Industry Buzz

DreamHost Continues to be COVID-19 Ready

DreamHost Blog -

As much of the world continues to live under orders to minimize physical interaction, we’ve all gotten a feel for what life looks like in a world where COVID-19 is ever-present. Some have lost jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. Some are wrestling with the anxiety and uncertainty caused by this global crisis. Most horribly, some of us have lost friends and family as this coronavirus has worked its way through our communities. Our hearts go out to all of you. I want to take a minute to update you on the state of DreamHost and reassure you that, in a world where each day brings new concerns and unknowns, we will continue to be there for you as a partner to keep your businesses and websites online and performing. You may recall that the majority of the DreamHost team has been working on a fully-remote basis since mid-March. Our team members will be able to work remotely throughout the remainder of 2020, allowing them the flexibility needed to stay safe at home with their families. We have expanded our employee assistance programs to help support our team during this time, making additional financial and mental health resources available to them. You’ve Been Busy Over the past three months, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of DreamHost customers logging into their accounts and building wonderful things. For many of you, being #SaferAtHome means having more time to focus on your online businesses and projects with DreamHost. This has been an inspiration for all of us at DreamHost to watch and drives home the deep responsibility we’ve always felt to keep you and your data secure and available. We won’t let you down. We have always prided ourselves on delivering extraordinary customer service, and during this time you are turning to us for assistance in volumes we haven’t previously experienced. To provide this additional help with the same quality and speed that you’ve come to expect, we have had multiple “Support Only” days where everyone in the company drops all other projects to focus on our top priority: individualized customer service. Rest assured that truly expert advice is available from anyone on our team, anytime you need it. All Systems Go We know how much you rely on us to keep your projects running. Many of you are using your websites to host online portfolios and resumes while you embark on job searches. Quite a few of you have shared stories of using this time to build new online businesses. Now, more than ever, you’ve got to have a reliable way to share your content with the world. We’re committed to maintaining the integrity of your hosting, the very foundation of your online businesses, blogs, and web apps. Our systems remain online and operational with enough capacity to meet your needs now and into the future. Payment Assistance We understand that everyone’s financial situation is unique, and some of us may be having a difficult time making ends meet. If your DreamHost bill presents a hardship, please reach out to our customer support team to explore your options. We can work with you to find ways to reduce your bill or even work out a deferred payment plan. Helpful Resources You’re not in this alone. We’ve put together a collection of tools and articles to help your business stay open and thrive for as long as we’re all asked to stay home. You’ll find guides on everything from growing your online business to starting a side hustle. We hope you find these resources helpful! We’re Stronger Together After listening to many of your stories over the past few months, one thing has become very clear. We’re all experiencing this crisis very differently. For some, this has provided a much-needed time to regroup and find focus. For others, entire lives have been upended. One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to you and your websites. We’re here to support you and your businesses, and we’ll be there to help you build new ones too. This Sounds Familiar… If any of this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard it hundreds of times by now! Platitudes aside, we are here for you during this difficult time and look forward to a safe recovery. Thank you for choosing DreamHost. We are proud to be your online partner. Be excellent, Michael CEO, DreamHost The post DreamHost Continues to be COVID-19 Ready appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

What Is a Domain Name?

HostGator Blog -

The post What Is a Domain Name? appeared first on HostGator Blog. You’re here because you want to know what a domain name is, and how domains work? It seems like an easy enough question to answer, but it can still trip up a lot of beginners. When you’re building your first website there are a lot of technical terms you’ll come across. And there are a handful of things you’ll need to get right if you want your website to not only work properly but thrive and grow. It’s easy to confuse a website with a domain name, your hosting provider, or even understand what does domain mean? Below you’ll learn everything you need to know about a domain name, how they function, and why they’re necessary. What Is a Domain Name? A domain name is what you type into a web browser to access a website. The domain definition is a unique name that identifies a website. Chances are you’ve already typed in a few domain names today. For example, the domain name of Twitter is https://www.twitter.com. While the domain name for this website is https://www.hostgator.com. Domain names are completely unique to a website, which is why they are so valuable. Domain Names and IP Addresses When we look at the internet as a whole it’s essentially a network of computers connected to each other. Each of these computers is assigned a unique IP address that identifies that computer alone. IP addresses resemble a random string of numbers, which look like 67.454.66.3. But, could you imagine having to remember that unique string whenever you wanted to visit a website? It would be a pretty frustrating experience. So, instead, we have domain names that stand in place of these unique IP addresses. For example, we can look at an IP address as the GPS coordinates of your home, while your domain name could be your street address, or even the more informal name, “Jim’s House”. They all reference the same thing, but some methods are easier to remember. How Do Domain Names Work? Now that you’re equipped with the basics of domain names and IP addresses, let’s dive a little deeper into how they actually work. This will give you a deeper background on what happens behind the scenes when you type a domain into your browser. Once a domain name gets typed into a browser that request gets sent out to a network of servers known as the Domain Names System (DNS). This network then looks up the nameservers of that domain and forwards the request to the appropriate server. The nameservers are managed by your hosting company, which will then forward the request to the specific server where your website is stored. The server then locates the website, or web page, that was requested and sends the data back to the user’s browser. That’s a lot! Right? All of this happens in under a second. This request occurs so quickly, you don’t even notice it’s happening. Different Types of Domain Names When you’re trying to find the perfect domain name you’ll be able to choose between dozens of different domain name extensions. These are the final part of the domain name, for example, .com, .net, and .org. Here are the most common types of domain names you’ll come across:  1. Generic Top-level Domains Top-level domains are the most popular types of domain names. There are hundreds of these available and will generally be the best type of extension for your domain. Here are some of the most common: .com (commercial).net (network).org (organization) Ideally, you’ll choose a domain that uses one of the above extensions. However, there are hundreds of these available. The entire list of available TLDs can be found on the IANA website. Keep in mind that not every TLD on the list will be available for you to register. 2. Country Code Top-Level Domains Country code TLDs are assigned to specific countries and generally used for websites that are based (or serving an audience) in those countries. However, some ccTLDs are used in other circumstances as well. For example, the ccTLD .co is for the country Colombia. But, you’ll find a ton of new websites and startups use that domain as well. Here are some common ccTLDs: .us (United States).co.uk (United Kingdom).ca (Canada).de (Germany).fr (France) 3. Sponsored Top-Level Domains rTLDs are a group of top-level domains that are reserved for specific organizations and agencies. To register one of these you’ll need to meet the specific requirements. If you operate under the category that each domain is reserved for, then you can use that TLD. Otherwise, pick one from one of the other categories.  Here are a few examples: .gov (these are reserved for government organizations).mil (these are reserved for military operations).edu (these are reserved for educational institutions).int (these are reserved for international organizations) Domain Names vs Websites Domain names and websites are related, however, they aren’t the same thing. For example, let’s look at your phone number and existing phone. Although you need both working together, they aren’t the same. Your phone number is like your domain name, while your website will be whatever phone you’re currently using. You can get a new phone (website), but you’ll keep your existing number (domain name) no matter if you upgrade your phone, or even move to a new provider. Let’s look at another example: Say you’re running a website that offers running tips and your current domain name is “letsrun.com”. However, you found a new domain that’s even a better fit, so you buy it. All you have to do is connect your new domain to your existing website and everything will be the same, except your domain. Your domain name is never stuck with any website. You can disconnect it and use it for another website, or purchase a new domain and connect it to your current site. Understanding the DNS System The Domain Name System (DNS) is managed by an organization named Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). They’re a non-profit that creates policies and manages the existing domain name system. Any registrar that sells domains must get permission from ICANN to conduct business. Domain name registrars (like the one here at HostGator) can sell domains, and help you manage your records, renew your domains, conduct domain transfers and more. Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Website There’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect domain name for your new website. It needs to convey what your website is about in a few characters, it needs to be brandable, memorable, and a lot more. Your domain is responsible for creating a first impression, it can impact your SEO, and needs to be in alignment with your brand. It’s also important to consider the domain meaning, you’ll want to ensure the meaning of the words is in alignment with your brand, and doesn’t have an alternative meaning in other languages. That’s a lot for a few simple words! Luckily, we’ve written an entire article on finding the right domain for your needs.  How to Purchase a Domain Name Now for the fun part. It’s time to purchase your first domain name. If all the information above seemed like a lot, don’t worry. The domain registration process only takes a few simple steps. 1. Choose Your Registrar The first step in buying a domain name is deciding where you’re going to register it. There are dozens of different domain name registrars to choose from. Some only register domains, while others are a service offered by hosting companies, like the domain registrar here at HostGator. You can purchase hosting via the same company you use to register a domain, or you can do the two separately. If this is your first time building a website, then it can be helpful to take care of both from the same company, so you cut out a few technical steps. To do this, head over to HostGator Domains. Here you’ll be able to search for domains, choose your extension, and add hosting to your plan. 2. See if Your Domain Is Available It’s time to see if your chosen domain is available. All you have to do is type your domain name into the search box and click ‘Search’. On the next screen, you’ll be able to see if your domain is available. As you can see from the image below, this domain is already taken. So, we can start a new search. Or, choose one of the other domain name extensions, or even an alternative domain that’s recommended by the tool. 3. Purchase the Domain Once you’ve found a domain that’s perfect and available all you have to do is click ‘Continue to Checkout’ and complete your order. Once you complete your order you’ll have your very own domain name, and it’s time to start building your website! Domain Name FAQ Even with all the information above, you probably still have a few questions related to domain names. Here are some domain name frequently asked questions that should clear up any confusion that’s still lingering: Free vs Paid Domain Names: What’s Best? Maybe you’re trying to save money, so you’ve been looking at free domain names. These are domains that typically come with website builders and will look something like yoursite.wordpress.com. Your site will be a subdomain of the primary domain. Usually, you’ll want to avoid using free domains as they don’t look professional. Plus, you don’t own the domain, so you can’t bring it with you. Also, your domain will always have the domain of the service provider, so it’s very difficult to build a brand and it’s never truly yours. How Much Do Domain Names Cost? In general, a domain name will cost around $10 to $15 per year. However, if you’re purchasing a domain that has a lot of value and is already owned by someone this number can shoot up to the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Think of domains like cars.com or credit.com. However, most people will be registering a domain for the first time, so it’ll fall within the $10 to $15 range. Also, a lot of hosting companies will include a free domain name when you sign up for hosting. What About Transferring Domain Names? Yes, you’re never locked into a single provider when it comes to your domain name. As long as you keep paying the annual fee, you own the domain name. You can transfer it to another registrar or hosting company, you’re never locked in. However, if you do transfer your domain to another provider make sure it’s pointed towards the location of your host. What’s the Best Domain Name Extension? Ultimately, this will come down to your business, but there are some general rules you can follow. Most people tend to prefer TLDs like .com, .org, and .net, along with ccTLDs for businesses targeting a local market. You can get more creative with your domain name, for example, “mysite.coffee” or “mysite.ventures”. But, it’s recommended you stick with the domain name extension that’s the easiest to remember. What’s a Subdomain? Subdomains are a domain that’s nested under the primary domain. For example, here at HostGator, you’ll find the support resources using the subdomain “support.hostgator.com”. Once you register a domain you can create as many subdomains as you’d like. Some common uses for subdomains include hosting an online store at “shop.mydomain.com” or even a blog at “blog.mydomain.com”. Can I Cancel a Domain Name Registration? Yes, but it depends on the length of time of your initial domain contract. For example, if you registered your domain for three years, then you might have to wait for it to expire. It depends on the registrar you used to register your domain, some allow you to cancel whenever, while with others you’ll have to wait for your domain name to expire. However, if you haven’t enabled auto-renew, then your domain name will expire on its own and become available to the general public. Can I Sell a Domain Name? Yes, once you purchase a domain name you can sell your domain whenever you’d like. There’s actually a huge market for domains that are brandable and unique. Some people even build entire businesses around domain flipping, which is the process of buying, holding, and selling domain names. There are all kinds of domain marketplaces where you can sell your domain like Sedo and Flippa. Does Domain Privacy Matter? When you’re going through the domain registration process you’ll have the opportunity to hide your domain registration information. Normally, this information can be looked up via a tool called ICANN. If you don’t want these details exposed to the public you can register your domain privately, but keep in mind that these registration services come with an added fee.  In Closing Hopefully, by now you can answer the question: what’s a domain name? As you can see, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes the moment a domain is typed into a browser.  Choosing a domain name is an important decision for your website and one worth investing time and energy into.  Find the post on the HostGator Blog

10 Ways to Make Your Site More Accessible

WordPress.com News -

Today, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, raises awareness around digital access and inclusion and improving the web experience for everyone. This year, WebAIM analyzed one million homepages for accessibility issues and found that 98% of websites had at least one WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) failure on their homepage, such as low-contrast text, missing image alt text, and empty links. These types of accessibility barriers make it difficult or impossible for some visitors — people who are blind, deaf and hard of hearing, and disabled, for example — to use your site. We encourage you to audit your site to ensure it’s accessible for all readers; the WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) can identify various errors on your site in seconds. Here are some web accessibility tips to get you started, and be sure to explore the guidelines and resources on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) website for deeper learning. Use an accessibility-ready theme You can choose from among a variety of designs for your site, but some themes have features that add complexity, making it harder for disabled people or visitors using screen readers to access your content. When choosing a theme, consider an accessibility-ready design, like Balasana, a free minimal theme for your business website; or Mayland, a free visual theme that’s great for photographers and storytellers. These themes have been checked by the Theme Review Team and pass basic accessibility requirements. Display your site title and tagline Many themes allow you to upload a custom header image, which is a visual way to brand your site, display the title of your blog, or promote the name of your business. But some themes may not support alternative text, or the written copy that appears in place of an image on a page if the image fails to load on your visitor’s screen. Instead of conveying your site title and tagline within a header image, display your site title and tagline text. Go to Manage → Settings, and at the top under Site profile, fill out your Site title and Site tagline. Then, head to Design → Customize, go to Site Identity, and check the box next to Display Site Title and Tagline. Structure your pages and posts with appropriate headings Add headings with the Heading Block to organize pages and posts and make it easier for readers to follow your content, which is especially important for longer pages and posts. Click on the “i” icon in the top toolbar of the block editor to view any errors and incorrect heading sizes. Select fonts and colors for legibility Fonts and colors are essential components on your site, adding personality and style and strengthening your visual identity online. Avoid font styles and sizes and color palettes that make your site difficult to read, and pay attention to contrast, or the difference between the darkness of your text and the lightness of your background. The block editor will display an error message in Color settings when it detects poor color contrast in the specific block you’re working on. Clearly describe your links When linking to another page or post on the web, make your linked text descriptive. For example, “click here” is not as effective as “learn how to apply to my writing workshop.” Include captions with your images When adding an image with the Image Block, add a description of the image in the caption underneath it. While captions are optional, they improve the experience for all readers by providing more context. Add alt text to your images Alt text is essential for people who are blind or use screen readers (they can hear alt text read aloud), or people who have disabled images for speed or bandwidth reasons. Alt text is also important for your site’s SEO — it helps search engines understand what your site content is about. When adding an image with the Image Block, go to the block’s settings on the right and add the alt text in the box under Image settings. Learn more about W3C’s image accessibility guidelines. Create easily clickable CTA areas With the Buttons Block, you can add call-to-action buttons to your pages and posts quickly. For those of you who design and embed your own buttons with Image Widgets, make buttons, icons, and other CTA elements with wide-enough areas that are easy to click or tap from different devices. You can apply this tip to text links as well. Tapping a linked hashtag or asterisk within a sentence, for example — especially on a small screen — may be difficult for some people. Include captions or transcripts for multimedia content If your site includes video content, consider adding captions or including transcripts (documenting speech, sounds, as well as actions seen on-screen). Podcast transcripts are also incredibly helpful; here’s a transcript of a recent Distributed episode with neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. It’s best if video and audio content does not auto-play, but if that’s not possible, options to pause or adjust the volume should be obvious on the page. Never stop learning and improving This list is just an introduction to a few best practices and guidelines! If you’re interested in learning more, explore the resources on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) website. You can also explore ways to get involved in improving the accessibility of WordPress. Learn more about Global Accessibility Awareness Day and participate in online events, webinars, and podcasts.

How Email Hosting Works and Why You Need It

Reseller Club Blog -

Imagine this — You open your email inbox and are (un)welcomed by numerous emails. You recognize some, but some seem unknown, vague, and even malicious. There’s an email from sam1223@gmail.com  that is confirming an order you may have placed and there’s another email from abc@furniturecentral.com that too claims to be about an order you placed.  Without even opening the email you know whether or not you placed an order from ‘Furniture Central’, but can you be so sure about a random email from a Gmail account — you’re most likely to delete or ignore that without even opening it.  If you’re wondering how does email hosting work, that’s just one of the many benefits — it raises brand recall.  So, what is email hosting?  Simply put, it is a service that allows you to send, store, and receive emails on the server, provided by a professional hosting provider. Unlike free email service providers, such as Gmail, Yahoo and more, with an email hosting service you can set up a professional email address that incorporates your domain name. For example, if you run an e-commerce store, www.furniturecentral.com, your email address can be customerservice@furniturecentral.com.  That said, apart from creating a strong brand recall, email hosting allows you to create a stronger brand identity, improves business scalability, boosts email security, allows better integration with other necessary tools, and many more benefits come in with professional email hosting.  How does email hosting work With email hosting, you don’t just get a server to host your emails but also bring in additional solutions to better scale your business. These solutions include features that enable secure authentication, re-routing and replication of your emails, management of user domain names, and more.   An email service provider provides you with a server that acts as a trusted link between your email server and the receiver’s email server. When you send an email, it gets routed between the two servers, to ensure smooth delivery and transportation of your email. This adds greater security to your emails, thus eliminating the risks of spam and viruses. With email hosting, you have an added layer of security when sending sensitive information over emails, minimizing the risk of data breaches, or theft. Professional email servers are equipped with industry encryption, ensuring the transfer of data is completely encrypted and an unauthorized party cannot access it. Additionally, with professional email hosting, you can always rely on better uptime. You can avoid critical communication errors, and communicate in a quick and timely manner. This is increasingly important for businesses who may regularly send and receive communication from customers that require immediate attention.  Why Does Your Business Need Email Hosting? When you think about email hosting there are two critical factors to consider: Brand Identity and Security.  Building a strong brand identity is critical to making an impact in this fast-growing digital world. With almost all industries and businesses going digital, it takes more than just great products and services to get noticed. Customers trust brands they recognize and resonate with. With email hosting, you can create a professional and recognizable impact, from the word go!  More importantly, customers value security and more importantly value brands that offer complete security. Email communication has taken over many traditional forms of communication, and as a business, you want to ensure it remains safe and secure, no matter how sensitive the information being communicated may be. This helps you build credibility and reliability for your business. Email encryption, offered by professional email service providers, ensures that all data communicated through emails stay secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties.  Ready to get enterprise email hosting for your business? ResellerClub offers different email hosting plans, to match individual needs. Get great storage, security, mobile-friendly solutions, and much more.  Make an Impact With Professional Email Hosting With email hosting you can stay connected with your customers, clients, employees and any professional network — no matter where you are. You can be sure of safe and secure communication.  It will make it easy for your email receivers to recognize you in their inbox, and build a brand recall that builds credibility.  With email hosting, you make that perfect ‘first impression’ that lasts. Choose an email service provider that understands your needs, and provides you with a solution that allows you to communicate, grow and succeed.  To know more about the latest updates, and learn about all things Hosting, read more from our Hosting Blogs Category.   .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How Email Hosting Works and Why You Need It appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

The Trending Skill You Didn’t Know You Needed

LinkedIn Official Blog -

While curiosity may have led to some important moments in our careers, most of us do not necessarily think of it as a must-have skill. It’s time to think again. Curiosity, used strategically, can not only improve the way we work, it can also transform the way we think by allowing us to see creative solutions that may be missed by others, make wiser decisions and increase our influence. In fact, according to Becki Saltzman, LinkedIn Learning Instructor and Founder of The Applied Curiosity Lab,... .

Here’s How To Step Up Your Product Videos Game, Step by Step

Reseller Club Blog -

If content is king, then there is a new heir to the throne – Video. Video has outperformed other forms of content in capturing people’s attention and gaining their trust. Its reign might have just begun, but its achievement is already phenomenal. Consumers have made their choice —  72% of them prefer videos to text while searching for a product and 84% of them buy only after watching a product video.  In e-commerce, videos help products gain exposure. Videos also help consumers experience the product before buying. Simply put, today, you can’t ignore this marketing behemoth.  That said; let’s find out how to increase eCommerce conversions using product videos.  Product Unboxing Videos Making unboxing videos is such a simple (and obvious) idea, but most brands overlook its potential. For a second, go back in time and think of the bubbling excitement and anticipation you felt when opening a gift. Product unboxing videos work because they recreate this childhood emotion in the consumers.  Brands can improve the effectiveness of unboxing videos by sharing videos of real customers. The concept behind an unboxing video is straightforward. Users open the product package, describe each item in the box, and give a brief explanation of the item’s purpose and function.  Unboxing videos have been around since the launch of YouTube. They have gained prominence, so much so, YouTube witnesses posting of more than 90,000 unboxing videos every month. According to the ThinkWithGoogle website, 62% of consumers view unboxing videos to research a product.  How Do Unboxing Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Emotions are contagious. Seeing a customer unbox a product with excitement and anticipation invokes similar emotions in the viewers. This subconscious mirroring of emotions makes the viewers feel they are close to the product and using it themselves. For digital products or services, these can be replaced by videos which show the customer using the service, with a focus on the emotions of the user and the benefits offered by the service. An unboxing video is the next best thing to visiting a brick-and-mortar store to see the actual contents of a  boxed product. Unboxing videos reassure the prospective customer that he or she is making the right choice. These videos also speed up the buying decision by removing most of the doubts in a customer’s mind.  Product Explainer Videos While product unboxing videos touch the surface and describe the items in a package, explainer videos go a step further. These videos are in-depth guides to the features and benefits of a product or service. Consumers prefer videos, and a short and slick video is more engaging and effective. Users who have a fair bit of explaining to do about a complex product can split the content into two or more short videos. Editing a video to give it a professional look won’t cost much. Nowadays, no one reads lengthy product descriptions or user manuals. People prefer explainer videos that show the product in a close-up view and from different angles. E-commerce brands must use these videos because 96% of people watch explainer videos to understand products. Dropbox is a pioneer in using explainer videos to expand its customer base. In 2009, the company introduced explainer videos of their service that increased their conversion by 10%. The explainer videos campaign added 10 million customers and earned Dropbox an extra $48,000,000 in revenues.  How Do Explainer Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Explainer videos do what videos do best – grab the viewer’s attention and make them listen. Consumers researching many brands hate reading similar descriptions and features again and again. A creative explainer video will engage and convert viewers into buyers.  Many of us have the innate need to try on the clothes or take a new car for a test drive before buying. Testing assures us that the product works. In e-commerce, we see others explain, show and test the product. Explainer videos increase trust and reduce doubts in the minds of the buyers.  Some customers put off the buying decision because they are unsure how a product solves the problem(s) they are facing. Explainer videos that use a problem-solution approach remove this impediment to increasing sales. Explainer videos are better than buyer’s guides in removing doubts in customer’s minds. Product ‘How-To’ Videos As opposed to explainer videos which are 100% created using computer generated and animated graphics, product ‘how-to’ videos will feature real actors that your clients can relate to better, How-To videos are a powerful tool to motivate prospective customers to make the buying decision. Research data shows that around 97% of video marketers believe that product videos help consumers understand a product or service.  How-to videos are effective because they show consumers how the product works and how to use it. Furthermore, if the consumer has decided to buy, checking the how-to videos will give the satisfaction of making the right call. For the web hosting and domain industry screen recording based ‘How To’ videos work great, as they walk the customer through the process, step by step. With these types of services being highly technical most of the time, an in-depth walkthrough tutorial works great. The product demo or how-to videos use the old ‘show, don’t tell’ approach. These videos don’t stop at talking about the product and explaining the features; they go a step further and show the product in action — speeding up their buying decision.  How Do How-To Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Product ‘how-to’ videos hosted by a person with the same personality as that of the target audience generates a feeling of empathy and reliability in the viewers. Such videos connect with the audience and make the experience impactful and memorable.  A video on ‘how the email forwarders work’ would be more believable and effective if it’s filmed over the shoulder of a user actually doing the email forwarding and then testing it live to demonstrate it works. So, showcasing a product in real situations will not only help better understand a product but also build trust. Product Review and Testimonial Videos Displaying user-generated product videos on the landing page is a great way to earn the trust of prospective customers. Plus, according to Bazaarvoice, these videos can increase conversions. According to a study, e-commerce stores can expect a 10% increase in sales by including one user-generated product video. The percentage of sales shoots up to 44% if the website contains 200 or more review videos.  Source: Bazaarvoice Bazaarvoice analyzed 35 billion product pages and 57 million reviews. The outcome of their study showed that reviews set off a chain reaction among review video creators. The use of product reviews, apart from increased traffic and conversions, also encouraged the creation of more product reviews.  Bear in mind that the reviews must be user-generated and genuine. Customers can spot a fake review a mile away.  How Do Review and Testimonial Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? Review videos give the viewers the much needed human connection to the product. For prospective customers, it becomes easier to decide when they see others using, explaining, and enjoying the product.  Every customer has his or her own opinion about a product. Prospective customers can gain new insight into the usefulness of a product or service by watching testimonial videos.  Video testimonials are far more engaging than text reviews. Seeing the reviewer smile or exhibit other positive emotions encourages prospective customers to buy the product. Product ‘Lifehack’ Videos Product tips or lifehack videos are becoming extensively popular among the masses. They are different, useful, and entertaining. Lifehack videos teach viewers many methods of using a product that customers were unaware of before.  Lifehack videos also aid other marketing efforts such as increasing social media shares and organically growing an email list. The videos are usually short and simple; hence, generate plenty of links, shares, and comments on social media. They are more likely to go viral on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media networks.  How Do Lifehack Videos Increase eCommerce Conversions? When customers see more uses for a product; uses they were unaware of, then chances of a sale increase.  In lifehack videos, the prospective customers are watching the product in action. This increases the trust and credibility factor, thereby speeding up the decision making process. Other Innovative Ways of Using Product Videos to Increase eCommerce Conversions Live Link Videos, a new technology created by FlipSeek, allows brands to add hotspots into their product videos. Clicking a hotspot will add the product or accessory to the customer’s shopping cart. Some user-generated videos contain small thumbnails of the product on the left or right side of the video screen. Viewers can click on the thumbnail to buy the product.   Making the video interactive will get the customer involved and increase the chances of the video going viral. The ‘I Surf Because’ campaign by Billabong allows viewers to add a short statement into a video and share it with their friends.  More than half of the video marketers believe personalized content will generate more leads and 72% of consumers prefer only personalized content. E-commerce brands can create personalized videos for their target audience in different localities. To personalize the videos, the brands can focus on locations, languages, age, weather, etc.  Final Thoughts Videos are already popular. But, they are still under-utilized and no way employed to their full potential. In e-commerce, product videos have already proved their mettle. Product videos have overshadowed images and text content. Videos are better at engaging and entertaining the viewers, and in educating and converting viewers into buyers. So, if you want to increase sales, regardless of the size of the e-commerce business, make product videos an essential part of your marketing strategy. Use these product video tips to give prospective customers a deeper understanding of the product. To know more about the latest tips and trends in marketing to up your business game, read more from our Marketing Blogs Category.      .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post Here’s How To Step Up Your Product Videos Game, Step by Step appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Multi-Location Business

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Does your business have multiple locations? Need a better social media strategy? In this article, you’ll find a four-part plan to structure a social media marketing strategy you can execute seamlessly across all markets. #1: Create an Overarching Brand Message As you look to extend your business operations into different markets (countries, states, cities, or […] The post Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Multi-Location Business appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Demonstrate Your Expertise and Build Your Brand on LinkedIn

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Engaging your community by sharing stories, advice, and information is a great way to foster relationships and spark conversations. If you’re looking for the best way to get started and stand out from the crowd, here are four tips that can help. 1. NEW - Feature your work Your LinkedIn profile allows you to tell your professional story. Now, you can take it a step further with Featured, a new section on your profile where you can showcase posts you’ve authored or re-shared, articles you’ve... .

The 11 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a collection of techniques used in web design and content creation to increase your website’s reach. When done right, your search engine rankings should improve and your website’s traffic can increase. That’s why knowing to what extent your SEO strategy is making a difference is essential. Fortunately, tracking your website’s metrics and analyzing the trends you find helps you understand how users are interacting with your content. Knowing the most crucial SEO metrics to track — such as page views, bounce rates, and conversions — helps you evaluate which strategies might need to be tweaked and which ones are hitting a home run. In this article, we’ll share the 11 most important SEO metrics to track. You’ll learn what they mean and how to apply them to your business. We’ll also offer some helpful tips and tools for making sense of the data you collect. Let’s get started! Looking for a Shortcut to SEO Success?Partner with DreamHost! Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on SEO results.Check Out Plans Why You Need to Track the Right SEO KPIs Tracking your SEO data and crunching the numbers so they provide you with insightful information definitely requires an investment of time and often money. However, 63% of marketers actively invest in SEO, as well as tracking the data that results. Without identifying the right key performance indicator (KPI) for your website, your SEO strategy is “flying blind.” This is because SEO metrics tell you exactly how your campaigns are performing, what keywords are getting a response, and which tactics you can stop wasting time on. When you track and analyze your SEO metrics appropriately, you’ll have access to specific data points that can inform your decisions and increase your leads, conversions, and more. All you need to get started is to know which numbers matter most. The 11 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track Websites and their users create a lot of data. To help you sort through the chaos, we’ll take a look at 11 of the most important metrics to track when evaluating your SEO effort. 1. Keyword Ranking Keyword rankings indicate where your website appears in search engine results for specific words and phrases. For example, if you have a construction company, a search including the word building may result in your site only appearing on page three of the results. However, if you’ve used more SEO strategies that focus on the keyword contractor, your site should appear in a better position for searches including that term. The higher your site is ranked for relevant keywords, the more visibility it will have to your audience. This means that in order to improve this metric, you’ll want to do some research to determine which terms and phrases your target audience is searching for. To start tracking keyword rankings and other related data, there are several SEO tools you can use (check out these 15 awesome options). Google Search Console is the best place to start if you have a small (or nonexistent) budget, while the other products offer scalable pricing depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a more robust tool, we recommend SEMrush, an SEO suite that’s trusted by 5 million marketers around the world. Its Position Tracking tool makes it easy to see how your site is ranking for target keywords and paid results each day. Plus, you get in-depth insights into your competitors’ top terms. The good news? We’ve worked out a special two-week trial with SEMrush so you can see if this tool is a good fit for your site! 2. Backlinks Backlinks are links to your website from another site. Many backlinks operate like citations, noting where the information came from and referring readers to the original source. Search engines tend to give preference to sites with lots of backlinks, especially if they’re coming from high-quality sources. Building backlinks can be tricky since you don’t have direct control over who links to your site. Most of the tools out there related to backlinks are focused on tracking existing backlinks and using that information to help you build better content strategies. For example, Linkody is a backlink-specific tool that delivers a lot of useful features. This backlink tool enables you to not just track who is linking to you, but also identify and correct any link errors. It can also be connected to Google Analytics. Just remember that when it comes to getting a backlink, quality matters just as much as quantity. So while it’s good to see the overall number of backlinks going up, you’ll want to make sure that as many of them as possible are coming from relevant and highly-ranked websites. Related: 13 Simple Ways to Boost Your SEO Performance 3. Organic Search Traffic Organic search traffic includes visitors who arrive at your website from search engine results rather than through other channels such as social media, paid advertising, or backlinks. One of the easiest ways to track this type of traffic is with Google Analytics. Organic search is significant because users who find your site this way are typically searching with a specific goal in mind. In fact, 51% of all web traffic comes from organic search, and over 40% of revenue is generated from it. In other words, growing this metric is one of your best options for improving conversions. Generating organic traffic requires sharp SEO tactics and effective audience targeting.  This means that tracking this metric over time is vital, so you can see immediately what strategies are working and which need to be amended. 4. Top Exit Pages for Organic Traffic Another common analytic you can track is the last page each user was on right before leaving your website. This is called the “exit page.” Having this information at hand can be just as important as monitoring your overall organic traffic. This is because the more you understand why users choose to leave your website, the easier it is to convince them to stick around longer. If the top exit pages share certain elements in common, such as a particular type or style of content, this can be a clue that your target audience is looking for something different. Google Analytics is one of the best tools for tracking your site’s top exit pages. You can easily access an Exit Page report and see a breakdown of all the related data. Related: The Top 11 Domain Best Practices to Improve Your Search Traffic 5. Breakdown of Organic Traffic from Search Engines There’s a lot more to discover about your organic traffic data than simply how many users found you through keyword searches. In fact, Google Analytics offers a detailed breakdown of this traffic. Under the Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels menu, you’ll find keywords displayed in context with a number of other key data points. This includes how many new users used certain keywords, how long they viewed pages, and whether they generated revenue for your site. Learning about where your organic traffic is coming from and what they’re doing enables you to pinpoint problems to be fixed (such as a high organic traffic rate with few resulting conversions). 6. Page Views Per User Next up: page views. Page views measure how many times the pages on your site have been viewed in a given period of time. This isn’t the same as your traffic number, since many users may visit more than one page. This means that page views is a metric best considered in context with other numbers. For example, average page views per session or user can tell you how engaged most visitors are with your site. You can also look at this metric in combination with the length of time users spend on your pages. This provides valuable insight into how your content is performing. Are people moving from page to page too quickly, or spending time with each new piece of content? If any of these numbers appear troubling, reviewing your content and revisiting your market research are two steps you can take to create a more engaging experience for your users. 7. Average Time on Page Tracking your website users’ average time on page can be tricky. This is because there are many factors that influence user behavior. For example, a tab left open but idle in a browser for hours shouldn’t really be counted as part of the user’s “time on page.” According to CrazyEgg, 15 seconds is the average time users spend on a web page. If you find that your numbers are below this benchmark, it might be worth doing some market research to make sure you’re targeting the right audiences. Technical issues can also lead to difficulty keeping users on your site. If you suspect this is a problem, you can try checking your page loading speed with a tool like Pingdom. You can also use one of several optimization tactics for boosting the performance of your website. 8. New vs. Returning Users Keeping an eye on your number of new and returning users can be a good indicator of how your audience is responding to your marketing and SEO efforts. For example, if you have more returning customers than new users, that likely means you’ve successfully built some trust and loyalty among your visitors. However, this might also mean that while your existing customer base is steady and reliable, you may need to spend more time and resources on attracting new customers. One way to do this is to revisit your target market research and see if anything has changed, or if new markets have emerged where you can focus your SEO effort. Alternatively, high numbers of new users are a great sign that your promotional strategies are working. However, if the number of returning visitors is low, you may need to do some work on your site to better capture the attention of those new users. 9. Bounce Rate Your bounce rate is a metric that represents how many visitors leave your website without engaging in any content at all. A user might land on your home page, look around but not click on anything, and leave. If no other actions are taken or pages visited, that’s considered a “bounce.” This rate is found by dividing the number of “no activity” users by the number of overall visitors to the website during the same time frame. Alternatively, you can use Google Analytics’ Behavior > Overview report to get a quick view of your site’s bounce rate. Normal bounce rates vary by industry and website type. As a general rule, however, a bounce rate higher than 50 to 60% may indicate a problem with your site’s content. You can take a look at some of the other metrics we’ve discussed, such as the top exit pages and average time on page, to see what’s causing users to bounce away. Then you can make adjustments to your content and strategies in order to keep them around. Related: How to Build a Lead-Generating Landing Page with WordPress 10. Page Speed A slow page loading time can have negative consequences on your overall success online.  Whether you’re running a blog or an e-commerce page, no one wants to wait around for your content to fully load. In fact, one Google study found that a wait time of just one to three seconds increases the probability that users will bounce away from your website by 32%. The golden rule is to keep your page loading times under two seconds, but the lower they are the better. Fortunately, you can easily optimize your website for speed. A great place to start is by testing your site’s performance with a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix. These solutions will also help you identify aspects of your site that may be hurting its performance. Related: 12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow and How to Fix Them 11. Conversion Rate In many cases, conversion rates are the most crucial SEO metric to track. A conversion happens when a visitor to your site completes an action you’ve prompted them to do. For example, if you have a blog, a conversion might happen when a follower signs up for your newsletter. For businesses, a conversion is often measured as a completed sale. Whatever your goal might be, conversions are a great way to directly investigate whether your SEO strategy is working. If you’re not happy with your rates, you can use your analytics tools to look closely at your conversion data and see where improvements might be necessary. In Google Analytics, for example, you can set up “goals” in your dashboard. These are the specific actions that will count as conversions and be tracked. This enables you to focus on your unique objectives and gather a robust and comprehensive set of conversion data. Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) How to Keep Your SEO Momentum Going With Quality Control Checks It’s necessary to keep in mind that your metrics are a reflection of the work you put into improving your site and growing your audience. This means there are several other elements not directly related to SEO that you’ll still need to keep an eye on. Here are a few other elements that can have an impact on how well your website performs in search engines: Crawl errors can mean that your site’s data is not being indexed correctly by search engines. Pages crawled per day is information available in Google Search Console, and can be used to keep tabs on your site’s health in terms of SEO. Duplicate titles and descriptions can hurt your rankings in search results, but you can use a tool like Yoast SEO to clean them up. Local visibility means focusing your SEO strategy on your local area, such as by registering with Google My Business. Click-Through Rates (CTRs) typically pertain to advertisements or email marketing efforts and are an important measure of the effectiveness of your campaigns. All of these pieces are key parts of the SEO puzzle. Of course, the quality of your content also has a significant impact on how well your site performs in the rankings, so that’s a factor to keep in mind as well. SEO Expert in Your InboxWhether you need help picking the right engagement metric, understanding digital marketing, or creating an SEO campaign, we can help! Subscribe to our monthly digest so you never miss an article.Sign Me Up Improving SEO Performance Now that you have an idea of which metrics are most important for SEO, it should be easier to develop a solid web analytics plan. Your unique goals will also affect what numbers are most relevant to you and your site. Google Analytics is a great place to start when it comes to navigating key data such as conversions, page speed, user behavior, and more. If you’re using WordPress, it’s even easier to integrate analytics tools right into your admin dashboard, using plugins like Google Site Kit and MonsterInsights. Here at DreamHost, we offer many reliable WordPress hosting plans. Whether your site is big or small, we’ll handle the hosting so you can focus on your favorite SEO metric to track the data you need to succeed! The post The 11 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

What Are Email Drip Campaigns (and How Can They Help Your Business)?

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The post What Are Email Drip Campaigns (and How Can They Help Your Business)? appeared first on HostGator Blog. How often does your small business run drip campaigns? If the answer is “never” or “what’s a drip campaign?” then this post is for you.  “Drip campaign” is an awkward term for one of the most effective email marketing tools you can use. In this post we’ll show why drip campaigns are worth using and how to get started. What Is a Drip Campaign? A drip campaign is an automated series of marketing messages that go out to your customers or prospects on a schedule that you set ahead of time.  For example, when a visitor to an online store signs up for email discount offers, that should kick off a drip campaign. The first message in a campaign like this is usually a thank-you/welcome email that includes a discount code. The next email a few days later might include some personalized product recommendations based on items the visitor has viewed on the store’s website. And so on. This kind of campaign is designed to nurture leads and grow customer relationships with frequent small interactions rather than one big pitch, the way nurseries water seedlings with a gentle mist and not a firehose. Why Do Businesses Use Drip Campaigns?  One simple reason that businesses use drip campaigns is because customers are more likely to read a series of brief messages than one long one. After all, if you’ve got five minutes to go through your inbox, are you more likely to read something short and snappy or a 500-word essay? There’s another reason that well-planned drip campaigns work, too. It’s because a good drip campaign increases the number and quality of touchpoints your brand has with prospects and customers.  Touchpoints are the interactions your brand has with your target audience. Customers often need to experience several touchpoints before they’re ready to buy from you. That’s because they’re getting to know and trust your brand a bit more with each touchpoint—in this case, with each message in your drip campaign. And let’s not forget the biggest reason businesses run drip campaigns: they’re effective. In Q2 of 2019, drip emails had an open rate 66% higher than other marketing emails. Drip emails also generated more than twice as many click-throughs as other marketing emails.  What Can You Do with an Email Drip Campaign? Our example about email offers isn’t the only way you can use drip campaigns to grow your business. You can also use drip campaigns to  Welcome new subscribers to your newsletter.Welcome new customers.Keep existing customers coming back with personalized recommendations.Promote upcoming seasonal sales and products.Educate customers about your products and services or how to solve a problem for their business. Many B2B businesses run this kind of drip campaign.Remind customers about items they’ve left in their shopping cart.Touch base with customers who haven’t visited your store in a while.  Marketers have come up with a lot of ways to run drip campaigns in different channels, including  Direct mail SMS messagingFacebook Messenger for Business and other chat toolsMobile and desktop push notificationsEmail We’re going to focus on email drip campaigns, because they’re the most common type of drip campaign and they’re relatively easy to set up.  If you’re not experienced enough with email marketing tools to feel comfortable setting up a drip campaign yet, no worries. Here’s how, step by step.  How Can You Set Up a Drip Campaign with Constant Contact? HostGator partner Constant Contact is an email marketing service that—among other tools—makes it easy for businesses to set up automated email series (aka drip campaigns). Here’s how the process works.  On the Campaigns section of your dashboard, click the Create Button.  A pop-up will ask you to select a campaign to get started. Click Email Automation. On the next pop-up that opens, click Create Email Series.  Next, you’ll give your drip campaign a name. This is a name only you will see.  Then, you’ll decide what will set your drip campaign in motion.  From Constant Contact’s Trigger Type menu, you can set your campaign to start when a user opens an email from your businessclicks any link in one of your emailsclicks a specific link in one of your emailsjoins one of your lists Depending on which trigger you choose, you’ll next decide whether to use a link in an existing email or in a new email.  Or you may need to decide which lists users will join to activate the campaign. Then save your choice. If you choose to use a specific link in an existing email as the trigger, you’ll need to choose the email from a dropdown menu that lists all your past campaigns.  Then, you’ll choose the exact link you want to be the campaign trigger.  Save your selection. To add more emails to your series, click the Add to Series button.  Just like for the first email in your series, you’ll choose between a new email that you’ll create later or an email from your existing campaigns.  After you save that choice, you’ll be able to see your drip campaign sequence so far. Note that you can edit the time between the trigger action and the first email, as well as the time between the other emails in your campaign.  You can add as many as 15 emails to a single drip campaign in Constant Contact. Most drip campaigns aimed at consumers include 12 or fewer messages. B2B drip campaigns are usually shorter than consumer-facing campaigns.  Once you’ve chosen your trigger, the emails you want to include in your series, and the time between your trigger and each email, you’re ready to click Activate. If your trigger is an email, you’ll be asked to choose the list you want to send it to and when you want to send it.  Constant Contact will then validate your series to make sure it’s error free. You’ll have a chance to fix any problems before the series begins.  Once your drip campaign is live, your work is mostly done. One thing you’ll want to do is keep tabs on your stats.  Over time, you’ll see which types of drip campaigns work best for your business. That information can help you get better at writing subject lines, choosing triggers and writing email copy that helps your customer relationships flourish.   Ready to master more email marketing skills? Check out these email marketing dos and don’ts. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

CyrusOne Unveils First Net Positive Water Data Center

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PHOENIX, AZ – CyrusOne Inc. (NASDAQ: CONE), a premier global data center real estate investment trust (REIT), today announced its first net-positive water data center campus at its flagship Arizona location. The CyrusOne Chandler data center incorporates cutting-edge, proprietary technology that dramatically reduces water usage onsite and will dramatically reduce company-wide water usage by millions of gallons per year. Through a partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Change the Course program, the Chandler campus promises restoration to nearby watersheds. “We know that the data centers we build today will serve our customers for decades, therefore, it is important that we continue to innovate and invest in design features to set the course for a sustainable future,” said Kyle Myers, Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability at CyrusOne. “As far as we can tell, this is the first net water positive data center in the world, and we hope it will set a precedent for water sustainability standards and the future of data centers.” “Part of being a good neighbor in Chandler and the surrounding Phoenix area is to take action to preserve its precious water resources,” said Kevin Timmons, CTO, CyrusOne. “In fact, our data center restores more water than it withdraws, making our local presence a net benefit to the community.” Since deployment, CyrusOne’s Chandler facility has significantly reduced its water usage, using small amounts for cooling, humidification, facility maintenance, and domestic water. As part of the sustained effort to promote local water usage efficiency, CyrusOne has partnered with Change the Course, a program that funds collaborative on-the-ground projects to ensure our communities, economies, and ecosystems have enough clean water to flourish. “Addressing water scarcity will require us to not only reduce consumptive water use but also restore water to nature,” said Val Fishman, Chief Development Officer at BEF. “We’re excited to have CyrusOne on board as a leader and partner helping to keep water in Arizona rivers during times of water stress. Through Change the Course, CyrusOne is supporting innovative projects that help farmers switch to more efficient irrigation methods and restore water flows to the region.” About CyrusOne CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE) is a high-growth real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in highly reliable enterprise-class, carrier-neutral data center properties. The Company provides mission-critical data center facilities that protect and ensure the continued operation of IT infrastructure for approximately 1,000 customers, including more than 200 Fortune 1000 companies. With a track record of meeting and surpassing the aggressive speed-to-market demands of hyperscale cloud providers, as well as the expanding IT infrastructure requirements of the enterprise, CyrusOne provides the flexibility, reliability, security, and connectivity that foster business growth. CyrusOne offers a tailored, customer service-focused platform and is committed to full transparency in communication, management, and service delivery throughout its nearly 50 data centers worldwide. Additional information about CyrusOne can be found at www.CyrusOne.com. About Bonneville Environmental Foundation Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) is an independent 501(c)3 organization with a 21-year successful track record working with businesses across North America to advance solutions that ensure our communities, economies, and ecosystems have enough clean water to flourish. BEF’s Change the Course is a first-of-its-kind initiative that brings together the public, corporations, and on-the-ground conservation organizations to raise awareness about freshwater issues, reduce water footprints, and directly support water restoration projects. Change the Course is the leading national corporate water restoration and engagement campaign. The initiative has received contributions from over 60 corporate sponsors; supported over 55 water projects across 14 U.S. states and Mexico, and restored over 14 billion gallons of water. Learn more at Changethecourse.us.

VMware-Based Cloud Technology Now Available on Alibaba Cloud

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Hangzhou, China – Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, and VMware, Inc., today announce the immediate availability of Alibaba Cloud VMware Solution in mainland China and Hong Kong region. With this new service, customers can use familiar VMware Cloud technologies to easily extend VMware-based on premises enterprise workloads to Alibaba Cloud, without rearchitecting their environment, and manage their workflow in the familiar VMware environment without disruption on network and security. The VMware model for hybrid cloud enables organizations to manage and run consistent infrastructure and operations across data centers and public clouds, delivering applications with the speed and agility to support business innovation and growth. The partnership with VMware is another testament of Alibaba Cloud’s continuing effort to build a world-class cloud computing platform that helps global partners innovate, and expand into new markets. Together with VMware, Alibaba Cloud will empower businesses with proven solutions to meet their next generation of hybrid cloud computing needs with VMware Cloud technologies such as VMware vSphere and VMware NSX. Alibaba Cloud VMware Solution supports the same applications, networking, management, operations and tools across both on-premises and off-premises environments. Customers can use the new service for a variety of use cases with direct support from Alibaba Cloud including critical application to cloud migration, data center extension, and disaster recovery. “Our partnership with VMware demonstrates our unique value to collaborate and innovate with world-class partners leveraging our advanced cloud platform, so that we can bring the most up-to-date products and solutions to our customers globally,” said Lancelot Guo, VP of Alibaba Group and GM of Ecosystem and Sales Operations, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “Alibaba Cloud is confident that with VMware, we can create greater value for our customers.” “With the availability of this new service, VMware and Alibaba are providing customers seamless interoperability across private and public cloud environments using the same cloud infrastructure foundation customers in China use today in their data centers,” said Bernard Kwok, President, Greater China Region for VMware. “This new service will provide customers in China a powerful platform for modernizing their workloads based on a familiar computing environment, and will enable them to take advantage of many of their existing IT processes and workflows.” Alibaba Cloud provides industry-leading flexible, cost-effective, and secure solutions. Services are available on both a pay-as-you-go mode and subscription mode; which include Elastic Compute Service, Storage, Relational Databases,Big Data Solution, and CDN. About Alibaba Cloud Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com), the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, is among the world’s top three IaaS providers, according to Gartner. It is also the largest provider of public cloud services in China, according to IDC. Alibaba Cloud provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to businesses worldwide, including merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, start-ups, corporations and public services. Alibaba Cloud is the official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee. About VMware VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, app modernization, networking, security, and digital workspace offerings help customers deliver any application on any cloud across any device. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough technology innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html

Rackspace Accelerates its Global Expansion to Meet Increasing International Demand for Cloud Adoption

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SAN ANTONIO, TX – Rackspace today announced the launch of strategic initiatives to meet the increasing international demand for cloud technology services. According to an IDC forecast[1], by 2022, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will be relying on a mix of cloud infrastructure needs, with the global COVID-19 outbreak reinforcing the critical importance of business agility and scalability. Rackspace strategies to address this cloud increase include strengthening its position in the Asia Pacific region with a new office opening in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as an increased investment across the Netherlands and Nordics region. The Auckland office will complement Rackspace’s current APJ presence with other locations across Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore. “Rackspace continues to invest in the APJ region, with our mission to be the best technology services company in the world,” said Sandeep Bhargava, Managing Director, APJ. “We have seen significant growth over the last six months with customers embracing our unbiased expertise in their cloud journey.” As part of Rackspace’s broader global expansion plans, the investments reinforce its commitment to ensuring Fanatical Experience across these regions, particularly at a time when organizations are looking to cloud solutions for greater efficiencies and disaster relief recovery. According to a recent survey by 451 Research[2], 51% of enterprises expect to see major disruption to their business within six months. Rackspace’s New Zealand-based team will be overseen by Ian Kerr, recently appointed as Country Manager, New Zealand. The Netherlands and Nordics office will continue to be managed by Bert Stam, who was recently promoted from Sales and Marketing Director NE to General Manager for the region. “Now more than ever, customers are looking to get to the cloud faster to take advantage of cost optimization and business continuity benefits,” said Kevin Jones, Rackspace’s CEO. “Rackspace’s investments and hiring plans around the globe speak to our commitment to meet and exceed growing customer needs.” Rackspace will recruit within the Netherlands and Nordics in 2020 and continue to provide consultancy expertise, aiming to double the size of the business in the next three years. With over 125,000 established customers globally, Rackspace can now offer additional support to its existing customer network, and also foster and strengthen new channel relationships. “The growth in our local Professional Services team has allowed us to successfully support customers in region with on the ground experts,” said Martin Blackburn, Managing Director, EMEA. “Cloud technology is experiencing continuous growth across a number of industries in the Netherlands and Nordics and we’re committed to providing best in class support for customers in the region.” Rackspace also received recognition this year as a Great Place to Work in its United Kingdom and Netherlands offices. This expansion follows the recent additional leadership and investments in the Middle East to enhance its regional support of hundreds of customers, market growth and maturity of cloud technology. About Rackspace Rackspace is a global technology services company dedicated to accelerating the value of the cloud during every phase of customers’ digital transformation. As a recognized Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for the last four consecutive years, we are uniquely positioned to manage applications, data, security and multiple clouds worldwide. Passionate about customer success by delivering Fanatical Experience, we provide unbiased expertise with proven results across all the leading technologies. Headquartered in San Antonio, Rackspace has 40 global data centers and over 125,000 clients across 100 countries. [1] IDC Press Release, IDC Expects 2021 to Be the Year of Multi-Cloud as Global COVID-19 Pandemic Reaffirms Critical Need for Business Agility, March 2020 [2] 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, Press Release, Businesses Bracing for Major Disruptions from COVID-19 according to 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, March 2020

Ingram Micro Cloud Postpones Cloud Summit 2020 to Early 2021

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IRVINE, CA — Since first convening in 2009, Cloud Summit is the premier global event that brings together innovators and problems solvers to help the world do more. Ingram Micro Cloud has been closely monitoring the situation surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The health and well-being of all attendees and exhibitors is the company’s top priority and out of an abundance of caution, the company announced today it will postpone this year’s Cloud Summit to early 2021. “We want to thank our speakers, partners, sponsors and the City of Miami Beach for their support in making this difficult—but correct—decision,” said Adam Christensen, head of Cloud Global Marketing and Communications at Ingram Micro. “We look forward to our next gathering of cloud leaders and innovators as we continue to support growth in the cloud ecosystem.” Registrants are encouraged to visit the Cloud Summit FAQ site for questions related to the rescheduling of the event. About CloudBlue CloudBlue is dedicated to helping service providers of all kinds build, scale and monetize cloud and digital services in the “as-a-service” economy. Many of the world’s best known telecommunications companies, technology distributors, managed services providers and value-added resellers rely on CloudBlue’s leading commerce platform to automate, aggregate and sell both their own cloud services, as well as those from third party ISVs. CloudBlue powers more than 200 of the world’s largest service provider cloud marketplaces, which collectively represent more than 30 million enterprise cloud subscriptions and over $1B in annual subscription revenue. CloudBlue provides its customers access to an ecosystem that includes more than 200 ISV solutions and more than 80,000 resellers around the world. CloudBlue is an independent software division of Ingram Micro. More at www.cloudblue.com.

Equinix Launches Large Expansion of Interconnection Services in EMEA to Help Enterprises Simplify Hybrid Multicloud Connectivity

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LONDON – Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data centre company, today announced one of its largest expansions of Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) in seven new EMEA markets to help global businesses simplify hybrid and multicloud infrastructures. With this expansion of Equinix’s industry-leading interconnection service to Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva, Istanbul, Lisbon and Sofia, and extending into Hamburg in Q2 2020, enterprises and service providers can seamlessly interconnect to a rich ecosystem of clouds, networks, partners and customers that matter most to their digital businesses. As global IT decision-makers respond to an increasingly dynamic world including competitive pressures, growing customer demands, globalisation, and challenges posed by COVID-19, many are accelerating their digital transformation efforts and continuing to prioritise the adoption of hybrid and multicloud solutions. In response to this market shift, Equinix is extending its ECX Fabric service in EMEA to help digital businesses simplify hybrid multicloud deployments and expand their global interconnection opportunities on Platform Equinix®. Designed to support enterprise digital transformation initiatives, ECX Fabric is a global interconnection service available in 45 strategic markets that allows businesses to exchange their data on demand, and between metros through private connections. This capability enables enterprises, network services and cloud providers alike to consistently scale their digital businesses just as rapidly as the digital economy requires it. ECX Fabric provides scalability, agility and connectivity over a self-service portal or APIs. Through a single port, customers in any ECX Fabric-enabled market can create and manage on-demand connections in a globally consistent way. By extending ECX Fabric from Lisbon in the West to Istanbul in the East, Equinix is making it easier for digital businesses to increase their global reach by gaining broad access to the ecosystems they need for scaling their businesses globally. About Equinix Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) connects the world’s leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most-interconnected data centres. On this global platform for digital business, companies come together across more than 50 markets on five continents to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything they need to create their digital futures. www.equinix.com

Digital Realty Reaches New Wind Energy Agreement to Power Texas Data Centers

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), a leading global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, announced today a new 7.5-year power and renewable energy credit agreement with Citi to supply clean, renewable energy for Digital Realty’s portfolio of data centers in the Dallas, Texas region. This contract will advance Digital Realty’s environmental and sustainability goals by supplying approximately 30% of the company’s power needs in this market. The transaction provides Digital Realty with over 260,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually, which represents 55% of the wind generation project output being developed by Bearkat Wind Energy II, LLC. The energy provided through the 162-megawatt project in Glasscock County will serve a portion of the power needs of Digital Realty’s 13 data centers in the Greater Dallas, Texas region. “The data center industry underpins the growth of the digital economy, and we believe it is critical for industry participants to recognize the importance of managing the environmental impact of their digital infrastructure,” said Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein. “We’re dedicated to supporting our customers with sustainable, highly resilient facilities that leverage renewable energy and other energy-efficient technologies. We’re proud to be partnering with Citi, a proven leader in sustainable financing, to bring clean, renewable energy to our customers and we look forward to furthering our sustainability strategies with customers across the region and around the world.” The wind power agreement represents another significant step Digital Realty has taken to extend sustainability initiatives across its global portfolio. In early April, Digital Realty was named a 2020 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to protect the environment through energy efficiency achievements across its data center portfolio. In 2019, Digital Realty certified an industry-leading 29 data centers under the ENERGY STAR program. “As more companies like Digital Realty invest in renewable energy, we’ve committed to supporting them in their environmental endeavors as part of our efforts to accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Roxana Popovici, a Managing Director responsible for renewable power transactions at Citi. “This agreement represents an important step in powering Texas data centers with renewable energy and we’re excited to be supporting the effort.” The new wind power agreement builds upon Digital Realty’s long-term renewable energy strategy. In 2019, the company announced an additional 50 megawatts of renewables to support its data centers in Ashburn, Virginia and signed a green tariff agreement with Portland General Electric which will supply approximately 120,000 megawatt-hours annually to its new development project in Hillsboro, Oregon. Digital Realty is employing several renewable energy strategies to increase the portion of renewable energy available to power its data centers and locking in advantageous energy pricing for the benefit of its customers. The renewable energy from the Texas project is expected to be available to customers beginning in June 2021. To learn more about Digital Realty’s sustainability efforts, please visit https://www.digitalrealty.com/about/sustainability. About Digital Realty Digital Realty supports the data center, colocation and interconnection strategies of customers across the Americas, EMEA and APAC, ranging from cloud and information technology services, communications and social networking to financial services, manufacturing, energy, healthcare and consumer products. To learn more about Digital Realty, please visit digitalrealty.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. About Citi Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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