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Terraforming Cloudflare: in quest of the optimal setup

CloudFlare Blog -

This is a guest post by Dimitris Koutsourelis and Alexis Dimitriadis, working for the Security Team at Workable, a company that makes software to help companies find and hire great people.This post is about our introductive journey to the infrastructure-as-code practice; managing Cloudflare configuration in a declarative and version-controlled way. We’d like to share the experience we’ve gained during this process; our pain points, limitations we faced, different approaches we took and provide parts of our solution and experimentations.Terraform worldTerraform is a great tool that fulfills our requirements, and fortunately, Cloudflare maintains its own provider that allows us to manage its service configuration hasslefree.On top of that, Terragrunt, is a thin wrapper that provides extra commands and functionality for keeping Terraform configurations DRY, and managing remote state.The combination of both leads to a more modular and re-usable structure for Cloudflare resources (configuration), by utilizing terraform and terragrunt modules.We’ve chosen to use the latest version of both tools (Terraform-v0.12 & Terragrunt-v0.19 respectively) and constantly upgrade to take advantage of the valuable new features and functionality, which at this point in time, remove important limitations.Workable contextOur set up includes multiple domains that are grouped in two distinct Cloudflare organisations: production & staging. Our environments have their own purposes and technical requirements (i.e.: QA, development, sandbox and production) which translates to slightly different sets of Cloudflare zone configuration.Our approachOur main goal was to have a modular set up with the ability to manage any configuration for any zone, while keeping code repetition to a minimum. This is more complex than it sounds; we have repeatedly changed our Terraform folder structure - and other technical aspects - during the development period. The following sections illustrate a set of alternatives through our path, along with pros & cons.StructureTerraform configuration is based on the project’s directory structure, so this is the place to start. Instead of retaining the Cloudflare organisation structure (production & staging as root level directories containing the zones that belong in each organization), our decision was to group zones that share common configuration under the same directory. This helps keep the code dry and the set up consistent and readable.On the down side, this structure adds an extra layer of complexity, as two different sets of credentials need to be handled conditionally and two state files (at the environments/ root level) must be managed and isolated using workspaces.On top of that, we used Terraform modules, to keep sets of common configuration across zone groups into a single place.Terraform modules repositorymodules/ │ ├── firewall/ │ ├── main.tf │ ├── variables.tf │ ├── zone_settings/ │ ├── main.tf │ ├── variables.tf │ └── [...] └──Terragrunt modules repositoryenvironments/ │ ├── [...] │ ├── dev/ │ ├── qa/ │ ├── demo/ │ ├── zone-8/ (production) │ └── terragrunt.hcl │ ├── zone-9/ (staging) │ └── terragrunt.hcl │ ├── config.tfvars │ ├── main.tf │ └── variables.tf │ ├── config.tfvars │ ├── secrets.tfvars │ ├── main.tf │ ├── variables.tf │ └── terragrunt.hcl └──The Terragrunt modules tree gives flexibility, since we are able to apply configuration on a zone, group zone, or organisation level (which is inline with Cloudflare configuration capabilities - i.e.: custom error pages can also be configured on the organisation level).Resource typesWe decided to implement Terraform resources in different ways, to cover our requirements more efficiently.1. Static resourceThe first thought that came to mind was having one, or multiple .tf files implementing all the resources with hardcoded values assigned to each attribute. It’s simple and straightforward, but can have a high maintenance cost if it leads to code copy/paste between environments.So, common settings seem to be a good use case; we chose to implement access_rules Terraform resources accordingly: modules/access_rules/main.tfresource "cloudflare_access_rule" "no_17" { notes = "this is a description" mode = "blacklist" configuration = { target = "ip" value = "x.x.x.x" } } [...]2. Parametrized resourcesOur next step was to add variables to gain flexibility. This is useful when few attributes of a shared resource configuration differ between multiple zones. Most of the configuration remains the same (as described above) and the variable instantiation is added in the Terraform module, while their values are fed through the Terragrunt module, as input variables, or entries inside_.tfvars_ files. The zone_settings_override resource was implemented accordingly:modules/zone_settings/main.tf resource "cloudflare_zone_settings_override" "zone_settings" { zone_id = var.zone_id settings { always_online = "on" always_use_https = "on" [...] browser_check = var.browser_check mobile_redirect { mobile_subdomain = var.mobile_redirect_subdomain status = var.mobile_redirect_status strip_uri = var.mobile_redirect_uri } [...] waf = "on" webp = "off" websockets = "on" } }environments/qa/main.tfmodule "zone_settings" { source = "git@github.com:foo/modules/zone_settings" zone_name = var.zone_name browser_check = var.zone_settings_browser_check [...] }environments/qa/config.tfvars#zone settings zone_settings_browser_check = "off" [...] }3. Dynamic resourceAt that point, we thought that a more interesting approach would be to create generic resource templates to manage all instances of a given resource in one place. A template is implemented as a Terraform module and creates each resource dynamically, based on its input: data fed through the Terragrunt modules (/environments in our case), or entries in the tfvars files.We chose to implement the account_member resource this way.modules/account_members/variables.tfvariable "users" { description = "map of users - roles" type = map(list(string)) } variable "member_roles" { description = "account role ids" type = map(string) } modules/account_members/main.tfresource "cloudflare_account_member" "account_member" { for_each = var.users email_address = each.key role_ids = [for role in each.value : lookup(var.member_roles, role)] lifecycle { prevent_destroy = true } } We feed the template with a list of users (list of maps). Each member is assigned a number of roles. To make code more readable, we mapped users to role names instead of role ids:environments/config.tfvarsmember_roles = { admin = "000013091sds0193jdskd01d1dsdjhsd1" admin_ro = "0000ds81hd131bdsjd813hh173hds8adh" analytics = "0000hdsa8137djahd81y37318hshdsjhd" [...] super_admin = "00001534sd1a2123781j5gj18gj511321" } users = { "user1@workable.com" = ["super_admin"] "user2@workable.com" = ["analytics", "audit_logs", "cache_purge", "cf_workers"] "user3@workable.com" = ["cf_stream"] [...] "robot1@workable.com" = ["cf_stream"] } Another interesting case we dealt with was the rate_limit resource; the variable declaration (list of objects) & implementation goes as follows:modules/rate_limit/variables.tfvariable "rate_limits" { description = "list of rate limits" default = [] type = list(object( { disabled = bool, threshold = number, description = string, period = number, match = object({ request = object({ url_pattern = map(string), schemes = list(string), methods = list(string) }), response = object({ statuses = list(number), origin_traffic = bool }) }), action = object({ mode = string, timeout = number }) })) } modules/rate_limit/main.tflocals { […] } data "cloudflare_zones" "zone" { filter { name = var.zone_name status = "active" paused = false } } resource "cloudflare_rate_limit" "rate_limit" { count = length(var.rate_limits) zone_id = lookup(data.cloudflare_zones.zone.zones[0], "id") disabled = var.rate_limits[count.index].disabled threshold = var.rate_limits[count.index].threshold description = var.rate_limits[count.index].description period = var.rate_limits[count.index].period match { request { url_pattern = local.url_patterns[count.index] schemes = var.rate_limits[count.index].match.request.schemes methods = var.rate_limits[count.index].match.request.methods } response { statuses = var.rate_limits[count.index].match.response.statuses origin_traffic = var.rate_limits[count.index].match.response.origin_traffic } } action { mode = var.rate_limits[count.index].action.mode timeout = var.rate_limits[count.index].action.timeout } } environments/qa/rate_limit.tfvars{ #1 disabled = false threshold = 50 description = "sample description" period = 60 match = { request = { url_pattern = { "subdomain" = "foo" "path" = "/api/v1/bar" } schemes = [ "_ALL_", ] methods = [ "GET", "POST", ] } response = { statuses = [] origin_traffic = true } } action = { mode = "simulate" timeout = 3600 } }, [...] } ] The biggest advantage of this approach is that all common rate_limit rules are in one place and each environment can include its own rules in their .tfvars. The combination of those using Terraform built-in concat() function, achieves a 2-layer join of the two lists (common|unique rules). So we wanted to give it a try:locals { rate_limits = concat(var.common_rate_limits, var.unique_rate_limits) } There is however a drawback: .tfvars files can only contain static values. So, since all url attributes - that include the zone name itself - have to be set explicitly in the data of each environment, it means that every time a change is needed to a url, this value has to be copied across all environments and change the zone name to match the environment.The solution we came up with, in order to make the zone name dynamic, was to split the url attribute into 3 parts: subdomain, domain and path. This is effective for the .tfvars, but the added complexity to handle the new variables is non negligible. The corresponding code illustrates the issue:modules/rate_limit/main.tflocals { rate_limits = concat(var.common_rate_limits, var.unique_rate_limits) url_patterns = [for rate_limit in local.rate_limits: "${lookup(rate_limit.match.request.url_pattern, "subdomain", null) != null ? "${lookup(rate_limit.match.request.url_pattern, "subdomain")}." : ""}"${lookup(rate_limit.match.request.url_pattern, "domain", null) != null ? "${lookup(rate_limit.match.request.url_pattern, "domain")}" : ${var.zone_name}}${lookup(rate_limit.match.request.url_pattern, "path", null) != null ? lookup(rate_limit.match.request.url_pattern, "path") : ""}"] } Readability vs functionality: although flexibility is increased and code duplication is reduced, the url transformations have an impact on code’s readability and ease of debugging (it took us several minutes to spot a typo). You can imagine this is even worse if you attempt to implement a more complex resource (such as page_rule which is a list of maps with four url attributes).The underlying issue here is that at the point we were implementing our resources, we had to choose maps over objects due to their capability to omit attributes, using the lookup() function (by setting default values). This is a requirement for certain resources such as page_rules: only certain attributes need to be defined (and others ignored).In the end, the context will determine if more complex resources can be implemented with dynamic resources.4. Sequential resourcesCloudflare page rule resource has a specific peculiarity that differentiates it from other types of resources: the priority attribute.When a page rule is applied, it gets a unique id and priority number which corresponds to the order it has been submitted. Although Cloudflare API and terraform provider give the ability to explicitly specify the priority, there is a catch.Terraform doesn’t respect the order of resources inside a .tf file (even in a _for each loop!); each resource is randomly picked up and then applied to the provider. So, if page_rule priority is important - as in our case - the submission order counts. The solution is to lock the sequence in which the resources are created through the depends_on meta-attribute:resource "cloudflare_page_rule" "no_3" { depends_on = [cloudflare_page_rule.no_2] zone_id = lookup(data.cloudflare_zones.zone.zones[0], "id") target = "www.${var.zone_name}/foo" status = "active" priority = 3 actions { forwarding_url { status_code = 301 url = "https://www.${var.zone_name}" } } } resource "cloudflare_page_rule" "no_2" { depends_on = [cloudflare_page_rule.no_1] zone_id = lookup(data.cloudflare_zones.zone.zones[0], "id") target = "www.${var.zone_name}/lala*" status = "active" priority = 24 actions { ssl = "flexible" cache_level = "simplified" resolve_override = "bar.${var.zone_name}" host_header_override = "new.domain.com" } } resource "cloudflare_page_rule" "page_rule_1" { zone_id = lookup(data.cloudflare_zones.zone.zones[0], "id") target = "*.${var.zone_name}/foo/*" status = "active" priority = 1 actions { forwarding_url { status_code = 301 url = "https://foo.${var.zone_name}/$1/$2" } } } So we had to go with to a more static resource configuration because the depends_on attribute only takes static values (not dynamically calculated ones during the runtime).ConclusionAfter changing our minds several times along the way on Terraform structure and other technical details, we believe that there isn’t a single best solution. It all comes down to the requirements and keeping a balance between complexity and simplicity. In our case, a mixed approach is good middle ground.Terraform is evolving quickly, but at this point it lacks some common coding capabilities. So over engineering can be a catch (which we fell-in too many times). Keep it simple and as DRY as possible. :)

4 Tips to Tap into Your Customer’s Sentiment

Reseller Club Blog -

Knowing your customers has always been the (not so secret) secret to success. This is why so many brands section off large sums of their marketing budget to proactive research and reactive data analysis. This information can often shed light on what your customers prefer in terms of shopping habits, product preferences, and other demographic information that can affect their behavior. But what does this information tell you about how your customers feel about your brand? Customer sentiment is tricky to pinpoint and apply, but it is just as important to know as any other detail about who you are selling to. In many ways, sentiment determines your customers’ actions. If they are skeptical, they will seek out information to build trust or confirm their doubts. If they dislike your brand, they will ignore your marketing messages. On the other hand, if the sentiment is positive, they will (hopefully) recommend your company or product to other people. So, how can your online brand gain a better understanding of this critical metric? Understand What Leads to Negative Sentiment Unfortunately, there will always be some customers who will never be happy with anything you do. Whether it is because they love your competitor, dislike an inconsequential detail about your brand, or have a legitimate reason, you will discover that a certain degree of negative sentiment is unavoidable. While you can never turn all of your “haters” into fans, it is important to understand the factors that lead to negative sentiment – as well as which ones are avoidable. One way to do this is through monitoring negative customer reviews and analyzing the meaning behind complaints. The best way to gather the specifics that you need about your customers’ biggest pain points is by requesting 360-degree feedback by asking them to share the pros and cons of the experience. For example, Trustpilot asked their customers to offer specific details on the things they both liked and disliked about the product. Source Trustpilot’s customers are also prompted to offer recommendations and discuss the specific benefits they have experienced since using the platform. This leads to data-rich reviews that shed light on certain factors that lead to negative sentiment, as well as opens up opportunities for improvement. By gathering this kind of data directly from their customers, Trustpilot is able to make better improvements and changes that their customers actually want. Keep a Close Eye on Social Conversations Using a social media monitoring system helps your marketing team keep track of any mentions of your brand’s name or product online. Furthermore, social platforms are also a great place to conduct research on the sentiment of your brand and see how customers really feel about it. But, you will need to look outside of just your followers’ conversations to gather accurate sentiment data. Did you know that 96% of people who mention a brand on social media do not actually follow it?. If getting more followers on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform is a top goal, you will want to understand the best practices for online interactions in order to create and create positive experiences. Interacting with a customer at the right time can help you turn around their sentiments immediately if they are experiencing any problems. You should also utilize social media to inculcate positive sentiment with other customers as they observe these interactions. For example, there was a public encounter when a Southwest Airlines customer left her bridesmaid dress at home. Since she flew Southwest to the destination wedding, she decided to contact them via Twitter about the situation. Their marketing team jumped on this opportunity for great branding. Source Southwest Airlines’s Twitter account followed the journey of this dress from the moment they found it to the minute it arrived at the wedding. This became a trending topic on Twitter and gained Southwest Airlines a lot of positive media attention. In turn, this helped to stir up more positive sentiment with a very wide audience. Discover Brand Advocates and Micro-Influencers Using influencers to promote your brand on Instagram and other social media platforms is a great marketing strategy. However, most of these campaigns are based solely on audience reach, not the fact that the promoter themselves like the product.  This can obviously lead to inauthentic promotions or even some PR disasters, like the infamous Scott Disick Instagram post where the instructions to the post were published in the comment. Clearly, Disick (or his PT team) did not double-check before creating the post, nor was he an actual fan of the product since he was clearly not writing the caption on his own. Source Partnering with people who actually like your product can make your promotions much more effective. There could be some great opportunities for brand partnership right underneath your nose that only sentiment analysis and engagement tools, such as Scrunch or Tinysponsor. These platforms track sentiment through searching specific keywords, you can spot accounts that have mentioned your product in the past or are super interested in your industry. For instance, say that you sell all-natural vitamin supplements. Through social media monitoring, you can identify accounts that post positive content about the types of products you sell organically –  or even mentions your own brand. This opens up the door for you to step in and see if there is a possibility for collaboration and advocacy. Sentiment analysis can also help you to discover micro-influencers that may not seem directly related to your business, but could actually be extremely influential. For instance, Soylent sells meal replacement beverages that are typically sponsored by health and fitness gurus. However, through social media monitoring, they discovered that their product was actually quite popular among gamers who were looking for healthy, fast meals that they could easily consume while continuing to play. Source Soylent was able to identify micro-influencer gamers that featured their product in live videos, helping them to reach thousands of new customers. Implement More Effective Crisis Management All businesses make mistakes from time-to-time, but having a deep hold on customer sentiment can help you manage crisis situations faster and more effectively. The key to avoiding a major brand crisis is addressing the issue as early as possible with your brand’s side of the story. This gives you more control over the situation. If your marketing team is tracking customer sentiment on a regular basis, it will be far easier to notice any sudden changes, such as positive sentiment starting to plummet. This allows your PR team to step in and reach a solution (such as an apology or policy change) before things get worse. Again, if you are watching brand sentiment closely, you can easily turn negative buzz into great PR. A few years ago, a tweet went viral when a customer posted a picture of pre-peeled oranges that were being sold in Whole Foods. Source Since the natural grocer claims to be committed to environmental responsibility, this quickly stirred up some negative sentiment about the waste of plastic. Whole Foods quickly jumped into action by pulling the products immediately and publishing an apology. Additionally, they made a joke about the situation to end things on a more positive note. Sometimes, it’s best to simply own the mistakes that your brand made in order to stop any more negativity. For example, Shea Moisture (a hair and beauty product company) released some new marketing content that received immediate backlash due to their lack of inclusivity. Shea Moisture took action by publishing a heartfelt apology on their Instagram page that spoke directly to their upset customers about this mistake. They also let their followers know exactly how they would rectify the problem by including more diversity in their marketing moving forward. Source The most important element of effective crisis management is timeliness. Your team needs to be aware of any issues the moment they arise so they can handle the crisis before things spiral out of control. Conclusion Understanding your customer sentiment data is not enough; your marketing team needs to know how to use the information properly to ensure better connections with your customers.  This is best done by using sentiment analysis tools, social listening platforms, and keyword trackers to give your team a better picture of how your customers feel about your brand. This information can then be used to minimize/eliminate customer’s pain points or turn around negative social chatter with instant engagement. Use your positive sentiment data to discover active advocates who can help you reach wider audiences. And finally, be sure to closely monitor this metric and be ready to take action when needed. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post 4 Tips to Tap into Your Customer’s Sentiment appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Why Your WordPress Business Needs A Niche And How To Choose One

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Learn why you need to narrow your focus and specialize in a niche and get three strategies for choosing a business niche for your WordPress agency. Imagine that you’re a doctor finally pursuing the dream of starting your own medical practice and you need a website. You do some research online and find two local web designers. One is generalist who sells “results-driven websites” and the other is a designer who has a business niche in “websites for health and wellness professionals.” Which option is more likely to win your business? The second! The second option poses less risk and sounds more appealing because the message is tailored to you, a health and wellness professional. Working with someone who specializes in your type of business and understands your needs feels safer and smarter. As a generalist marketing to everyone, it is difficult to create effective marketing campaigns, capture the attention of prospective clients, and craft content that resonates on an emotional level. Marketing to everyone makes the audience do all the work to figure out if you’re the right choice. Because generalists have to work harder at attracting new clients, they have to spend more time and money on lead generation and client attraction. On the other hand, as a specialist marketing to a specific business niche, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that deeply resonate with your audience, capture their attention, and persuade them to take the next step. When marketing to a business niche, you’re doing all of the work to communicate exactly who is a perfect fit for your services. Because specialists have more clarity about who they serve, what they do, and the results they create, lead generation and client attraction is easier and faster, which means it takes less effort and less money. When you stop trying to market to everyone and instead narrow your focus and choose a niche, it also becomes easier for others to send you referrals and new business because they know exactly what type of clients you want and what type of businesses you can best help. The Myth About Choosing A Niche The idea of narrowing your focus and choosing a niche for your business can be scary, especially if you’re already struggling to win clients and land new business. It can also feel incredibly limiting, which doesn’t really make sense if you don’t have enough clients as it is. Luckily, choosing a niche and narrowing your focus only feels scary and limiting because you’re thinking about it the wrong way. Think about the two web designers I mentioned above. Which one would you rather be: the generalist who isn’t the obvious choice for anyone or the specialist who is obviously the best choice for health and wellness professionals? I’m guessing that you said the specialist. Choosing a niche doesn’t limit who you can and can’t work with, it doesn’t alienate potential clients or turn people away, and it doesn’t take away potential opportunities. What it does is positions you as the best choice. Think of the client attraction process as a game of darts. In the game of darts, hitting the bulls eye wins you the most points. As the rings on the target get larger and move outward, their point value decreases—but you still earn points for hitting them. In client attraction, marketing to your niche is like hitting the bulls eye and landing the perfect client or project. However, your marketing efforts may also resonate with people who aren’t a perfect match for your niche but still want to work with you. Subscribe to the Liquid Web weekly newsletter for more great ideas on how to make your WordPress site profitable. The Reality Of Choosing A Niche Defining a niche isn’t meant to limit your options — it’s simply meant to focus your message and marketing so you can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Narrowing the focus of your WordPress business doesn’t mean you have to put constraints on your business. When you lead with a primary service or niche offer, it makes it easy for prospects to say “I need that” and hire you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer other services as well. For example, at my agency Bourn Creative, our focus and marketing efforts are centered around building complex, custom WordPress websites and working on retainer for large-scale existing WordPress websites. But we’re a full service agency at heart. So while we lead with the WordPress work to get clients in the door, we are able to support our clients further by providing a complete menu of design services. Also, choosing a niche for your WordPress business isn’t something you have to stick with forever: Your niche is simply a tool to help you connect with prospects and get new clients in the door. It doesn’t mean you have to turn people away who don’t align with your niche. Your niche is flexible. As you grow and evolve as a business owner, your niche may also grow and evolve with you. Or if you find that a niche isn’t working out, change it! Your niche can expand. Once you have established your brand in one niche and built a strong reputation, you can expand your brand to serve a complementary niche. Three Ways To Choose A Niche Most people, when talking about narrowing the focus of your business or choosing a niche, are talking about selecting an ideal client and defining an ideal client persona. The success of this approach is undeniable, but many business owners have trouble identifying just one ideal client. That’s why I’m sharing three different ways to niche your WordPress business below. Niche By Ideal Client The most common approach to narrowing your focus and choosing a niche is to identify an ideal client you want to work with. An ideal client is a client who understands your value, is happy to pay your worth, and is excited to work with you. With this approach, you need to create an ideal client profile or persona—a representation of your real life, perfect-fit clients—and have a deep understanding of exactly who they are. This will require data gathering and research on things such as: Demographics: Objective, factual, statistical data like age, gender, ethnicity, income, mortgage amount, homeowner/renter, marital status, geographic location, number of children, vehicle type, occupation, and education level. Psychographics: Data about attitudes, aspirations, interests, lifestyle, and other psychological criteria that explains why clients buy from you and what their motivation is to buy. This may include mindset and attitude, beliefs and opinions, goals and dreams, interests, hobbies, how they spend their free time, personality and values, lifestyle and priorities, how they spend their money, and worries and fears. Behavior Analysis: Data on the behavior and actions taken in relation to what you are selling, including the types of email they open most, what blog posts are most read, what social media posts have the most shares, and real client feedback. It can also include sales spikes, why repeat customers continue to buy and what motivated new customers, how prospects gather information before making a purchase, and how are they affected by price, quality, convenience, and prestige. Once you understand who your ideal client is, you can tailor your brand, marketing, and messaging to speak directly to them so they feel understood and are more easily able to connect with your offer. Niche By Ideal Service Many freelancer and business owners struggle to define their niche by ideal client because they don’t have just one type of client they work with. Instead, they work with a wide variety of clients performing a very specific service. In this case, you can niche by ideal service instead of ideal client. When you niche by ideal service or ideal offer, you’re positioning yourself as a specialist and narrowing your offers to what you do best—better than anyone else. And while you’re only offering those services, you are willing to perform those services for anyone who needs them. Here are three examples of businesses that niche by service: Plumbers: Offers only plumbing services to anyone who needs plumbing help. They may even niche further by only offering residential plumbing services. Web Designers: Choose to only build custom WordPress websites, but are willing to build a website for any type of business. They may niche even further by only offering ongoing support for WordPress websites or the design of eCommerce WordPress websites. Copywriters: Choose to specialize in website content packages but are willing to work with any type of business. Or they may choose to niche even further and specialize in website content packages for health and wellness websites, but are happy to work with anyone and any type of business in that space. Niche By Industry If you’re generalist—a jack of all trades—who doesn’t want to niche down by ideal client or service offering, the last option is to niche by industry. In this case, you select an industry that interests you and learn everything you can about the industry, including the different jobs in the industry, the struggles those in the industry face, the overarching industry challenges, business opportunities, how people make money in the industry, and more. When you niche by industry, you must become an expert on the industry so the people and businesses in the industry view you as a trusted authority and hiring you as the “no-brainer” option. Here are three examples of choosing an industry as a niche: Real Estate Virtual Assistant: Offers a wide variety of digital support services to those in the real estate industry, including realtors, mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, real estate attorneys, or property managers. Construction Industry CPA: Offers bookkeeping, accounting, and tax services to those in the construction industry, including licensed contractors, home builders, remodeling contractors, painters, drywall contractors, roofers, stucco contractors, pool builders, tile contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. Hospitality Marketing Specialist: Offers a wide variety of marketing services for hospitality businesses such as hotels and resorts, limousine companies, bars and restaurants, caterers, travel and tourism companies, airlines, cruise companies, casinos, marinas, and entertainment venues. If you choose to narrow your focus to a specific industry, be sure to watch the trends, shifts, news, and predictions in the industry carefully, especially those that are contradictory. This was you can prepare in advance for any major changes coming that could negatively affect your business. Things To Consider When Choosing A Business Niche When narrowing your focus and choosing a business niche, ask yourself these questions: Do you have any experience serving this niche? How much do you enjoy this niche? How interesting is the niche to you? Is the niche large enough to be viable? Are your services familiar, understood, and accepted in the niche? Can you solve a problem the niche struggles with? How important is solving this problem to the niche? Do people in the niche already invest in the services you offer? What is the average price people are willing to invest in the services you offer? If you determine the niche to be viable, interesting, and lucrative – go for it! Try narrowing the focus of your WordPress business, track your efforts and results, and see what happens. If you find success, celebrate. If you need to make adjustments along the way or do a little course correction, that’s okay too. There is no one approach that is the right approach to narrowing your focus and choosing a niche. Running a WordPress business can be tough—it’s a lot of trial and error because there is no cookie cutter solution that works for everyone. But with a crystal clear niche, you can begin attracting quality clients who value what you do, are happy to pay you what you’re worth, and can’t wait to get started. The post Why Your WordPress Business Needs A Niche And How To Choose One appeared first on Liquid Web.

5 Best Side Hustle Blogs

HostGator Blog -

The post 5 Best Side Hustle Blogs appeared first on HostGator Blog. Did you know that when Blogger was launched in 1999, there were only 23 blogs on the internet? It’s no secret that blogging as grown significantly in the last 20 years. In fact, today there are over 505 million blogs on the internet. But, what does this have to do with starting your side hustle? I’m glad you asked.  One of the biggest advantages of living in the rapidly growing world of tech is instant, hands-on access to invaluable education. With a click of a button, you can learn literally everything you need to know about launching and growing a successful gig. Out of the 505+ million blogs on the internet, here are the 5 best blogs that will help you learn everything you need to learn about building a side hustle and reaching financial freedom. 1. Side Hustle Nation Anyone interested in learning how to grow a side hustle into a profitable business needs to check out Side Hustle Nation. Side Hustle Nation offers a robust resource library to help entrepreneurs of all types get started, fine-tune strategy, and scale their side hustles into larger businesses. As you browse the blog, you’ll notice several categories to help you find what you’re looking for more easily. The first section includes “ideas” to help newbies explore every option available for earning a bit more each month. Other sections include online business ideas like blogging and self-publishing, freelancing, eCommerce, and investing. No matter what type of business floats your boat, you’ll find invaluable blog posts on Side Hustle Nation to help you progress rapidly. 2. Ryan Robinson at RyRob.com Ryan Robinson is one of the most brilliant side hustle coaches of our day. When you first land on his website, you’ll notice a big subscription box where you can enter your email address. Once you sign up, you’ll start receiving tips and tricks directly to your inbox for daily inspiration. If you are looking for specific information, head over to his blog. He covers everything from the best side business ideas to how to build a website for your side business and everything in between. This blog is particularly valuable when it comes to high-quality freebies. Need to know how to write a cold pitch and want free templates? Ryan’s got you. Do you need a step-by-step guide on how to start your own blog? This blog is on top of it. No matter what type of side hustle you have in the works, you’ll find excellent resources on how to build your business and grow your website. 3. The Penny Hoarder The Penny Hoarder is a must-visit blog if you’re just starting out and looking for ideas to make a little extra cash.  The blog offers ideas for side hustles that you may not have ever considered. You’ll also find different ideas on how to make money based on your current phase of life. For example, there are blog posts about how college students can make extra money without dropping classes. Not only is this blog chock full of ideas for making extra money, but it points you to other resources you can tap into for extra education. For example, the blog covers what Subreddits you should read, money-making opportunities in specific locations, free community spaces to launch your side gig, and more. As an added bonus, The Penny Hoarder also offers advice on saving money, budgeting, conquering debt, planning for taxes, etc. If you’re looking for a comprehensive place to start learning about how to make money through a side gig, The Penny Hoarder is for you. 4. Chris Guillebeau You may know Chris Guillebeau from his book “100 Side Hustles.” While his book is a solid resource, his blog is even more helpful when it comes to learning how to make extra money with a side gig. This blog also taps into the “why” behind many side hustles. In other words, he writes a lot about how you can achieve a lifestyle that includes things like visiting Bora Bora on a budget, quit your day job to travel around the world, and make other desirable lifestyle changes. And, who doesn’t want that? Another resource on the blog that you’ll find helpful is a list of several guides that take you from step one to running a successful business. Guides include: Build a Business In One Year By Doing One Thing Every DayA Roadmap to Creative Freedom. Includes a One-Year, $5000 Income Guarantee.Turn Your Creativity Into Your Career. You’ll love this blog for its resources and inspiration. 5. Millennial Money Let’s face it. The Millennial and Gen Z generations are living in a very different type of economy. While working at a 9-to-5 is still a common practice, more and more people are moving to the gig economy, branching out on their own, and starting a side hustle. If you are among the many people that are interested in a side gig, you will love the Millennial Money blog. This blog covers topics like how to achieve financial freedom, how to make more money so you have more free time, million-dollar side hustle ideas, how to retire early so you can travel more, and more. This blog will not only teach you how to start a side hustle, but it will help you realize it’s possible to achieve other life goals and dreams. Reading Your Way to Side Hustle Success There are several useful blogs at your disposal when it comes to learning how to build a side hustle. Once you have scoured through all the different types of side hustles and decided on a niche, there are even more focused blogs to help you grow your business. Regardless of what you end up selecting as your side hustle, remember the best way to advertise your services is by building a website for your side hustle. Not only will a website boost your professionalism, but it will also help clients that are looking for you find you.  Building a website doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with Gator Builder from HostGator. This drag and drop builder will help you get your site up and running in no time. Check it out today! Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers

Social Media Examiner -

Thinking of putting your business on TikTok? Wondering how other brands are using TikTok successfully? In this article, you’ll discover how to create TikTok video and find examples to inspire you to use TikTok in your own marketing. Why Consider TikTok? TikTok’s growth is fascinating on many levels. For starters, it’s the first major social […] The post How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 3

WordPress.org News -

WordPress 5.3 Beta 3 is now available! This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version. You can test the WordPress 5.3 beta in two ways: Try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies” option)Or download the beta here (zip). WordPress 5.3 is slated for release on November 12, 2019, and we need your help to get there. Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 2 (and beta 1) over 60 tickets have been closed in the past week. Some highlights Fixes and enhancements in the admin interface changes introduced in previous 5.3 beta releases.Wording changes in login screen (#43037).Improved accessibility in media upload modal (#47149).Changes in the way the new error handling with images works (#48200).MediaElement.js has been updated from 4.2.6 to 4.2.13 (#46681). The script is now also being loaded in the footer again. This fixes a regression that happened two years ago, so might be worth noting (#44484).Update to the REST API media endpoint to allow resuming of uploads (#47987). In addition to these, Beta 3 landed a number of small consistency and polish changes to the REST API, including an improvement to the permissions check used when editing comments, a fix for post type controller caching edge cases, and most importantly, the ability to use the _embed parameter to access the full data for a post using the /wp/v2/search endpoint. Developer notes WordPress 5.3 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products. How to Help Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Amazon EKS Windows Container Support now Generally Available

Amazon Web Services Blog -

In March of this year, we announced a preview of Windows Container support on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service and invited customers to experiment and provide us with feedback. Today, after months of refining the product based on that feedback, I am delighted to announce that  Windows Container support is now generally available. Many development teams build and support applications designed to run on Windows Servers and with this announcement they can now deploy them on Kubernetes alongside Linux applications. This ability will provide more consistency in system logging, performance monitoring, and code deployment pipelines. Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service simplifies the process of building, securing, operating, and maintaining Kubernetes clusters, and allows organizations to focus on building applications instead of operating Kubernetes. We are proud to be the first Cloud provider to have General Availability of Windows Containers on Kubernetes and look forward to customers unlocking the business benefits of Kubernetes for both their Windows and Linux workloads. To show you how this feature works, I will need an Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service cluster. I am going to create a new one, but this will work with any cluster that is using Kubernetes version 1.14 and above. Once the cluster has been configured, I will add some new Windows nodes and deploy a Windows application. Finally, I will test the application to ensure it is running as expected. The simplest way to get a cluster set up is to use eksctl, the official CLI tool for EKS. The command below creates a cluster called demo-windows-cluster and adds two Linux nodes to the cluster. Currently, at least one Linux node is required to support Windows node and pod networking, however, I have selected two for high availability and we would recomend that you do the same. eksctl create cluster \ --name demo-windows-cluster \ --version 1.14 \ --nodegroup-name standard-workers \ --node-type t3.medium \ --nodes 2 \ --nodes-min 1 \ --nodes-max 3 \ --node-ami auto Starting with eksctl version 0.7, a new utility has been added called install-vpc-controllers. This utility installs the required VPC Resource Controller and VPC Admission Webhook into the cluster. These components run on Linux nodes and are responsible for enabling networking for incoming pods on Windows nodes. To use the tool we run the following command. eksctl utils install-vpc-controllers --name demo-windows-cluster --approve If you don’t want to use eksctl we also provide guides in the documentation on how you can run PowerShell or Bash scripts, to achieve the same outcome. Next, I will need to add some Windows Nodes to our cluster. If you use eksctl to create the cluster then the command below will work. If you are working with an existing cluster, check out the documentation for instructions on how to create a Windows node group and connect it to your cluster. eksctl create nodegroup \ --region us-west-2 \ --cluster demo-windows-cluster \ --version 1.14 \ --name windows-ng \ --node-type t3.medium \ --nodes 3 \ --nodes-min 1 \ --nodes-max 4 \ --node-ami-family WindowsServer2019FullContainer \ --node-ami ami-0f85de0441a8dcf46 The most up to date Windows AMI ID for your region can be found by querying the AWS SSM Parameter Store. Instructions to do this can be found in the Amazon EKS documentation. Now I have the nodes up and running I can deploy a sample application. I am using a YAML file from the AWS containers roadmap GitHub repository. This file configures an app that consists of a single container that runs IIS which in turn hosts a basic HTML page. kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aws/containers-roadmap/master/preview-programs/eks-windows-preview/windows-server-IIS.yaml These are Windows containers, which are often a little larger than Linux containers and therefore take a little longer to download and start-up. I monitored the progress of the deployment by running the following command. kubectl get pods -o wide --watch I waited for around 5 minutes for the pod to transition to the Running state. I then executed the following command, which connects to the pod and initializes a PowerShell session inside the container. The windows-server-iis-66bf9745b-xsbsx property is the name of the pod, if you are following along with this your name will be different. kubectl exec -it windows-server-iis-66bf9745b-xsbsx powershell Once you are conected to the PowerShell session you can now execute PowerShell as if you were using the terminal inside the container. Therefore if we run the command below we should get some information back about the news blog Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/ -UseBasicParsing To exit the PowerShell session I type exit and it returns me to my terminal. From there I can inspect the service that was deployed by the sample application, I type the following command: kubectl get svc windows-server-iis-service This gives me the following output that describes the service: NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE windows-server-iis-service LoadBalancer xx.xx.xxx.xxx unique.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com 80:32750/TCP 54s The External IP should be the address of a load balancer. If I type this URL into a browser and append /default.html then it will load a HTML page that was created by the sample application deployment. This is being served by our IIS server from one of the Windows containers I deployed. So there we have it, Windows Containers running on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service. For more details, please check out the documentation. Amazon EKS Windows Container Support is available in all the same regions as Amazon EKS is available, and pricing details can be found over here. We have a long roadmap for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, but we are eager to get your feedback and will use it to drive our prioritization process. Please take a look at this new feature and let us know what you think!

The Apache Distiller- 86’d in 84

cPanel Blog -

Way back in EasyApache 3, if a user wanted to make updates to their Apache configuration, they would do so by using the Apache distiller to make said changes. As you all know, we’ve moved on from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 and are ever working to improve the functionality and performance of the product. That being said, we are removing the Apache distiller in cPanel & WHM version 84. Let’s break this down. What is a ...

Learn about AWS Services & Solutions – October AWS Online Tech Talks

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Learn about AWS Services & Solutions – October AWS Online Tech Talks Join us this October to learn about AWS services and solutions. The AWS Online Tech Talks are live, online presentations that cover a broad range of topics at varying technical levels. These tech talks, led by AWS solutions architects and engineers, feature technical deep dives, live demonstrations, customer examples, and Q&A with AWS experts. Register Now! Note – All sessions are free and in Pacific Time. Tech talks this month: AR/VR:  October 30, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Using Physics in Your 3D Applications with Amazon Sumerian – Learn how to simulate real-world environments in 3D using Amazon Sumerian’s new robust physics system. Compute:  October 24, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Computational Fluid Dynamics on AWS – Learn best practices to run Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) workloads on AWS. October 28, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Monitoring Your .NET and SQL Server Applications on Amazon EC2 – Learn how to manage your application logs through AWS services to improve performance and resolve issues for your .Net and SQL Server applications. October 31, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Optimize Your Costs with AWS Compute Pricing Options – Learn which pricing models work best for your workloads and how to combine different purchase options to optimize cost, scale, and performance. Data Lakes & Analytics:  October 23, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Practical Tips for Migrating Your IBM Netezza Data Warehouse to the Cloud – Learn how to migrate your IBM Netezza Data Warehouse to the cloud to save costs and improve performance. October 31, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Alert on Your Log Data with Amazon Elasticsearch Service – Learn how to receive alerts on your data to monitor your application and infrastructure using Amazon Elasticsearch Service. Databases: October 22, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – How to Build Highly Scalable Serverless Applications with Amazon Aurora Serverless – Get an overview of Amazon Aurora Serverless, an on-demand, auto-scaling configuration for Amazon Aurora, and learn how you can use it to build serverless applications. DevOps: October 21, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Migrate Your Ruby on Rails App to AWS Fargate in One Step Using AWS Rails Provisioner – Learn how to define and deploy containerized Ruby on Rails Applications on AWS with a few commands. End-User Computing:  October 24, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Why Software Vendors Are Choosing Application Streaming Instead of Rewriting Their Desktop Apps – Walk through common customer use cases of how Amazon AppStream 2.0 lets software vendors deliver instant demos, trials, and training of desktop applications. October 29, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Move Your Desktops and Apps to AWS End-User Computing – Get an overview of AWS End-User Computing services and then dive deep into best practices for implementation. Enterprise & Hybrid:  October 29, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Leverage Compute Pricing Models and Rightsizing to Maximize Savings on AWS – Get tips on building a cost-management strategy, incorporating pricing models and resource rightsizing. IoT: October 30, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Connected Devices at Scale: A Deep Dive into the AWS Smart Product Solution – Learn how to jump-start the development of innovative connected products with the new AWS Smart Product Solution. Machine Learning: October 23, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Analyzing Text with Amazon Elasticsearch Service and Amazon Comprehend – Learn how to deploy a cost-effective, end-to-end solution for extracting meaningful insights from unstructured text data like customer calls, support tickets, or online customer feedback. October 28, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – AI-Powered Health Data Masking – Learn how to use the AI-Power Health Data Masking solution for use cases like clinical decision support, revenue cycle management, and clinical trial management. Migration: October 22, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Deep Dive: How to Rapidly Migrate Your Data Online with AWS DataSync – Learn how AWS DataSync makes it easy to rapidly move large datasets into Amazon S3 and Amazon EFS for your applications. Mobile: October 21, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Mocking and Testing Serverless APIs with AWS Amplify – Learn how to mock and test GraphQL APIs in your local environment with AWS Amplify. Robotics: October 22, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – The Future of Smart Robots Has Arrived – Learn how to and why you should build smarter robots with AWS. Security, Identity and Compliance:  October 29, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Using AWS Firewall Manager to Simplify Firewall Management Across Your Organization – Learn how AWS Firewall Manager simplifies rule management across your organization. Serverless: October 21, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – Advanced Serverless Orchestration with AWS Step Functions – Go beyond the basics and explore the best practices of Step Functions, including development and deployment of workflows and how you can track the work being done. October 30, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Managing Serverless Applications with SAM Templates – Learn how to reduce code and increase efficiency by managing your serverless apps with AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) templates. Storage: October 23, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT – Reduce File Storage TCO with Amazon EFS and Amazon FSx for Windows File Server – Learn how to optimize file storage costs with AWS storage solutions.

EC2 High Memory Update – New 18 TB and 24 TB Instances

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Last year we launched EC2 High Memory Instances with 6, 9, and 12 TiB of memory. Our customers use these instances to run large-scale SAP HANA installations, while also taking advantage of AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Config. Customers appreciate that these instances use the same AMIs and management tools as their other EC2 instances, and use them to build production systems that provide enterprise-grade data protection and business continuity. These are bare metal instances that can be run in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and are EBS-Optimized by default. Today we are launching instances with 18 TiB and 24 TiB of memory. These are 8-socket instances powered by 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable (Cascade Lake) processors running at 2.7 GHz, and are available today in the US East (N. Virginia) Region, with more to come. Just like the existing 6, 9, and 12 TiB bare metal instances, the 18 and 24 TiB instances are available in Dedicated Host form with a Three Year Reservation. You also have the option to upgrade a reservation for a smaller size to one of the new sizes. Here are the specs: Instance Name Memory Logical Processors Dedicated EBS Bandwidth Network Bandwidth SAP Workload Certifications u-6tb1.metal 6 TiB 448 14 Gbps 25 Gbps OLAP, OLTP u-9tb1.metal 9 TiB 448 14 Gbps 25 Gbps OLAP, OLTP u-12tb1.metal 12 TiB 448 14 Gbps 25 Gbps OLAP, OLTP u-18tb1.metal 18 TiB 448 28 Gbps 100 Gbps OLAP, OLTP u-24tb1.metal 24 TiB 448 28 Gbps 100 Gbps OLTP SAP OLAP workloads include SAP BW/4HANA, BW on HANA (BWoH), and Datamart. SAP OLTP workloads include S/4HANA and Suite on HANA (SoH). Consult the SAP Hardware Directory for more information on the workload certifications. With 28 Gbps of dedicated EBS bandwidth, the u-18tb1.metal and u-24tb1.metal instances can load data into memory at very high speed. For example, my colleagues loaded 9 TB of data in just 45 minutes, an effective rate of 3.4 gigabytes per second (GBps): Here’s an overview of the scale-up and scale-out options that are possible when using these new instances to run SAP HANA: New Instances in Action My colleagues were kind enough to supply me with some screen shots from 18 TiB and 24 TiB High Memory instances. Here’s the output from the lscpu and free commands on an 18 TiB instance: Here’s top on the same instance: And here is HANA Studio on a 24 TiB instance: Available Now As I mentioned earlier, the new instance sizes are available today. — Jeff; PS – Be sure to check out the AWS Quick Start for SAP HANA and the AWS Quick Start for S/4HANA.

Why Good Web Design Is Important (And How To Achieve It)

HostGator Blog -

The post Why Good Web Design Is Important (And How To Achieve It) appeared first on HostGator Blog. When the time comes to design and build your website, you’re going to have a lot of different options at your disposal. For example, you can utilize website builders and content management systems. Or, you can teach yourself to code and build it from the ground up. Many companies choose to hire web design services to ease the process and ensure a professional result. The approach you take will depend upon your existing skills, the goals for your site, and how involved you want to be throughout the site creation process. If you’re still unsure, that’s fine, by the end of this post you should have a clear idea of which approach is best for you. Below you’ll learn why you must have a professional website if you want your site to succeed, along with the various approaches you can take to build your site or have one built for you. Why Web Design Is Important Your website is your virtual home. If you already have a physical storefront, then your website will be the virtual extension of that store. On the other hand, if you’re starting an exclusively online business, then your website can completely make or break your success. When a visitor lands on your site, they will immediately begin forming opinions about whether or not your site is trustworthy. If your website is relevant and professional, then your visitors are not only going to stay on your site for much longer and dig through your site’s content, but they are much more likely to buy from you as well. We can look at it from the perspective of your visitor. If your site takes forever to load, or has spelling errors, outdated images, and links that don’t work, with an overall design that doesn’t inspire confidence, do you think your visitors will stick around to buy from you? Probably not. But if your site’s design is clean and intuitive, and packed with quality and useful content that helps your readers, then you can bet they’ll stick around and digest your content. They might even sign up for your email list and eventually buy your products or services. You only have one chance to make a first impression; don’t waste it with a low-quality website. Elements of a Well-Designed Website Luckily, having a professional website isn’t that difficult. But, you need to have certain elements in place. With your website, your goal is to build credibility and trust, while avoiding any red flags that will have your visitors running for the back button. Here are the most critical factors that go into a quality and professional site: 1. Clear and Cohesive Branding Your brand will encompass a lot. It’s everything from your logo, to your font and color choice, to the language you use. You have a lot of micro decisions that’ll add up to a brand that either feels right or ends up being disjointed and confusing. The best way to a cohesive brand is to keep things simple. By being overly complicated, you run the risk of overwhelming your visitors. For the sake of clarity keep the elements below in mind: Go for a minimalist design with plenty of whitespaceChoose fonts that pair well together and load fastClearly define what makes you unique from your competitionAlways focus on your visitors and their problems By always focusing on delivering value and solving your visitor’s problems—on a site that’s easy to use and navigate—they’ll tend to stick by you. 2. High-Quality Content There’s a lot that goes into quality content. First, your content needs to be relevant to your visitors. It needs to be useful, in-depth, informative, and solve your visitor’s problems. And that’s just talking about your blog posts and content strategy. Beyond your company and website blog, you need to think about your website’s copy. Chances are, you’ll have a lot more written content beyond your blog. You’ll need to think about the rest of the copy across your website. Your home page, about page, contact page, and more. Your website’s copy needs to speak to your visitors. Your goal is to illuminate their problems and showcase your expertise. 3. Intuitive Navigation When building out a website a lot of users tend to pack too much into their navigation bars. Your navigation bar only needs to link out to a few important pages. With too many navigation options you’re making it incredibly difficult for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. Here are some navigation menu best practices you’ll want to abide by: Place your navigation menu in the expected location–either the upper right-hand corner or underneath your logo at the top of the page. Include essential items at the beginning or end of your menu, as these places are where your visitors will pay the most attention.Make your navigation menu options descriptive, think things like ‘who we are’ and ‘start here.’If possible, avoid using drop-down menus. These menus are annoying and don’t usually function properly across mobile devices. Our short term memory can only hold around seven things at once, so make sure your menu doesn’t include more than seven items. 4. About and Contact Info Once your visitors land on your website and decide to stick around, they’re going to want to learn more about you. If you have a physical storefront that you’re trying to drive traffic to, then make sure you prominently display your phone number and physical location. If you don’t have an offline business, then you’ll need to make your email address and other contact information easy to find. Finally, your About Us page needs to do a lot more than list your accomplishments. You need to build an emotional bond with your readers and show them that you’re the best person to solve their problems. When writing your about page, view it through the lens of speaking to your visitors. Do what you can to demonstrate you understand them at a deep level. 5. Social Proof and Trust Factors There are a lot of ways to build up your likeability and social proof. First, by having a high-quality design, you’ll show your visitors that you can be trusted. But, you can also build up trust in other ways too. For example, if you have sizable social media followings, you can add these into your site’s design. Another common way to build up social proof is by showcasing testimonials from past clients, customers, subscribers, or even known figures within your niche. A solid testimonial can go a long way towards convincing new visitors that you know what you’re talking about. Here are a few examples from our own testimonials page at HostGator: Of course, there’s a lot more that contributes to a quality site, but when you’re just starting out the above factors will go a long way. 6. Intentional Page Creation Any page that you create should have a specific purpose. When your visitor lands on a page you should be directing them towards a goal. Trying to do too much with any given page will only lead to confusion and overwhelm. Your goal should be to reduce this feeling in your visitors whenever possible. If you’re creating a page and you realize there’s too much going on, don’t be afraid to split this up into multiple. The same goes for focusing on a single action you want your visitors to take. For example, do you want your visitors to sign up for your email list, share your post, or just explore more content on your site? When it comes to creating pages, less will always be more. Website Building Approaches to Take When Designing a High-Quality Website Now that you know what site elements you’ll need to have in place, it’s time to explore the different routes you can take to build your website. As you’ll learn below, there are multiple ways to build the perfect site for your business or new project. Your biggest constraints will be your budget and the amount of time you want to devote. Here are the most common ways you’ll build out your new website: 1. Use a Website Builder If your goal is to get your website online in the shortest amount of time possible, then you can use a website builder to create a simple website. Website builders give you the advantage of speed and simplicity. With the Gator website builder, you can quickly build out a site in your niche of choice. All you have to do is select your theme, make customizations with the drag and drop tool, and upload your content. Plus, all of the themes are professionally designed so you can ensure that your site will be high-quality. 2. Use a Content Management System (CMS) Content Management Systems (CMS) allow you to build out content-heavy websites with ease. All you have to do is install the CMS on your site (HostGator makes this easy), choose your theme, and start customizing your website. The most popular CMS is WordPress and will probably be the best option if you decide to take this approach. WordPress will give you a ton of control over the design of your site, while still remaining fairly beginner friendly. As long as you choose a high-quality WordPress theme, you’ll be giving yourself a head start in the design of your site. Building out your site with a CMS will be much more time intensive, and there is a steeper learning curve when compared to using a website builder. 3. Build Your Site From Scratch The most time intensive and challenging way to build your site is teaching yourself how to program and building out your website yourself. This can be a rewarding path, but it’s not for the faint of heart. As a general overview you’ll have to learn basic programming languages that’ll support you in building a website. Then, you have to use this newfound knowledge to create your site and upload it to your server. If you’re starting out, then you probably won’t be creating a complex any time soon. But, it’s entirely possible to build a simple website with a couple of pages. Just don’t expect a masterpiece right out of the gate. 4. Hire a Professional The final option you have is to hire a professional to build out your site for you. By working with an expert, you can guarantee that your website meets all of the requirements above and more. This approach allows you to focus on your business, or spend time creating excellent content, while a professional design team builds you the site of your dreams. Here at HostGator, you can take advantage of our professional web design services to create a custom site based upon the WordPress CMS. This allows you to tap into a team of experts to craft you a website that’s professional and will delight your visitors. Plus, since your custom site is crafted using WordPress, it’ll be easy for you to manage your own site into the future. You’ll save time in getting your website launched, and you’ll enjoy a professional result that will serve your business for many years to come. Which Route Is Best For You? By now you should be a little bit more certain about the approach you’re going to take to build your website. Overall, the route you choose depends on how much time you want to devote to building your website and the type of site you’re building. Generally, the most common approaches are going to be using a website builder, using a CMS like WordPress, or hiring out a team of experts for their web design services. If you have a small budget, then using a free website builder, or building out a budget site using WordPress are going to be great approaches to take. But, if you have more to spend on creating your site, then it’s a great idea to hire a team of web design professionals. This will ensure you end up with a high-quality and professional site that turns your visitors into fans, subscribers, and customers.   Hopefully you’re now equipped to either build your site yourself or hire out the creation of your website. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

The Top Four Data Challenges CIOs Face Today

Liquid Web Official Blog -

To confront today's business data challenges, CIOs must consider the security, fidelity, accessibility, and integrity of their business data. Locating a competitive advantage in business has never been more important. Not sure where to look? We suggest starting with one of the most precious and valuable assets at your disposal: the data and information that got you where you are. Savvy businesses are already making the necessary investments to get the most out of their data. From customer information to competitive intelligence, a river of data is powering the leading businesses of today into the future. Those that are paying attention and turning data sets into a competitive advantage will win the most important markets. Those that don’t confront the business data challenges will invariably be left behind. Whether your organization is brand new or generations old, the information compiled over time about customers, competitors, trends, interactions, and initiatives provides the insights for guiding your enterprise to new heights. In most cases, the strategy of what to do with all of this valuable data lives in the office of the CIO. Deciding how to best extract value from data is only one challenge. In pushing forward for the organization, the CIO must also preserve and protect the ever-increasing pool of data. The actions taken with the data, and how to wrangle it in the first place, ultimately separates industry leaders from those that sink into obsolescence.  Subscribe to the Liquid Web weekly newsletter to have more content for IT professionals sent straight to your inbox. The Top Four Business Data Challenges Understanding the risks and pitfalls CIOs face when it comes to data is the first step towards a long-lasting information strategy. Here are the four greatest business data challenges faced by CIOs in today’s most competitive markets: 1. Security: How Are You Properly Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset? Foremost on the mind of any company executive is the security of company assets. And if perhaps the most valuable asset is company data, then the security of that data is of paramount importance. Security isn’t just about infrastructure and connectivity but also includes answering the following questions: Who has access to our data? Why? What systems and applications are integrated with our data? What are the processes and controls in place to maintain our data security? What security appliances are in place with our partners and providers to insure there are no security leaks on their end? How are we keeping an eye out to insure our security strategy is actually effective? Who has the authority to change our security policies? When can those changes happen and how? Understanding that security is a multidimensional, ever-evolving landscape is the first step in establishing robust data security policies. The key in securing data is to remain vigilant and expect the unexpected. Tomorrow’s most pressing security threat isn’t even a reality today.” Adaptability and proactive security practices are always the best way to address the security of your data. Recognize that data security is not only about who has access to your data, but also which applications and APIs have access as well. Where are the vulnerabilities in those systems? 2. Fidelity: Is Your Data Painting the Whole Picture? If data security is the primary concern of today’s CIO then data fidelity is not far behind. In short, data fidelity or data integrity is the characterization of data sets as being complete and uncompromised. Lost data, corrupted data, or misplaced data can all impact a business in negative ways. Losing valuable data like contracts, customer information or billing arrangements can cripple even the mightiest enterprises. One suggested way to address concerns of data fidelity is to implement sufficient backup or replication systems in conjunction with strong security policies. Having multiple copies of critical data combined with strict rules about who can and cannot modify or delete data is the means to a strong foundation of data integrity. Use replication and offsite backups to insure data is preserved without compromise. 3. Accessibility: It’s Not Only About People Anymore But Applications And APIs As Well Determining access to data is no longer just a question of “who” has access, but also “what” has access, and “when” that access is granted. Defining rule sets, checks, and balances around which employees are allowed to access which data is a great first step but hardly a complete solution. Your organization’s data is no doubt influenced and impacted by applications, APIs, and integrations. Properly establishing and documenting these interactions is also critical to protecting your data. Even your authorized applications, like your team, should have well-defined and oft-checked access points instead of free reign over your data.” Again, ask why, who, and what has access to your data and to what ends. Be detailed and deliberate about what checks and balances are in place to insure these integrations are moving your business forward and doing so in the right ways. Recognize that protecting data is not only about who has access to your data, but also the applications and APIs that have access as well. Have well-defined policies in place that determine how and why your data is accessed. 4. Integrity: All Of Your Data Is Critical, Even If It Doesn’t Seem So At First Glance In its purest, rawest form your data may not be of use to you or, for that matter, anyone else. Just as oil right out of the earth requires refining to serve any practical purpose, your data most likely must be manipulated, distilled, and deciphered before it can be utilized for any real purpose. But along the way it is imperative that useful information not be discarded or ignored. Just because your workflows and tools don’t recognize a certain set of data as being valuable today doesn’t mean that same data won’t be invaluable tomorrow.” Ever-changing rules and regulations mean that to remain compliant across industries it is imperative that you stay current with the legal limitations. In some jurisdictions and with some data, you must ensure that all of your data be preserved, even if only in its rawest form. To contrast, Europe’s consumer-centric GDPR regulations require that companies delete personal data that has been collected without a specific purpose. Running afoul of the law or a regulatory body for not properly preserving and maintaining data can be an unwelcome and costly misstep. GDPR violations, for instance, can incur fines of up to 4% of a company’s global revenue. Coping with Challenges Today And Into The Future By surveying the landscape and preparing for what’s to come, even the most complex data environments can be managed into the future. It is the CIOs charge and obligation to properly position the company to find the most beneficial way to utilize data. But inherent in this challenge is making sure that data is properly structured, collected, preserved, and protected. Even the smallest misstep along the way can create a waterfall of negative ramifications that can set the organization back years. By properly acknowledging and addressing the challenges above, even the most complex data environment can be well positioned to serve as a competitive advantage for years to come. Liquid Web Can Help Growing SMBs and Enterprises With Business Data Challenges Liquid Web can help protect your business from attacks and prepare your data for compliance. See our Security and Compliance Services today. The post The Top Four Data Challenges CIOs Face Today appeared first on Liquid Web.

5 Ways to Humanize Your Instagram Business Account

Social Media Examiner -

Want to make your business more memorable on Instagram? Looking for tips to boost brand loyalty with your audience? In this article, you’ll discover five tips to ensure your Instagram account stands out. #1: Give Your Instagram Copy Personality When developing an Instagram business profile, most companies focus on the visual aspects of their brand. […] The post 5 Ways to Humanize Your Instagram Business Account appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Talk Transcript: How Cloudflare Thinks About Security

CloudFlare Blog -

Image courtesy of UnbabelThis is the text I used for a talk at artificial intelligence powered translation platform, Unbabel, in Lisbon on September 25, 2019.Bom dia. Eu sou John Graham-Cumming o CTO do Cloudflare. E agora eu vou falar em inglês.Thanks for inviting me to talk about Cloudflare and how we think about security. I’m about to move to Portugal permanently so I hope I’ll be able to do this talk in Portuguese in a few months.I know that most of you don’t have English as a first language so I’m going to speak a little more deliberately than usual. And I’ll make the text of this talk available for you to read.But there are no slides today.I’m going to talk about how Cloudflare thinks about internal security, how we protect ourselves and how we secure our day to day work. This isn’t a talk about Cloudflare’s products.CultureLet’s begin with culture.Many companies have culture statements. I think almost 100% of these are pure nonsense. Culture is how you act every day, not words written in the wall.One significant piece of company culture is the internal Security Incident mailing list which anyone in the company can send a message to. And they do! So far this month there have been 55 separate emails to that list reporting a security problem.These mails come from all over the company, from every department. Two to three per day. And each mail is investigated by the internal security team. Each mail is assigned a Security Incident issue in our internal Atlassian Jira instance.People send: reports that their laptop or phone has been stolen (their credentials get immediately invalidated), suspicions about a weird email that they’ve received (it might be phishing or malware in an attachment), a concern about physical security (for example, someone wanders into the office and starts asking odd questions), that they clicked on a bad link, that they lost their access card, and, occasionally, a security concern about our product.Things like stolen or lost laptops and phones happen way more often than you’d imagine. We seem to lose about two per month. For that reason and many others we use full disk encryption on devices, complex passwords and two factor auth on every service employees need to access. And we discourage anyone storing anything on my laptop and ask them to primarily use cloud apps for work. Plus we centrally manage machines and can remote wipe.We have a 100% blame free culture. You clicked on a weird link? We’ll help you. Lost your phone? We’ll help you. Think you might have been phished? We’ll help you.This has led to a culture of reporting problems, however minor, when they occur. It’s our first line of internal defense.Just this month I clicked on a link that sent my web browser crazy hopping through redirects until I ended up at a bad place. I reported that to the mailing list.I’ve never worked anywhere with such a strong culture of reporting security problems big and small.HackersWe also use HackerOne to let people report security problems from the outside. This month we’ve received 14 reports of security problems. To be honest, most of what we receive through HackerOne is very low priority. People run automated scanning tools and report the smallest of configuration problems, or, quite often, things that they don’t understand but that look like security problems to them. But we triage and handle them all.And people do on occasion report things that we need to fix.We also have a private paid bug bounty program where we work with a group of individual hackers (around 150 right now) who get paid for the vulnerabilities that they’ve found.We’ve found that this combination of a public responsible disclosure program and then a private paid program is working well. We invite the best hackers who come in through the public program to work with us closely in the private program.IdentitySo, that’s all about people, internal and external, reporting problems, vulnerabilities, or attacks. A very short step from that is knowing who the people are.And that’s where identity and authentication become critical. In fact, as an industry trend identity management and authentication are one of the biggest areas of spending by CSOs and CISOs. And Cloudflare is no different.OK, well it is different, instead of spending a lot of identity and authentication we’ve built our own solutions.We did not always have good identity practices. In fact, for many years our systems had different logins and passwords and it was a complete mess. When a new employee started accounts had to be made on Google for email and calendar, on Atlassian for Jira and Wiki, on the VPN, on the WiFi network and then on a myriad of other systems for the blog, HR, SSH, build systems, etc. etc.And when someone left all that had to be undone. And frequently this was done incorrectly. People would leave and accounts would still be left running for a period of time. This was a huge headache for us and is a huge headache for literally every company.If I could tell companies one thing they can do to improve their security it would be: sort out identity and authentication. We did and it made things so much better.This makes the process of bringing someone on board much smoother and the same when they leave. We can control who accesses what systems from a single control panel.I have one login via a product we built called Cloudflare Access and I can get access to pretty much everything. I looked in my LastPass Vault while writing this talk and there are a total of just five username and password combination and two of those needed deleting because we’ve migrated those systems to Access.So, yes, we use password managers. And we lock down everything with high quality passwords and two factor authentication. Everyone at Cloudflare has a Yubikey and access to TOTP (such as Google Authenticator). There are three golden rules: all passwords should be created by the password manager, all authentication has to have a second factor and the second factor cannot be SMS.We had great fun rolling out Yubikeys to the company because we did it during our annual retreat in a single company wide sitting. Each year Cloudflare gets the entire company together (now over 1,000 people) in a hotel for two to three days of working together, learning from outside experts and physical and cultural activities.Last year the security team gave everyone a pair of physical security tokens (a Yubikey and a Titan Key from Google for Bluetooth) and in an epic session configured everyone’s accounts to use them.Note: do not attempt to get 500 people to sync Bluetooth devices in the same room at the same time. Bluetooth cannot cope.Another important thing we implemented is automatic timeout of access to a system. If you don’t use access to a system you lose it. That way we don’t have accounts that might have access to sensitive systems that could potentially be exploited.OpennessTo return to the subject of Culture for a moment an important Cloudflare trait is openness.Some of you may know that back in 2017 Cloudflare had a horrible bug in our software that became called Cloudbleed. This bug leaked memory from inside our servers into people’s web browsing. Some of that web browsing was being done by search engine crawlers and ended up in the caches of search engines like Google.We had to do two things: stop the actual bug (this was relatively easy and was done in under an hour) and then clean up the equivalent of an oil spill of data. That took longer (about a week to ten days) and was very complicated.But from the very first night when we were informed of the problem we began documenting what had happened and what were doing. I opened an EMACS buffer in the dead of night and started keeping a record.That record turned into a giant disclosure blog post that contained the gory details of the error we made, its consequences and how we reacted once the error was known.We followed up a few days later with a further long blog post assessing the impact and risk associated with the problem.This approach to being totally open ended up being a huge success for us. It increased trust in our product and made people want to work with us more.I was on my way to Berlin to give a talk to a large retailer about Cloudbleed when I suddenly realized that the company I was giving the talk at was NOT a customer. And I asked the salesperson I was with what I was doing.I walked in to their 1,000 person engineering team all assembled to hear my talk. Afterwards the VP of Engineering thanked me saying that our transparency had made them want to work with us rather than their current vendor. My talk was really a sales pitch.Similarly, at RSA last year I gave a talk about Cloudbleed and a very large company’s CSO came up and asked to use my talk internally to try to encourage their company to be so open.When on July 2 this year we had an outage, which wasn’t security related, we once again blogged in incredible detail about what happened. And once again we heard from people about how our transparency mattered to them.The lesson is that being open about mistakes increases trust. And if people trust you then they’ll tend to tell you when there are problems. I get a ton of reports of potential security problems via Twitter or email.ChangeAfter Cloudbleed we started changing how we write software. Cloudbleed was caused, in part, by the use of memory-unsafe languages. In that case it was C code that could run past the end of a buffer.We didn’t want that to happen again and so we’ve prioritized languages where that simply cannot happen. Such as Go and Rust. We were very well known for using Go. If you’ve ever visited a Cloudflare website, or used an app (and you have because of our scale) that uses us for its API then you’ve first done a DNS query to one of our servers.That DNS query will have been responded to by a Go program called RRDNS.There’s also a lot of Rust being written at Cloudflare and some of our newer products are being created using it. For example, Firewall Rules which do arbitrary filtering of requests to our customers are handled by a Rust program that needs to be low latency, stable and secure.Security is a company wide commitmentThe other post-Cloudbleed change was that any crashes on our machines came under the spotlight from the very top. If a process crashes I personally get emailed about it. And if the team doesn’t take those crashes seriously they get me poking at them until they do.We missed the fact that Cloudbleed was crashing our machines and we won’t let that happen again. We use Sentry to correlate information about crashes and the Sentry output is one of the first things I look at in the morning.Which, I think, brings up an important point. I spoke earlier about our culture of “If you see something weird, say something” but it’s equally important that security comes from the top down.Our CSO, Joe Sullivan, doesn’t report to me, he reports to the CEO. That sends a clear message about where security sits in the company. But, also, the security team itself isn’t sitting quietly in the corner securing everything.They are setting standards, acting as trusted advisors, and helping deal with incidents. But their biggest role is to be a source of knowledge for the rest of the company. Everyone at Cloudflare plays a role in keeping us secure.You might expect me to have access to our all our systems, a passcard that gets me into any room, a login for any service. But the opposite is true: I don’t have access to most things. I don’t need it to get my job done and so I don’t have it.This makes me a less attractive target for hackers, and we apply the same rule to everyone. If you don’t need access for your job you don’t get it. That’s made a lot easier by the identity and authentication systems and by our rule about timing out access if you don’t use a service. You probably didn’t need it in the first place.The flip side of all of us owning security is that deliberately doing the wrong thing has severe consequences.Making a mistake is just fine. The person who wrote the bad line of code that caused Cloudbleed didn’t get fired, the person who wrote the bad regex that brought our service to a halt on July 2 is still with us.‌‌Detection and Response‌‌Naturally, things do go wrong internally. Things that didn’t get reported. To do with them we need to detect problems quickly. This is an area where the security team does have real expertise and data.‌‌We do this by collecting data about how our endpoints (my laptop, a company phone, servers on the edge of our network) are behaving. And this is fed into a homebuilt data platform that allows the security team to alert on anomalies.‌‌It also allows them to look at historical data in case of a problem that occurred in the past, or to understand when a problem started. ‌‌Initially the team was going to use a commercial data platform or SIEM but they quickly realized that these platforms are incredibly expensive and they could build their own at a considerably lower price.‌‌Also, Cloudflare handles a huge amount of data. When you’re looking at operating system level events on machines in 194 cities plus every employee you’re dealing with a huge stream. And the commercial data platforms love to charge by the size of that stream.‌‌We are integrating internal DNS data, activity on individual machines, network netflow information, badge reader logs and operating system level events to get a complete picture of what’s happening on any machine we own.‌‌When someone joins Cloudflare they travel to our head office in San Francisco for a week of training. Part of that training involves getting their laptop and setting it up and getting familiar with our internal systems and security.‌‌During one of these orientation weeks a new employee managed to download malware while setting up their laptop. Our internal detection systems spotted this happening and the security team popped over to the orientation room and helped the employee get a fresh laptop.‌‌The time between the malware being downloaded and detected was about 40 minutes.‌‌If you don’t want to build something like this yourself, take a look at Google’s Chronicle product. It’s very cool. ‌‌One really rich source of data about your organization is DNS. For example, you can often spot malware just by the DNS queries it makes from a machine. If you do one thing then make sure all your machines use a single DNS resolver and get its logs.‌‌‌‌Edge Security‌‌In some ways the most interesting part of Cloudflare is the least interesting from a security perspective. Not because there aren’t great technical challenges to securing machines in 194 cities but because some of the more apparently mundane things I’ve talked about how such huge impact.‌‌Identity, Authentication, Culture, Detection and Response.‌‌But, of course, the edge needs securing. And it’s a combination of physical data center security and software. ‌‌To give you one example let’s talk about SSL private keys. Those keys need to be distributed to our machines so that when an SSL connection is made to one of our servers we can respond. But SSL private keys are… private!‌‌And we have a lot of them. So we have to distribute private key material securely. This is a hard problem. We encrypt the private keys while at rest and in transport with a separate key that is distributed to our edge machines securely. ‌‌Access to that key is tightly controlled so that no one can start decrypting keys in our database. And if our database leaked then the keys couldn’t be decrypted since the key needed is stored separately.‌‌And that key is itself GPG encrypted.‌‌But wait… there’s more!‌‌We don’t actually want to have decrypted keys stored in any process that accessible from the Internet. So we use a technology called Keyless SSL where the keys are kept by a separate process and accessed only when needed to perform operations.‌‌And Keyless SSL can run anywhere. For example, it doesn’t have to be on the same machine as the machine handling an SSL connection. It doesn’t even have to be in the same country. Some of our customers make use of that to specify where their keys are distributed to).Use Cloudflare to secure CloudflareOne key strategy of Cloudflare is to eat our own dogfood. If you’ve not heard that term before it’s quite common in the US. The idea is that if you’re making food for dogs you should be so confident in its quality that you’d eat it yourself.Cloudflare does the same for security. We use our own products to secure ourselves. But more than that if we see that there’s a product we don’t currently have in our security toolkit then we’ll go and build it.Since Cloudflare is a cybersecurity company we face the same challenges as our customers, but we can also build our way out of those challenges. In  this way, our internal security team is also a product team. They help to build or influence the direction of our own products.The team is also a Cloudflare customer using our products to secure us and we get feedback internally on how well our products work. That makes us more secure and our products better.Our customers data is more precious than ours‌‌The data that passes through Cloudflare’s network is private and often very personal. Just think of your web browsing or app use. So we take great care of it.‌‌We’re handling that data on behalf of our customers. They are trusting us to handle it with care and so we think of it as more precious than our own internal data.‌‌Of course, we secure both because the security of one is related to the security of the other. But it’s worth thinking about the data you have that, in a way, belongs to your customer and is only in your care.‌‌‌‌Finally‌‌I hope this talk has been useful. I’ve tried to give you a sense of how Cloudflare thinks about security and operates. We don’t claim to be the ultimate geniuses of security and would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences so we can improve.‌‌Security is not static and requires constant attention and part of that attention is listening to what’s worked for others.‌‌Thank you.‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌

New gTLD – September 2019

Reseller Club Blog -

As September closes the third quarter and we slowly inch to the year-end, let’s take a look at the Q3 performance of domains. The month of September saw an exceptional 69% rise in the total number of new gTLD registrations. This spike can be attributed to the consistent new gTLD star performer .TOP that contributed a 57% share in the total new gTLD registration count. .SITE, .XYZ, .ONLINE and .CLUB managed to retain their spot in the top 5. Apart from this, the new entrant .EMAIL made it to the top 15 with a huge leap of 975% in its registrations while .HOST made it to the list a 33% increase in its registration numbers.  Let’s take a look at the new gTLDs that made it to the top 15 during the month of September. !function(e,i,n,s){var t="InfogramEmbeds",d=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement("script");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async"); New gTLD Report – September 2019Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .TOP: It is worth noting that .TOP continued to retain its No. 1 position for the third consecutive time with a total registration share of 57%. The promo price of $0.72 drove the registrations of this new gTLD and the humongous growth in the number of registrations can be attributed to the China market.  .SITE: With an 11% share in the overall registrations, .SITE has remained constant in securing the second spot in the top 5 new gTLDs. .SITE was being sold at a promo price $4.18 and the Global market* was the reason behind the boost in the registration count. .XYZ: .XYZ took a leap of 54% in its registration numbers in the China market. This has helped the gTLD move up to the third spot during the month of September, .XYZ was running at a promo price of $0.68 and was able to contribute 8% to the total new gTLDs registered in September. .ONLINE: This gTLD witnessed a rise of 15% and scored the fourth spot in the top 5 list. .ONLINE was being sold at a promo price of $6.18 which aided the hike in registration numbers in the month of September in the Global market*.  .CLUB: Being a recent entrant in the top 5, .CLUB secured the fifth spot in the month of September with a 33% climb in its registration numbers. The incredible promo price of $1.18 helped boost the sales of this new gTLD in the Global market*.  While registrations for .BEST saw a 203% spike in its registration numbers, .EMAIL and .HOST the recent entrants in the top 15 made it to the list with an impressive jump in their registration numbers during the month of September. Also, .GLOBAL and .HOST had a tie for the fifteenth spot with an equal number of registrations.  Here’s a peek into the exciting domain promos we’ve got lined up for the month of October Help your customer’s get their business online with a .HOST domain extension at just $3.99 Reach out to the community of gamers or puzzle sites with a .FUN domain extension at just $0.99 Get the ever trending domain extension .TOP at just $0.99 That’s all folks! Check out all our leading domain promos and help your customer’s get the right one for their online business. You can also head to our Facebook or Twitter pages to get all the updates about our trending domain promos. Just look out for the posts with #domainpromos. See you there!  *Global market – US, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Thailand and others fall under the global markets.  .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post New gTLD – September 2019 appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Website Design Service Launched for Small Businesses Ready to Grow

Yahoo! Small Business Blog -

By Ramesh Padmanabhan & Owen Hsiao, Product ManagementYahoo Small BusinessYahoo Small Business has introduced Website Design Service to take the headache out of building and maintaining a professional website, and allow small business owners to instead focus their attention on taking care of customers and growing their revenue.Website Design Service provides the design, engineering, creative and support services required to create, build, launch and manage a professional website with little time and effort required from the small business owner.Additionally as your business evolves, your website will grow too thanks to the continued support and updates included as part of Website Design Service. Regular content updates and additions to your site will keep it fresh and accurate, as well as potentially increase your appearance in online search and your ability to get new customers.In order to help websites continue to operate efficiently and securely, Website Design Service includes proactive updates to security plug-ins, and review of all website content for search engine optimization (SEO) before and after launch, which can help the site get higher page rankings and increased organic traffic.Which Businesses Should Use Website Design Service?In today’s competitive business climate, small business owners need to be able to focus on running and growing their businesses - not learning how to build and manage their websites.But, a professional website with fresh and up-to-date content is a must-have for small businesses to be successful. Yahoo Small Business Website Design Service provides an easy and affordable solution using the popular WordPress platform to help businesses stand out from their competitors.A quality website provides a business with a professional image that will make prospects confident in your ability to service them. A website is also often the primary place prospects will look online for businesses like yours, so it’s essential to be able to control what is shown about your products and services. Websites also make it easier for your customers to find you – by sharing hours, locations, products and services, support and more advanced features like appointment setting and quotes.What Website Design OffersYSB’s Website Design Service includes two offerings:Standard: focused on delivering an elegant, professional site with all the functions most growing businesses need.Premium: ideal for more sophisticated websites with advanced features and capabilities, including accepting reservations or appointments, issuing quotes, customer login and more frequent content refreshes.Both offerings include SEO, reporting and regular content updates to support small businessowners with the tools they need to grow their online presence. All websites are optimized for mobile.How to Get StartedTo get started, Yahoo Small Business offers an easy step-by-step process that includes consultations with an expert designer to discuss your business’ brand and goals, along with how your new website can help you build your online presence while leaving you free to focus on growing your business.Visit https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webdesign for more information.

The Future of Work Could Be At Home

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Working from home has been on the radar of professionals for years. It used to be reserved for the occasional furniture delivery or an in-a-pinch necessity; but now, as technology has improved and professionals seek more flexibility, major organizations are incorporating remote work policies across the board. In fact, with almost half of U.S. professionals working from home on occasion, it’s so common these days that there’s actually a national holiday week celebrating remote work -- and it... .

Top Paid Plugins for WP Engine Customers

WP Engine -

One of the most attractive benefits of using WordPress is the vast ecosystem of plugins you can use to extend the functionality of your WordPress sites. For the uninitiated, plugins are pieces of modular code that can help you equip your site(s) with everything from maps and charts to SEO solutions and eCommerce tools. Currently,… The post Top Paid Plugins for WP Engine Customers appeared first on WP Engine.

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