Industry Buzz

Magento vs Prestashop: The Best eCommerce Platform

Nexcess Blog -

Whether you’re new to eCommerce or looking to see if there’s a better option for your growing store, choosing the right web application is important. There are several different options out there for merchants. This article looks specifically at Magento and Prestashop. Both of these applications are open source platforms that allow merchants to start,… Continue reading →

Tips on Choosing a Great Domain

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Choosing a domain name is a very important part of designing a website and increasing your visibility. Although it may seem that using the name of your business or simply your own name is the right course of action, there are other things to consider. Is It Appealing? The first thing you want to consider is the appeal. Does your domain name look appealing? This may seem like a ridiculous thing to think about, but it does matter. Continue reading Tips on Choosing a Great Domain at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Better for Your Small Business?

HostGator Blog -

The post Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Better for Your Small Business? appeared first on HostGator Blog. Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Better for Small Business? Small business owners must make the best advertising decision for their bottom line. It’s a daunting task that requires patience and market research. With so many possibilities, you’ll want to consider your business goals and customers. YourStory contributor Sromona Bhattacharyya, shares her insight: “Selecting the perfect platform for advertisement requires a lot of prior research and efforts… Your customer’s attention is constantly changing from one platform to another… It’s important for any company to decide where their customers pay attention and get back to basics.” Ready to evaluate your advertising options? Here’s a guide to show you when to use Google Ads versus Facebook Ads.   When to Use Google Ads   1. You Want To Reach Local Audiences Most small businesses cater to distinct audiences within their geographical locations. You’re selling winter coats to consumers in Chicago and not folks in Miami. In addition to eCommerce, some businesses have a local storefront. Google Ads makes it easy to become a resource for your local consumer base. With local search ads, you can earn more foot traffic and get more phone inquiries from consumers. Plus, you can provide your audience with critical information, like your address and store hours. If you own multiple stores in a local area, you’ll want to build unique landing pages specific to that area. These pages should highlight the different services and include local testimonials. This strategy ensures site visitors receive information that match their needs. Another idea is to run an ad promotion. Buyers are more likely to visit your store if they know you’re offering a sale. You’ll gain local visibility with Google Ads as part of your plan. More consumers entering into your store means more chances to increase your sales.   2. You Want To Generate Leads Bringing in new customers is key for your small business. But you don’t want every consumer, you need qualified leads that resemble your target audience. Lead generation comes with its own challenges. Acquiring new leads can be expensive. Research shows it costs 7 times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. If you don’t want to spend your entire budget on gaining new leads, then Google Ads may be the right solution for your small business. Matt Ackerson, founder of AutoGrow, explains: “If you have a micro budget, you’re going to pinch your pennies. With a Google AdWords account, you can generate more leads without spending a ton of cash. You can then focus your efforts on creating a product or service that will maximize your AdWords ROI.” Google Ads allows you to reach customers with highly-targeted keywords. With lead generation, specificity works in your favor. It’s better to connect with an audience that’s searching for “college basketball shorts,” rather than just “basketball.”   3. You Want a Variety of Ad Types Online shoppers peruse multiple places on the web. You can find them looking for a solution via a search engine or watching endless cat videos on YouTube. It’s important for your advertising to reflect their whereabouts. Google Ads offers your small business various avenues to connect with your audience. Depending on your goals, you want to select a campaign type based on your desired actions from potential customers. For instance, you may develop a Search Network campaign to increase your leads. Then, your team may create a Video campaign to secure sales. Check out the video below to learn which ad campaign type is right for your business. After selecting your ad type, it’s time to think about the actual ad. You want it to speak to the consumers’ needs. It should be specific and build an instant connection. If your team doesn’t possess visual branding expertise, it’s recommended to outsource the task to a design professional. Hire a freelancer to create your graphics or edit your video footage. All these details help attract the right consumers.   When to Use Facebook Ads   1. You Want to Reach Niche Audiences Selling to the masses is a difficult endeavor; it’s hard persuading everyone your product fits their needs. Instead, some small businesses stick to niche audiences—a unique group of consumers in the market. Facebook Ads gives you the flexibility to serve niche audiences. Sherman Standberry, COO and cofounder of LYFE Marketing, explains: “Facebook advertising can help you expand into new markets. If you are bringing a new product or service to market, you can use Facebook advertising to increase its exposure. Facebook advertising will help you test the market, at your own pace.” To advertise to niche audiences, you should collect detailed information about your consumers. You’ll want to target a specific age range, gender, and location. Then, take it a step further by pinpointing their purchasing behaviors, mobile device usage, languages, and connections. Personalization is crucial when developing your first Facebook Ad campaign. Explore ways to develop a brand lifestyle that relates to your niche audience.   2. You Want Brand Awareness Without advertising, small businesses can go unnoticed by consumers. Your marketing campaigns become simply background noise for your large competitors. Facebook Ads helps level the playing field. It can draw awareness to small brands by reaching your targeted audience. The purpose of brand awareness varies based on your customer lifecycle journey. For some companies, it means introducing a brand to a new audience. Other businesses use it as a way to bring their brand to the forefront for interested consumers. With Facebook Ads awareness campaigns, your team can set its own objectives. The platform focuses on helping you expand your reach, whether it’s a carousel of images or a video. Before launching your ad, consider how you want to tell your brand story. Each ad should build a bridge between your business and the audience. Work with a copywriter to hone your brand’s voice and tone. Learn which words will appeal to your consumers’ emotions and compel them to learn about your products. Your business deserves the attention. Facebook Ads helps you target the right consumers.   3. You Want to Capture Mobile Traffic According to analytics firm Flurry, Americans spend up to five hours per day on their mobile devices. It’s a significant indicator for companies to spend more resources on mobile ads. The experts at Matchcraft offer this perspective: “Mobile traffic is important as smartphone penetration continues to increase and 4G data networks expand. Plenty of people break up their work day by glancing at their phones for some social media time, giving you access to your mobile audience.” Facebook suggests running your ads within its family of apps and services, including Audience Network, Instagram, and Messenger. That way, your advertising spreads across various platforms, earning your business better results. You also can manage Facebook ads on the go. Your team can now pause campaigns, edit budgets, and view insights directly from the mobile app. There’s no excuses for getting key data to operate your small business. Consumers aren’t stationary; they live and shop on the go. So, integrate Facebook Ads into your mobile outreach strategy.   What Works for Your Small Business? Advertising is a huge opportunity for small businesses to attract customers. But with so many different options, it’s overwhelming to choose the best platform. For starters, examine your goals and customers’ behaviors. Google Ads offers better results for local audiences and lead generation. Facebook Ads is useful for niche audiences and brand awareness. Choose your platform. Get the results. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Create Facebook Reach Ads

Social Media Examiner -

Want the right people to see your Facebook ads more often? Have you considered using the Reach objective? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook’s Reach objective to target hyper-responsive custom audiences with your Facebook advertising. Why Use the Facebook Campaign Reach Objective? The first step in creating any Facebook ad campaign is […] The post How to Create Facebook Reach Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Use Chatbots to Increase Conversion Rates

Reseller Club Blog -

A few years ago, no one knew what chatbots were. Today it seems like every third website has a robot in the corner. That’s not a coincidence. Chatbots have proven to be an effective way to increase revenue in businesses of all sizes. The typical chatbot’s click-through rate ranges from 15-60%. The large range in click-through rate is because chatbots have many uses which, of course, affects the CTR. If you had a click-through rate from email marketing as high as 60% how would that affect your business? It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? This article looks at how chatbots are changing the digital landscape and a few use cases to increase your conversion rates while reducing your costs. What are chatbots? A chatbot is a software program – which may or may not be powered by artificial intelligence – that can conduct conversations with human beings. This definition leaves a lot to be desired because many applications can conduct conversations but don’t qualify as chatbots. So where do you draw the line between app and chatbot? Qualities of a chatbot You can differentiate chatbots from other applications based on how interactions take place. A chatbot has a conversation sequentially. They talk and wait for your reply before continuing. Most applications don’t work like that. Another way to differentiate a chatbot from another application is the fact that it has an identity. You can build a chatbot and name it whatever you want and it’ll maintain that identity. For example, if you have sales and customer service chatbots, you could give each of them a different name. The sales chatbot could be Zig and the customer service chatbot could be zag. Anytime a user needs help in either channel, the correct bot would take over the conversation. For example, named their chatbot GWYN. Each time someone has an interaction with the chatbot, they’re talking to GWYN. Benefits of chatbots and conversational marketing With each day that passes, people are discovering more benefits associated with chatbots. I’ll focus on the ones that have a direct and immediate business impact. Larger salesforce at a lower cost A major challenge with sales is prospecting. You have to properly vet and qualify people. If you don’t, they won’t be a good candidate for your service and a lot of time will be spent without a return. Chatbots can step in and qualify visitors on your website by asking specific questions and appending tags to them depending on their answers. According to BI Intelligence, chatbots can save up to $39 billion a year in salaries across sales and customer support. Get feedback from users that otherwise wouldn’t engage Many people will visit your website, look around, and leave because they couldn’t find what they were looking for. A chatbot goes a long way towards bridging the gap between visitor and conversation. For example, if someone is on your services page and can’t find what they’re looking for, a chatbot makes it easy for them to ask. If the same question keeps coming up you know it’s something that needs to be answered on the page. Conversely, you could ask users if the page their on answered all of their questions. For example, someone is on the pricing page and your chatbot asks them whether pricing is clear. If they select the no option, the chatbot would continue by asking them to tell it what information they were looking for or whether the page was confusing. You can use that feedback to further optimize the pricing page. How to use chatbots plus examples Now, let’s focus on three effective ways to use chatbots to increase conversions across the board. Customized shopping experience It can be daunting for customers to find what they need when you have a large collection of goods or complicated services. A chatbot is able to bridge this gap by asking questions about their wants and needs and segmenting them based on that information. Once segmented, it’s possible for the chatbot to show them specific products or packages from within the chat UI. This is what did with their chatbot GWYN. As of June 2016, 70% of chatbot powered orders were from new customers. Funnel users to specific pages It’s not always possible to close a sale from within the chatbot interface. Sometimes, your visitors need a bit more information or a nudge in the right direction. With chatbots, you’re able to set welcome messages to find out what a visitor needs and proactively give it to them. Leadpages was able to use chatbots and human interactions to boost their conversion rates by 36%. They started off slowly with only live chat then moved on to automating a lot of the process to cut down on the strain their team was feeling. It’s important to note that they supplemented their chatbot usage with a human touch. While I was reading the Leadpages case study, the drift chatbot popped up and did the exact same thing I’m describing here. After a bit of back and forth, it introduced me to the proper page. Customer support One of the most prevalent challenges for rapidly growing companies is maintaining a high level of customer service. It’s not easy to find, hire, and train reps. At the same time, the good ones are expensive. Chatbots are able to step in and serve customers for all but the most complicated issues. They can answer the questions directly or send people to the right resources. This creates a positive experience and keeps your current customers happy (and can encourage people to convert to customers). Amtrak used a chatbot named Julie to answer 5 million questions a year, save $1,000,000, and increase bookings by 30%. The bookings through the chatbot produced 30% more revenue. This is an outlier but it shows how effective chatbots can be for customer service. Conclusion Chatbots, like it or not, are here to stay. Every day, they’re getting cheaper and smarter. Soon, the question won’t be whether or not you should get one but what’s the best way to use it. We’ve only scratched the surface of how you can use chatbots to increase conversion rates. You can either use them directly like 1-800Flowers and Amtrak did or you can utilize them as part of a larger initiative that combines chatbots with a human touch just like Leadpages did. Choose one and test it out for your business. When you start seeing results, add other methods and watch as your conversions continue to rise.  

Why These 3 Elements Are Critical for Content Marketing Success – Here’s Why #209

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

What are the most essential elements necessary for a successful content marketing campaign? In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge reveals how to win at content marketing. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why Resources See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Mark: Eric, what are the key elements of successful content marketing?  Eric: That’s a big question and obviously it depends on the exact goals of the campaign and stuff like that, but all campaigns have some common elements to them.   Mark: What are those common elements?   Eric: Still a great question.   The first one is actually user value. You have to be adding value to the user. That can mean many different things, but in all cases you have to be adding value to the users and creating a sense of connection with your brand.   The second one is differentiation. What makes your content unique and is it something that many other people have written about already? You want to be doing something unique, and then figure out what you can do to bring a new angle.   Also, think about the depth and breadth of your content.  Mark: What do you mean by that term depth and breadth?   Eric: The basic idea is to provide unusually deep coverage of a topic area. For example, your competition might have five articles on a topic. What if you did the extra research and wrote 10? How about 20? That could be a great value to users. Would the result be the best resource on that topic in the entire market? That’s not necessarily a bad place to be.   Mark: Okay. Before we go, do you have anything else you want to add about making a campaign successful?   Eric: Sure.   First of all, don’t overlook the promotion side of things. Once you create the amazing content you do need to tell the world about it. You need to plan your promotional campaign even before you start creating content. One of the things that might happen is in looking at the places where you’re thinking about promoting, you might get more good ideas for what to write because now you kind of know what’s going on in their brains and you can design your content to fit something that’s eminently promotable.   Then figure out how to contact the people that have written about the related topics that you researched in putting together your content plan and figure out how to pitch them in a way that might cause them to reference your stuff.   Really incredibly important that your pitches be customized to every single individual. No mass mailings, please. And then follow-up with an effective outreach campaign to get the word out there.   Mark: Thanks, Eric.   Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

DIY Website? Why Choose To Do This?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

A DIY website builder may seem like a daunting option, but nothing could be further from the truth! Today’s website builders are user-friendly, intuitive, and easy-to-use. DIY Website Builder In fact, more business owners today are choosing to build their own websites than ever before. Why? Because businesses today need a website – there’s no way around that – but hiring a pro can be expensive. Building your own site is an economical option; plus, it gives you total creative control, allowing you to customize design and functionality however you see fit. Continue reading DIY Website? Why Choose To Do This? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

What is Web Hosting?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

If you’re thinking about building a website, it’s likely you’ve heard the term “web hosting.” Your website can’t go live on the Internet without it. But as we’ve learned from dealing with countless clients – just because you’ve heard of web hosting doesn’t mean you know what it is. In a nutshell, hosting services give you the tools you need to get your site up on the web and ready to receive visitors. Continue reading What is Web Hosting? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

What is Cloud VPS Hosting?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

As technology involving the cloud grows and increases its function, Cloud VPS hosting has become an excellent choice when considering hosting options for your website. Using this guide, you will learn the difference between hosting plans, and why Cloud VPS Hosting is better than most of the others. What is Web Hosting? To start off we need to understand web hosting and the role it plays. Web hosting is the act of storing your website’s data onto a server. Continue reading What is Cloud VPS Hosting? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Benefits of Shared Hosting

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Web hosting provides customers and visitors access to your website. While there are multiple options, one of the most popular forms of web hosting services is shared hosting. As the name implies, shared web hosting allows multiple users with individual Internet domains to share and utilize one web server. Multiple websites can also be set up under one user account. This is especially beneficial for small businesses, blogs, and personal websites looking for cost-efficient, easy to use and safe hosting services. Continue reading Benefits of Shared Hosting at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Twitter Adds Subtitles to Native Video

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Twitter video subtitle updates and API changes with special guest Dan Knowlton. Watch the Social Media Marketing […] The post Twitter Adds Subtitles to Native Video appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Where Should I Buy a Domain Name?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Where can you buy a domain name? If you find yourself wondering that, you’re not alone. Many business owners don’t know where to buy a domain name, or even what a domain name is. We’re going to lay the whole process out for you from start to finish. By the end, you’ll not only understand what a domain name is and why you need one, but you’ll know how to find the best deal (and avoid getting scammed into a shady contract). Continue reading Where Should I Buy a Domain Name? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

They Like Us! Reviews of HostGator’s Website Builder

HostGator Blog -

The post They Like Us! Reviews of HostGator’s Website Builder appeared first on HostGator Blog. HostGator affiliates had the first chance to review and demo our new Gator Website Builder before it was released to the public in early 2019. Here are some of their reviews and thoughts on the products… 1.Gator Website Builder handles all the software, updates, and backups. “Gator is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about the software, updates, or backups…Since Gator is a paid product, they don’t sell your data or show any ads on your website.” – WPBeginner If you’re trying to build your very first website (or if you’re short on time), the thought of researching software, learning how to do software updates, scheduling software updates, and managing regular website backups…it can all feel overwhelming. The simplicity of an all-in-one package is one of the biggest benefits of HostGator’s new Gator Website Builder. The website builder package handles all the software updates and backups so you can focus on a great website. 2. The drag-and-drop editor gives you perfect control. “We especially appreciate how Gator’s drag-and-drop interface gives users pixel-perfect control while still suggesting guides and grids for appropriate spacing. Throughout the customization and design phase, users can seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile views to understand how your site will appear to all visitors…sit back and enjoy the confidence in having such a well-rounded tool at their design disposal.” – The drag-and-drop editor that comes with Gator Website Builder gives you full control of where to add elements on a page, and even makes grid-like suggestions on ideas of where elements may fit best. All design templates are mobile-friendly, meaning the design automatically adjusts to the screen size of your website visitor. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to switch between the desktop and mobile view, and you can edit content in each view independently if you want. 3. So many buttons… “There are a good range of elements in most of the key areas, though: six button types, multiple live feeds (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram), various PayPal buttons (Buy Now, Add To Cart, Donate, Check Out) and a range of social media features – social links, sharing icons, Like buttons, Follow buttons and more.” – Techradar All of the design templates come with pre-populated pages that you can customize for your needs. You can add as many elements as you need, from buttons, Google maps, contact forms, and more. No need to know coding languages or go out to various websites for the API code you need, it’s all built into the website builder. 4. Impressive unlimited bandwidth and storage. “Impressively, HostGator – being a top hosting provider – covers its website builder with unlimited bandwidth and storage. This means that there’s no limit on the amount of content, or visitors, your site can handle. In our eyes, this makes Gator a perfect choice for websites that need big image galleries, such as real estate brochures.” That’s right! You’ll be surprised that the low cost includes unlimited pages on your website, plus unmetered storage space and unmetered bandwidth. Unmetered means you aren’t charged for the amount of space that you use. Other website builders put a cap on your storage or charge you to move up in storage space. HostGator’s Website Builder is equipped to handle the amount of content and photos you can throw at it! 5. Robust photo repository and free stock photos. “You can upload multiple images at a time, and everything you upload is stored in an online repository to reuse…If you don’t have pictures of your own, Gator includes a healthy selection of stock photography…Even more impressive, it’s all royalty-free. Several other site  builders…charge you for much of their stock photography.” – PCMag Check out the PCMag review for examples of how Gator Website Builder compares to its competitors. Gator Website Builder comes with a robust photo gallery of stock images that you can use royalty-free on your website. The photos are organized into 18 categories, including architecture, cars, hotels, and sports. No need to go search for photos on the internet, wondering if they are free. These photos are already loaded with your account to use throughout your website as you need. The website builder also includes photo storage to import your own business photos or embed photos via a website link. You can build photo galleries as well. 6. The premade templates are a “blessing in blogging world.” “These pre-made templates will prove to be a “blessing in blogging world” as it will save you tons of time and money…Many other platforms give you only one choice of either a basic website or a blogging platform but Gator gives you both. This is probably the biggest plus of this program that makes Gator stands out more than others…Blog away and start a side hustle that can actually generate a steady income for you.” – Speaking of Cents Gator Website Builder comes with more than 200 professionally-designed templates. The templates are organized by categories such as music & entertainment, pets & animals, and photography so you can quickly find a theme that suits your needs. The website builder has an integrated blog. But you don’t have to start a blog right away, the option is always available and is free to add on whenever you are ready. Thanks to these affiliate team members for reviewing the Gator Website Builder! What about you? Have you tried Gator Website Builder yet? What feature are you most interested to try? Find the post on the HostGator Blog

What Is the Most Affordable Hosting Option?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

VPS hosting, cloud hosting and shared hosting providers–when deciding what form of web hosting service to purchase, the first thing you should ask is, what type of an online presence will your business have? Are you a small business or entrepreneur looking to use your website to advertise and supplement an already established shop? Or will your website be the main focus of your business? The next question is whether your business will be starting out small, building up to more visitor traffic as you grow? Continue reading What Is the Most Affordable Hosting Option? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Responsive Web Design Examples

HostGator Blog -

The post Responsive Web Design Examples appeared first on HostGator Blog. When building a new website or considering a new design for a site you already have, one of the best ways to clarify what you want and get some inspiration is to spend time looking at examples of other websites. For web designers, looking at the layout or design of other websites can spark ideas for how to approach the website you’re working on. And for business owners or amateur website owners who struggle to communicate what they want visually, it’s much easier to analyze what you like and don’t like about another website than it is to figure out what you want from scratch. For modern website design projects, it’s not enough to spend time perusing website examples on desktop alone. A majority of web users today do their searching, browsing, and shopping on mobile devices. When you’re building your website, you have to think about mobile. And that means when you’re searching for inspiration you should as well. What you need is to look for responsive web design examples. What is Responsive Web Design? Responsive web design is the dominant trend in web design today. Responsive websites are designed to look good on all possible screen sizes, while still providing the same information and page elements no matter the device. Designers pull this off by changing the way page layout elements are organized on the website, rather than changing what elements are included. For a simple example, a website that has text and and an image show up side by side on a desktop screen could have the text move below the image when the same page loads on a mobile device. In the coding, designers tell websites how to recognize the type of device or screen size the site is loading on, and change how it appears accordingly. Hence the name “responsive website design”—the website responds to the screen size it’s being viewed on. Responsive website design has become the norm because it’s Google’s preference, which makes it good for search engine optimization (SEO), and because it provides a straightforward way to ensure your mobile visitors get a good experience without having to design a separate mobile website. Having one responsive website versus different websites for different devices saves you the trouble of having to do twice as much work during the initial design phase and for ongoing maintenance. And it means your website will work on the growing range of device types and screen sizes that have now come onto the scene.   In short, whatever type of website you’re looking to build, responsive web design is widely considered the best choice. Why Look at Responsive Web Design Examples? Looking at examples of responsive web design with a flexible layout is a valuable way to come to your own website design project with clearer idea of how you want your website to look. In particular, reviewing examples will help you do a few things. 1. You can see different organization styles. One of the challenges of responsive web design is figuring out how to organize both your website in general and each individual page in particular in a way that remains intuitive and useful no matter the device type. You shouldn’t assume your own experiences and preferences are good enough for this. By looking at the choices other skilled designers have made, you’ll gain an understanding of the overall best practices in responsive website organization. 2. You’ll see how different types of websites approach responsive web design. Different types of websites have different goals. An eCommerce website has the goal of driving sales, while an entertainment site wants to you spend time on the site consuming content. When you view a lot of different responsive websites, you’ll start to see how the different design choices are influenced by a website’s particular goals. That’s good information to bring into your own website’s design. 3. You’ll get a feel for how a good website hierarchy works. Designing your website with a visual hierarchy means thinking through which parts of each page are most important and making sure the design centers them. A common website building mistake is not creating a mobile-responsive web design. It’s especially important for responsive web design, where many of the visitors viewing your website on smaller devices will see less of the page they’re on at a given time. You want to make sure that the most important parts of the page are placed higher up in the design, and that key features and links like your main menu and call to action (CTA) are easy to find. 4. You’ll gain insights into why designers organize things the way they did. As you browse different websites, think about why pages are organized the way they are. Analyze the design choices made in each case: consider how images are used, and where different links, buttons, and other features are placed. Think about the usability of the site and how the overall viewing experience is compared to others. Don’t just take in how the website looks on different devices, think about why. Asking those questions will reveal insights that help you make better design decisions for your own website. 5. You may see examples of design choices to avoid. You can learn a lot from good responsive web design examples, but you can learn just as much from those that don’t work for you. As you browse a website and click around to see different pages or take different actions, pay attention to anything that’s harder to do on a small screen than a desktop. Consider any page elements that don’t look quite right on some screen sizes, because they were clearly designed for others. Those insights will help you determine what not to do. How to Look at Responsive Web Design Examples You don’t have to go out and buy a multitude of device types to see how responsive websites look on all of them. A number of handy responsive design testing tools will let you see how websites look on different screen sizes all from the same device. If you have a computer, tablet, and smartphone you can use to supplement your research, it’s always good to get that more direct experience as well. But to see a larger number of examples in a more efficient way, a tool like Resizer (which we used for all the screenshots below) will make the process more efficient. 15 Responsive Web Design Examples Now that we’ve laid out a convincing argument for why you should pay attention to a variety of responsive web design examples, we’ll help you get right to it. We’ve compiled a list of responsive websites with a variety of website types and subjects covered. Business Responsive Design Examples Every business needs a website these days, and every business website should be responsive in order to reach prospective customers no matter how they come to your site. Here are a few examples of businesses that got the message and created responsive business websites. 1. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Finance, outsourcing, and tax firm CliftonLarsonAllen is a good example of visual hierarchy in a website. You’ll notice all three of the main versions of their responsive website center the same image, message, and call to action (CTA) button. Can you tell what action they want visitors to take? Each website version also provides a number of clear links to learn more based the types of services the visitor is interested in, all of which are easy to spot as you scroll (or right there on the first screen in some cases). 2. The Living Well Women’s health and wellness company, The Living Well, has a simple image-focused website that provides the same information across device types. The initial logo, tagline, and menu items are visible on all versions and communicate what the business is all about. And prospective customers can learn more about the women behind the business and the specific services available by scrolling down, clicking on the relevant links obvious on the page, or following the social buttons that are visible on all screen sizes. 3. Yard Bar The dog park bar and restaurant Yard Bar also has a responsive website that centers images. The sliding images prominently feature the main things you need to know about the business: it’s all about food, drinks, and dogs. Across devices, scrolling down provides more information about those three main categories, plus happy hour times. Anyone visiting the site from any device can quickly learn what the business is about and the main information they need to know before heading over. 4. Bonsai Freelance business software company Bonsai has a clean and clear responsive website. Like CliftonLarsonAllen, they make the main message and CTA clear on the site across devices. The website offers a good example of moving or removing certain elements that are less important on the smaller screen. While for the most part, the page is the same across the devices, the larger screens have a form for providing your email right there on the page. To save space, the mobile version moves the form off the home page, but keeps the CTA there (once you click, you get to a form field). It makes the space look cleaner, while still providing the same basic information and options. 5. Salt Lick Cellars The winery Salt Lick Cellars is another business website that centers images, which makes sense for a business in an industry that often draws customers in with beautiful views. While the cut of the main image on the smartphone screen is smaller—you don’t see as expansive a view of the photo, you still get the main idea of it, along with intuitive access to the menu (a hamburger menu in the top right), and an image directing you to scroll down for more information. eCommerce Responsive Design Examples While business websites have an ultimate goal of trying to sell a product or service, eCommerce websites are trying to make the sale in a more direct fashion—right there on the website itself. It’s worth seeing some examples of how different eCommerce sites use their responsive design to do that across devices. When designing an eCommerce website, it’s especially important that you make your site mobile responsive and easy to use. 6. Paper & Ink Arts Paper & Ink Arts has all the same elements on its mobile homepage as on the desktop and tablet versions, but because of the way the same elements take up different amounts of space, the homepage has a bit of a different feel between devices. The image slideshow that dominates the screen on the larger devices, becomes a smaller banner on mobile in order to make room for other promotions. And the menu is squished into a hamburger menu in order to make space at the top for easy access to search, contact information, and the shopping cart. The choices make clear the company’s priority to make sales, and make it easy for visitors to get in touch. 7. Penzeys Penzeys looks like they designed their main menu with the mobile experience in mind. With four simple categories that take up a narrow amount of space on the larger screens, the menu fits perfectly on the smartphone-sized screen. All three screens make the checkout button in orange and free shipping offer in red in the top right corner obvious. While all versions let the central image that dominates the screen be the tasty-looking images of recipes you can make using the company’s spices (a compelling reason to buy). 8. Bon Bon Bon Like many of the business websites, chocolate shop Bon Bon Bon puts an image with an obvious CTA front and center. It has an image slider, so the image and CTA change, but the CTA is always in a bright red button. As with Paper & Ink though, Bon Bon Bon lets the main image get smaller so it’s more like a banner ad, in order to let some of the other page elements onto the screen on mobile. And the shopping cart and Information link to find contact information remain clear at the top on the mobile screen. 9. The online pet supply store looks very similar across the three devices, with the main difference being the common responsive choice to make the menu into a compressed hamburger menu. This is a rare example of a responsive website where the main image on mobile doesn’t load to fit the screen—you notice it’s cut off, but visitors have the option to scroll left to right to see the parts of the photo you can’t see here. All three versions prominently feature the search bar, to make it easy for visitors to find specific products. And all have the obvious 30% off offer in orange. 10. Pacha Soaps Pacha Soaps has a pretty similar look across devices. As is common in the other websites we’ve seen, they have sliding images that dominate the screen in all three versions. Unlike some of the other examples, the image takes up more screen real estate rather than less on the smartphone screen. While small, they keep the brown menu with their free shipping and social handle information present throughout screen sizes, while switching to a hamburger menu for their main menu on the smaller screen. Personal Website Responsive Design Examples Even if you’re building a personal website to share your passion, rather than sell products or promote a business, it’s worth making your website responsive. Here are a few responsive web design examples from personal websites people have built around their passions. 11. The April Blake April Blake’s blog is primarily focused on sharing recipes she cooks and occasional musings. Her website looks very similar across screen sizes, with just a couple of small differences. The social icons at the very top of the page on desktop are removed on the smaller screens, and the main menu is compressed to a hamburger menu. Otherwise it’s simply a matter of re-arranging the elements on the page to better fit the screen. 12. House of Hipsters Kyla Herbes home design blog, House of Hipsters, changes little between device types. The menu switches to a drop-down menu, the title banner at the top becomes smaller, and the right-side menu moves down the page on the smaller devices. But otherwise, the site’s essentially the same no matter where you’re coming from. 13. I Am Aileen Lifestyle and travel blogger I Am Aileen’s responsive website centers a image slideshow on all device sizes, with an obvious search bar and social icons above it. The main menu becomes a hamburger menu on mobile, and the boxes of content and images below the main image become stacked on the smaller screen. 14. The Frugal Girl The Frugal Girl blog keeps the logo and tagline visible at the top across website types, and centers the top blog post in all three versions. The main menu becomes a hamburger menu on the smallest screen, and the information and images in the right-side menu get pushed to the bottom. 15. Budget Bytes Finally, the recipe site Budget Bytes centers the image and details of the most recent recipe on all device sizes, but moves the details and name below the image on the mobile device. The logo and website name show up at the top in all three versions. And, as is common in our examples, the main menu is replaced with a hamburger menu in the mobile version, along with a search icon to make more space at the top of the screen. While the images and names of additional recipes show up side by side below the main image on the two larger screens, they become stacked on the mobile device. Ready to Create a Responsive Website? As all these examples demonstrate, there are a number of ways to organize a responsive website that works equally well on all device types. And you don’t have to be a big business with a large budget to create a responsive website—many of these examples are of small businesses or individuals. If you want a simple, affordable way to create a responsive website, the Gator Website Builder has over 100 responsive templates that provide a headstart to putting together a website that looks good and works across device types. To get started with building your website, give our professionals a call at HostGator to find the right web hosting option for you. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Power Up Your Web Hosting With Your Own Code

InMotion Hosting Blog -

We’ve been in the web hosting business for a long time. And we’ve found one of the most consistent benefits of web hosting is being able to control your own destiny. Learning how to do your own coding gives you the greatest level of control over what you can do with your hosting. So where can you learn how to code? The web is a great place to start. Continue reading Power Up Your Web Hosting With Your Own Code at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Create Video Ad Funnels That Work

Social Media Examiner -

Thinking about creating more video ads? Wondering how to produce more effective social media video ads? To explore how to create video ad funnels that work, I interview video ads expert Travis Chambers. His company, Chamber Media, specializes in creating scalable social video ads for clients such as Turkish Airlines, NordicTrack, and Yahoo. Travis explains […] The post How to Create Video Ad Funnels That Work appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Docker, Amazon ECS, and Spot Fleets: A Great Fit Together

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Guest post by AWS Container Hero Tung Nguyen. Tung is the president and founder of BoltOps, a consulting company focused on cloud infrastructure and software on AWS. He also enjoys writing for the BoltOps Nuts and Bolts blog. EC2 Spot Instances allow me to use spare compute capacity at a steep discount. Using Amazon ECS with Spot Instances is probably one of the best ways to run my workloads on AWS. By using Spot Instances, I can save 50–90% on Amazon EC2 instances. You would think that folks would jump at a huge opportunity like a black Friday sales special. However, most folks either seem to not know about Spot Instances or are hesitant. This may be due to some fallacies about Spot. Spot Fallacies With the Spot model, AWS can remove instances at any time. It can be due to a maintenance upgrade; high demand for that instance type; older instance type; or for any reason whatsoever. Hence the first fear and fallacy that people quickly point out with Spot: What do you mean that the instance can be replaced at any time? Oh no, that must mean that within 20 minutes of launching the instance, it gets killed. I felt the same way too initially. The actual Spot Instance Advisor website states: The average frequency of interruption across all Regions and instance types is less than 5%. From my own usage, I have seen instances run for weeks. Need proof? Here’s a screenshot from an instance in one of our production clusters. If you’re wondering how many days that is…. Yes, that is 228 continuous days. You might not get these same long uptimes, but it disproves the fallacy that Spot Instances are usually interrupted within 20 minutes from launch. Spot Fleets With Spot Instances, I place a single request for a specific instance in a specific Availability Zone. With Spot Fleets, instead of requesting a single instance type, I can ask for a variety of instance types that meet my requirements. For many workloads, as long as the CPU and RAM are close enough, many instance types do just fine. So, I can spread my instance bets across instance types and multiple zones with Spot Fleets. Using Spot Fleets dramatically makes the system more robust on top of the already mentioned low interruption rate. Also, I can run an On-Demand cluster to provide additional safeguard capacity. ECS and Spot Fleets: A Great Fit Together This is one of my favorite ways to run workloads because it gives me a scalable system at a ridiculously low cost. The technologies are such a great fit together that one might think they were built for each other. Docker provides a consistent, standard binary format to deploy. If it works in one Docker environment, then it works in another. Containers can be pulled down in seconds, making them an excellent fit for Spot Instances, where containers might move around during an interruption. ECS provides a great ecosystem to run Docker containers. ECS supports a feature called connection instance draining that allows me to tell ECS to relocate the Docker containers to other EC2 instances. Spot Instances fire off a two-minute warning signal letting me know when it’s about to terminate the instance. These are the necessary pieces I need for building an ECS cluster on top of Spot Fleet. I use the two-minute warning to call ECS connection draining, and ECS automatically moves containers to another instance in the fleet. Here’s a CloudFormation template that achieves this: ecs-ec2-spot-fleet. Because the focus is on understanding Spot Fleets, the VPC is designed to be simple. The template specifies two instance types in the Spot Fleet: t3.small and t3.medium with 2 GB and 4 GB of RAM, respectively. The template weights the t3.medium twice as much as the t3.small. Essentially, the Spot Fleet TargetCapacity value equals the total RAM to provision for the ECS cluster. So if I specify 8, the Spot Fleet service might provision four t3.small instances or two t3.medium instances. The cluster adds up to at least 8 GB of RAM. To launch the stack run, I run the following command: aws cloudformation create-stack --stack-name ecs-spot-demo --template-body file://ecs-spot-demo.yml --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM The CloudFormation stack launches container instances and registers them to an ECS cluster named developmentby default. I can change this with the EcsCluster parameter. For more information on the parameters, see the README and the template source. When I deploy the application, the deploy tool creates the ECS cluster itself. Here are the Spot Instances in the EC2 console. Deploy the demo app After the Spot cluster is up, I can deploy a demo app on it. I wrote a tool called Ufo that is useful for these tasks: Build the Docker image. Register the ECS task definition. Register and deploy the ECS service. Create the load balancer. Docker should be installed as a prerequisite. First, I create an ECR repo and set some variables: ECR_REPO=$(aws ecr create-repository --repository-name demo/sinatra | jq -r '.repository.repositoryUri') VPC_ID=$(aws ec2 describe-vpcs --filters Name=tag:Name,Values="demo vpc" | jq -r '.Vpcs[].VpcId') Now I’m ready to clone the demo repo and deploy a sample app to ECS with ufo. git clone demo cd demo ufo init --image $ECR_REPO --vpc-id $VPC_ID ufo current --service demo-web ufo ship # deploys to ECS on the Spot Fleet cluster Here’s the ECS service running: I then grab the Elastic Load Balancing endpoint from the console or with ufo ps. $ ufo ps Elb: $ Now I test with curl: $ curl 42 The application returns “42,” the meaning of life, successfully. That’s it! I now have an application running on ECS with Spot Fleet Instances. Parting thoughts One additional advantage of using Spot is that it encourages me to think about my architecture in a highly available manner. The Spot “constraints” ironically result in much better sleep at night as the system must be designed to be self-healing. Hopefully, this post opens the world of running ECS on Spot Instances to you. It’s a core of part of the systems that BoltOps has been running on its own production system and for customers. I still get excited about the setup today. If you’re interested in Spot architectures, contact me at BoltOps. One last note: Auto Scaling groups also support running multiple instance types and purchase options. Jeff mentions in his post that weight support is planned for a future release. That’s exciting, as it may streamline the usage of Spot with ECS even further.

The Ultimate Combo for Agencies: WordPress, WP Engine, and Genesis

WP Engine -

Digital agencies have the difficult task of finding the latest technologies and using them to help their clients win online. But that’s an increasingly hard thing to do, especially as these businesses are asked to do more with less, and create digital experiences that are faster and more dynamic than ever. Today, a growing number… The post The Ultimate Combo for Agencies: WordPress, WP Engine, and Genesis appeared first on WP Engine.


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