest of the options. The fact that Shared Hosting comes equipped with a built-in cPanel for easy hosting management and needs less maintenance means that you won’t have to worry a lot about operational issues. Step #3: Start Building your Professional Website Once you have your domain name and hosting package in place, you can proceed with building your website using the basic website-building blocks. There are various website building tools like Weebly, WordPress, Jimdo, Webnode and so on. Most of the tools are drag and drop tools and help you design your website easily irrespective of your tech skills.  When building a professional website here are 5 things you must ensure: Branding – Branding is an important aspect if you want to establish your website in the online domain. Take care that your active social media links are well in place and visible to the user easily, the font and text color is standard throughout the website.Take, for instance, if you’re running a blog make sure every article uses the same font. Or if you’re running an e-commerce website add your logo (non-pixelated) on the top of every page. Choose a theme for your website – aesthetics matter, so make sure you choose a theme that compliments your business, is easy to navigate, has a responsive design and is pleasing to the eye. Add plugins – whether you’re a coder or not, plugins help save your time with ready-made code for specific actions. All you need to do is install them, be it for optimising SEO or displaying featured posts!Tip: Don’t add too many plugins as they can make your site bulky. Add pages to your website – irrespective of the type of website you have, make sure to include pages like Homepage, About Us, Contact Us, FAQs, etc. Getting an SSL certificate – With Google’s algorithm update if your website isn’t secured i.e it is ‘http’ instead of ‘https’ then your search engine rankings will be affected. A professional website with the right mix of design and development helps you establish yourself as a brand in a sea of websites. At the same time, it helps improve your web presence, drives traffic and helps build credibility.  We hope we’ve helped you get a basic understanding of how to build a professional website. Do feel free to leave comments below and let us know about some interesting lessons on website building that you’ve had the opportunity to learn.

A Beginner’s Guide to Domain Registration

If you plan to launch your own business website then there are a number of things to be taken care of –  from deciding the niche of your business, to designing the layout of your website, finding the perfect place to host it (read web hosting) and most importantly, a name. And the most crucial of them all is, choosing the right domain name. Simply put, your domain name should reflect the personality of your brand. At the same time, it should be simple, crisp and attractive to the customer. Once you’ve decided on the perfect domain name for your website, it is now important to register it before someone else does so. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to register a domain name and once purchased, how to manage it. So let’s start. The choice of the service provider Before you choose a service provider make sure that you research them thoroughly as you would most likely purchase your hosting too from them. A good hosting provider aims and delivers maximum uptime, security and support for your website. In fact, we at BigRock offer 24/7 support and varied hosting plans to support your business right from Shared Hosting to VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. How to register a domain name Follow the steps listed below to understand the domain name registration process: Step 1:  Go to the BigRock home page.  Here you will find the domain name checker Enter the domain name you wish to purchase  On the right-hand side, you have a section to display the various domain extensions for your website viz. .COM, .IN, .CLUB, .BIZ etc.  We have selected .COM and .IN  Click on the ‘search icon’  Step 2:  If your choice of the domain name is available then the tool would show you the price and ‘Buy’ button. However, if the domain name is already taken then it will suggest other options to consider.  To our surprise, both the .COM and .in were available for our choice of the domain name. We chose the .IN domain extension, and clicked on ‘Buy’. Post clicking on the ‘Buy’ option it displayed the ‘Checkout’ option on the far right corner of the page. Should you wish to get Business Email for your domain name, you can choose one the plans and click on ‘Add’ to add it to your cart. We didn’t want any Add-ons, hence we didn’t opt for Business Email. P.S: There are 2 Free email ID’s included with every domain name purchased! Step 3: After clicking on ‘Checkout’ you will be redirected to the ‘Order Summary’ page to make sure you’re placing the right order.  Next, select the duration you want to purchase your domain name for and click on ‘Next’. Step 4: Next, you’ll be redirected to the ‘Sign In’ page. If you are an existing user, please enter your ‘Username’ and ‘Password’. However, if you’re a new user, click on ‘Continue’ to create your new account with us. Creating an account hardly takes a few minutes.  Step 5:  Once you’ve created an account/signed-in you’ll automatically be taken to the ‘Payment Option’ page; There are 6-different ways for Payment viz: Netbanking/Debit Card (via CCAvenue Payment Gateway) Credit Card (Visa/ Mastercard) Wallets – PayTM, Freecharge, Mobikwik and JioMoney UPI (Unified Payment Interface) Pay via Cheque/Demand Draft/Direct Deposit Pay via Account Balance (you can add Funds to your account by logging into your Control Panel)  After selecting the payment method, you will be redirected to the appropriate page to make payment. Post successful payment, you’ll get an email for ‘Successful Purchase of the Domain Name’.  Your domain name registration process is now officially complete! Step 6:  Post purchasing your domain name, you can go to your Control Panel to manage your domain name.  Log in to your control panel Click on ‘Orders’ on the left-hand side vertical bar Click on ‘Your domain name’ in our case ‘purplefairie.in’  A new window opens as shown below, where you can manage your domain name. For instance, enable ‘Privacy Protection’, ‘Domain Forwarding’, ‘Changing Nameservers’ etc.  Conclusion  We hope this article helped you understand how to register a domain name in a few simple steps. If you have any queries related to domains, hosting or anything else, feel free to contact our support for expert guidance or you can even leave a comment below!

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