Why Is Your Website Not Getting Enough Visits?

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People visit or leave your website for a reason. When people visit, it means they are interested in the products or services your company wants to offer. Some website owners invest in making sure that the website looks presentable and pleasing to the eyes without realizing that there are other aspects that must be kept in mind. There are four reasons people leave your website:

1. Takes 3 seconds or more to load

Slow websites drive people away. It is estimated that 40% of visitors are more likely to leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. There are many reasons for the slow speed such as too large images, scripts, HTML and CSS. This problem can be resolved by ensuring that the sizes are kept to a minimum. Crazy animations can also contribute to slow loading time. Your web host provider has to do with the slow speed as well. Make sure you check your website speed regularly and change host if you are not getting a reliable web host.

2. Lack of graphic element and readability

Not everyone visiting your website can navigate it with ease. Before designing your website, make sure that you do not miss out on site navigation. Expect some visitors who are not familiar with navigating the website. If they are not sure how to use your website, they will choose to leave it instead. When thinking about the design of your website, you will also have to think about its functionality. Your website should be simple, clear and professional.

3. Not mobile responsive

Since everyone is using their smartphones for online transactions, it is imperative that your business does not fall behind the digital trend. If your website is not mobile responsive, there is a greater chance for your audience to abandon your website. They will move on to another source that offers mobile responsive website. It is important to take your audience’s mobile needs into consideration so you can create a responsive mobile design.

4. Not updating blog posts

Regular visitors want to stay updated by reading on your website. If they do not see anything new, they are less likely to stay. This is why you need to update your content frequently so visitors will know that you keep them engaged. With regard to the frequency, think about the type of niche you have and the audience you are trying to target. You will be able to have a loyal reader when they have something to look forward to on a regular basis.

4 Best Practices To Protect Your Website From Hackers

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Hackers do not choose which website to hack, though this is what people choose to believe. Even if your website is not a big one, there is still a great chance that it will get hacked. In fact, you are most likely to be a good target for hackers because of this false belief. Even if you have a small business, keeping your guards down is not an option. No matter the size, regardless of time, your website gets hacked all the time.

When talking about hacking, the first thing that comes to mind is stealing data or defacing the website. However, these are not the only types of security breaches taking place on the World Wide Web. There are also devious attempts to turn your server into a temporary server for illegal files or an email relay for sending spam. Your website can be protected from suspicious activities and there are 4 ways to keep it secure.

1. Make sure your software is updated

Your website should run on up-to-date software to ensure that it is impervious to cyber attacks. Running updates regularly will help you to identify if your website is supported by the most recent version of the software. Even if you are using third-party plug-ins, you need to keep information updated and implement them in a timely manner. It is easy to forget about keeping your third-party plug-ins updated, but outdated plug-ins can pose a serious threat to your website. It can even become a gateway for hackers to destroy your website.

2. Install antivirus

Malicious attacks happen when you do not reinforce security around your website. Aside from installing antivirus, it is also important to install firewall. They can sift out malicious requests, inspect incoming traffic and protect your website from spam. A web host provider that has the ability to handle website security threats must be considered. It is also recommended to choose a dedicated hosting server so you can prevent attacks due to sharing your server with multiple websites.

3. Switch to HTTPS

Sensitive information cannot be transferred from an unsecured server. This is why switching to HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure ensures you have a secure communications protocol. It ensures that there is an additional encryption called Transport Layer Security (TLS), which serves as extra security from hackers. More often than not, e-commerce websites have layers of encryptions so online transactions are protected.

4. Use strong passwords

One way hackers attack is by guessing username/password combinations. There is an alarming rise of attacks in the last two years. It is prevalent across the globe. Brute force attacks can be eliminated by creating strong passwords. A strong password is a combination of alphanumeric characters, symbols, upper and lower case letters. It should be at least 12 characters long. As much as possible, you should not use the password for all website logins. Make it a habit to change your passwords regularly as well.

Reasons Your Website Is Loading Slow

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Several studies have revealed the importance of web performance when it comes to converting leads into sales. These studies show that 40% of visitor abandon a site when a webpage takes longer than three seconds to load. For e-commerce websites, online shoppers can get frustrated when they experience loading issues and may not return to purchase again. A website that loads slow can lose conversions even if it is only a difference of few seconds. Here are 5 reasons your webpage takes longer to load:

1. Unoptimised Images

Heavy image size, using a lot of server resources can affect your website. The good news is, this problem can be addressed by reducing the image size. In most cases, reducing the size of your image will also mean losing its pixel quality. There are tools that allows you to make changes to the size without affecting its quality.

2. Server Configuration

Problems of slow loading are also due to bad server configuration. A hosting plan that you are currently subscribed with usually has features that allow you to compress so you can run multiple sites on a single server. You will have improved performance because these features allow you to send and receive many HTTP requests. You will no longer need to open a new connection in this case every time you receive or send each and every request.

3. Extra Plugins and Themes

It is possible that your website loads slowly because of unwanted extras. If your dashboard is overloaded with themes, plugins and comments, it is important to remove them to speed up your website. You will also have to clear unnecessary lines of code such as HTML, CSS and JS. They can also contribute to your website’s poor performance.

4. Too Many Social Media Scripts

Your website enables sharing options so to allow users to share your posts. However, it can have a negative effect on your website if all the sharing options are loaded. Make sure you only have enough social media scripts on your website to avoid killing your website’s performance.

5. JavaScript and CSS files

You may not be aware that you have a lot of JS and CSS files on your website. When there is an increase in the number of requests, it can also result in slowing your website. As much as possible, you should try minimising the use of JS and CSS files. There are hosting plans that provide an option to minimise JS and CSS. Doing this creates a dramatic change to your website’s performance.

The Basics Of Building A Website

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There are free website builder services that you can use for building your own website, but when the time comes that you want one to go live, you need to think about the initial costs involved because you will need more than just free website builders. A lot of beginners are afraid of investing in paid website builders. This is why turning to services that will not tie you to a monthly fee is very appealing.

The problem with free services is that they have limited features. As your business expands, your needs also increase and a basic website is not enough. There are 3 essential elements that a website needs before it goes live:

1. Domain Name

A domain name provides identity to your website. Imagine memorising a string of numbers every time you visit a site. They are not easy to remember especially if you have a lot of websites to visit. A domain name is required when building a website. The name you choose must be related to your brand and business.

In the event your domain name is not available, you will need to choose another domain or acquire it from its current owner. With regard to domain acquisition, you will need to spend a vast amount of money. For starters, registering an available domain saves you from spending more. For businesses that are keen on building online reputation, getting a specific domain is recommended.

2. Web Host Service

Once you have registered a domain you will need a provider to host your website. The hosting packages on offer will vary from provider to provider. Choosing can be tricky as there are many options to consider. Some of the notable features to consider include uptime percentage, disk space and customer support. Businesses that are launching a professional operation are advised to go for a large web hosting package. It is also advised to base choices more on the hosting features rather than the price. If you only intend to run a basic website, a basic package will suffice. It  usually offers 1 GB of disk space.

3. File Transfer Protocol

Your web host provider also offers you an option to upload information once you get access to cPanel, where you will need to set up an FTP or File Transfer Protocol. When uploading files, you will need to navigate to a particular folder. Most of these applications are pretty straightforward. Once you log in, you will be able to see the website’s folder structure.

How To Choose The Right Web Host To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

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Website owners have many reasons for creating a website and one of the most common ones is for marketing purposes. With a website, you will be able to increase brand awareness as customers will be able to find you. It is also through your website that you can showcase what you can offer to customers and why prospects should choose you. Once you create your website, you will be confronted by many decisions including the design and functionality, content and even search engine optimisation. Aside from these elements, business owner must also focus on actual hosting.

As you do your research and discover relevant information, there are other aspects of web hosting that you need to keep in mind. With that said, comparing apples with apples is essential.

Uptime and Security Guarantee

When it comes to selecting the right website host, you should find out what the hosting company’s uptime guarantee is. Customers do not like to experience an error message or blank screen every time they visit your website. Choose companies that can guarantee an uptime of at least 99%. Aside from uptime guarantee, you should also take security guarantee into consideration. With data breach and cyber attacks being a huge issue these days, businesses must add layers of protection to protect websites from being the next target. It is also imperative to protect customers’ information such as email addresses, credit card numbers and passwords.

Back Up For Site Content

You may encounter problems, which may result in deleting important data from your website. Whether it is caused by a hacking issue or a mistake from your end, having a hosting company that ensures your data is backed up should be your priority. Although the process can also be done without the web hosting company’s assistance, you may not have enough time at your disposal to handle the task on a daily basis.

Scalable Plan

As your business grows, the company you sign up for must also have the ability to scale with you. A hosting provider with different levels of service on offer enables you to upgrade over time. It will also be a huge help if you choose providers that will allow you to change plans without charging any exit or cancellation fees. There are companies that give you options to change up or down based on your needs. If you need more bandwidth, an upgrade should not cost you an arm and a leg.

Customer Support

Your website may not always be up and running and a reliable customer support that you can get a hold of 24 hours a day is essential. A customer representative who can get any problems sorted out quickly will prevent any issues, which may take place while you are having an ad run or send an email newsletter.

Why Domain Names Are Important

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For your website to have a unique identity, a domain name is essential. The domain name has to be unique to ensure that no two parties hold the same domain name as this can create a problem and will defeat the purpose of building your brand identity. Your domain name is not only your identity but your online business card as well. Unfortunately, there are people who do not give importance to their domain name without realising that doing so will also result in losing their whole online identity.

It is easy to lose your domain name if you do not understand how it works. Technically, a domain name is used for identifying and finding computers on the Internet. Since computers use Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, a series of numbers are used for identification purposes. Since there are many IP addresses out there, domain names are created to form an identity unique to each website. Without a domain name, your web address will be translated into IP numbers. Imagine the ordeal of remembering a series of numbers.

Choosing a domain name

A word or phrase is used as a domain name. When it comes to exploring some possible options, it is essential to think of catchy phrases or words that potential customers can easily remember and will bring traffic to the site. As much as possible, use a domain name that represents your website. For instance, if you are a web developer, your domain name should be relevant to the product and service you are offering.

Keeping your domain name short is also recommended. Stick to 5 to 20 characters so it is easy to remember. Aside from keeping it short, ensuring that domain names are spelled correctly will also help you to avoid brand problems.

How do you obtain a domain name?

You can get a domain name in two ways: 1.)register the domain name yourself; 2.)get your web host service provider to register the domain name for you.

If you prefer to register a domain name yourself, choosing a Registrar will be the first step. Choosing from hundreds of registrars can be tricky and some of them may even offer a low yearly fee. If you choose to have a web host register the domain name for you, the provider will have their own approved registrar. Since providers are doing this process many times, the essential information they need are already available. The process can save time and effort.

Why register?

Private registration is encouraged to keep unsolicited e-mails and phone calls at bay. Registering a domain without private registration will make your information accessible to the public and  you can become a likely target of companies sending unsolicited mails, e-mails and phone calls.

What Is Web Hosting Control Panel?

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Once you subscribe to a web hosting service, you will be introduced to the control panel, which is your webhosting account’s administration portion. What you can see here is the interface where all the aspects of your webhosting account can be found. This is where backend development happens as the control panel allows you to control all portions of your website.

Now that you have an idea what a control panel is, you may want to take a look at some of the control panel basics.

The control panel allows you to get a glimpse of the following:

a. Disk space usage
b. Hosting package
c. Bandwidth usage for the month
d. IP Address
e. Path to Sendmail
f. Version Identification
g. Quantity of:
-MySQL databbases
-FTP accounts
-Add on domains
-Email accounts
-Mailing lists
-Parked domains

The control panel also lets you manage your files or the actual content on your website. File management includes backing up your files. This is an important process especially when you decide to migrate to another web hosting service provider. This section also lets you create FTP accounts, which you can use for an FTP client. FTP accounts make it easier for you to upload and download documents to your website.

You can also create new folders or directories, create new files, change permissions, move, copy or delete files and folders.

The control panel gives you the option to administer email settings such as creating email addresses and setting quotas. You can also set up auto responders, mailing lists and forwarders. Some web host service providers may also provide additional features such as anti-spam tools that allow you to turn on or turn off a spam filter.

Since maintaining levels of security is also important in managing a website, the control panel gives you special permissions to protect directories so information is kept confidential. This section gives you the ability to create a username and a password so hackers and cyberattackers will not easily gain access  to sensitive information. You can even block a particular visitor if you deem their activity suspicious.

There are also other applications you can find in the control panel such as blogs, classified ad management, image galleries, polls, project management, site builders and many more. More advanced options are available and some of them may no longer be familiar to you such as network tools, frontpage extensions, domain management, PHP administration and other features.

 

What Is Included In Your Web Hosting Package?

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What do web hosting and Internet services have in common? They are both an intangible service as you cannot touch or see them. This is why it is possible for most web hosting packages to offer the same service features. There can even be cases when you are paying more than you are getting.

You can go for the cheapest web hosting services or the most expensive plans, but they do not guarantee uninterrupted and valuable service. Before you commit to buying web hosting plan, you need to be aware of the things included in your package. You can buy the most expensive package, and only get the cheapest service.

So what is really included in your package?

Servers

Although servers cannot be seen, you can spend a vast amount of money for the physical equipment intended for the servers. The equipment involves rack-mounted computers. If you choose premium web hosting companies, the equipment will be more advanced as they are faster. As a result, your website will also have faster loading times.

Data Centers

Aside from servers, data centers are also responsible for keeping your website up and running. Data centers are composed of high speed and high bandwidth internet access. The equipment must be maintained and guarded at all times.

Software

Web hosting companies use Open Source, but licensed and paid control panel is the most popular option. Some who have a very specific need for Windows hosting will also consider subscribing for a Windows hosting plan.

Internet Connection

Although Internet service and web hosting service are two different things, web hosting will only work with the help of internet connectivity. Web hosting data requires bandwidth and speed to function.

Support

You are not only paying for the web hosting package but the technical support as well. In fact, support is an important part of your web hosting package because if your web hosting service is not functioning properly, you can turn to customer support for help. Never choose a web hosting package without a support plan.

When searching for web hosting plans, avoid choosing the cheapest one. Cheap plans can have a negative impact on your website and there is no guarantee that you will get support when you need it. Choose web hosting plans that can provide you quality service. It is also important to remember that price alone is not an indicator of quality. If you want lower downtime, better connectivity and fast processor, you will need to choose premium web hosting service.

Are Free Web Hosting Services Good?

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Website development is vital to building strong online presence. While it is a huge expense, small business owners should not cut cost by choosing free services. As they say, “you get what you pay for.” Having said that, website issues cannot be properly addressed if you cheap out on hosting.

Reasons choosing a free host is a bad idea

If you want high quality web host service that keeps your website up and running, choosing companies that do not charge for their hosting service will not give you excellent results. Although you will be offered a free trial for the first month, you will eventually choose a paid subscription to access premium features.

Free hosting plans have security issues that can compromise your website. Low security level means your website will be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Your website can get deleted and your identity can be stolen.

There are also limitations that you need to put up with when choosing free web hosting. Using sub-domains is one of its limitations. You will also have to bear with limited space and bandwidth. With limited space, you are left with no choice but to exclude some file types. With too many restrictions, adding image or contact form will not be possible.

Paid web hosting service offers 24/7 customer support. If your website has encountered a problem, you can easily get access to support any time of the day.

Your website will also run slow if there are too many users on the same server. Since your website helps you convert leads into customers, not being able to access your website will lose your chances of converting leads.

Free hosting services have forced advertising, which can be distracting to users. These ads will pop up occasionally and it is impossible to remove them. The problem with forced ads is that they can cause website traffic. When your website is cluttered with unrelated banners, it will look unprofessional to users. You search engine rankings can suffer as well.

It is such a big risk if you are going to put your trust in free hosting service because it will mean that you give power to the company to control your website. The web hosting company will be the one to decide about your website’s presence. You cannot build great online reputation if your website’s credibility is in question. Potential customers will not take your business seriously because you have signed up for a free hosting service.

If your aim is to build your online business, think about choosing a reliable hosting service. Aside from unlimited hosting, you can also gain access to 24/7 customer support in case you have problems with your website.

What Are The Factors To Consider When Planning Your Website’s Content?

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Building a website is essential in creating online presence. It primarily involves technical processes such as coding and web designing. While the audience may see cool graphics and effects, the process behind every website’s aesthetic and visual appeal requires an expert with exceptional technical capability. While everyone can learn how to build a website, delivering the message you wish to convey needs quality content.

A website designer cannot force a design into the website without taking some factors into consideration. Before any programming can take place, planning a website’s content is the first step a business owner should take. When you plan your content, you will be able to have a better insight of what will happen. Planning enables you to choose the words, images and information that should be included in your website. You will also know the essential technical elements that will capture your audience’s interest.

Your audience plays an important role in the process of building a website. Ask yourself about the audience your website wants to target. Once you know your target audience, you will be able to know the design and mood for your website. Defining your content will not only target the right audience but also establish your brand’s identity.

Breaking down your content

When profiling your audience, you need to consider their interests and needs. You will be able to know the scope of your website this way. Spending a little more time on each section of your website will give you a better view of the kind of identity you want for your website.

The Importance of SiteMap

Building a website involves putting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies in place. SiteMaps are vital to your SEO strategy. It should be built before the site is completed. SiteMaps are the first file that Google looks for when it crawls a site. A SiteMap is the foundation of web design.

Visual Representation

A SiteMap is considered as your visual representation that dictates your site design and content. You can rearrange or review your website so it will be aligned to the mission and vision of your business. It is necessary to update your website from time to time so that it meets the demands of current website technology. Think about your content plan so you can finalise your website design. Once you finish the website, make it a point to produce regular content. A mobile-responsive website is also essential as most people are using their mobile devices to access the internet.