8 Actionable Content Marketing Tips For 2018

8 Actionable Content Marketing Tips For 2018

 Get the latest content marketing tips for 2018. Discover all the nuances for developing content that works! Authored by HaNayan Kariya(shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Featured image courtesy of Natasa Adzic via Bigstockphoto. We are living in the World where a lot of content is produced on every single day. And high-quality content is truly the king. Some content is good whereas some are not. People like good content and come back again and again to read. People don’t like to watch ads. Nowadays, people take information without the care of banners. So we can say that content marketing strategies are constantly evolving & changing. To stand out from the crowd, you need to have some decent content marketing strategies with you. Suppose you have written a well researched long article and nobody is interested to read it. How will you feel? I would definitely feel sad& I bet you too. There are many companies producing a good amount of content daily. To promote that content, they need to market that content. Until and unless you don’t get revenue for your content, your content is useless. So there are many big companies which are investing more and more money for content marketing. With the help of content marketing, these companies achieve their predefined goals. I know you must be aware of benefits of Content Marketing & let’s have a quick refresher. This will make it easier for you to grasp the new content marketing strategies for 2018. Benefits of Content Marketing 1. More on-site Content: This is...
7 Working Ways to Boost WordPress Loading Speed

7 Working Ways to Boost WordPress Loading Speed

Russell M. Rexroad (instantshift.com) shares 7 simple ways to improve WordPress loading speed. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of razihusin via Bigstockphoto.  The primary thing a client encounters about your site, even before the outline or substance, is its stacking speed. A normal web client anticipates that a page will stack between 500 ms (fast) and 2 seconds (moderate, yet satisfactory). On the off chance that you check your site’s stacking time and it ends up being over 2 seconds, consider your site at the danger of being skipped or shut by the client. As a larger part of sites are based on WordPress nowadays, in this manner to support the speed and execution of your site, it is prescribed to comprehend the progression of page stacking speeds with WordPress, and to learn tips and traps that empower you to accelerate your WordPress site. Oh my goodness the best of them. Use lightweight systems and topics Perpetually, WordPress topics convey a decent lot of swell, which pulls down your site’s page stack speeds. This swell is connected to overwhelming stock pictures, wasteful and long codes, and so forth. The best foot forward is to strike the correct mix between a subject’s visual interest and its page stack speeds. When searching for a WordPress subject, remember the accompanying focuses: Check audits of the topic, and particularly look for data on execution. Do execution trial of the topic’s demo pages. Pay special mind to default WordPress subjects, which are lightweight in code, and subsequently perform well. Look at...
7 Myths About HTTPS and SSL Certificates You Shouldn’t Believe

7 Myths About HTTPS and SSL Certificates You Shouldn’t Believe

SSL certificates allow websites to encrypt and secure traffic, but there are many misunderstandings about how it works. Let’s debunk them. About the author: Philip Bates (MakeUseOf) is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of  sarayut via Bigstockphoto. Take a look at the URL for this article and you’ll see that it starts with https. That “s” at the end means the connection between your device and this site is secure. On the web, secure connections are usually established using a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. These can be confusing, partly because there are many myths about them that you simply shouldn’t believe. Let’s debunk a few of the more common ones! Myth 1: “Only E-Commerce Sites Need SSL” You’ve probably heard that only sites requiring personal data need SSL certificates. It’s a fair assumption: after all, you should be trained by now to notice encryption on sites that request private information. It’s true that, when signing up and logging in, you definitely need to check the address bar reads “https”. But encryption is vital for all sites, whether e-commerce or a small blog. Firstly, Google defaults to a secure version of a site. Google Chrome users who visit a site which doesn’t have an SSL certificate will instead see a warning page. This will inform them that the page is not secure. Secondly, those visiting via other browsers will consider you more trustworthy. Most users now know about checking for secure connections, so installing an SSL certificate is a sign...
Why Video is Exploding on Social Media in 2018 – and How You Can Take Advantage

Why Video is Exploding on Social Media in 2018 – and How You Can Take Advantage

Over the last few years, the growth of video has been astronomical.  No matter what your company does, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest video platforms, you are going to lose. Written by Melissa DuShane, wyzowl.com. Melissa is an award-winning copywriter and content strategist who combines creative experience with SEO and digital marketing expertise from working for high tech companies and start-ups. Feature image courtesy of PureSolution via Bigstockphoto.  There’s been an explosion of growth in video on social media in recent years. Views of branded video content have increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. On Twitter, a video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet. If you haven’t taken a closer look at the power of social media and video together, you’re in for a surprise. The numbers are big. Really big. “I see video as a megatrend,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, February 2017 We could go on and on with more numbers like that, but it’s better to show you. Let’s see how brands are driving dramatic growth with video on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Facebook Facebook has the largest audience of any social network, with more than 2.07 billion monthly active users. That’s more than one-third of the world’s population, and a whole lot of those people are watching video. Around 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook. Like YouTube, Facebook has a massive and diverse audience, which makes it harder to characterise than the emoji-filled landscape of SnapChat. The overall point to remember about Facebook is that people come to be entertained. In...
10 Ignored SEO Tasks That Can Boost Your Rankings

10 Ignored SEO Tasks That Can Boost Your Rankings

In this post, we go into detail on ten often ignored tasks that will boost your rankings. The original article is from semrush.com. The author, Lenny Johnson is is a freelance writer and content strategist at B2B Content Lab. He engineers high impact content that builds authority, drive sales and increases customer loyalty for B2B SaaS and marketing brands. SEMrush’s digital marketing blog is an innovative resource for content strategy, content marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, social media and more. Image courtesy of Sikov via Bigstockphoto.  Search ranking will make or break your business, 46.8% of the global population accessed the Internet in 2017, and that figure is expected to reach 53.7% by 2021. The number of daily searches on Google is over 4 billion, and the top five results get 65% of the clicks. In fact, 75% of users don’t even click past the first page of the search results. Paid Ads won’t save you either, with 80% of search engine users avoiding them all together. With so much on the line for those lucrative top spots, the competition is fierce. Content marketing is expected to be a $300 billion industry by 2019. More and more businesses are realizing its importance, and even view their blogs as an essential asset. The SERPs are becoming a vicious battleground, and it is crucial, now more than ever, to focus on SEO. Every second you waste is time your competitors are using to get higher rankings and most of the money in your niche. For those that don’t live in the SEO world, the tasks required to compete in the SERPS can seem overwhelming. In this post, I will show you some overlooked SEO tasks that will help skyrocket you to the top. 1. Create Rich Cards...
31 Power Tips for Chrome That Will Improve Your Browsing Instantly

31 Power Tips for Chrome That Will Improve Your Browsing Instantly

This guide covers power user tips for making the most of Chrome’s features and someextensions that will expand Chrome’s functionality. About the author: Lori Kaufman (MakeUseOf) is a freelance technical writer living in the Sacramento, CA area. She’s a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics.  MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of PixieMe via Bigstockphoto. Google Chrome is a fast and easy-to-use browser with a simplistic and minimalistic design. Many features have been added over the years to make your browsing experience easier and more enjoyable. Today we’ll cover power user tips for making the most of Chrome’s features and some extensions that will expand Chrome’s functionality. 1. Try Out Chrome’s Experimental Feature Chrome contains many experimental features that are not enabled by default. These are features being tried out and some may make it into the main browser program. These experimental features, or flags, may not work perfectly and may be removed at any time. If they cause problems in Chrome, disable any flags you enabled. That should put things back to normal. You can use the Reset all to default button at the top of the chrome://flags page to change all the flags to their default settings at once. Several of the tips in this article involve changing flags, so our first tip shows you how to access them. Type “chrome://flags” in the address bar and press Enter. Use the Search flags box to find the flag you want to change. Each flag has a tag you can use to quickly access...
5 Lesser-Known Free Stock Image Sites for Images That Stick Out

5 Lesser-Known Free Stock Image Sites for Images That Stick Out

These lesser-known stock photography sites are just as good as any of the popular ones. Try them for royalty-free images. About the author: Mihir Patkar (MakeUseOf) is a freelance writer on technology and life hacks, who firmly believes chocolate is the answer to any question. You can usually find him saying other such silly things on Twitter. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of  byrdyak via Bigstockphoto. Photos and images have copyrights. If you want to use an image, you need permission from the photographer or employ other legal ways to use a photo. The easiest free option is to use a royalty-free image. The internet is full of amazing stock photography sites that give you such free images. You’ve probably heard of the more popular ones like Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay. But everyone goes there! So if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need images from places that most people don’t know about. These lesser-known stock photography sites are just as good as any of the popular ones. But since you are one of the lucky few MakeUseOf readers to know about them, chances are that they will be unique in your circles. 1. UnDraw: Illustrations for Designs and Mockups in SVG Format Whether you’re designing a new app or creating a PowerPoint presentation, a few good illustrations can really spruce things up. SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphics, is the most popular format for that. And UnDraw is a resource for such free, hand-drawn illustrations. All of the graphics on the site are completely free and don’t even require an...
Why Your Small Business Website Sucks and How to Fix It

Why Your Small Business Website Sucks and How to Fix It

Check out some of the common reasons why your website could be struggling to convert visitors, and see some fixes for each potential problem. The original article is from semrush.com. The author, Deb Dey is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 10 years of industry experience. He is the founder and the CEO of a small digital branding agency – 3Leaps. SEMrush’s digital marketing blog is an innovative resource for content strategy, content marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, social media and more. Image courtesy of pyty via Bigstockphoto.  If you are a small business owner and your website isn’t delivering returns along expected lines, it is time to take a cold hard look at it. You need to identify what is wrong with it (why it sucks) and then fix the problem. You can’t shut your eyes to the problem, especially if your website is the beating heart of your business. Let’s look at some of the reasons why your small business website sucks and what you can do about it: Website Doesn’t Grab Immediate Attention Do you know how much time you have to make an impression on users landing on your website for the first time? Hold your breath! It is five seconds. Yes, you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your users. If you don’t, you probably will lose them forever. As a small business, you can’t afford to let that happen. So, look at your website and check and see if it can hold the attention of its visitors immediately. If you think it doesn’t, it is time to make some changes to your website. The Fix Use customizable templates (this is taking into...
How Writers Can Use Markdown in WordPress to Improve Blogging Experience?

How Writers Can Use Markdown in WordPress to Improve Blogging Experience?

In this article, we’ll go over what Markdown is all about and how you can start using it with WordPress. This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of romankosolapov via Bigstockphoto.  If you’re a WordPress user, you must have come across the term Markdown. In case you’re wondering What is Markdown? How to get started with it? You have landed on the right page. Everything that you need to know about Markdown is right here. We’ll briefly discuss the benefits and working of Markdown after covering all the basic aspects. So, without any further delay, let’s jump into the first question. What is Markdown? It is a markup language that uses simple and unobtrusive syntax for formatting. Markdown uses simple punctuations for the purpose of formatting. It’s used for writing on the web. Normally web pages are written via HTML, which uses heavy syntax for formatting. Markup language does the exact same formatting job in a simplified manner. The main goal for Markdown’s syntax is to make it as readable as possible. It’s not a substitute, but a subset of HTML. What makes Markdown a fine choice? Listed are the main reasons to write in Markdown: Formatting doesn’t get spoiled: When you format something in a word processor and then try to place it in a web application, your formatting often gets ruined. When you write in Markdown the formatting stays intact. Fast to type and format: Everything can be handled via a keyboard. So, you don’t need to use a...
Is Periodic Website Redesign a Waste of Money?

Is Periodic Website Redesign a Waste of Money?

Every few years organisations undertake yet another website redesign project. But is this the right approach or is there a better way? Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of PixelsAway via Bigstockphoto.  Is Periodic Website Redesign a Waste of Money? Ok, so as a Digital Agency, I probably shouldn’t be putting into your mind that you don’t need to periodically redesign your website. After all, we make money by you needing a new website. But don’t you think it would be better and easier for both parties if your Digital Agency created a website that could be easily updated and kept up with the times? Instead of having to have a whole new website created every couple of years? The Short Life of a Website This article is probably already resonating with you. You launch a new website, it’s all shiny and new and looks great. They give you some tips and tricks to keep it going; how to upload content and how to change some font. Then slowly over time, you get overrun with everyday work, your website takes a backseat and the next time you look at it, it’s like Dorian Grey looking at the painting of himself. Everything looks dated and the technology used was dropped in the early 2000’s. Your staff stop utilising the website as a sales tool. And those clients who do make it to your website? Well, they leave you a note telling you they’ve left, and your...
How Does Web Design Impact Content Marketing?

How Does Web Design Impact Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategy that is used to generate an interest in a product, service or a brand through the publishing of smart and relevant information. So, how does web design impact content marketing? Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto.  How Does Web Design Impact Content Marketing? One of the most important considerations in designing a content – heavy site is accessibility. When publishing any kind of information or content, you must ensure it’s easy to navigate to, and read. The design of your website should make the information easy to find without having to click through tonnes of pages of irrelevant content just to find what they’re looking for. Have you ever gone onto a website and got frustrated because you can’t find what you’re looking for? As will your visitor if they must spend any amount of time actively searching for the content they’re looking for. Creating a straight forward navigation set up with a drop-down menu or a search bar, will improve your websites accessibility tenfold. You Have 7 Seconds to Make an Impression Thinking back to times you have visited websites; how have you felt when you have arrived on a scruffily designed landing page? Did you trust the site? The answer is probably no. The age old saying “you should never judge a book by its cover” is not applied to web design. The appearance of your website will...
21 Modern Web Design Trends for 2018

21 Modern Web Design Trends for 2018

2018 is here and with it comes a new wave of web design trends to take notice of. Here, we explore 21 top trends. This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Prateeksha Mathur is a tech-savvy marketing professional writing for Zestard Technologies, who loves to write about digital marketing, web design, web development and other technology spheres. She is a coffee addict and a bibliophile too. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto.  A good website should not only have a good design. It has to be responsive enough to be compatible with all the devices. Web design is a visual representation of the page layout of any website. It is an important part of the web development process. This process gives life to any website. It gives an amazing look and feel to the web pages and websites. You can easily create static and dynamic web applications. It is easy to learn and implement on the web pages. It does not matter even if you are a beginner or not a creative person. It is a good practice to do web development and design hand-in-hand. A good web developer and designer will always focus on the look and feel and the responsiveness of the website. They can create the mockups or layouts of pages. This gives you a basic layout of how your website will look. All one needs to do is know the basics of HTML and CSS. These two are the backbone of a good website. You do not...
29% of Small Businesses DON’T Have a Website…

29% of Small Businesses DON’T Have a Website…

A lot of small businesses still don’t have websites. Why? Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of mangostock via Bigstockphoto.  “Don’t look at the business owners who DON’T have a website!” said Jim. ” No, don’t talk to them!” said Tim “I can’t hear what you two are saying…” said Geoff So why do 29% of small businesses still not have a website? and why do those who do have websites place very little importance on the upkeep of it? It’s unforgivable that you don’t have a website; they’re an extension of you and your business. But it’s even worse if you do have a website and you haven’t kept it up to date. How many times have you clicked on a website and instantly left it because it looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1999? You even found cobwebs in the corner of the screen. By leaving it to go into the depths of despair, it implies that you just don’t care. That’s not the kind of impression you want to give your potential customers. A website can help you gain credibility… this computer however, cannot. A website can help you and your business gain credibility. Without one, your potential customers (one of the 6 billion….) will click on your competitors that do have one. You’ll basically be giving them traffic. And if you have a website (Click here to find out what your website should be doing) but it’s a...
10 Really Working Web Design Tricks for Increasing Your Site’s Conversion Rate

10 Really Working Web Design Tricks for Increasing Your Site’s Conversion Rate

Increasing your site’s conversion rate will lead to more opportunities for your business. Here are 10 ways you can increase your conversion rate. This article is from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Amanda Johnson is a content manager at a real estate startup Rentberry in San Francisco. She loves creating useful articles for tenants and landlords as well as writing about marketing and self-development. Image courtesy of suthisa via Bigstockphoto.  Smart marketers know that a web design can either boost or drop conversion rate. Although it is true that SEO and social media marketing are vital for conversions, having an excellent design can make all the difference. All digital marketing components matter. However, web design can make or break conversion rates. In a Stanford University study, 46.1 percent of people stated that their top measure in distinguishing whether a company is credible or not is web design. With that in mind, the design of your website is vital, and it must look professional. Aesthetically Pleasing The aesthetics of your site can also play a role in conversions. Two-thirds of people would consume content and stay if the site is beautifully designed, according to an Adobe study. That said, your site has to look attractive if you want your visitors to read your posts. In that case, you cannot overlook web design. You can hire a freelancer or employ a designer to ensure that your site is aesthetically pleasing. Here are some web design tricks that can give you a sustainable boost in conversions. 1. Refer...
6 Best Google Analytics Plugins For WordPress In 2018

6 Best Google Analytics Plugins For WordPress In 2018

Today, we’re going to show you a list of top best WordPress Google Analytics Plugins for visitor statistics. Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Featured image courtesy of Bloomicon via Bigstockphoto. If you want to make your blog better, learning more about your audience is imperative. You can figure out what content they like the most, where your traffic is coming from, and whether your blog is growing in the right direction. But to get all that data, you need an analytics tool like Google Analytics. And more than just Google Analytics on your site, you also need a way to easily find the specific data and reports that actually provide useful information. To help you do that, I’m going to share some of the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress. Most of these plugins will help you not only add the Google Analytics tracking code to WordPress, but also view important analytics reports right on your WordPress dashboard. When you’re able to easily access actionable analytics data without leaving WordPress, you’ll be more likely to use it. And that’s a good thing! You Don’t Necessarily Need A Google Analytics WordPress Plugin Before I start, I want to point out that you don’t need any of these plugins to use Google Analytics on your site. These plugins just: Make the process simpler Let you see reports on your WordPress dashboard (most of them) Give you additional options for more advanced types of tracking, including helpful data like outbound link tracking But there are also two easy ways to add Google Analytics...
Most Popular Websites To Buy Best WordPress Themes in 2018

Most Popular Websites To Buy Best WordPress Themes in 2018

Find your perfect WordPress-theme provider! Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of ijeab via Bigstockphoto.  I’m listing only those WordPress theme companies, which are very popular and constantly updated. You can pick any theme from the following theme club. Also, many of them offer child themes which will help you to give a custom design to your site. Before we move ahead with the list of top WP premium theme clubs, there are a couple of things which you should know: There are many themes which you will get online for free, and it will be tagged as “Free WordPress Premium Theme”. A premium theme with so many qualities is difficult to get for free. Of course; you can get free premium “like” themes with less quality but why to compromise with your blog and theme quality? Before you buy any theme, I suggest you look for a couple of essential features such as: SEO optimized Theme. Inbuilt Design option. Inbuilt setting option. Easily Import/Export Settings option. Easily customizable. Ad Management. HTML5 Responsive Theme WordPress Compatibility Support Price of theme This is something which we expect in every time, and almost all the major theme club offers such option as inbuilt, or their support forum is full of such WordPress theme tweaking tips and tutorials. Top list based on performance in 2018: Genesis Theme ThriveThemes ElegantThemes GeneratePress MyThemeShop My Favorite list of Premium WordPress theme companies: I will start the list with the theme club I have used and have...
The 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design

The 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design

The days of sad-looking websites are over. Discover twelve do’s and don’ts of effective web design. About the author: Nick Babich (blogs.adobe.com) is a developer, tech enthusiast, and UX lover. He has spent the last 10 years working in the software industry with a specialized focus on development. He counts advertising, psychology, and cinema among his myriad interests. Image courtesy of GaudiLab via Bigstockphoto.  If you design websites, you know that making your designs useful and enjoyable is your top priority. It can be an overwhelming task for anyone who just recently started creating websites, so to simplify it, I’ve created a simple list of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when designing your next web design project. First, the do’s 1. Keep your interface consistent One of the top principles of good UX is to keep the interface consistent throughout the entire product. The overall look and feel of your website should be consistent across all of your site’s pages. Consistency of navigation, color schemes, typefaces, and style of writing can have a positive impact on usability and UX. Do. Esquire’s design is consistent for all it’s pages. Practical tip: Make design usable first. Consistency is a double-edged sword. If your website isn’t designed correctly at first, then to make other parts of it consistent will result in consistently poor design. Thus, make design usable first, then make it consistent. 2. Design easy-to-use navigation Navigation is the cornerstone of usability. It’s the main interaction technique on the Internet. Having good navigation on your site is crucial for ensuring that visitors can find what they’re looking for. Practical tips: Keep top-level navigation for the essential navigation options. Limit your...
The ABCs of Securing your Online Intellectual Property

The ABCs of Securing your Online Intellectual Property

Learn more about the right steps to take to protect your intellectual property. This article was authored by Hodge Racter. Image courtesy of maxxyustas via Bigstockphoto.  Individuals will start showing interest to your ideas and contents once they found out about your success in blogging. You might even get up one morning to an alert from Google, telling you that your name was mentioned on another blog. Amazing, isn’t it? Who would not love a free publicity? More than that, you’re very aware that inbound links will help you increase online visibility, enabling you to be found easily by possible clients. However to your horror, you might just learn that someone uploaded an exact copy of your blog. Yes, word per word. In such case, every writer’s heart breaks a little considering that they’ve invested a lot of energy to create a unique post. Since we’re on the internet age now, it can be difficult to avoid your work getting plagiarized or reposted. Nonetheless, there are few things you can do when encountering problems regarding online intellectual property security. Today, you’ll get introduced with some schemes to secure your intellectual property online. As you recognized these, you can diminish the odds of your contents being stolen. Understand what Copyright Law is. It’s up to you whether or not you want to get some help from a certain intellectual property law firm for your online contents. But in which way, know that your post is protected the minute you make it. It is your intellectual property and nobody can simply duplicate it. However, note also that the law just secures the statement of your idea...
5 Things Your Website SHOULD Be Doing

5 Things Your Website SHOULD Be Doing

You’ve spent time and money on your website. Shouldn’t it return your investment? Here are 5 criteria that will ensure your website is pulling its weight. Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of rdomino via Bigstockphoto.  It’s very easy to assume that just because you have a website, you’ll suddenly generate a tonne of traffic and every person that clicks on your website will become an instant lead and you’ll be a millionaire in no time at all. But considering there are over 1 billion websites on the internet (www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/) that would mean that a 7th of the world’s population are millionaires just from having a website. They’re not. Unfortunately, not everyone’s website is being used to its top potential and it might even be giving off the completely wrong tone and impression to what the business actually does. So take a look at these tips to find out what your website should be doing. 1. Is your website telling YOUR story? Of course, when a visitor clicks on your website, they’re usually looking for information about the services or products you offer so that they can make a more informed decision. But that doesn’t mean that’s all they’re looking for. They’re instantly judging you. It sounds harsh, but how often have you clicked on a website and thought “I don’t like the look of this one, I’ll try another”? The messaging, visuals, content and features that you pop onto your...
Searching for the Perfect Digital Agency

Searching for the Perfect Digital Agency

With so many good digital marketing companies, finding the perfect match for your business is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of VadimGuzhva via Bigstockphoto.  You’re looking for a way to improve your online presence and create better online recognition for your website. When you go to research your Digital Agency options, you’re confronted with 230,000,000 results from Google and overwhelming confusion. You start from the top of the list, clicking on each website, only to find that they’re not quite what you’re looking for. How are you ever going to choose the right one for you? Luckily, you clicked on this article and I have a few tips and tricks to help you find the perfect company that gets you those all needed clicks on your links and takes as much pride in your website as they do on their own. Have a plan The first thing to make sure of is that you have a plan. If you don’t have a rough idea of what you want, the chances are you won’t find the perfect Digital Agency for you. Just like you would ask 5 builders for information and quotes, you need to do the same with a Digital Agency. Once you have narrowed down what you’re looking for, give them a call. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have even if you feel like they’re silly, it’s important to make sure you have all...
KeyLogger Found in WordPress Sites

KeyLogger Found in WordPress Sites

Thousands of WordPress sites have been infected with a piece of malware that can log user input, a security firm warns. Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of Virrage Images via Bigstockphoto.  Hacking is a big problem. And it’s not always an easy spot either. We reported a couple of months ago about the Equifax data breach, where hackers were able to gain unauthorised access to the accounts of millions of people due to a technical oversight regarding their admin password. Many people believe that big companies are not susceptible to being hacked, however, bleepingcomputer.com has just announced that over 5,500 WordPress sites have been infected by Key Logger software. It comes after the malicious script is being loaded from “cloudflare.solutions” domain; anything the user is typing is being monitored. And because the script is loaded in the front and back end, it can also log usernames and passwords. So, what does this mean for you? Because of the sheer amount of WordPress sites on the web, WordPress is a big target for hackers. Hacking WordPress is like having a master key to hacking a lot of websites on the internet today. Once a hacker finds vulnerabilities within the software, your site automatically becomes more susceptible to being hacked too. When a vulnerability is discovered in a WordPress version, every site in the world running that same version, is vulnerable to the same exploit. The easiest way to detect whether your site has...
How to Present a Web Design to the Client

How to Present a Web Design to the Client

The design phase of creating a website is fairly standard for most web designers. However some problems can arise. In this article, we’ll share some secrets of an effective presentation. It’s originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Daryna Pukha is a skilled writer at software development company RubyGarage. She enjoys reading and searching about latest web design projects, marketing trends, business practices, and technology advances. She’s been contributing to various blogging platforms covering these topics. Image courtesy of cookiestudio via Bigstockphoto.  The success of your design relies not only on your ability to create something visually appealing but also on your ability to sell it. As a professional designer, you should know how to communicate with your client and present your product in the best possible way. The better your presentation, the better chance your project will be approved. In this article, we’ll share some secrets of an effective presentation and some tricks to make your clients fall in love with your work. We’ll start with the number of options you should present your customer with. How Many Design Options Should I Present? Sheena Iyengar, a world-renowned expert on choices and decision-making, says that a variety of choices may draw consumers’ attention but at the same time overwhelm and confuse them. That is, given too many consumers will just pick something even if it might not be the best option. Why present multiple options including ones you’re not so sure about? If you offer too many options, your client may very well ignore your favorite design. This...
Best WordPress Backup Plugins For Automated Backup: 2018

Best WordPress Backup Plugins For Automated Backup: 2018

Here are best WordPress backup plugins that will help you to create automated backup of your WordPress site. Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Featured image courtesy of Bakhtiar Zein via Bigstockphoto. One of the best tips you will ever get is to keep your WordPress blog secure. The best way to do that is by keeping a WordPress backup. There are many WordPress backup plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory, but very few of them allow for a complete backup. When we talk about a complete backup, it means taking a backup of database, and a backup of the “wp-content folder”. Moreover, it’s always recommended to automatically backup WordPress to make sure you have the most recent version of your blog backed up. Why is backing up your WordPress blog important? Most bloggers make the mistake of not backing up their blog and they end up regretting it later. If you are one of those bloggers who hasn’t yet configured a backup system for your blog and rely on a backup offered by your hosting company, you are making a big mistake. Understand that WordPress is software, and it runs on PHP and MySQL. All the files are stored on your web-hosting company.  As a rule, anything that is related to computers and web hosting can crash any day. A hacker might hack your server or website, or someone can log in and delete your complete WordPress directory. In the end, you will be left with nothing except a feeling of sorrow for never creating a WordPress blog backup. All of your hard work will be gone in a jiffy. One important rule here: Your backup...
Most Important SEO Metrics to Consider in 2018

Most Important SEO Metrics to Consider in 2018

Another year means a fresh examination of your SEO strategy. What worked last year might not work this year… The original article is from SEMrush blog. The author, Guy Sheetrit is the Founder and CEO of Over The Top SEO. He holds broad expertise in the areas of SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing, B2B, B2C Brand Development and online lead generation. Featured image courtesy of Felmeeeh via Bigstockphoto. Search engine optimization and reporting go hand in hand. Clients need proper reports which help them understand the ROI achieved from SEO. In the past, a metric like keyword rankings was enough to make a client happy, but things have changed, and most importantly they have changed for the better. So, what are the most important metrics that every SEO must consider in 2018? In my opinion, the ones listed below are of the highest priority: Total Organic Clicks In the Search Console, navigate to Search Traffic -> Search Analytics, and you will see a report that will give you a clear idea on the number of clicks you received on your site and from which search queries. Compare the date range for the last 28 days to the previous period and you will quickly identify which queries are generating direct clicks. You can also identify the landing pages that are generating the maximum clicks along with the devices that are sending the organic traffic. Tip: Ensure to filter the data by search type -> web else you might see a lot of queries based on image search results. Number of Goal Completions Via Organic Traffic No campaign is ever successful if goals aren’t completed. Visit Goals ->...
Content Marketing and SEO: How to Build Links in 2018

Content Marketing and SEO: How to Build Links in 2018

These are simple tactics and remain effective methods to build backlinks even in 2018. The original article is from semrush.com. The author, Olga Smirnova is Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush. You can follow her at Twitter. SEMrush’s digital marketing blog is an innovative resource for content strategy, content marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, social media and more. Image courtesy of digitalista via Bigstockphoto.  SEO is a constantly changing industry. However, one thing has remained the same – over the years backlinks remain the most powerful Google ranking factor. If you want to substantially boost your site’s SEO and improve your Google rankings, link building is one of the best ways to do it. Until recently, the goal of link building was to get as many links to your target page as possible. Links from low-quality sites, discussion forums, and comments that you left on other sites were all fair game. Now things have changed and you need links the search engines trust. Getting links Google will trust is much more difficult. Content marketing has helped, more than anything else, redefine link building. What is Link Building in 2018 Link building is the process of getting links from other websites, and nowadays content plays a key role in this process. However, not every type of content will provide you with backlinks. The internet is filled with so much content that it’s hard to know where to look. Simply publishing content and waiting for people to link to it simply doesn’t work anymore. Content marketing as it exists today also presents a unique problem: plenty of content is getting shared, but only in the form of mentions, instead of backlinks. Authors, businesses and publications are given...
5 Best WordPress Push Notification Plugins For Web + Mobile

5 Best WordPress Push Notification Plugins For Web + Mobile

Today, top five most popular WordPress push notification plugins to send web browser push notifications. Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of ileezhun via Bigstockphoto. Of all the ways to get more traffic to your website, one method in particular that I experimented with in 2017 was website push notifications. Like the notifications you get on your phone, browser push notifications let you send messages to your website’s visitors even when they’re not on your website. It’s a method that I’ve definitely seen success with and I encourage you to try it on your own website: I’ve written more about the benefits of push notifications in the past. So rather than focussing on the theory in this post, I’m going to jump to the five of the best WordPress push notification plugins to make it easier for you to add push notifications to your blog or your website. What To Look For In A Push Notification Plugin As you go through this list, there are a few things that you should pay attention to: What devices does the service support? Most services support Chrome and Firefox, but it is rare to find a service that supports Safari, which may be a problem if you have a lot of visitors using Safari. How many subscribers will you have? Depending on how many subscribers you think you’ll have, some services may be cheaper than others. What extra features does the service offer? Think of whether you need features like segmentation, scheduling, A/B testing and more. Best WordPress Push Notification Plugins For...
What’s Better? Multilingual WordPress Websites or Websites on Subdomains

What’s Better? Multilingual WordPress Websites or Websites on Subdomains

This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Ivi Silvasi is professional writer at Ait Themes – a web developer with 9+ years of experience on the market and 85k happy customers worldwide. Main niche are multilingual WordPress Themes. Specializing also in directory & listings WordPress Themes. Image courtesy of maxxyustas via Bigstockphoto.  Imagine you are going to expand your business abroad. You have a well-functioning website in your local language. Now you need to place it to other markets in foreign languages. What will you do? Creating multilingual websites is not a simple task. But in this extensive article, we are going to guide you through all the important aspects. Make a coffee and start reading. What’s Better? One Multilingual Website or Websites on Multiple Domains? There are 2 different ways how to achieve website multi language localization. You can have a separate domain for each country. Or keep all the language versions on the same domain. The first option works as a standalone installation and therefore a standalone website. The second option works as a link between the individual languages. The way you will do it depends on the CMS your website is build on. Learn more how it works in WordPress. Implementation options for localization may also vary. One Site or Multiple Domains When creating website, it is advisable to think of the future. Even if you do not need a multilingual website at present, the situation might change in a couple of years. Therefore the chosen CMS and template should support...
#RecipeForSuccess: Virtual Shop Front

#RecipeForSuccess: Virtual Shop Front

So, you’ve started your own small business? Working out of your garage? A local retail space? A workshop? A van? You’ve even put together a simple website using Wix, Weebly or WordPress.com. …but there’s a problem: No one can find you on Google, and your clients keep telling you your website is rubbish: It’s time to pull the trigger on a new website; but what do you need? How do you prepare? Master Chef: Dan Menzies, Lead Developer & Managing Director of PSD to Final No matter what you do in your business, it’s likely your website is the first port of call for new clients; and just as likely your existing clients visit your website regularly. This means your website is just as important as your workshop, your retail frontage, or your van. But with careful planning and management, it can be much more. It can become your virtual shop front. A place to sell goods and services; a place to gather referrals and qualify new clients; a place not just to showcase your business, but to do business. Ingredients Patience Desktop PC or Notebook PC Email address Website Developer (not just a Web Designer) No less than two friendly clients Directions Step 1: Engage your Web Developer Needed: A local Web Developer First things first. You’ll need to have a sit-down with a Web Developer. Why a developer, and not a designer? We’re looking at complexity, and Developers are best positioned to make sure your site works, not just looks pretty. Note: Unless you are a Web Designer or Software Engineer yourself, or have a great deal of...
Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has assumed control over the world and is currently one of the greatest procedures for bloggers to gain income. This pattern has become exponentially increased over the years and has discovered its way among numerous bloggers and site owners. Affiliate marketing is one of the greatest methods that practically every blogger and each individual who has a site is utilizing to procure cash through their blogs and websites. Bloggers such Neil Patel, Pat Flynn and Shoutmeloud are for the most part utilizing affiliate marketing as an approach to earn money from their site. In this article I will guide you through the basics of affiliate marketing and I will reveal to you why it is important and how you can procure cash through affiliate marketing. Recommended Read: Blogging tricks for beginners What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is only a sort of marketing; all the more particularly it is the kind of marketing that depends on performance. In affiliate marketing, a business or any association rewards affiliates for every client and deal that occurs through the affiliate link. In this is sort of marketing, the individual generally creates and maintains a website that uploads a review based content of items, for instance best cell phones, portable workstations and such things that can be sold on the web. The content uploaded on the site will have links called the affiliate links to the item for which the review has been specified. Once the reader reads the content and taps on the affiliate link and the sale is made, the blogger or the site owner will to get commission...
Make Cool Avatars for Profile Pictures With the 5 Easiest Sites

Make Cool Avatars for Profile Pictures With the 5 Easiest Sites

Having problems with a profile picture?  Here are five websites that you can use to create your own avatar. About the author: Mihir Patkar (MakeUseOf) is a freelance writer on technology and life hacks, who firmly believes chocolate is the answer to any question. You can usually find him saying other such silly things on Twitter. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of kit8net via Bigstockphoto. To have an online presence, you are going to need a good avatar. Given the need to protect your privacy online, you shouldn’t be using an actual photo of yourself. So whether it’s for Steam or some forum, here are some of the easiest ways to create a cool avatar. For those who don’t know, an avatar is the same thing as a profile picture. But instead of an actual photo, you create a tiny square image of a person that best represents you. There are different types of avatars you can try, from cartoons to banners. You don’t need to be an artist to make any of these. The internet has free sites to create cool avatars that you can customize, download, and use. 1. Avataaars Generator: Quick, Easy, and Modern Web design principles and standards change over time. An avatar today has to look like it belongs on the web. Since emojis are an accepted look today, this site helps you make an emoji-like avatar. Choose the hair or headgear, accessories, clothes, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and skin color. Mess around with them to create an avatar that looks like you (or the one you want to show people...
Blogging 101: 5 Tips to Increase Your Traffic

Blogging 101: 5 Tips to Increase Your Traffic

Image supplied by pexels.com You have always wanted to see comments and shares rolling once you hit that Publish button for your newest blog post, however, it doesn’t happen. Why it seems like your post receives less to no engagement when you have put a lot of effort to create a great content and you know for sure it deserves loads of audience? What’s probably lacking? Here’s the thing: Your post might be that great and relevant but for your blog to be read more, you need to apply some tactics in order generate traffic. If you ever think your blogs are worthy of reads, then apply the below tips and finally get a higher rank in Google’s search queries and gain huge number of audience. Tip1: Share your posts more than once As cited from Verve Search, Garrett Moon claims that “companies do not share their blog contents as much as they need to.” In addition, it has been said that most bloggers have the mentality to share just once and forget. Bloggers have been practicing to publish a content then share to their social media channels once. However, there is a tendency for audience and/ or readers to miss the initial communication. That being said, it is suggested to do the sharing multiple times. Like for instance, you have posted a particular content today and have it shared on Twitter, Facebook and Google. The next days, you can tweet about it again and share it again on Facebook the following week. Just be certain you’ll include different messages and captions for them to not appear as spammy....
How to Organize Your Email: 12 Management Tools

How to Organize Your Email: 12 Management Tools

Discover the best and most effective email management tools that will be useful in handling email. Originally from blog.hubspot.com, it was written written by Lindsay Kolowich. Follow her on Twitter at @lkolow. Image courtesy of faithiecannoise via Bigstockphoto.  Most people have a love-hate relationship with their email inbox. On the one hand, email can be exciting — whether you’re making progress with a client, replacing a meeting with a (much more efficient) email thread, or receiving an invitation to a fun social gathering. On the other hand, though, email can be overwhelming — especially if you lose control. And boy is it easy to lose control. After all, email is one of the top ways we communicate with a lot of the people in our lives, from our best friends to people we’ve never spoken with before. Many of us get bombarded by new emails on a regular basis, and it’s stressful to know that we might be missing out on the truly important stuff amid the flood of less pertinent stuff. Luckily, there are a lot of tools out there that can help us get more organized. In this post, we’ll go through 12 of our favorite tools for organizing your inbox. Try ’em out, and help pave your own way to a more productive and less stressful email experience. How to Organize Your Email Before we dive into the tools that can help you take control of your inbox, let’s go over some of the basic best practices that can help you maintain email organization as much as possible. Here are our three golden rules: Get rid of the old email you don’t need. I still have...
7 Best WordPress Membership Plugins To Create A Membership Site

7 Best WordPress Membership Plugins To Create A Membership Site

Are you looking for a WordPress membership plugin for your site? Check out this article to find the best. Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of Khakimullin via Bigstockphoto. When it comes to building a website, you have a lot of potential avenues available to make money online. While there are always the tried-and-true methods like display ads and affiliate marketing, one approach that many successful bloggers and marketers are now taking is launching a membership site. With a membership site, you restrict access to some or all of your content to different membership levels. This way, you can charge a subscription fee for access to each level. If you want to launch your own membership site, WordPress is a great platform to get started with. But in order to create your membership site, you’ll need to choose from the many WordPress membership plugins out there.To help you make you make your decision, here are 7 of the best membership site plugins for WordPress. 7 Best WordPress Membership Plugins 1. Restrict Content Pro Restrict Content Pro is a flexible plugin from Pippin’s Plugins, the same team behind the popular Easy Digital Downloads plugin. It’s designed to be a “full-featured, powerful membership solution for WordPress”. To match that goal, Restrict Content Pro offers you all the core features you need to launch a membership site with WordPress. You’ll get: Unlimited subscription levels, including free, trial, and premium membership packages. Drip content to release content to members on a specific schedule (with an add-on). Integrations with most popular payment gateways. Unlimited discount codes. A member...
How to Reopen Tabs You’ve Accidentally Closed in Your Browser

How to Reopen Tabs You’ve Accidentally Closed in Your Browser

Have you ever mistakenly closed a tab? We all have. Here’s how you can reopen tabs which you accidentally closed. About the author: Nancy Messieh is a writer and editor living in Washington DC. She was previously the Middle East editor at The Next Web and currently works at a DC-based think tank on communications and social media outreach. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Image courtesy of IKuvshinov via Bigstockphoto. We’ve all been there: too many tabs open and we accidentally close the wrong one. Luckily, all browsers make it super easy to reopen a tab that you didn’t mean to close, whether on your phone or on your desktop. With desktop browsers, all it takes is a keyboard shortcut. With mobile browsers, you’re going to have to access a list of recently closed tabs and select the one you want to reopen. Chrome Right-click any open tab and click Reopen closed tab or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + T. To see recently closed tabs in the mobile version of Chrome, tap the menu button and tap Recent Tabs. Firefox Right-click any open tab and click Undo Close Tab or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + T. To see recently closed tabs in the mobile version of Firefox, tab the address bar, tap the watch icon > Recently Closed.  Safari Go to History > Reopen Last Closed Window or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Shift + T. In the mobile version of Safari, you can tap the Tabs button and long-press the + button to open up a list of Recently Closed Tabs. Edge Right-click any open tab and click Reopen closed tab or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift +...
5 Strange Ways to Use Emojis

5 Strange Ways to Use Emojis

If you’re an active smartphone user, then you’re probably pretty familiar with emojis. But these five websites use emojis in different ways. About the author: Mihir Patkar (MakeUseOf) is a freelance writer on technology and life hacks, who firmly believes chocolate is the answer to any question. You can usually find him saying other such silly things on Twitter. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of nicotombo via Bigstockphoto. Egyptians would be proud of us today. The world has come full circle on hieroglyphics as we now regularly express ourselves in little drawings. Emojis are a useful and convenient way to communicate. But they can also be a little strange. This isn’t about if you know the correct meanings of emojis. It’s about the extraordinary things some people do with this pictorial language. From shortening links to creating art, there is a wonderfully weird side to emojis you need to check out. 1. Emojify: An Emoji-Based URL Shortener URL shorteners are an excellent way to reduce long web page addressed into easily clickable (and memorable) links. Emojify is perhaps the shortest link-maker of them all since it uses an emoji to do it. Copy-paste any web address into the box on the site and click Shorten. You’ll get a list of different emoji options to share with others. If you know the meanings of emojis, it’s a nice way to share a shortened URL while still letting the recipient know what to expect. For example, a link with movie clapper emoji tells you it’s something related to films. Of course, you could even create your...
How to Hire the Best-Fit Freelancer for Your Next Project

How to Hire the Best-Fit Freelancer for Your Next Project

Thinking about hiring the perfect freelancer to help you with your business? Here are ten steps on how to hire freelancers online. This article was written by Carey Wodehouse (blog.hubspot.com). Carey is a content marketer and IT/development writer who is passionate about informative, engaging copy that helps make the complex world of web development a little easier to navigate. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Image courtesy of avemario via Bigstockphoto.  So you’re ready to start looking for a skilled freelancer to help your project (and productivity) take off? Whether you’re engaging a freelancer for a small project or looking to bring them on for a longer engagement, here’s what you need to consider to find and hire the best freelancer for your project. How to Hire the Best-Fit Freelancer for Your Next Project   1) A well-laid plan for your project has to come first. If you don’t have a clear idea about what you need done, don’t hire a freelancer — at least not yet. Why? Before you can successfully source the best freelancer for your project, you need to know as much as possible about what you’re engaging them to do. Be sure to provide a project brief with deliverables, timeline, and payment schedule. This is important for both sides: From the freelancer’s perspective, knowing the project and skills required up front helps them to determine if they’re a good fit. A job post lacking the right information is often the first thing to turn a high-quality freelancer away. On the client’s end, you should be able to describe your...
Top 10 Customer Retention Strategies That Actually Work

Top 10 Customer Retention Strategies That Actually Work

If you want to make sure your company succeeds, you need these top customer retention strategies to keep your customers. Image courtesy of Gustavo Frazao via Bigstockphoto.  If you want a growing sustainable business, then customer retention is incredibly important part of your business strategy. The easiest way to increase profit in your business is not to lose your customer. According to research from Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 percent to 95 percent. It is actually good but what does customer retention really mean? What is customer retention actually mean? Customer retention refers to the activities and actions that companies take to reduce the number of customer defections. The main goal of customer retention is to help companies to retain as many customers as possible through customer loyalty and brand loyalty. How you can improve your customer retention rate? Education, engagement and great customer services are really good for the growth of your business. Here we have covered some unique strategies to increase retention rate of your customer. 1. Create real connections with customers If your company doesn’t stand for anything, your customer will ignore you. If you want loyal customers, then you have to create real connection with customers. 2. Always use positive social proof To retain customers always use positive social proof like testimonials. This is the most effective strategy for getting people to listen you. 3. Invoke the inner ego People prefer product and services that are common with them or we can say which resemble them in some way. 4. Provide contrast for customers If you provide a contrast...
Homepages Rarely Convert Because These 6 Elements Are Often Ignored

Homepages Rarely Convert Because These 6 Elements Are Often Ignored

Want to convert more visitors? Check out these six essential elements every homepage should have (taken from blog.kissmetrics.com). About the author: Victor Ijidola is a conversion-driven freelance writer and content marketer. Need help with landing pages, ebooks, blog posts, guest blogging, email newsletters, etc? Contact him at Premium Content Shop. Feature image courtesy of Red Deer via Bigstockphoto. No, this headline isn’t clickbait. This article does contain critical homepage elements that are often overlooked. And you might be ignoring them. In fact, the examples I share here are a sure sign that many marketers still ignore critical homepage elements. And conversions are lost for these simple reasons. I’m not going to rehash what you already know about homepages. You are a smart marketer. You already know a homepage is your website’s front door. It’s where most of your customers expect to find the #1 thing you do that can solve a specific problem for them. Okay, enough talk. Here are six homepage elements you’re probably overlooking that are costing you conversions: 1. Homework (a.k.a. doing customer research) Homework ‘on people’, that is. And yes, it’s a homepage element—because it shows when you do it well. Imagine this for a second: Your high school teacher assigns you homework and asks you to submit it in three days. For the next two days, you stay up late and wake up early to deliver your best. You faithfully turn in your homework on the third day. Question: How long would it take your teacher to score your work? A few seconds to five minutes. That’s how long it will take to score something you worked on for days. It’s the same with your homepage....
10 Tips for Getting Started on a Web Design Project

10 Tips for Getting Started on a Web Design Project

Read these amazing tips before starting your new web design project. This article was originally posted at blogs.adobe.com. About the author: Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a blogger and writer, published author, and founder of NewInternetOrder.com. Feature image courtesy of PureSolution via Bigstockphoto.  Getting started on a web design project can be intimidating. There are a lot of moving parts, and clients tend to expect high quality. Goal identification, scope definition, sitemap and wireframe creation, content creation, UI design, testing the site, these are all the elements that the web design process most commonly includes. In other words, there’s a lot that could go wrong. And I’m not saying this to scare you, but to let you know how important it is to come prepared, and to always have your game plan ready. “Don’t bring a knife to a design fight.” So today, we’re looking into 10 web design tips that you need to keep in mind when designing a website for your client. This goes for all types of websites where a business is selling to a customer (B2C). Think e-commerce stores, small business websites, product websites, and so on. 1. Set the Expectations Right A web design project cannot be successful until you have defined what “success” actually means. Depending on how experienced your client is with the idea of owning a website, they may or may not be able to articulate what they truly need. This can be catastrophic later down the road. There’s nothing worse than a client realizing mid-project that, “this is not what I wanted!” That’s why it’s incredibly important to set the expectations during your initial communication with the client. Here...
What is SEO in 2017? How It’s Changed, and Where We Are Now

What is SEO in 2017? How It’s Changed, and Where We Are Now

Find out how that answers the question, “What Is SEO today?” Written by Amanda Zantal-Wiener, blog.hubspot.com. Amanda is a Senior Staff Writer at HubSpot. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Image courtesy of Red Deer via Bigstockphoto. As marketers, we’ve gotten quite good at evolving our playbooks when it comes to SEO. But the changes we’ve seen to this point are nothing compared to what’s coming next. We’re no longer in the “early stages” of a new era of search — we’re here, now, witnessing new trends and best practices unfold in real time. First, it was an era tied closely to patterns such as mobile, social, and voice search, among other things. But many marketers are past the point of being on the cutting-edge of those patterns, and want to know, “What now?” Now, we also have topic clusters and messaging apps. Make no mistake: Mobile, social, and voice search are still major players in the SEO game. Prior to their entrance onto the landscape, SEO predominantly revolved around browser-based search engines. More precisely, it’s been linked directly to Google. That’s where all the search activity has been. That’s where content consumption has historically started. But now, new universes of search are taking shape outside of the browser window. In many of them, the rules for optimization have yet to be defined — but why does that matter to marketers? Well, in a nutshell, changes in the way people search indicate changes in the way they discover your content. They’re using new keywords and shaping queries in different ways; e.g., what may have once been a...
How to Create Engaging Newsletters: Today’s Email Stars Share Their Secrets

How to Create Engaging Newsletters: Today’s Email Stars Share Their Secrets

The Creative Cloud Team (blogs.adobe.com) prepared for you a special post where you will find a lot of supportive tips to create the engaging newsletter. No matter who you are, Creative Cloud gives you the world’s best creative apps so you can make just about anything you want, wherever inspiration takes you. Feature image courtesy of vladis_studio via Bigstockphoto.  Once upon a time, newsletters were eight-page affairs, printed on 8.5 x 11 size paper, that arrived in your (snail) mail once a month, stacked between the electric bill and the office supply store flyer. Today, digital newsletters that arrive in email inboxes are key components of business communications strategies that initiate and foster dialogue between people, or organizations and their audiences. “Every few months, someone declares email dead. But for me and many others, it’s still the best way to connect with a community,” says Paul Jarvis, a former web designer who publishes The Sunday Dispatches, a weekly e-newsletter about creativity, productivity, and freelancing. “With email, there’s more engagement than on social media, and for a lot of folks it drives the bulk of revenue,” he says. For Jarvis, it has led to more than 30,000 subscribers, and articles in Fast Company and Newsweek. The most effective newsletters are read, shared, tweeted about, and shared some more. Some sell products like consulting, courses, podcasts, and even T-shirts, but what they communicate best is their founders’ voices, and the value of their ideas. To keep readers engaged, newsletters need a winning combination of content and design. Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams provides the tools you need to create your next digital newsletter. As you work, keep these best practices in mind: Image...
Top WordPress Hosting Companies That Offer Free WordPress Host Migration Services

Top WordPress Hosting Companies That Offer Free WordPress Host Migration Services

In this listing, you’ll find WordPress hosting companies that offer free migration services. Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of pratyaksa via Bigstockphoto. Did you know that 28% of all the websites in the world are powered by WordPress? It’s true, but the way we all use WordPress is different. To give you some perspective, many of us might use only 10 plugins while some use more than 30-40 plugins on their WordPress sites. Many of us use WordPress to run a blog, many use it to run an e-commerce portal, many use it to run a job portal, and many others do many other things with this versatile platform. In my one decade of experience with WordPress, I have used numerous hosting companies. This has given me a unique experience as I now know the in’s and out’s of the most popular web hosting services for WordPress. Here’s a question: Have you ever seen a web hosting company that didn’t claim that they were the best? Regardless of what the company says, the quality of hosting is usually known when we start using the service. As our usage and traffic grows over time, we get to know the full potential of our hosting company. Some of them are very powerful and sustain our website’s growth, while many others start giving errors like “500 internal server error” and “error connecting to database”. As long as your existing hosting company is running your WordPress site smoothly, you don’t have to worry about anything....
5 Best Services to Create a Business Website

5 Best Services to Create a Business Website

Looking for the best website builders? The services included here let you make a business website with minimal technical technical knowledge. This article is written by Howard Steele (original is here: instantshift.com). He works for SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Featured image courtesy of Angela_Waye via Bigstockphoto.  It is close to impossible to imagine a reputable business without a website nowadays. The larger your business is and the more expectations you have, the more functional and visually appealing your website should be.  A business website is like a visiting card of your company – the one that accomplishes several missions at a time. By launching a website, you pursue different goals. To start with, you establish reliable online presence for your business, boosting its popularity and increasing customer trust. Secondly, you make your business accessible far beyond the local boundaries. This is a surefire way to grow your client base and find new partners. Finally, you popularize your services and products, which cannot but increases the amount of sales and brings the revenue. These are only a few reasons to launch a business website. Are you ready to create the one right away? Then you definitely have to try using website builders. These services are meant for newbies and professional web developers. Your web design skills don’t matter at all here. What really matters is that you get a perfect chance to create a functional and appealing website with no hassle and notable money investment. Have a look at the most popular services you can make use of to get a...
How to Write an Eye-Catching Blog for the Readers

How to Write an Eye-Catching Blog for the Readers

Follow these useful tips to learn how to write effective blog posts that keep your readers interested. This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Jenny Campata has been working with writing challenged clients for over three years. She provides ghost writing and ghost editing service as well. Currently, she is providing Essay writing service for the student of college and university. In addition, Jenny also works as a marketing manager at getcustomessayhelp.com. Image courtesy of YakobchukOlena via Bigstockphoto. You’ve perhaps understood how preeminent blogging is to the progress and development of your blog marketing.  Without proper blog formation, you’ll probably have nothing to publicize in social media. In addition to that, you’ll be having limited pages to focus on relevant calls-to-action that produce inbound leads. Although blogging is considered to be one of the most crucial aspects of blog marketing, many marketers show reluctance when it comes to starting and maintaining a blog. That’s may be because writing is a technical field and requires specific skills to craft a well-researched, engaging and error-free blog posts. If you’re also looking for some ideas to streamline your content development process, you’re at the right place. Scroll down to unearth some useful tips and tricks that will surely help you create some excellent blog posts. How to Write an Eye-Catching Blog Post? Step 1 – Know Your Audience Ahead of writing, make sure to have a complete knowledge about your viewers. What are their interests? What are they looking for on your blog? Take into account what you perceive about your...
Yoast SEO Premium: How to Upgrade from Free Version to Pro

Yoast SEO Premium: How to Upgrade from Free Version to Pro

Considering buying the Yoast Premium? This page gives you excellent reasons to upgrade. Authored by Harsh Agrawal (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Feature image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto. Yoast SEO is the best free SEO WordPress plugin out there. But they also have a paid version which has added features like: Redirect manager Multiple focus keywords Social preview Internal linking For redirects, I used a free redirection plugin. I usually don’t use the focus keyword option. I don’t typically need to see the full social preview. And for internal linking, I used the SEO Smart Links plugin, but I thought the plugin was getting old and needed to be replaced with something better. The Yoast internal linking feature available on the premium version shows posts that can be interlinked directly in the post editor section. This was enough reason for me to start using the pro version of Yoast. It’s not necessary for you to upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium. However, since I blog for a living and it’s always a good idea to lower down the number of plugins, I finally decided to upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium. In this tutorial, I will show you how to upgrade from the Yoast free version to Yoast Premium. How To Upgrade From Yoast SEO To Yoast Premium Once you have purchased the Yoast Premium license, you will get an email with the plugin’s download link and activation key. Download by clicking on Download Yoast SEO Premium. Now, follow these steps: Note: Make sure you are using the latest free...
Homepages vs Landing Pages: Where to Drive Paid Traffic for Higher Conversions

Homepages vs Landing Pages: Where to Drive Paid Traffic for Higher Conversions

What’s the point of landing pages? Why not drive traffic to your home page? The answers are here. About the author (blog.kissmetrics.com): Andy Nguyen is a professional copywriter for hire. He helps B2B SaaS and marketing companies produce content their audience wants to read. Image courtesy of onephoto via Bigstockphoto.  I’m going to give this to you straight. If you’re directing your hard-won PPC, Facebook, Twitter or banner ad traffic to your homepage… There is a better way. Conversion happens on landing pages. And your homepage is not one of them. Why? Your homepage is a hub. It’s a jump off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. It’s where you want visitors to end up. Let me show you what this looks like. Where to Go (and How You Get There) Picture this: You’ve decided to go on vacation. You call up your travel agent. You tell him you’re in the mood for tropical climates, white sand beaches, and public intoxication. I know just the place, he says. Your travel agent, who moonlights as an Uber driver, picks up you up and you’re away. Ready to soak up that mojito-laden air. But, instead of taking you to a resort, he drops you off at the airport. He leaves you there — with no idea where you’re going or what to do next. See where I’m going with this? You are the prospect and your travel agent/Uber driver is your ad. You had an idea of what you wanted and where you wanted to go. But instead of him taking you there — you’re left in a crowded terminal with only...
What to Expect When Converting Flash to HTML5

What to Expect When Converting Flash to HTML5

Check these questions and answers before starting to convert Flash to HTML5. This article was originally posted at blogs.adobe.com. About the author: Michael Hu is a senior product marketing manager for Adobe Creative Cloud. Michael’s background includes working in product management, product marketing and business development on a broad range of initiatives such as web hosted services, mobile and desktop software, gaming, and customer care support offerings. Image courtesy Photonphoto via Bigstockphoto. We had the pleasure recently of connecting with interactive software engineer Joseph Labrecque to learn more about his thoughts on Animate CC, converting Flash to HTML5 and what type of content should be converted. What do you do? I’m involved in a lot of different things. My primary role is that of an interactive software engineer for the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. I also run a small business called Fractured Vision Media, LLC and have a number of other activities I’m involved with from teaching Animate CC and other Adobe applications for University College to speaking for major events like Adobe MAX. In addition, I’m continually involved in the production of video courses for Lynda.com, Pluralsight, and others – and occasionally author books on Animate CC and related subjects. Why would someone want to use Animate CC? Animate CC is in a unique position among creative applications as it is an environment through which an individual can, within a single application, perform both design and development tasks with ease… simultaneously. This means that those individuals who only do design work, or those who are only interested in code, can augment their existing skill-set by exploring the “other side” in a way which is easily accessible to them. I’m a perfect example...
8 Places You Can Find New Keywords to Grow Your Organic Visibility

8 Places You Can Find New Keywords to Grow Your Organic Visibility

Here are eight places where you can find fresh and novel keywords. Authored by Pratik Dholakiya, searchenginejournal.com. He is the Co-Founder of E2M, a digital marketing agency and Preceptist.com, an executive branding & content marketing agency. Hit him up on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik for a quick chat. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. Image courtesy of tommoh29 via Bigstockphoto.  Are you stuck in a keyword bubble? I know the feeling. You dig deeper and deeper into your keyword tools, trying to find something novel, something in your industry that hasn’t already been completely saturated, but you keep finding the same 10, 20, 50 keywords over and over again. You try scouting your competitors’ sites, but they’re using the same tools, they’re covering the same topics, and you just can’t find a newfangled topic. These eight places will help you pop that bubble and find some new territories to explore. 1. The “Landing Page” Option In Google’s Keyword Planner I swear most people don’t even realize this field exists in the Keyword Planner: Instead of pasting a keyword into the “product or service” field, as usual, try posting one of your URLs here. The recommendations that you get this way are so much different from the ones you’ll find if you search by topic. If you’ve been doing this for a long time, you probably know the feeling of trying to type in something new, only to get the same list of suggested keywords that you always see. Give this part of the Keyword Planner a whirl. Try a few different URLs. You’ll find plenty of keywords that have never...
16 of the Best Landing Page Design Examples You Need to See in 2017

16 of the Best Landing Page Design Examples You Need to See in 2017

Learn from 16 of the best landing pages to create your own high-converting page. This article was written by Karla Cook. Karla is a staff writer for HubSpot’s agency content. HubSpot’s Blog has more than 400000 subscribers and attracts over 2 million monthly visitors. Image courtesy of Melpomene via Bigstockphoto.  How do you convince your visitors to take the plunge on your website? There are so many elements that a top-notch landing page needs, and making those elements the “best” they can be often depends on what your landing page goals are. Take form length, for example. It’s just one of the many components you need to optimize, but best practices will tell you that both short and long forms perform well — it all depends on whether you want to generate a lot of (potentially) lower quality form submissions, or a smaller number of higher quality submissions. So if you’re looking to up your landing page game, it’s helpful to know what goes into a great landing page and see a few examples of these nuanced elements in action. Surprisingly, when I started doing research into the latter, I realized there are hardly any sites out there with examples of modern, impressive landing pages that are more than just a sign-up form on a homepage. So we decided to compile a list of landing pages we love ourselves. Big, big caveat here: I don’t have access to any of the stats for these pages, so I can’t tell you how well they convert visitors, leads, and customers. Still, these examples have some of the best combinations of those nuanced landing page elements I’ve ever seen. Obviously, if you feel inspired to...
14 Essential Tips for an Engaging Facebook Business Page

14 Essential Tips for an Engaging Facebook Business Page

Discover how to make a Facebook business page that will draw and sustain an engaged audience. This article is from blog.hubspot.com, written by Amanda Zantal-Wiener. Amanda is a Senior Staff Writer at HubSpot. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Feature image courtesy of ibphoto via Bigstockphoto.  Whether you’re setting up a brand new Facebook Page for your brand, or you just want to make the most of your existing one, it’s probably a smart move — Facebook is home to nearly 2 billion monthly active users. It should be easy enough, right? Just slap together a photo, a couple of posts, and expect the leads and customers to roll on in, right? Wrong. If you’re not creating a Facebook Page with a comprehensive strategy to get noticed, Liked, and engaged with, the chances of actually generating leads and customers from it are pretty slim. For example, you can’t just choose any picture — you have to choose one that’s the right dimensions, high-resolution, and properly represents your brand. But it doesn’t end there — so we compiled the tips below to make sure you’re creating an engaging page that takes full advantage of everything Facebook marketing has to offer. 14 Facebook Business Page Tips 1) Don’t create a personal profile for your business. We’ve come across many well-meaning marketers and entrepreneurs who create personal profiles for their brands, instead of an actual Facebook Business Page. That puts you at a huge disadvantage — you’re missing out on all of the content creation tools, paid promotional opportunities, and analytics/insights that come with a Facebook Business Page. Plus, a personal profile...
7 Tricks No One Told You About Content Promotion

7 Tricks No One Told You About Content Promotion

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you promote your content. Posted by Andrea Lehr (searchenginejournal.com). Andrea is a Brand Relationship Strategist at content marketing agency Fractl where she works alongside a team of creative strategists to produce unique, data-driven campaigns about industry trends. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. Screenshots by Andrea Lehr. Feature image courtesy of onephoto via Bigstockphoto.  Every successful content marketing strategy can be boiled down to two key ingredients: content creation and content promotion. While the type of content you create can vary significantly depending on your industry, the way you promote your content doesn’t vary as much — in large part because promotion comes down to one universal goal, which is getting your content in front of as many eyes as possible. That being said, the Internet is a big place, which is why sending emails to industry contacts and promoting your content via social simply doesn’t cut — and this is where a lot of people get stuck. What else is left? Here are seven tricks that you probably haven’t heard of before. These strategies will help you see a bigger return on your next content investment. 1. Get Influencers to Talk About Your Content Researchers at the University of Southern California recently discovered the majority illusion, a theory that emphasizes how the quality of your network is more important than its size. The rationale behind it is simple: Posts from a few users that aren’t part of a highly-connected network won’t go very far because of the lack of connections, but a post from a few users that are part of a highly-connected...
10 Strategies to Effectively Promote Blog Posts with WordPress

10 Strategies to Effectively Promote Blog Posts with WordPress

Here are ten strategies given by Gayane Mar (instantshift.com) on how to promote your WordPress blog posts. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Gayane Mar is a passionate web-blogger who started her blogging activity a few years ago. Her posts are all about web design and web development. She writes all these posts for good people who need some guidance or advice with web development. If you are interested you can follow her own blog wpcapitan.com. Feature image courtesy of dizainstock via Bigstockphoto.  Promoting a blog post is not an easy task. It often happens that you write a really good piece, include visuals, do the right SEO adjustments, but it just doesn’t get the expected attention. Well, that’s a very common thing that most of the bloggers have certainly struggled with at some stages of their blogging career. The reasons behind sometimes lie in the simplest things we don’t really pay enough attention to, but which do really matter. And usually the problem is not with the content , but with the strategies and techniques we use to promote blog posts. A well-planned and organized post promotion strategy can help your content reach to many more readers and drive more traffic to your site. Since there are tons of content promotion strategies out there and there is no one-fits-all option to go with, I suggest taking a look at some simple yet effective ones. These strategies are proven to work and drive results. Very often some of them go perfectly together and bring better results when implemented in the right time and in...
Long-Tail SEO Strategy: Why & How to Target High-Intent Keywords

Long-Tail SEO Strategy: Why & How to Target High-Intent Keywords

Focusing on long-tail keywords can be very profitable to your SEO strategy. Read this post (taken from searchenginejournal.com) to learn how to define and use them! About the contibutor: Aleh Barysevich is Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Link-Assistant.Com, the company that makes SEO PowerSuite (website promotion toolkit) and Awario (social media software) for digital marketing professionals. Image courtesy of tommoh29 via Bigstockphoto.  Are you striking gold with your long-tail keyword strategy – or striking out? Hunting for long-tail keywords with low search volume might seem like a waste of time and effort. Why not focus your efforts on ranking for really popular keywords with high search volume? Well, everyone else is trying to rank for those really popular keywords, too! Here’s the truth: If you don’t have a long-tail SEO strategy, you’re missing out.  It’s never been easier to research long-tail keyword opportunities, target low-competition keywords with high conversion rates, and use long-tail keywords to boost your content. This guide will show you how to do exactly that. What Are Long-Tail Keywords? Long-tail keywords are highly targeted search phrases that specifically serve searcher intent. These keywords have low search volume, low competition, and typically have high conversion rates. We call these keywords “long-tail” because if you were to plot your keywords by their search volumes, these would be on the “long tail” end of the search demand curve, which means few people are searching for these terms each month. However, despite the lack of search volume, long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for and result in higher conversions than seed keywords. This is because long-tail keywords communicate a clear customer need that you can solve —...
10 Real Expert Tips for Magento Website Development

10 Real Expert Tips for Magento Website Development

Here is a set of tips for Magento website development. This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Meg Bryson has been in Marketing and Advertising since 2011. She is passionate about helping clients and creating awesome content. Image courtesy of OutStyle via Bigstockphoto. Considered to be one of the most search engine friendly platforms, the Magento eCommerce platform is considered progressive when it comes to web development. As an open-source platform, Magento is free of charge to all merchants who wish to use it. Making the switch to a responsive design scheme has never been more important than it is right now. Those sticking to an adaptive design cannot compete with the enterprises that maximize the potential of their websites by including social media, eCommerce, and online and mobile marketing. The Magento eCommerce platform allows this and so much more. But, to exploit fully the potential of Magento, you must be well-versed with all that it offers. Why Choose Magento? An eCommerce website gives you the ability to sell products or even online services to your clients globally. One of the most beneficial things about the platform is that it offers a comprehensive variety of features, all of them together in an organized structure to make them easier to locate. Magento is written in PHP. This means that new features can be added easily, and there are literally thousands of extensions to include on your website. This makes Magento the smart choice for large and small online businesses. It is also a configuration-based...
The Best VPN Services

The Best VPN Services

If you care about your privacy, travel frequently or often work on public Wi-Fi, these are the best VPN services to keep your data safe. About the author: Christian Cawley is MakeUseOf‘s security and Linux editor, with extensive experience in IT desktop and software support. Christian is a regular contributor to print publications such as Linux User & Developer, as well as a number of specials: Raspberry Pi for Beginners, Expert Android, The iPad Book Vol 6, WordPress… MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Image courtesy of Spaxia via Bigstockphoto.  The need for secure, anonymous connections to the Internet has increased considerably in the past few years, as more and more users come to realize the importance of not being seen and followed online. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network service providers — grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. We’ll be updating the list regularly, so leave your feedback in the comments for services we should add (or even remove). These VPNs offer solutions that will mask your online presence to keep you safe. But remember, VPNs might not be as private as you think. Premium VPNs Intended for the heavy user, these professional VPN services offer the basic required privacy alongside a range of additional features, from increased encryption and mobile support to unlimited bandwidth and “zero records” keeping a log of what you’re browsing. The following VPN services offer these features and others besides. ExpressVPN With 1,000 physical servers in 136 geographical locations across 87 countries, ExpressVPN’s focus is on speed. You don’t want a slow...
3 Powerful Tips For Blogging Beginners To Achieve Success In A Short Time

3 Powerful Tips For Blogging Beginners To Achieve Success In A Short Time

The top 4 things you should know when using WordPress (original is here). Editorial Staff at ShoutMeLoud is a team of writers led by Harsh Agrawal. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of ZoomTeam via Bigstockphoto. Who doesn’t want to become successful in the field of blogging? For many, blogging “success” could be reaching out to the right audience or getting more traffic or becoming popular… or it could be as simple as making enough money to pay their bills. For me, it’s helping my readers to become their own bosses. The effort that you put into the initial days of blogging defines how fast you can reach the heights of success. Today’s post is for anyone who recently started a blog or who wants to start a blog ASAP. Here I’m sharing 3 powerful tips that can help you reach your blogging goals in record time. These tips are in the form of a video. I recorded this message for a group of bloggers for a blogging event in Guwahati, India: Summary of These 3 Powerful Tips for Beginner Bloggers If you focus solely on these 3 points during the initial days of blogging, your career as a blogger, or even as an internet entrepreneur, will skyrocket. So what are those three things? 1. Pay attention to your foundation. Everyone wants traffic, but they don’t want to spend time learning about SEO, social media marketing, how to write good articles, etc. Everyone wants to be a successful blogger, but how could they do that if they don’t know what being a blogger is all about? If you...
7 Ways to Convert Website Visitors into Subscribers

7 Ways to Convert Website Visitors into Subscribers

Below are seven steps on how you can convert website visitors into subscribers. About the author: Amanda DiSilvestro (SearchEngineJournal) writes digital content that helps businesses grow their website traffic and establish thought leadership. She writes for HigherVisibility, a nationally recognized SEO consulting firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country. Connect with Amanda at AmandaDiSilvestro.com to learn more! Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community.  Image courtesy of Elenarts via Bigstockphoto. Getting 100,000 visits to your website can feel awesome. But if your conversion rate is low, all that traffic won’t do you much good. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to focus on converting your traffic into subscribers (and ultimately turning those subscribers into paying customers). So how do you do it? Here are seven ways to convert website visitors into subscribers. 1. Create Quality Content to Match Search Intent We know Google assesses the quality of webpages. But what Google really wants is to show searchers the content that best matches (or answers) the intent of that searcher’s query. So always create high-quality content that matches user intent. This type of content will rank well and – more importantly – drive targeted traffic to your site. 2. Use the Right CTA The right call to action (CTA) can be all the difference between having content that your visitors only consume (whether it’s a video or a blog post) versus content that results in your visitors taking an action you want them to take. Check out this example from SexyConfidence.com: This CTA is great because...
5 Solid Ways to Increase Conversion Rates

5 Solid Ways to Increase Conversion Rates

The article covers tips to increase conversion rates. Posted by Sawaram Suthar, semrush.com/blog. Sawaram is head of marketing at Tagove, a provider of chat software and also a founder of Jagat Media. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. SEMrush’s digital marketing blog is an innovative resource for content strategy, content marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, social media and more. Feature image courtesy of tashatuvango via Bigstockphoto.  As the digital world gets more complex and crowded, conversions seem more elusive. People are plagued by options. Your competition isn’t only businesses like yours anymore. You are also competing with anybody who is creating content in the same space as you. The great news is that conversions aren’t really elusive. If you understand how media has evolved, people’s preferences and how you can meet them, you can dramatically increase your conversion rate and grow your business. Here are five solid ways to boost your conversion rate in 2017. 1. Use Testimonials as Social Proof The market has undergone a massive inverse shift. According to Nielsen Trust Barometer 2017, trust in friends, family and ‘people like me’ has risen, while trust in brands and organizations has decreased further. That is why your customer testimonials are gold, and the more narrative and personal they are, the more likely they are to land as you want them to. Testimonials aren’t only for your website (where you should display them prominently). They can also be used strategically on any conversion-intended communication, like sales, event registration, and customer retention emails. Here’s a great example of one now. Amazon uses customer reviews to sell books...
4 Crucial Things You Need To Know When Using WordPress

4 Crucial Things You Need To Know When Using WordPress

The top 4 things you should know when using WordPress (original is here). Editorial Staff at ShoutMeLoud is a team of writers led by Harsh Agrawal. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of profit_image via Bigstockphoto. Have you ever wondered why some people succeed more than others when using WordPress as a platform for running their blog or website? The answer is pretty obvious: They know some tricks you don’t know. It’s not just enough to use WordPress, you need to know some hacks that can often make all the difference. The Top 4 WordPress Tips And Tricks 1. Use Plugins With Care Currently, there are over 49,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin directory. While the use of plugins is a necessity as far as WordPress is concerned, we shouldn’t install all 49,000 on our site. So, how many of them should you add? Well, it’s always a better practice to install a few really important ones rather than making your site look like a dumping ground for all kinds of plugins. But why care about the number of plugins? In case you don’t know, adding too many plugins to a site comes with a price. Some of the problems to expect include page speed problems, incompatibility with other plugins problems, and maybe even being entirely shut out of your blog. Incompatibility issues will periodically make your important plugins stop functioningand/or produce errors because another plugin is forcing it to malfunction. If that malfunctioning plugin is a security plugin, well, you can see the problem… Most importantly, with too many plugins...
5 Tips for Graphic Designers Switching to UX Design

5 Tips for Graphic Designers Switching to UX Design

For many web designers, now is the perfect time to make the switch into UX design.  So read these tips before starting a new projects. About the author: Nick Babich (blogs.adobe.com) is a developer, tech enthusiast, and UX lover. He has spent the last 10 years working in the software industry with a specialized focus on development. He counts advertising, psychology, and cinema among his myriad interests. Feature image courtesy of OPOLJA via Bigstockphoto. Technology continues to open up exciting career paths for design professionals. One of the hottest jobs right now is user experience (UX) designer, and companies are willing to pay top salaries for people with experience: the median salary for a UX Designer in the U.S. is $70,000/year for entry-level, and $100,00/year for experienced professionals. With demand at a high and lots of transferable skills between professions, graphic design might see UX design as a move worth making. If you’re a graphic designer looking to become a UX designer, but not sure how to start the transition, this article is for you. Graphic Design vs. UX Design Before we dive into details on how to make the transition to UX design, it’s essential to define what UX design is all about and how it’s different from graphic design. While graphic design and UX design do have some commonalities (they both require creative thinking), there’s a major difference between two — responsibilities and end-goals: Graphic design mostly deals with the visual aspects of design (colors, typefaces). The primary goal of a graphic designer is to create great aesthetics. In graphic design, information is communicated to users through text and images. Image credit: Ramotion User experience design is about designing the entire...
The Top 6 Popular Free Email Providers Online Other Than Gmail & Yahoo

The Top 6 Popular Free Email Providers Online Other Than Gmail & Yahoo

Want to know which is the best free email service? Dan Price (MakeUseOf) compiled a list of several popular free email providers. About the author: Dan is a British expat living in Mexico. He is currently the Creative Editor for MakeUseOf and was formerly the Finance Editor. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of alexey_boldin via Bigstockphoto. In 2012, Gmail overtook Hotmail to become the most popular email provider in the world. Since claiming the crown, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Today, the service boasts more than one billion users. 60 percent of mid-sized US companies and 92 percent of start-ups rely on it. The other go-to free email provider is Yahoo Mail. Sure, its user numbers pale into insignificance compared with Gmail (it had around 250 million at the start of 2017), but it’s still one of the most recognizable global email brands. But what other alternatives are out there? If you don’t want a Gmail or Yahoo account, what choices do you have? Let’s take a look at six of the most popular free email providers outside the “big two.” 1. Microsoft Outlook Outlook terminology is confusing. Microsoft has done a poor job of differentiating between its free email accounts, its free modern Windows app, and its Office 365 app. Luckily, if you just want a free email account, you don’t need to get bogged down in the details; just head to outlook.com and sign up for an @outlook.com email address. The service has surpassed Yahoo to become the second most popular free email provider in the world. In mid-2016, Microsoft reported...
Best Tools for Multi-Author WordPress Site

Best Tools for Multi-Author WordPress Site

Are you managing a multi-author blog in WordPress? If so, this article is for you. Meet the author: Anthony Anson is a professional academic writer and also working in the field of education for five years. Nowadays he is part of the Assignment Ace UK company. They provide the best assignment services for the students. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of ibphoto via Bigstockphoto.  Do you manage a multi-author WordPress site? Great! You’re lucky enough that you don’t have the agitating workload and you don’t have to daily come up with creative ideas for the articles. You are able to concentrate on the bugs fixing, design updates and manage the advertisement. At the same time, you must be facing some challenges. As more people are involved in the site, the more difficult it becomes to govern the ordeal. But, all thanks to the WordPress tools created for the Multi-Author sites to ease your difficult tasks. It allows you to run your site smoothly. Want to know about those problem-solvers? Here come the great tools to run your multi-author WordPress blog smoothly: User Role Editor It is a very useful plug-in that permits you to decide the roles and access of people. It basically informs the people of their rights when they are active on the site.Are you afraid of the damage caused by author’s mistakes? Then it’s the perfect tool for you. It allows you to outline the limit of all the people involved, even yourself.Here’s an example of a good strategy you...
The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization

The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization

The homepage is dead…. Long live the homepage? This text was posted by Cara Harshman (moz.com). The former Content Marketing Manager and Blog Editor at Optimizely, Cara is a preeminent voice in A/B testing and website personalization. She’s a two-time MozCon speaker and is currently freelancing to help companies develop great content. Feature image courtesy of Denys Prykhodov via Bigstockphoto.  In 1998, Jeff Bezos had a vision for the Internet. At that time he was four years into building Amazon. It was taking off as a humongous online emporium of books and music. In an interview with the Washington Post that year, Bezos made a visionary statement about the web. “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores,” he said. Fast-forward 19 years and here we are in 2017. My Amazon homepage is extremely personalized to me. (In August it was showing me glow sticks and solar-powered lamps. It clearly knew I was going to Burning Man.) Bezos’ vision is reality for Amazon.com and many more e-commerce sites. At this point, personalized product recommendations are table stakes for online retail. But we haven’t seen personalization become as popular across the rest of the non-retail web. Most businesses have one version of the homepage that is supposed to cater to all different sorts of people. The sites still say, “come one, come all!” This is troubling. Marketers spend so much time and energy developing personas and messaging for the myriad audiences we want to turn into customers. But it usually stops there. It’s time we start extending this persona-driven, personalized marketing to our websites, and...
13 Alternative Search Engines That Find What Google Can’t

13 Alternative Search Engines That Find What Google Can’t

Say goodbye to Google with these 13 alternative search engines! About the author: Saikat Basu (makeuseof.com) is a techno-adventurer in a writer’s garb. When he is not scouring the net for tech news, you can catch him looking for life hacks and learning tidbits. You can find him on LinkedIn & Twitter watching over the world. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of sean gladwell via Bigstockphoto. R.I.P Google. What would be your first reaction if you saw this? Scared, because your life is completely enslaved to Google. Or, hopeful because this suggests that something better has already arrived? Well, no one is chipping on that digital tombstone yet. But right now, go ahead and feel both those above emotions for a moment. Yes, Google has fenced us in and completely tethered us. And, let’s be hopeful because that better search engine is going to arrive. From all signs, it is going to Google armed with Frankesteinian artificial intelligence. But it does not mean that there is no grass outside that fence. There are some patches of green – because let’s face it – Google Search still can’t do everything. They just have close to a million data servers. A few alternative search engines have stepped in and mounted a challenge. These Search Engines Do What Google (Still) Can’t Some are worthy contenders for the second-place medallion while some are just go into those niche corners of the web. Let’s take an interest in some novel search engines that reach the little cubbyholes where even Google can’t. 1. Ecosia —...
How Grammar Affects User Experience

How Grammar Affects User Experience

Does bad grammar make bad UX? Read more from this article. About the author: Sheena Lyonnais is a Toronto-based writer, editor and digital specialist. She works in content marketing by day, studies digital strategy by night, and practices yoga somewhere in between. Follow her on Twitter @SheenaLyonnais. This article was originally posted at blogs.adobe.com. Image courtesy of Kannaa via Bigstockphoto.  Grammar might not be top of mind when you’re designing a user experience, but it should be up there. A small typo, a grammatical error, or a misworded sentence can have a detrimental impact on an experience and prevent the onboarding of a new user. At its core, grammar and spelling are communication tools that are fundamental in the establishment of trust between a user, a product and a brand. Proper grammar denotes authority, intelligence and credibility, and the absence of it can drive users away from your site, not to mention cost your company big money. An omitted hyphen is said to be the culprit behind a rocket explosion that cost NASA $80 million in 1962 (equivalent to more than $640 million today). More recently, a missing comma cost a dairy farm in Maine $10 million in a class action lawsuit. Grammar, UX and SEO While these are big-ticket examples, small typos and grammatical errors can have major consequences too. Users report that grammatical errors make them question the attentiveness of the company. One user said that if a company can’t take the time to check for spelling, they likely wouldn’t take the time for the customers either. A general rule of thumb: if it matters to users then it matters to...
Top 20 Tips and Tricks for WooCommerce

Top 20 Tips and Tricks for WooCommerce

Let’s go over top 20 tips and tricks for WooCommerce. Authored by Paul Simmons (InstantShift). He is an expert ecommerce consultant with more than 7 years of experience in the eCommerce development industry. Image courtesy of Markus Mainka via Bigstockphoto. WooCommerce is rapidly growing an eCommerce solution provider for the extensive collection of plugins it offers. It is facilitating small to medium as well as large enterprises to go live and promote the products to a concerned community. Being powered by WordPress is the among the core reasons that makes WooCommerce a priority for setting up online stores. Whether you are a beginner or have secured the basics of running an eCommerce website, using WooCommerce is not difficult anymore. The easy plugin installation, free themes, and endless customization tutorials are removing the hurdles of managing a website for all. Following are some of the tips that may help you refine your knowledge and expertise in WooCommerce. 1. Add brands to your website Brands are established over a long period of time so much that it no more needs advertisements. Adding brands to your website means getting an instant increase in your revenues. The users are well aware of the price, quality and features, so they blindly place orders. Additionally, you can allow the users of your WooCommerce website to search products by brands they know and trust. It can also boost your sales because users will skip mass selection by browsing the brands only. You can easily do so with tools like WooCommerce brands plugin to endorse brand logos and categorize products according to its manufacturers. 2. Ensure the security of your...
7 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Free Website to a Premium Service

7 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Free Website to a Premium Service

Thinking about upgrading your web hosting plan? Here are a few signs that you should do it. About the author: Joel Lee (MakeUseOf) is a writer from Philadelphia and the Tech Explained editor. In his free time he dabbles in fiction, photography, and game development. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of mkabakov via Bigstockphoto. I’ve created dozens of blogs over the past decade, but I’m also a frugal freak — so I’ve had my fair share of experiences with free web hosting. And believe me when I say this: free web hosting isn’t worth it. The only time I’d recommend free web hosting is when it’s your first time ever setting up a website. It’s a great way to learn the ropes without investing any cash, and if you decide that websites aren’t for you, then you can walk away without any regrets. Are you on a free web host right now? Do you plan to keep your website going? Then it may be time to upgrade to a paid plan. Here are a few signs that you’ve outgrown your free web hosting plan. 1. Your Website Loads Too Slowly Free web hosts are slow. So slow that every visit to your site may feel like you’ve been transported back to the days of 56K dial-up. There are three main reasons for this: CPU, HDD, and bandwidth. It shouldn’t surprise you that free web hosts try to cut corners wherever possible. As such, servers tend to be equipped with barely-passable processors, which are unbearably slow to process...
Social Traffic vs. Search Traffic: Which Is Better For Bloggers?

Social Traffic vs. Search Traffic: Which Is Better For Bloggers?

Search vs social: where should you be spending your advertising budget? This article is from ShoutMeLoud, authored by Kishensreehari. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Feature image courtesy of bspguy via Bigstockphoto.  At ShoutMeLoud, we always look to answer the big questions. One question that has been plaguing me for a long time is: What is the right marketing channel for my blog? Is social the right way? Or is it search? Where should most of my marketing efforts go? As I researched the best marketing channels, I realized that “blogs” are different businesses that have different clients. Some blogs are technical and specific, and others are generic and informational. There is no one single solution for all blogs. Is It Better To Get Social Traffic Or Search Traffic? In this article, I will give examples of different kinds of blogs and the channels that are most effective for them. And a little later in the article, I’ll explore why certain channels work well for some, but not for others. Let’s begin… Backlinko – SEO Blog Backlinko is the popular SEO blog on the internet. Brian Dean (the owner of Backlinko) doesn’t even write that many articles. He focuses on a few pieces, but he pushes that content considerably. Understandably, search engines offer him the highest amount of traffic for Backlinko. And rightfully so. A blog about SEO should have a lot of search traffic. It’s actually pretty awesome that he gets 4% of his traffic from social media because you wouldn’t expect technical SEO...
The Things You Can’t Do with WordPress

The Things You Can’t Do with WordPress

This article is here to help you understand what WordPress simply can’t do for you. Authored by Lucy Benton, instantshift.com. Lucy is a specialist in digital marketing and content writing who currently works at BestEssayTips. She focuses mostly on the worlds of technology, gadgets, and the Internet.  InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of studiostoks via Bigstockphoto.  WordPress is awesome and we absolutely love it. There’s no better open-source content management system like it because even its closest competitors, Drupal and Joomla, are nowhere near in terms of user-friendliness of the interface as well as functionality. Because of this reason, more than a half of all websites in the world use WordPress to power them. Many people who use the platform often wonder whether there is something it can’t do because all the functions they need are there. “Is there is something WordPress can’t do for me?” Answering this question is certainly an interesting thing to have to do, especially if you’re not a tech-savvy person who think WordPress is perfect is all areas (in many, it is). Do you think this question could be answered? Read below to find out. You’ll be surprised at the end, I promise. WordPress Can’t Get Your Website Found If you have been using the services of WordPress developers to install the system on your site, you may have heard them praising its abilities to improve your ranking in the results of search engines. Well, by saying this, they try to mislead you a little bit because the system...
10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

When it comes to building websites that are focused on content, the best option is using a content management system. A list of 10 most widely used CMS has been complied for you. Have a look! (original is from MakeUseOf). About the author: Christian Cawley is MakeUseOf’s security and Linux editor, with extensive experience in IT desktop and software support. Feature image courtesy of Rawpixel.com bia Bigstockphoto.  Perhaps you’re planning to set up a blog. You might have been asked to launch (or revive) your employer’s corporate website. Or, you might just want to announce your presence online. Heave a sigh of relief as the days of hand-coded HTML pages, and mastering CSS, are long gone. All it takes today is to purchase some hosting and install a content management system (CMS). Within minutes, your new website will be polished, a pleasing theme chosen, and your content on show for the world to see. What is a Content Management System? It’s important to note the distinction between a CMS and a customer relationship management tool, or a document management service (such as Microsoft SharePoint). Text editors are not CMS tools, for instance. Content Management Systems are web-based applications that are designed for the creation and updating of websites. They may have themes or plugins to extend functionality, and make the management of a website simple. WordPress remains popular for running a website, but other CMS solutions are available. Some of these might replicate WordPress’s “jack-of-all-trades” approach, while others may specialize. For instance, a portfolio-focused CMS might be ideal for artists; an audio-focused solution more suitable for musicians or podcasters. These solutions all have their own strengths and benefits....
Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. OneDrive: Which Cloud Storage Is Best for You?

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. OneDrive: Which Cloud Storage Is Best for You?

Which cloud storage service is right for you? Posted by Joel Lee (MakeUseOf). He is a writer from Philadelphia and the Tech Explained editor. In his free time he dabbles in fiction, photography, and game development. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of SimonBratt via Bigstockphoto.  I was a huge cloud storage skeptic when Dropbox debuted a decade ago and popularized the idea for everyday consumers. Of course, back then the world wasn’t so internet-connected as it is today, plus storage limits were much tighter and syncing algorithms weren’t as robust. Cloud storage has come a long way since, and I freely admit that cloud storage has made my life much better. Not only does it keep all files available to me regardless of which device I’m on, but it also works as a way to keep data backups. But which cloud storage service should you use? Well, it depends on your needs: total storage space, platform availability, ecosystem integration, etc. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the major ones but here’s how they compare (and a few lesser-known alternatives to check out). Dropbox Launched in 2007, Dropbox will forever deserve respect as the one who brought cloud storage to the masses. Without it, who knows how we’d be sharing files between PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. By email, perhaps? Or personal FTP servers? I shudder to think of the alternatives. While being the first rarely means being the best, Dropbox is one example where it could be true. Yes, Dropbox has never been...
Migrating from Magento 1.X to Magento 2.X – An Adventure in Details

Migrating from Magento 1.X to Magento 2.X – An Adventure in Details

The story of creation a B2B Marketplace based on Magento 2, migrated from Magento 1. It’s originally from CreativeMinds (cminds.com). The CreativeMinds team specializes in creating cutting-edge WordPress Plugins and Magento & Ecommerce Extensions, aimed to satisfy the growing needs of website administrators, designers and developers worldwide. Feature image courtesy of ideyweb via Bigstockphoto.  We recently completed a project migrating a Magento 1.8 used as a marketplace to the new Magento 2 platform (version 2.1.2). This store was based on version 1.8 of Magento and was a Marketplace based on the CreativeMinds Marketplace extension with around 500 thousand products. The client requested multiple alterations to the checkout process and admin capabilities. After considering the work needed we realised that rebuilding the site on Magento 2 was going to take the same amount of time as making the changes considering a lot of the requirements were already included as default functionalities in Magento 2. This led us down the road of creating a B2B Marketplace based on Magento 2, migrated from Magento 1. A new adventure to be sure! A little spoiler… This did not go so smoothly… and may not have been the correct decision at this point of Magento 2. Initial Assumptions Our assumptions were as follows: 1. DB migration should be easy using the Magento 2 DB migration code. 2. We found all required extensions that were on the Magento 1 site ready for Magento 2. 3. We would use the default Luma theme as base and make adjustments to it as it has the base structure needed by the customer. 4. We will use the Magento 2 core...
50 Latest Really High Quality Free Fonts for Designers

50 Latest Really High Quality Free Fonts for Designers

Here is incredible list of fresh free high-quality fonts (originally posted on instantshift.com). InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Daniel Adams is the chief editor of iShift from San Diego, California. He has been in developer and designer world for more than 9 years. He love all things having to do with PHP, MySQL, CSS, AJAX, or jQuery. You can follow him on twitter or facebook. Featured image courtesy of lucidwaters via Bigstockphoto.  Typography doesn’t exist in a vacuum, the letters often powerfully evoke specific times and places and can help us come to a clearer understanding of significant cultural changes. Tracing their unique forms can provide a picture of the historical and political chapters that collectively tell our story. Not only are there a plethora of font families but there are also the font styles within each family. So, really, the question isn’t whether or not you can get a specific font – it’s where to begin! Below you’ll find a New Collection of High-Quality Free Fonts by which you can save money and focus on making great designs. Latest Free Fonts for Designers The world of typography can be daunting, to say the least. For a few dollars, you can download thousands of fonts in just a few minutes and tens of thousands free fonts are available if you are willing to sort through them all. The basic purpose behind this post is to show you Popular, Artistic and most importantly Free Downloadable font types to save your time searching them online. Direct...
Stop Being Boring: How To Write More Humorous Articles

Stop Being Boring: How To Write More Humorous Articles

Do you want to know the secrets of writing more funny articles? Check out this text (original is here). Editorial Staff at ShoutMeLoud is a team of writers led by Harsh Agrawal. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of Ammentorp via Bigstockphoto. When writing, you obviously want to keep your audience in mind. The goal is to capture the attention of your readers and retain it. That way, you make them visit your blog or website regularly, and while they’re there, they spend quality time going through your articles. In doing so, you maintain your readership and reduce your bounce rate. However, some people find this hard because most of their readers think their articles are boring. They can capture the attention of their readers initially, but lose it just as quickly as they gained it. Is it a hopeless situation? No! How To Use Humor In Your Writing After reading this article, you will gain some useful tips that will help you write humorous content that will resurrect your blog and keep your readers waiting for more. Here’s what you need to do… 1. Use Sarcasm Some people just have a knack for sarcasm. With a little sense of humor, you can use sarcasm as one of the most practical tools to gain and retain the attention of your readers. If you can use sarcasm at the right time, the effect will be very powerful. But be warned: Not everyone understands when sarcasm is being used. You have to study and...
10 Common Content Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in 2017

10 Common Content Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in 2017

Julia McCoy (searchenginejournal.com) explores 10 common content mistakes you need to avoid in 2017.  About the contributor: Julia is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster, and avid content marketer. She’s the founder and CEO of Express Writers, a leading online content creation agency with over 60 content writers and strategists. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. Image courtesy of AntonioGuillem via Bigstockphoto. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein We’ve all heard phrases like, “Tomorrow is another day” and “The future is still unwritten.” While this may be true, we can improve our chances in the future by learning from today’s mistakes. In the world of content development, we have the advantage of sitting under expert advice, future predictions, and trends backed by authoritative statistics. Our interconnectedness provides us the opportunity to learn quickly and apply what we know to our own industry. With so many quality resources at our disposal, there is little excuse for content marketers who choose to remain stuck in the same old methods and day-old practices of development. 10 Content Mistakes to Avoid in 2017 Content marketing has seen its share of changes over the past several years, much of which is thanks to ever-evolving technology and the rise of social media. As we move into a new year of content development, here are mistakes to avoid or fix. Mistake 1: Not Maintaining a Consistent Blog Do you know how many blogs are started, created, or put on a to-do list…but never...
The Impact of Color on Conversion Rates

The Impact of Color on Conversion Rates

In this article you’ll know how color can help improve conversion rates and user experience on your website. About the author: Nick Babich (blogs.adobe.com) is a developer, tech enthusiast, and UX lover. He has spent the last 10 years working in the software industry with a specialized focus on development. He counts advertising, psychology, and cinema among his myriad interests. Image coortesy of Besjunior via Bigstockphoto. Color is one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s toolkit. It can draw attention, set a mood, and influence a users’ emotions, perceptions and actions. “Color does not add a pleasant quality to design — it reinforces it”   Pierre Bonnard Did you know that color accounts for 90% of the reason why you purchased a specific product? Or that full-colored ads in magazines are recognized 26% more than black and white ads? It seems quite obvious: use the right colors, and you win. But the real question that comes to mind is, how do you find the “right” color? To answer this question, we need to analyze traditional color associations, the differences between men and women’s perceptions of color schemes, and accessibility concerns. Color Psychology Color does more than just give us objective information about a product, it also has a powerful psychological influence on the human brain. Certain colors can convey different feelings, depending on what part of the world your design will be viewed. Here are some feelings colors can give off in the western world: Red Danger, Importance, Passion Red is the color of fire and blood. It’s one of the most powerful colors, attributed simultaneously with love and war (the common saying, “to see...
Top 10 Mistakes That Everyone Makes in WordPress

Top 10 Mistakes That Everyone Makes in WordPress

In this article (originally from InstantShift), Tom Jager has outlined 10 of the most common WordPress mistakes that you should avoid. Tom is professional blogger. He works at A-writer. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of Yastremska via Bigstockphoto.  WordPress is a relatively easy platform to learn but if you are a starter, there are a number of traps that you can fall into without educating yourself before using it. In many cases, easiness and intuitive interface of the platform are what makes people commit mistakes because beginners think that they will figure everything out during the working process. However, many people who initially perceived WordPress training as optional have encountered a number of problems, especially in the beginning because there are some things that should be done. While most of these problems are not critical, some of them may lead to horrible consequences, such as losing the site. Besides, failing to perform even simple things can be frustrating, so it is certainly better to prepare yourself. One good way to prepare yourself for using WordPress and avoid committing mistakes is to learn from experiences of others. To do that, in this article we will review top ten most common mistakes that both beginners and experienced users make in WordPress. Sounds good? Let’s begin. Mistake #1: Creating a Weak Password and Admin Name Millions of people around the world use WordPress as content management system for their sites. This means that hackers target the platform very often...
4 Reasons Why Traffic Is Increasing But Not Conversions

4 Reasons Why Traffic Is Increasing But Not Conversions

Well, getting traffic is not so difficult, but getting that traffic to convert is a different story. Here are 4 ways to evaluate your traffic and conversions. This article is from SEMrush blog, authored by Chirag Rawal. He is an expert in digital marketing and local SEO. Chirag has been working in the reputed Magento development company offers eCommerce SEO services and serving a large clientele worldwide. Image courtesy of tashatuvango via Bigstockphoto. After launching the website, it is time for users to flock Website. You have to optimize your website, so the user can find out your website while searching on search engines with relevant keywords or phrases. If you successfully optimized your website and perform better on a search engine you will definitely get good traffic. Now analyze the number of visits and conversion (or leads) on your website using Google Analytics tool. If your websites have good traffic but conversion is not so good enough then it’s time to analyze the reasons behind it. It is a myth that your website will convert well if you have thousands of visitors. A high traffic website does not guarantee good conversions. A user action is important for a conversion to take place like subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an E-book or a white paper, filling out a contact form, or purchasing products or services. If none of the above is happening, your website seriously needs of professional SEO Services. However, here we have analyzed the 4 major problems, responsible for no conversions. Let’s Discuss: 1. Detailed Information Without A Call To Action Is Useless Most websites have enough information to serve visitors. However, if...
Update Chrome Now to Make Your Battery Last Longer

Update Chrome Now to Make Your Battery Last Longer

Google has announced a new update to Chrome, which promises to lower the web browser’s impact on your computer’s battery life, says MakeUseOf. About the author: Dave Parrack is a technology journalist from the UK. Growing up at a time when personal computing and the internet were blossoming gave him a fascination with technology that continues to this day. With 10 years experience writing online, he’s currently the Tech News writer and Entertainment editor at MakeUseOf. Image courtesy of ibphoto via Bigstockphoto.  Google is making a concerted effort to stop Chrome from being such a drain on your system resources. And it’s starting by throttling tabs running in the background. Google’s ultimate aim is to suspend background tabs completely, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. It’s been known for some time that Google Chrome can put incredible strain on system resources, burning through your battery quicker than it should. It’s why some people have switched to using newer browsers instead. However, the latest version of Chrome alleviates this particular issue. Throttling Background Tabs With the launch of Chrome 57 this week, Google’s web browser will treat background tabs differently. Google claims background tabs “consume a third of Chrome’s power usage on desktop,” which means throttling them to reduce their CPU load is a significant step. The throttling of background tabs means that once you’ve installed Chrome 57 you should notice Google’s web browser putting less strain on your CPU. By how much? As Chrome 57 will “delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of a core,” the results should be noticeable. Google is throttling background...
Hey Programmers: Boost Your Typing Speed Using These 2 Tools

Hey Programmers: Boost Your Typing Speed Using These 2 Tools

By increasing your typing speed, you could significantly boost your codingproductivity. Here are two tools you can use to help you with that. About the author: Saikat Basu (makeuseof.com) is a techno-adventurer in a writer’s garb. When he is not scouring the net for tech news, you can catch him looking for life hacks and learning tidbits. You can find him on LinkedIn & Twitter watching over the world. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of twinsterphoto via Bigstockphoto.  Do you use two fingers to type a line of code? And all the while you look down at the keyboard? That won’t do. In the modern bullpens for geeks, speed is a survival skill. Typists don’t need to be programmers. But programmers need to be typists. The next time you sit down to type a line of code, think about the pause created by the hunt for a symbol on the keyboard. The interruption is just as bad as an unwelcome phone call. I know you will get better at it. But there is a way to boost your typing speed while programming right now. General typing tutors focus more on the alpha-numeric keys, but a coder wears out the symbol keys just as much. The programmer needs a different kind of a typing tutor. The two here will take you through many typing drills. Start practice. Typing.io All Typing.io practice lessons are there to help you get your accuracy and speed right. Even keyboard virtuosos might see a small dip in their words-per-minute when challenged by the symbol...
11 Ways To Successfully Get Back To Work After Your Vacation

11 Ways To Successfully Get Back To Work After Your Vacation

How can you avoid the post-vacation crush? Here are some tips. This article is from Bustle, authored by Raven Ishak. Raven is a native Floridian who currently resides in New York City. Her work has been seen on Brit + Co, Taste The Style, and The Everygirl. Bustle delivers everything you want to know, see, and read right now whether you’re starting your work day, taking a study break, waiting for a flight, preparing a bottle for your kid, or doing something else entirely. Image courtesy of Kaspars Grinvalds via Bigstockphoto.  After hanging by the shore and soaking in the sun, the last thing you want to think about is work. But as much as you would like your vacation to last forever, it’s time to come back to reality and figure out ways to get back to work after your vacation. Ideally, before you head out to your vacation, you want to make sure everything is good to go: you’ve communicated with everyone, turned on your OOO (out-of-office) responder, and tied up any loose ends from projects or assignments. While those things are important, it’s just as vital to set up a plan for when you return. According to POPSUGAR, during the first couple of days back in the office, it’s best to rekindle with old tasks first and catch up with what you’ve missed. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, tackle newer assignments on a later date when you feel a little bit more prepared and settled. Even if you’re a type-A person, it can be easy to feel mentally exhausted from the pile of work that you’ve returned to. But...
How to Make Your Website Visitors Feel Truly Welcome

How to Make Your Website Visitors Feel Truly Welcome

Website visitors are hard to win but easy to lose. That’s why you have to make a good first impression on them. This article is from SEMrush blog. Authored by Amanda E. Clark. Amanda is CEO and Editor-in-Chief at Grammar Chic, Inc. You can follow her company on Twitter. Image courtesy of gstockstudio via Bigstockphoto.  If you showed up my house unexpectedly, I probably wouldn’t have a hot meal waiting for you; I may not have the porch light on for you, and the place may not be quite as tidy as I’d like. But if I’m expecting you, that means I’ll do the preparations necessary for making you feel truly welcome. The house will look and feel inviting to you. As a business owner, it’s vital to expect people to show up at your website. That means making your site feel truly welcoming. When a guest arrives at your home page for the first time, he or she should feel like you’ve just been waiting for them to come—like their visit is anticipated. That’s all well and good in the abstract, but what does it mean in concrete terms? Let me make a few suggestions for making a website feel more welcoming, more accommodating to expected guests. Putting Out the Welcome Mat Make sure all your links work. If you arrive at someone’s home and it’s in shambles—if there are major areas of the house that are sectioned off because they’re under construction—that’s usually an indication that your presence wasn’t expected. It’s sort of the same with a website. When you anticipate guests, you ensure that all of your internal links are working properly, allowing people...
13 Best WordPress Plugins To Detect Malicious Code in Your Site

13 Best WordPress Plugins To Detect Malicious Code in Your Site

Anna Marsh (instantshift.com) has gathered 13 plugins to deal with malicious code in a WordPress theme or website. Anna works as a Web Developer for UK Essay Help Deal firm. She also owns a blog where she loves to talk about web development trends, latest plugins and new products. Image courtesy of oocoskun via Bigstockphoto.   In the world of automated programs and malicious softwares, thinking that your website is safe is just too good to be true. Even when you are integrated with upgraded security measures, WordPress websites remains a target for hackers. Though there are many premium users who pay the money to stay safe and secure from potential threats, but they can never be too sure about their safety. Hackers are professionals who know their job very well. They have plenty of ways to get access to your website and deprive you of any valuable stuff. Sometimes, they even spend several days to analyze the code of your website and then find a loophole to get control on it. Since you have to do so many things with your website, you cannot keep an eye on every granular activity on your website. So if those malevolent intruders get a hold of your site, you can kiss your reputation goodbye. However, there are many top WP plugin that can help you secure your website and bid farewell to hazardous softwares once and for all. Here they are: 1. Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) One of the most reliable anti-virus plugins, TAC helps you search every suspicious file to avoid any damage to your website. It does it by listing the malicious files along with...
43 Tasks Every Blogger Can Outsource To Be More Productive

43 Tasks Every Blogger Can Outsource To Be More Productive

Here are 43 tasks you can outsource. Editorial Staff at ShoutMeLoud is a team of writers led by Harsh Agrawal. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of leowolfert via Bigstockphoto.  Stop trying to do everything alone. Being a jack of all trades could actually make you less productive. There are many different things we need to do as a blogger & a marketer, and we can only be in one place and doing one thing at a time. For serious bloggers, you need to outsource several tasks immediately to save time and increase output. Getting professional hands on some of your work will give you better results and help you earn you more money in the long run. There’s nothing truer than the words of D. C. Moody:  “I’d rather get ten men to do the job than do the job of ten men.” When outsourcing work, don’t make one man do the work of thirty people since you wouldn’t be able to do that yourself. Instead, try to get as many competent hands as possible to outsource the tasks to (within the realm of your budget), with each individual handling his/her area of specialization. 43 Tasks You Need To Outsource To A Virtual Assistant Here’s a breakdown of the various categories of tasks you can easily outsource to a virtual assistant to save time: General Virtual Assistant Content Creator Audio/Video Editor Web Developer SEO/Web Marketer ROLE: GENERAL VIRTUAL ASSISTANT The job of the General Virtual Assistant involves mainly attending to: Emails and...
Tips On How To Make Your Blog More Mobile Friendly

Tips On How To Make Your Blog More Mobile Friendly

Here are some tips on making your blog mobile friendly. This article is from instantshift.com. About the author: Erick Hodge is the owner of DockingStationHQ, a blog about all the latest in the Android world. He believes that every piece of technology can be made better by the right additions, and you can find the best gadgets for Android devices in Erick’s blog. Image courtesy of weedezign via Bigstockphoto.  Google recently announced that they will be using mobile friendly algorithm update to check if all blogs are mobile-friendly, and will penalize those who are not. Which left many bloggers wondering, how to make their websites more mobile friendly and how to even know if your blog is mobile friendly or not. Which is why we put together the most vital information about why making your blog more mobile-friendly is so important and how to actually do it. Nowadays, a large chunk of any blog visitors are using their mobile devices instead of computers to do so. And since Google has vowed to boost the rankings of the sites, that are suitable to view on mobile devices, it is more important than ever to make sure your blog or website is friendly to mobile devices. Of course, it is not only about what Google wants. Making your blog mobile friendly is also in your and your readers best interests, because, since so many people use their mobile devices to surf the internet, it will make the reading of your blog more convenient for them. According to the Pew Internet Project’s research, more than a third of all cell phone owners use their phone more...
Top 10 Graphic Designing Trends For The Year 2017

Top 10 Graphic Designing Trends For The Year 2017

Discover the top graphic design trends of 2017. Posted by Victoria Lucy, instantshift.com. Victoria is a proficient consultant and educational writer at Ideamens. She assists students with my blogs and also deal with those students who seek guidance related to their career. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of stockertop via Bigstockphoto.  As 2016 ended, as we know—it’s a fine idea to begin looking ahead in the world of design to spot what graphic design trends are approaching our way. We’ve been imagining and visualizing how we can integrate stock photos and vectors into new-fangled and stimulating design themes. Whereas we’ve witness several auspicious trends over the past year, 2017 is assuring to take design to a brighter, intrepid stage. Let’s turn to what this year 2017 will probably have in stockpile for us as graphic designers. In this article, we will be discussing about the trends we all have been noting and are possibly to spear in this year. We will be conversing about artistic and conspicuous trends which we will be witnessing this year 2017. Graphic design, also acknowledged as communication design, is the knack and practice of developing and extrapolating notions and experiences along with textual and visual content. The type of the communication can be corporal or practical, and might consist of words, images or else graphic forms. The experiences can effect immediately or can effect after an elongated period of time. The vocation can turn out at any extent, these designer articulate their conceptions and initiatives by their designs. The design may vary...
5 Things To Practice To Become A Great Blog Writer

5 Things To Practice To Become A Great Blog Writer

Want to become a good blog writer? Eric Michelson (shoutmeloud.com) shares some good advices for you. He is a blogger, writer, editor, and artist. He is an editor and proofreader at ShoutMeLoud and founder of the forthcoming blog Perspective Earth. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of Khakimullin via Bigstockphoto. It’s a new year, so let’s go ahead and make a New Year’s resolution right now: I promise to write every day. It doesn’t have to be much. But it has to be something. Something. Anything. It can be a journal entry. (See The Five-Minute Journal.) It can be a blog post. It can be a 750 word free-write. It can be an avant-garde poem about a wilting flower. It doesn’t matter. But you need to write… every day. This is how you master the craft of writing. Nobody just sits down and stares at a blank page (or screen) and in 30 minutes comes up with the next great piece of literature. That doesn’t happen. In order to master your craft, you need to practice that craft. And in order to practice that craft, you need to: Maintain a discipline. What your discipline looks like is surely different than what my discipline looks like, but the important thing is that you stay consistent. You need to consistently stay disciplined every single day. In case you’re wondering what my discipline looks like, here’s a piece I wrote for the content writing community nDash.co. I like to think of maintaining a writing...
When Is a Phone Call Better Than an Email? 6 Times When You Should Take It Offline

When Is a Phone Call Better Than an Email? 6 Times When You Should Take It Offline

Did you know that sometimes phone calls can be more effective than emails? Below are six examples. Written by Amanda Zantal-Wiener, blog.hubspot.com. Amanda is a Senior Staff Writer at HubSpot. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Image courtesy of Rido81 via Bigstockphoto.  I don’t know about you, but as a rule, I communicate better via written word. It gives me time to think. It lets me use the vocabulary that my SAT tutor hammered into my brain so many years ago. And most of all, it gives me a screen to hide behind when I have to confront an uncomfortable topic — making the situation much less awkward. But there are times when even I, the perpetual wordsmith, have to make an actual phone call. Speaking to another human being over the phone can be nerve wracking. Maybe it’s because so few of us actually use our mobile devices for that anymore — after all, Pew Research found that text messaging is the most widely-used feature on them. But even if it looks like phone calls are fading on the surface, there are times when they’re still essential — especially, it seems, where a sensitive subject is concerned. That means it’s time to stop hiding behind the screen, take a deep breath, and dial. We’ve outlined six of the most important occasions when a phone call is better than an email. Have a look, and start talking. 6 Times a Phone Call Is Better Than an Email 1) When You Want to Apologize Most of us grow up understanding that, when we do something wrong,...
10 Common Content Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in 2017

10 Common Content Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in 2017

Here are 10 most common content marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them. Authored by Julia McCoy (searchenginejournal.com). Julia McCoy is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster, and serial content marketer. She’s the founder of Express Writers, a leading online content creation agency with over 60 handpicked, mentored content writers. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto.  We’ve all heard phrases like, “Tomorrow is another day” and “The future is still unwritten.” While this may be true, we can improve our chances in the future by learning from today’s mistakes. In the world of content development, we have the advantage of sitting under expert advice, future predictions, and trends backed by authoritative statistics. Our interconnectedness provides us the opportunity to learn quickly and apply what we know to our own industry. With so many quality resources at our disposal, there is little excuse for content marketers who choose to remain stuck in the same old methods and day-old practices of development. I’m here to ring in the New Year with ten mistakes that are easy to make, but can be avoided with a bit of practice and attention to new technology. 10 Content Mistakes to Avoid in 2017 Content marketing has seen its share of changes over the past several years, much of which is thanks to ever-evolving technology and the rise of social media. As we move into a new year of content development, here are mistakes to avoid or fix. Mistake 1: Not Maintaining a Consistent Blog Do...
Understanding Mobile Users: Characteristics, Habits & Behavior on Mobile Web

Understanding Mobile Users: Characteristics, Habits & Behavior on Mobile Web

This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Kavin Paulson is a Tech Enthusiast, Blogger and a Digital Marketing Associate at Technousa – a world class offshore IT Consulting & Software Development Company. Image courtesy of Maridav via Bigstockphoto.  ‘The world is going mobile’ is an outdated phrase, it’s a mobile world. When mobile searches surpass desktop searches at Google and when Google is all set to go ‘mobile first’ by creating a separate mobile index – you are assured that it’s truly a mobile world. According to Smart Insights, 80% of Internet users own a Smartphone and 51% of the time spent with digital media in a day on mobile ( close to 3 hours ), more than the time spent on Desktop ( 42%). Though businesses understand the importance of going mobile and also have already made their presence, many businesses, due to lack of proper understanding of mobile users’ behavior and their needs, fail to properly fine-tune their mobile strategy, which results in no or partial success in tapping the potential of their mobile audience. If you want to fully tap the potential of the mobile web, you should understand the mobile users in-depth, specifically, your mobile audience – this article is a quick guide and will be a good start to the process of understanding mobile user behavior, habits and characteristics – rest of the things you learn through experience and experiments which will be highly relevant to your business case scenario. 1. Mobile users are...
Editing Tips for Web Copywriting

Editing Tips for Web Copywriting

You think you copywriting skills are great? Why don’t you check these tips out and see if can learn something new. Posted by Ariel Valley, catch22marketing.com. Catch22 Marketing helps companies improve and increase their business through superb web design and smart inbound marketing campaigns. Image courtesy of Photonphoto via Bigstockphoto.  The world of web design and inbound marketing changes constantly. Because of this, I often feel like I spend at least 3 hours every day reading online articles about the newest trends and updates in the industry. One of the places I find myself spending the most time is often within LinkedIn Pulse. It’s a great resource to devour industry-related news as well as advice on business and leadership from different people with very different levels of experience and backgrounds. However, because LinkedIn is a self-publishing platform, many articles tend to lack the necessary editing. Although I understand that as a writer I am definitely more keenly aware of mistakes that most people wouldn’t even notice, I am in constant amazement of how many successful business professionals – CEOs and “LinkedIn Influencers” especially – seem to completely lack any sort of editing skills. I begin to read an intriguing article written by a thought leader, only to quickly find myself discrediting everything they are saying because they don’t know how to properly use punctuation. Rant aside…whether you’re writing a social media or blog post, an email to a client, or copy for your website, poor writing and editing can really hurt your business. Follow these tips, establish your own process, and write! (Bonus Tip: You’re going to need to establish consistency within your brand...
Why You Should Focus On Page Load Speed in 2017

Why You Should Focus On Page Load Speed in 2017

If your website isn’t loading as quickly as it could read on to learn why page speed is important. This article was written by Hagen Petters, shoutMEloud. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of tashatuvango via Bigstockphoto. Every e-commerce owner wants to increase their conversion rates and reduce their exit rates. And, studies show that one of the key reasons why exit rates may be hitting the roof is poor page load performance. Below, you will find an explanation as to why page speed should be your next focus for your e-commerce site if you want to make your store as profitable as possible (which I’m assuming you do). Why is page load speed so important? It definitely makes sense to improve your page load speed as much as possible. Potential customers can really get frustrated and disillusioned with your site if they find that they have to wait ages for pages to load. This is a key reason why exit rates (the rates at which visitors to a page exit your site on that specific page) can start to climb. Gomez.com recently did a study which suggested that over half of internet users expect a website to load within 2 seconds. Any longer than that, and they may start tapping their watch, getting frustrated, and preparing to click away from your site to see if one of your competitors offers an e-commerce experience with a better page load performance. A study by Akami found that around three-quarters of...
The 5 Most Common Mistakes UX Designers Made During 2016

The 5 Most Common Mistakes UX Designers Made During 2016

Here are a few UX mistakes we commonly see in 2016. About the author: Nick Babich (blogs.adobe.com) is a developer, tech enthusiast, and UX lover. He has spent the last 10 years working in the software industry with a specialized focus on development. He counts advertising, psychology, and cinema among his myriad interests. Image courtesy of Dundanim via Bigstockphoto.  Design is a constantly evolving field. If we look back to the 2016, a number of popular design trends come to mind: microinteractions, minimalist design, dramatic typography, vibrant colors, and onboarding. But trends aren’t always a good thing — for digital marketers, jumping on the latest design trend can hurt UX. Designers often opt to create something trendy and visually appealing, but the can easily sacrifice usability in the process. It pretty much goes without saying that user experience is extremely important to keep in mind when designing a product, and when it comes to design trends, it’s key to find a balance between what looks nice and what works. Here are some of the most common UX fumbles designers made by following trends during 2016, as well as tips on how you can avoid making the same mistakes in your future projects. Mistake #1: Light Fonts Together With Low Contrast There’s a typeface that is currently trending and a lot of websites and apps have been using lately, light fonts. Light fonts are elegant, fresh, and fashionable. Using them in your design is one of the most popular ways to show users that your app or site is modern and up-to-date. Light font in Apple Weather app for iOS However, light fonts can...
13 Things to Start, Stop & Keep Doing With Your Email Marketing in 2017

13 Things to Start, Stop & Keep Doing With Your Email Marketing in 2017

It’s time to start planning email marketing programs for the new year. Check out these 13 tips. This article was written by Sophia Bernazzani, blog.hubspot.com. Sophia is a New England native who loves great writing, green tea, and cats. You can find her practicing yoga, re-reading Harry Potter, or baking cookies. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Image courtesy of mkabakov via Bigstockphoto.  Email marketing is a powerful tool to encourage your audience to engage with content and to nurture leads in your database along the buyer’s journey. And despite what you may think, email marketing is still growing: Gmail alone has 1 billion users worldwide, and The Radicati Group predicts that there will be 3 billion email users worldwide by 2020 (that’s almost half of the world’s population). Certainly email is not dead, but it is getting harder to do well. HubSpot Postmaster and Email Engineering Director Tom Monaghan distilled his wisdom into a set of guidelines for email marketing for growth in 2017 at INBOUND last year. Read on to learn what strategies you should start implementing, absolutely avoid, and keep up in 2017 and in years ahead. How to Improve Your Email Marketing in 2017 1) Send emails to lists that want to hear from you. If you have email lists with low rates of engagement activity, stop sending to them. Every time you send to a list with low open and engagement rates, it hurts your domain reputation and your chances of connecting with other potential customers. Monaghan said it best in his talk: “You are what you eat,...
High-Tech SEO Trends for the Year 2017

High-Tech SEO Trends for the Year 2017

This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Manas Kumar is a SEO Analyst, He is putting hard efforts on his project and letting them earn high revenues. Image courtesy of mars1958 via Bigstockphoto.  It is essential for every business to keep themselves up-dated with the changes in the SEO trends. This might get a little tougher with Google and other search engines coming up with a whole set of new rules and regulations. It is a possibility that even the most experienced specialist for SEO might over look a thing or two which might be disastrous. 2017 is heading for new trends with regard to optimization of the search engine. Changing your strategy for SEO is what is required in the coming year. This post can guide you on the right approach for SEO and also inform you of the direction this is heading in. Trend 1: Choosing right keywords The SEO strategies have seen a drastic change as compared to a few years before. SEO, at one time, used to be all about short keywords which were page focused. These days, you require long tail keywords which are engaging along with emphasis being laid on building of a brand as compared to only a single service or product. Keyword research still holds importance, but creating the right content, analytics and marketing on the social media works out equally essential. To understand SEO in a better manner you need to have an apt understanding of the analytics of your website....
3 Proactive SEO Tips to Help Prepare for 2017

3 Proactive SEO Tips to Help Prepare for 2017

If you plan on rethinking your SEO strategy in 2017 (and you should), here are the most important factors to consider moving forward. The original article is from SEMrush blog. About the author: Brock Murray is a digital marketing specialist for seoplus+. His unique ideas and passion for all things SEO-related have helped hundreds of SMBs establish and maintain their online presence.  Image courtesy of leolintang via Bigstockphoto.  Tis the season to recap the year and start making predictions about what’s to come as we prepare to ring in 2017. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most dynamic fields out there, and ranking factors are rarely the same day to day and never mind year to year! The trick is staying ahead of the curve and optimizing your website for what’s to come, not where we’ve been. The proactive approach will result in a superior user experience for your visitors and shield you against penalties from the major search engines as the algorithms are tweaked to stamp out devious tactics and spammy content. In this article, we are guided by the results of Moz’s Search Ranking Factors, based on a survey of more than 150 leading search marketers, in combination with extensive correlation data compiled by Moz’s Data Science department. The most recent results, announced in August 2015, are a comprehensive look at the most influential factors that help/hurt a website’s visibility in Google and other search engines. The survey measures the most influential ranking factors on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highly influential. If you plan on rethinking your SEO strategy in 2017 (and...
10 Ways To Improve Your Blog in 2017

10 Ways To Improve Your Blog in 2017

Each year should bring about new improvements. Here are 10 awesome ways to make your blog better in 2017. Authored by Jennifer Warren (shoutmeloud.com). ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing.Feature image courtesy of Micha Klootwijk via Bigstockphoto.  Whether your blog is popular or you are just a beginner, there is always some room for improvement, and 2017 is a year for improvement. So why not do a few additional things and pledge to bring out the best? 1. Fix Pixelated Images If you are wondering why the images on your blog pixelate, here’s why: Computers tend to resize an image in order to “upgrade” the picture’s resolution. Hence, the pixels of an image change. Also, the pixel size may get slightly tweaked according to the dimensions of your blog page. So what needs to be done? Well, make use of the various photo editors available. If you have a WordPress setup, there are many blogging tools for images and plugins to help you. And if you find that irksome, stick to Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. But make sure you always check the pixel-scale of an image before you publish it. The simplest way to do that is to right-click on the image and check in Google images. Google will give you the dimensions of the picture. Also, try to use images with sharply contrasting colors/bright colors. Image sharpening also helps to a large extent. Pay attention to the images you use on your website. This will be very important for 2017. 2....
WordPress 4.7 Now Available: Here’s What’s New

WordPress 4.7 Now Available: Here’s What’s New

A quick look at what’s new in WordPress version 4.7 . Written by Matt Southern (Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal). Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. Image courtesy of ibphoto via Bigstockphoto.  The latest version of WordPress, WordPress 4.7, is now available for download or automatic update through your dashboard. With the new year being just around the corner, WordPress has revealed the new default theme for 2017. Here’s a look at Twenty Seventeen in both mobile and desktop iterations: The theme can be personalized with widgets, navigation, social menus, a logo, custom colors, and more of the WordPress customization you’ve come to expect. All New Customization Experience Speaking of customization, the entire process of setting up a new theme has been redone. Now, themes provide placeholder content that appears when you enter customization mode. This gives site owners the opportunity to arrange the homepage content in different ways without making any living changes to the site. When in customization mode, a series of editing shortcuts will appear on the left-hand side indicating what’s available for quick editing. Click on one of the shortcuts to begin editing on the spot. Here’s an example of what it looks like in action, note the blue circular icons: Video Headers WordPress 4.7 now allows videos to be used as header media as opposed to the traditional header image. This can be accomplished through uploading your own video in MP4 format or providing the link to a YouTube video. Smart Menu Building Sometimes you have an idea for...
You Don’t Have to Be a Slave to Your Browser

You Don’t Have to Be a Slave to Your Browser

Here are five reasons why you should use multiple browsers. This article is originally from makeuseof.com. About the author: Sandy Stachowiak is a freelance writer, IT project manager, and team supervisor from Florida who loves writing about technology. Image courtesy of OSTILL via Bigstockphoto. Round and around the disagreements go regarding the best browser. As those wars continue, one thing is for certain. You do not have to be a slave to a single browser. Who says you can only use one? The answer is nobody. So, break the rules, experience the freedom, and enjoy the flexibility. Here are five reasons why. Home Is Home, Not Work (or School) Some companies or schools may require you to use a specific browser. They might monitor internet activity for security reasons or to be sure inappropriate sites are not being accessed at their location. If you like to use the same browser for both work and home simply due to preference, then great. But the bottom line is that you do not have to do so. For example, if you are used to using Microsoft Edge on your work computer but love the Speed Dial and Discover features of Opera, then open the one you like when you get home. And, if you need to have the same bookmarks for both, you can export them or use a browser extension to keep them in sync. So, keep in mind that the browser you must use for work or school does not have to carry over to your personal choice at home. Mobile Is Mobile, Regardless When it comes to browsing or searching the web on your mobile...
5 Reasons Why HTTPS Should Be Enabled on Your Website

5 Reasons Why HTTPS Should Be Enabled on Your Website

Does your website offer encrypted HTTPS connections to visitors? Discover why it’s so important for https to be enabled on your site. This article is from blog.hubspot.com, written by Amanda Zantal-Wiener. Amanda is a Senior Staff Writer at HubSpot. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Image courtesy of Imilian via Bigstockphoto.  If you’re anything like me, there’s been a time in your life when you’ve asked, “What the heck is https?” What’s that extra “s” for? Well, it turns out that the “s” stands for “SSL,” which stands for Secure Sockets Layer — the technology that encrypts your connection to a website, so that hackers can’t intercept any of your data. The whole concept of https is a pretty interesting topic on its own, and my colleague, Jeffrey Vocell, talks more about it here. But in addition to what it actually means, why is it so important? And why do you need it on your website? Well, there are many reasons, but with the help of my aforementioned colleague, we identified five of the more important ones. (Spoiler alert: A lot of them have to do with your search performance, so have a good look at what they mean for you.) HubSpot Marketing customers: SSL is included free of charge with the Website Add-On, and the number of domains on which you can enable SSL depends on your subscription type. Learn more here. 5 Reasons Why HTTPS Should Be Enabled on Your Website 1) It’s good for search. Every minute — no, second — Google’s algorithm requires sites to essentially battle it for top...
WordPress Blog Got Hacked? Get The Fastest Recovery Solution

WordPress Blog Got Hacked? Get The Fastest Recovery Solution

From this article you’ll know how to troubleshoot and fix a WordPress site after being hacked. Originally posted by Lisa Smith on InstantShift. Lisa is a designer by profession and writer by choice, she writes for almost all topics but design and Fashion are her favourites. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto.  We believe this write up will be something interesting for you. Seldom, can one get an article or a blog on such issue which is definitely a rising problem for many people. Here, the discussion will completely be based on retrieving your WordPress blog, if gets hacked. At first, let’s put a little brief about a WordPress blog. Though it is known to all yet there may be some readers who are not quite sure about this thing. Blog writing is a new form of communitarian in the virtual space. Just like people read articles or editor’s column in a newspaper, in the same way a blog is an opinion expressed with an intention to make people aware of certain issues or sometimes it is just a self expression for some reading pleasure. Now, WordPress is the most popular and the demanding platform for online blog writing. Almost half of the bloggers are into this medium for expressing their personal viewpoints about everything and anything. Writing a blog is not just an expression but a way to educate people about variable elements. To be precise a blog is more about Infotainment. It has a mix of both information with a pinch...
Scrolling in Web Design: How Much Is Too Much?

Scrolling in Web Design: How Much Is Too Much?

Enter the world of scrolling with this Speckyboy‘s article. About the author: Stephen Moyers is an online marketer, designer, avid tech-savvy blogger. He is associated with Los Angeles based SPINX Digital Agency. He loves to write about web design, development, online marketing, social media and much more. Feature image courtesy of grapestock via Bigstockphoto. Scrolling may seem like a very basic feature of a website, and essentially, it is. However, despite its basic functionality, the scrolling on your website can either work to users’ benefit or drive them bonkers, pushing them to your competitors’ sites. Some websites employ “infinite” scrolling – you scroll to the bottom of a long homepage only to see the scroll bar jump back to the middle of its track as more content loads at the bottom. This type of scrolling can be effective in some cases, but it will frustrate users more often than not. It’s important to recognize where scrolling is effective, and what type you should use. Complexity Demands Simplicity Websites are more robust and content-rich than ever before, and thusly designers have conceived new ways of filling a screen with information without overwhelming users. This is especially true now in light of the fact that mobile device users outnumber desktop users. Designers must fit a great deal of content onto relatively small screens, necessitating some measure of scrolling. Tiled design is the idea of creating bite-sized pieces of content (which are usually interactive links to more detailed content) for quick and efficient browsing. Couple this concept with scrolling and you can provide users with a seemingly endless content stream. Scrolling is also naturally attractive...
5 Twitter Hashtag Tracking and Analytics Tools

5 Twitter Hashtag Tracking and Analytics Tools

Check out this article to discover 5 Twitter hashtag analytics tools. Authored by Srikanth An (shoutmeloud.com). He is a programmer, a motivational writer and speaker. ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog that talks about living a boss free life with blogging. They cover about WordPress, SEO, Make money blogging, Affiliate marketing. Image courtesy of rvlsoft via Bigstockphoto. #Hashtags, #Hashtags everywhere! The world went berserk since Twitter’s Hashtags were introduced back in 2009. The world was so serious about it to the extent that Hashtag was the ‘Word of the year‘, even Facebook announced Hashtags recently in June 2013 and also there was a baby named ‘Hashtag’! You can go on and say a lot against Hashtags and their importance, but their value is unquestionable in this world that is insanely connected. The internet is made up of long and short messages delivered online and Hashtags provide with a way of grouping such messages, where one can search for a hashtag and get the set of messages that contain in it. Quoting Wikipedia: The first use of the term “hash tag” was in a blog post by Stowe Boyd, “Hash Tags = Twitter Groupings,” on 26 August 2007, according to lexicographer Ben Zimmer, chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. Hashtags are not much different to the ‘keywords for finding information’. The way that hashtags makes communications filterable and organized could be put to great use for getting feedback and suggestions. All that can be said is that hashtags are way beyond powerful and to manage them, you need tools. Tools are power in your hands and there are many powerful tools to...
What Is Whitespace and Why Does It Matter? 8 Websites to Inspire Your Web Design

What Is Whitespace and Why Does It Matter? 8 Websites to Inspire Your Web Design

There are a lot of aspects of good web design, and whitespace is one of them.  Know more about this essential element from this post. Originally from blog.hubspot.com, it was written by Karla Cook. Karla is a staff writer for HubSpot’s agency content. Image courtesy of voin_Sveta via Bigstockphoto.  Empty space is not always wasted space. In fact, when it comes to web design, it’s a best practice to give your content a little breathing room. Today’s website visitors are content-scanners. They scroll quickly, skim posts, and get distracted by busy layouts trying to accomplish too much. The key to getting your visitors’ undivided attention is simplicity — and that starts with an effective use of whitespace. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at why whitespace matters, what it means for conversion-driven web design, and how eight websites are using whitespace to lead their visitors towards a desired action. What Is Whitespace? Whitespace refers to the negative areas in any composition. It’s the unmarked distance between different elements that gives viewers some visual breaks when they process design, minimizing distractions and making it easier to focus. Intentionally blank areas aren’t just aesthetically pleasing — they actually have a big impact on how our brains take in and process new material. Too much information or visual data crammed into a small, busy space can cause cognitive fatigue, and our brains have difficulty absorbing anything at all. It’s information overload at its very worst. Why We Need Whitespace To understand the importance of whitespace, think about how difficult it is for your brain to process an entire page from the phone book or white pages. All...
6 Reasons to Invest in Facebook Ads Immediately

6 Reasons to Invest in Facebook Ads Immediately

Here are six reasons why companies should set some money aside to invest in Facebook Ads. The original article is from SEMrush blog. About the author: Sandra Rand is Director of Marketing for OrionCKB, a direct response Facebook agency serving companies in e-commerce, mobile, lead generation and education, among others. Connect with her on Twitter. Image courtesy of ibphoto via Bigstockphoto.  In marketing, your job is never done. My To-Do-list-turned-wish-list is a testament to that. I’m sure most of you are nodding your head in agreement. Figuring out the right combination of your marketing mix is always a moving target. New channels emerge, budgets and spending patterns change, performance fluctuates, attribution remains a thorn in your side. There’s always something to do, something to do more of, and something to spend more on. If you’re reading SEMrush’s blog, I’m going to wager you have SEO (or some variation like content marketing) in your list of active marketing channels. Paid social advertising can be an incredible complement to your organic efforts. Facebook ads in particular can do wonders to inform your SEO strategy, and vice versa, using behavior and queries from organic visitors to give you valuable insights that can help your paid advertising perform better or reach goals faster. Why should you prioritize Facebook ads as a sister channel to your search engine optimization? 1. Facebook advertising complements long-term SEO efforts by driving results quickly. From where we sit, paid advertising plays a large part of our clients’ sales and lead generation strategy. There’s no other medium like Facebook where you can get access to a certain type of user (in terms of volume...
7 Effective Performance Optimization Tips for Magento eCommerce Sites

7 Effective Performance Optimization Tips for Magento eCommerce Sites

Here are some tips that can help to speed up Magento. This article was taken from cartcraze.com. Cart Craze is a curated eCommerce website design gallery showcasing the best designed eCommerce and shopping cart websites. About the author: Linda Wester is a Magento customization expert and an avid blogger who is interested in writing about everything worth reading in the magneto development sphere. Image courtesy of alphaspirit via Bigstockphoto.  Magento is a robust content management system that allows people to build fully-functional eCommerce sites with ease. It renders a high level of customization options and functionalities that allows merchants to set up eCommerce sites according to their business requirements. It offers some of the exciting features such as multi-store management, mobile commerce, Search engine optimization, generating reports and a lot more to help you represent your online business in the best possible way. Magento also supports a plenty of themes, extensions, and add-on tools that let you enhance the design and functionality of your e-store effectively. Despite all these benefits, the speed of a Magento store is always been a major concern for a web store owner. Most of the Magento users are suffering from this situation and looking for a reliable solution. A slow loading site can increase the bounce rate and decrease the conversion rate – which is not a good sign for any business. According to stats, a two-second delay in loading a web page could downturn the percentage of your potential web visitors, while reducing 100 milliseconds will boost the customer conversion by 1 percent. To achieve the higher conversions, you need to follow some concrete performance optimization tactics. Here, I will...
Tips for Website Maintenance

Tips for Website Maintenance

Website maintenance and support services help you manage your website. Read these tips for more information. This article is originally from www.catch22marketing.com, posted by Marshall Mullet. Catch22 Marketing helps companies improve and increase their business through superb web design and smart inbound marketing campaigns. Image courtesy of Baz777 via Bigstockphoto.  Your website is a lead generating machine, working day and night to grow your business. But to remain effective, it must be maintained. This can be a daunting task that is easily forgotten and overlooked. However, if you plan properly, much of the maintenance can be handled in only minutes per week. Plan for success I recommend creating a list of maintenance tasks that you will be completing regularly. Then, create calendar events with reminders so you don’t lose track of each task. Below is a high-level overview of some of the tasks that should be completed regularly: How often these items are done will vary largely depending on the website, and this guide is written with a business owner maintaining his own website in mind. Weekly Tasks Write Compelling Content Writing content in the form of a blog adds valuable web pages, attracts visitors, and keeps your site interesting. Set a schedule and publish at least 2-3 posts per week. Can’t think of a topic? Here are some ideas. Review Website Analytics Track your site’s visitors and conversions with website analytics. Google Analytics is a common and free tool to keep track of your site, and there are a lot of great tutorials on the web with instructions on setting it up. View your results every week to stay motivated and see what is gaining traction with your visitors. Create...
How to Clean Up Your Browser Extensions (The Easy Way)

How to Clean Up Your Browser Extensions (The Easy Way)

If you regularly check out cool extensions, then it is probably time to clean up those add-ons that you no longer want, like, or need. Here’s how to do it easily. This article is originally from makeuseof.com. About the author: Sandy Stachowiak is a freelance writer, IT project manager, and team supervisor from Florida who loves writing about technology. Image courtesy of budabar via Bigstockphoto. While there are many people who only use a limited amount of browser extensions, there are others who use, try, and check out numerous ones. If you fall into the latter category, then it is probably time to clean up those add-ons that you no longer want, like, or need. Reasons to Clean Up Your Extensions Just like when it is time to get rid of bookmarks you no longer need, think of extensions the same way. Removing those that you do not use anymore can reduce clutter in your toolbar, shorten your context menu, clean up your app screen, keep your browser running smoothly, and provide you with the exact tools you want and need. In addition, there may be extensions that are no longer supported, do not work as well as they used to or at all, or cause conflicts with other extensions. And, sometimes we simply just forget or do not take the time to remove them. So, let the cleanup begin! Where to Start The first thing to do is take a look at your toolbar and ask yourself a few questions. Do you use those extensions regularly and if so, how often? Do you really need the extensions and is there a benefit to having...
Why You Should Move to Magento 2

Why You Should Move to Magento 2

This article shows why you need upgrade to Magento 2. It’s originally from CreativeMinds (cminds.com). The CreativeMinds team specializes in creating cutting-edge WordPress Plugins and Magento & Ecommerce Extensions, aimed to satisfy the growing needs of website administrators, designers and developers worldwide. Feature image courtesy of  Bloomicon via Bigstockphoto.  In November 2015, Magento announced the new 2.0 platform for enterprise and community editions. The impending release of this new version sent waves through the Magento community. Some were excited for the change, while others felt Magento 1 was suitable for their ecommerce needs. According to Builtwith statistics, Magento currently holds 14% of the market share for ecommerce platforms. With the release of Magento 2, it’s possible this percentage could increase. Experts expect the number of Magento 2 stores to grow rapidly within the next year as Magento 1 is slowly phased out. This rise will include existing Magento 1 stores that transition to Magento 2 in addition to brand new stores or businesses that migrate to Magento 2 for a better store platform. From Magento 2 Release What about Magento 1? Magento was built as a flexible platform. This is really its defining feature. Users can create stores with a variety of functions using pre-made extensions or by utilizing their coding chops. This is the beauty of a platform like Magento and one reason it’s so popular. Unfortunately, focusing on flexibility didn’t make it the most user-friendly, high-performing platform. There were important tools missing right “out of the box” that every store needed, such as performance optimization, mobile-responsiveness, and admin capabilities. In the past, users would have to go to third-party companies to get essential features. In addition, there...
How to Check If Your WordPress System Is Secured Against XSS Attacks

How to Check If Your WordPress System Is Secured Against XSS Attacks

It was recently discovered that some WordPress versions  are vulnerable against XSS. Learn more from this article (instantshift.com). InstantShift is leading design blog which provides daily resources like useful tips, tutorials, inspirational artworks and tools for web designers and developers. About the author: Cassie Phillips is a cybersecurity and technology blogger who specializes in trying to keep website owners and average users safe online. Image courtesy of stuartmiles via Bigstockphoto.  Worldwide, nearly 48 percent of all websites are vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS). Worldwide, almost exactly 25 percent of all websites utilize the WordPress platform. It follows that in the Venn diagram of websites that are vulnerable to XSS and websites running the WordPress platform, the overlap must be quite large. This isn’t a knock on the platform itself. The WordPress team has made security into an integral part of its mission statement and aggressively patches vulnerabilities whenever they become known.Yet this doesn’t stop people from coding insecure themes or installing insecure plugins. These problems are the two primary entryways for XSS attacks on WordPress sites, and this article will discuss how to stop them. Introduction To Cross-Site Scripting First, let’s discuss how XSS attacks are carried out. There’s more than one type of XSS attack, so I’m going to start with a simplified definition. Generally, XSS attacks start with unsanitized inputs—comment forms, comment boxes, search bars, et cetera.These attacks vary widely in sophistication.Actually, the simplest form of XSS attack is seen by WordPress users every day: the spam comment. You know what I’m talking about: “Thanks for the excellent article. By the way, here is my site where I make $5,000 a week working from...
5 Ways to Turn Your Unhappy Customer into a Valuable Resource

5 Ways to Turn Your Unhappy Customer into a Valuable Resource

In this post (taken from blog.kissmetrics.com) you’ll find how to turn unhappy customers into happy fans. About the author: Josh Brown is part of the marketing team at Soldsie, a social-selling platform that enables retailers to sell their items over social channels like Facebook and Instagram. You can follow Soldsie on Twitter or Facebook. Image courtesy of turgaygundogdu via Bigstockphoto.  There are few things that impact a brand’s reputation more than the way it responds to complaints and unhappy customers. Customer service has always been an important part of developing brand loyalty, in fact it was the center of the business model that allowed companies like Nordstrom’s and Zappos to thrive. And now that the internet and social media give individuals their own platform to publish information about their daily lives, it’s becoming even more critical for companies to provide great customer service. Image credit: http://simpliflying.com/2013/three-ways-airline-marketing-changed-promoted-tweet-british-airways/ It’s easier than ever for customers to publicly share their experiences, and the way you respond to unhappy customers will determine what they say about you afterward. So what can you do to make sure that you properly respond to an unhappy customer so that you both experience the most pleasant outcome possible? And is there a way you can actually make unhappy customers helpful to your business, so that instead of treating them like a problem – you actually see them as an opportunity? Yes, there is. Each dissatisfied contact has the potential for becoming your company’s best advertisement, a key referral source, and a stealth undercover operative – if you are willing to listen. Here are five ways to turn unhappy customers into a valuable...
Why You Should Invest in LinkedIn Marketing

Why You Should Invest in LinkedIn Marketing

Does your business have a LinkedIn marketing strategy? You should be taking advantage of all the current LinkedIn for business marketing opportunities. This article is originally from Search Engine Journal. This portal is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. About the author: Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. See more from Aaron at Louder Online. Image courtesy of George D. via Bigstockphoto.  Microsoft recently acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, which made it one of the largest acquisitions the company’s history. Initially, the acquisition was a bit of a head-scratcher for me, but Microsoft and LinkedIn are a pretty good fit for each other. This is because the bulk of LinkedIn’s user base is Microsoft’s primary audience. That gives them access to a tremendous amount of data and direct connections to the people they want to transform into long-term customers. While these are just some of the reasons why you should also incorporate the B2B social network into your marketing strategy, there are several other benefits you can access with LinkedIn. Discover Customer Relationships To help you conduct research on your audience, LinkedIn offers the ability to look into the relationships of your current customers, prospects, and other contacts they have, including their vendor and supplier networks. How: Go through your list of connections and examine the people they’re connected to. Review their profiles for interests and pay close attention to the groups they’re a part of. Make note of the most relevant groups and start joining Why: Viewing connections through their profiles provides insight into better methods of engagement...
10 Common Phrases You Should Stop Using in Client Emails Immediately

10 Common Phrases You Should Stop Using in Client Emails Immediately

Discover which common phrases are secretly sabotaging your email communication with clients. This article was written by Karla Cook. Karla is a staff writer for HubSpot’s agency content. HubSpot’s Blog has more than 400000 subscribers and attracts over 2 million monthly visitors. Image courtesy of alazur via Bigstockphoto.  Think your email skills are strong? Think again. As it turns out, we all overestimate our ability communicate effectively over email. In a study published in the Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, email writers thought readers would correctly identify the tone of their emails about 78% of the time. In reality? Only 56% of emails were interpreted accurately. That means when you send an email off to a client, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t fully grasp your intended meaning. 10 Common Phrases to Stop Using in Client Emails 1) “Sorry to bother you” You might say this when you want to sound polite and considerate of your client’s busy schedule, but opening an email with an apology immediately undermines your credibility. It’s in your client’s best interest to cooperate with the agency or freelancer they hired, so there’s no need to apologize for sending them a legitimate business email that helps advance their project. Instead of apologizing, get straight to the point: Why are you really contacting your client, and what do you need from them? They’ll appreciate your candor. 2) “Let’s touch base” This phrase has the not-so-honorable distinction of being one of the most overused corporate phrases ever, and unless you’re literally talking about landing a helicopter, there’s no need to use it in your client emails. The biggest issue with asking a client to “touch...
How to Protect Your Website from DDoS Attacks

How to Protect Your Website from DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks have become more ferocious than ever the past few years. This article (original is here, shivarweb.com) describes how you can protect your website against this threat. Posted by Caroline Black, Internet security and technology blogger. You can read more of her work at Secure Thoughts. ShivarWeb helps DIYers, freelancers & small businesses build better websites & do more effective marketing. Image courtesy of yuriy2design via Bigstockphoto. The following is a contribution from Caroline Black, a writer specializing in Internet Security and technology. A website hack or DDoS attack is one of those things that seems like it could never happen to you…until it does. It’s easier than ever to execute an attack. And targets aren’t just large or controversial organizations – they can even be everyday beauty bloggers. Either way, it pays to be aware of the issue before it happens. Read on! A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is one of the most popular and frightening attacks cybercriminals like to use to attack websites. There are variations of the attack, but the basic premise is accomplished by flooding the website servers with traffic that exceeds what the servers or bandwidth is capable of. Have you ever seen a website go viral so quickly the site crashes from the traffic? The effects of a DDoS attack are the same, but the case is intentional. If you are looking for examples of some major DDoS attacks in recent memory, you only need to look at the history of some government websites, the Spamhaus situation and the attack on the Church of Scientology’s website. There are plenty more, and a quick search will yield you many other examples....
5 Tips to Toughen Up Your WordPress Login Security

5 Tips to Toughen Up Your WordPress Login Security

Make your WordPress website more secure with these WordPress login security tips. About the author: Thoriq Firdaus is a writer for Hongkiat.com with a passion for web design and development. He is the author of Responsive Web Design by Examples, where he covered his best approaches in developing responsive websites quickly with a framework. Image courtesy of duallogic via Bigstockphoto. No matter the size of your website, losing your site data or not being able to access your own website can be a nerve-wracking experience. WordPress, which powers more than 25% of the Web, is one of the most targeted websites for hackers. In our previous posts, we have shown you a number of tips and tricks which already covered almost everything to secure your WordPress website. Still, there is always room for improvement. In this post we will be looking at a few more tips to help you make your WordPress site harder to breach. 1. Bcrypt Password Hashing WordPress was started in 2003 when PHP and the Web in general were still in their early days. Facebook was not around yet, PHP did not even have OOP (Object-oriented Programming) architecture built-in; hence, WordPress inherited legacies that are no longer ideal today – including how it encrypts the password. WordPress to this day still uses MD5 hashing. Basically, what it does is to turn your 123456 password into something like e10adc3949ba59abbe56e057f20f883e. However, since computers are now more sophisticated than 10 years ago thishashed password can now be easily reversed into its bare form almost instantly. PHP has native encrypting since 5.5 and If your WordPress is running in PHP5.5 or above, there...
8 Tips To Avoid Customers Falling Asleep Reading Your Blog

8 Tips To Avoid Customers Falling Asleep Reading Your Blog

Andrew Gazdecki (CEO of BiznessApps) shares some important tips for bloggers. Image courtesy of olly2 via Bigstockphoto.  Content creation in business is a vital part of keeping the business afloat. According to a recent survey nearly 61% of consumers made big purchases based upon a blog post. Additionally 57% of companies survived reported that they have gained new customers from a blog. Yet, turning a profit from a blog can be a bit tricky, especially if you are new to blogging. Here are a few tips to help your numbers and your revenue add up. 1. Make your message clear People have  very short attention spans and so we have a tendency to scan information. This means that your blog has to have content that is easily seen and read. Make sure that your content has information that will hook them in. If all that you are posting is material about how great your business is, your blog will not do well. Your blog must provide a service to the people and empower them. And where the goal is to turn a profit, the goal is also to drive customers to your site as a source for information. For example: If Joe owns a roofing company, he can make blog posts about home improvement. He does not have to tell them how to roof a house (as that is his bread and butter), but he can tell the consumer how to detect a leak in their roof. 2. Don’t spam posts with keywords and SEO Organic content is the new name of the game. Where in the past you would find blogs that had the same word repeated...
Top 12 Browser Compatibility Testing Tools

Top 12 Browser Compatibility Testing Tools

In this article (authored by Brian Jackson, keycdn.com) you will find 12 useful tools that you can use for your testing throughout different versions and types of browsers. KeyCDN is a high performance Content Delivery Network (CDN). Their global delivery network instantly speed up your websites, online games or software. Feature image courtesy of cunaplus via Bigstockphoto.  When it comes to designing and developing for the web, you will at some point in time inevitably come across a bug, compatibility and or rendering issue, with a browser in which you don’t have access to. Even with ever-improving standards support you almost always have to rely on third party tools to diagnose the issue. So today we want to cover the top 12 browser compatibility testing tools which you can use to debug problems and ensure all your visitors are receiving the same experience on your website or application. Browser Compatibility Testing Designing and development website and applications can be a lot of fun, but along with that also means a responsibility to ensure that everyone is receiving the same experience across different devices, browsers, operating systems, resolutions, etc. When you think about it, there is a lot that can go wrong, and most likely your project will never be perfect 100% of the time. But if you don’t, you could lose potential customers. Say for example your website doesn’t render properly in IE9. That customer might simply leave and visit your competitor who did spend time on browser compatibility testing. This is your silly web browser doing that. The file is correctly named. – Rasmus Lerdorf, Father of PHP What is Browser Testing? Browser testing, also referred to as cross browser...
How to Validate and Debug Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

How to Validate and Debug Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is Google-backed project designed as an open standard for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. Matt Southern (SearchEngineJournal) tells how to validate and debug these pages. About the author: Matt is the lead news writer. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Image courtesy of iqoncept via Bigstockphoto.  Only ‘valid’ AMP pages are eligible to show in Google’s search results, which is why it is necessary to validate your pages before they go live. Even more important than that is doing a status check once in a while to ensure your pages remain error-free. Google recently provided some tips on how you can both validate pages, and diagnose issues on the pages after they go live. Validation Here are Google’s recommendations for how you can validate pages and identify issues before they hit the web. Browser Developer Tools To use Developer Tools for validation: Load the AMP page in your browser Append “#development=1” to the URL, for example, http://localhost:8000/released.amp.html#development=1. Open the Chrome DevTools console and check for validation errors. AMP Web Validator You can also validate your pages using a simple, free tool called AMP Web Validator: Copy & paste your source code into the web validator. Watch as the web validator delivers error messages between the lines of code. Edit your code directly in the web validator, which will then be re-validated. Identifying Issues Now that you have your validated AMP pages published to the web, you’ll need some tools to check on them to ensure they stay validated. AMP Browser Extensions Google recommends...
7 Prototyping Tools for Web Designers

7 Prototyping Tools for Web Designers

Prototyping tools can help us solve design problems before writing even a single line of code. Kate Dagli has selected 7 of them. This article is originally from HongKiat, design weblog for designers, bloggers and tech users. Feature image courtesy of ronstik via Bigstockphoto.  Do you know the difference between wireframe, mockup and prototype? These three terms are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing. The problem is, you shouldn’t. A wireframe is a static, low-fidelity depiction of a design. It provides an outline of a demeanour or figure of a due design, though not a functionality or feel. A mockup provides a larger volume of information. Mockups are mid- to high-fidelity depictions of a due design. Mockups are also static, and they do not infer interactivity. Prototypes, on a other hand, are dynamic. They can represent your final pattern to roughly any grade of fact we choose. A antecedent can even be tested as if it were a tangible finish product, given it can yield a same demeanour and feel. Of a three, a one that would make a many of an sense would be a prototype. How to Build a Prototype Now, a idea of a antecedent is to accurately infer comparison pattern features. Prototypes for web or app applications are typically grown in three stages: The page flows (how a user competence navigate) are sketched out. Several low-fidelity versions of any page are built and usability tested. From lessons learned, sum are combined to emanate a high-fidelity indication of your due design. In this post, we will be check out a few prototyping collection that can assistance palliate a process, make...
The 15 Best Sites for Free High-Resolution Stock Images

The 15 Best Sites for Free High-Resolution Stock Images

Joel Lee (MakeUseOf) compiled this list of 15 different sites so you can get free stock images that fall under the Creative Commons Zero license or similar. About the author: Joel is a writer from Philadelphia and the Tech Explained editor. In his free time he dabbles in fiction, photography, and game development. MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Feature image courtesy of Tupungato via Bigstockphoto.  Stock images are in high demand these days, what with all the personal blogs and startup landing pages that make up such a large portion of the web. And while some stock sites are subscription-based, there are some out there that are royalty-free. But free stock sites can have big flaws. Some of them have restrictive licenses that prevent you from making modifications, others don’t have good quality control so you really have to dig a while before you can find high-quality, high-resolution images. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get free stock images that are curated for quality and resolution? You can! Check out these following sites. You’ll never have to look anywhere else and you’ll never have to pay a cent again. 1. MorgueFile MorgueFile is home to thousands of free reference images. In terms of library size, it’s up there as one of the largest repositories on the web. The search engine could use improvements, but overall, MorgueFile is a great resource for general purpose images. License: Custom. You are free to adapt the works for personal and commercial purposes. You may not sell or redistribute images as is. You may not claim...
20 Best Plugins for Joomla Websites

20 Best Plugins for Joomla Websites

WebDesignDev presents list of best Joomla plugins. If you’re using Joomla as a CMS platform to develop and administer your website, these plugins will surely help. Image courtesy of gdainti via Bigstockphoto.  These Joomla extensions will help you upgrade your website’s functionalities and add new features that will help you create a more user-friendly environment for your visitors and also attract possible clients for your business. We selected some of the most popular Joomla plugins for you, in this list. These are easy to configure extensions, with user-friendly interfaces and very well coded structures. These best Joomla plugins will offer you a lot of power and increased flexibility, so you can customize and enhance your website. So here’s a collection containing the best Joomla plugins designed to make your Joomla site a lot better. Shortcode Ultimate Plugin for Joomla Shortcode Ultimate is a powerful plugin for creating shortcodes. It’s based on the WordPress shortcode ultimate plugin. Has included 85+ essential shortcodes. Timetable Responsive Schedule For Joomla Timetable Responsive Schedule For Joomla is a powerful and easy-to-use schedule plugin that helps you to create a timetable view of your events. It is perfect for gyms, schools, medical departments, and more. Azura – Responsive Joomla Page Builder This is a simple Drag and Drop page builder that helps you build a Joomla website in just a few minutes, without any coding knowledge required. Hide My Joomla! – Hide your source Links Hide My Joomla! lets you get rid of some hacking problems. Hide My Joomla! will delete or change the Meta Generator tag, hide the /administrator URL, and more. PRI Portfolio – Joomla Module PRI Portfolio...
Stop Overspending Time and Money on Marketing Techniques That Don’t Work

Stop Overspending Time and Money on Marketing Techniques That Don’t Work

From this article you’ll know about six common marketing mistakes. About the author (blog.kissmetrics.com): Felix Tarcomnicu is an Internet marketer with a strong passion for SEO and social media. You can follow him on Google Plus or Twitter @FelixTarcomnicu for similar articles. Image courtesy of iNueng via Bigstockphoto.  I hate to see money wasted on outdated online marketing techniques. It’s not just about money, but also about time and resources that could be used in a better way. Marketing budgets are often tight, and you just can’t afford to spend them on strategies or things that don’t work. To help you cut waste and make your marketing strategy more effective, I’ve created a list of six most common ways small and medium sized businesses lose their budgets online. Here’s how to stop overspending time and money, and turn those losses into gains. 1. Using “Guaranteed SEO Services” SEO is not an exact science and getting results overnight is a myth. Google’s algorithm has become smarter and smarter in the last years and there are no easy shortcuts. It’s commonly known that Google uses hundreds of ranking factors, but the truth is that no one knows precisely what all of those are. With time, you get to learn what techniques work better, but anyone that offers guarantees to rank a site on the 1st position for a particular keyword is a scammer. Google warns people not to buy SEO services from companies or freelancers that guarantee to rank 1st for any given keyword. Here’s Google’s take on guaranteed SEO: If you are not experienced, you might be tempted to choose an SEO company that...
The Most Dangerous Landing Page Mistakes & How You Can Fix Them

The Most Dangerous Landing Page Mistakes & How You Can Fix Them

You won`t get the conversions you need if you make these landing page mistakes. Here are most dangerous mistakes and how to fix them. About the author of this article: Dustin Sparks is Landing Page, A/B Conversion Optimization Expert. He provides his clients with optimized landing page strategies for improving conversion rates. Unbounce.com is world’s fastest and most customizable landing page builder. This site helps businesses create better marketing experiences. Image courtesy of mattkusb via Bigstockphoto.  The point of this article isn’t to continue to point out the obvious, but to show the more costly mistakes in terms of lost revenue and lost leads. Read the most dangerous mistakes you can make when it comes to your landing pages and learn how you can correct them. Mistake 1 – The “Disconnected” Headline When visitors see and click an ad, they immediately have a few “expectations” of what they want see on the page that follows the click of the ad. If your Landing Page Headline is NOT a continuation of the conversation that you started with your PPC ad, you are shooting yourself in the foot! For example, let’s say you are selling electronics, but specifically want a Landing Page for “Bluetooth earbuds”. And let’s say your ad asks the question “Looking for the best Bluetooth earbuds?” (since ads that ask questions statistically perform well – source) The Headline is not only an easy thing to test (we will cover testing in a minute), but the mistake that gets made too often is not continuing the conversation or not being the “other side” of the conversation that a visitor expects when they click. Example – From an ad...
Choosing the Best Color Palette for Your Website

Choosing the Best Color Palette for Your Website

Choosing the right color scheme is essential to your website’s success. Stephen Moyers (speckyboy.com) analyzes 7 website color palettes. Stephen Moyers is an online marketer, designer, avid tech-savvy blogger. He loves to write about web design, development, online marketing, social media and much more. Speckyboy is an online magazine for designers with its focus on sharing helpful resources, exploring new techniques, sharing useful tips, and inspiring you to build a better web. Image courtesy of pxhidalgo via Bigstockphoto.  Choosing the right color palette in website design is important. However, many people think of it only as an aesthetic choice. In reality, different colors evoke varying emotions in viewers while changing their perception of the company in question. It is essential to portray your company in the correct light with the best colors. The first recorded color wheel was developed in 1666 by Sir Isaac Newton. Though these circular color diagrams have changed slightly over the years and some debate their exact layout, their key elements have remained consistent. The primary colors – blue, yellow, and red – are arranged around the wheel. Secondary colors, which are green, orange, and purple, fit between the primary sections. Purple sits between red and blue, since those are the two colors required to make purple. Green and orange follow suit in their placement. Tertiary colors are added in the same way – by combining adjacent colors and then displaying the result between them. Colors on opposite sides of the wheel from one another are complementary. The maximum contrast these combinations create can bring out the best in each color when properly applied. Examples are green plants with purple flowers, or...
Make Your Browsing Safer with These 7 Simple Tips

Make Your Browsing Safer with These 7 Simple Tips

Below, you will find several tips to help you safely browse the Internet. About the author: Akshata Shanbhag (makeuseof.com) is a writer with a strong interest in slow, focused, simple living. She prefers telepathic conversations to phone calls and emails and tweets, but she would be happy to help you solve your tech problems via email.  MakeUseOf is a technology website, focused on bridging the connection between users, computers, devices and the Internet through education. Image courtesy of vladwel via Bigstockphoto.  Safe browsing is more of an ongoing task than a set-it-and-forget-it affair. You have to generate strong passwords and manage them, sidestep malicious pranks and scripts, protect your web activity from trackers, dodge email spam, keep your files and personal info safe, and so on — there’s just so much to do and it can be daunting. That’s why we have come up with seven essential starter tips to help you browse more safely. Keep Your Browser Up-To-Date When you update your browser, you’re not just getting access to new features and bug fixes. You’re also getting better protection from security flaws and malware, thanks to the security fixes that come bundled with every new release. Don’t miss out on this up-to-date protection and put your data at risk. Update your browser to its latest version now. Your browser might be set to automatically download and install updates by default. If you have turned off automatic updates, update your browser manually. You’ll find the option to do that in your browser’s About section (on most mainstream browsers anyway). On Windows PCs, you’ll find a link to the About section hidden within the Help menu of your browser. On MacBooks,...
8 Must-Have Online Writing Skills

8 Must-Have Online Writing Skills

Need to improve your content writing skills? Check out this post, from searchenginejournal.com. About the contributor: Julia McCoy is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster, and avid content marketer. She’s the founder and CEO of Express Writers, a leading online content creation agency with over 60 content writers and strategists. Image courtesy of Dragon Images via Bigstockphoto.  What makes a great web writer today? It’s a question everyone wants answered, so they either know how to become one, or know how to hire the best in the business. It’s been proven that great web content gets great results, and everyone is after a piece of the pie. However, not all web writers are created equally (as a quick tour of a handful of blogs would tell you). So, the trick becomes becoming (or finding) a writer who packs the requisite skills to give your online presence that boost. In all honesty, finding a good writer isn’t that hard. In today’s content-crazed world, it’s unusual for someone not to have at least dabbled with the written word, either for personal or professional gain. 8 Vital Skills Every Modern Writer Should Possess The trick is finding someone who is more than just a writer, someone who understands the fundamental differences of writing for the web, and can apply them to your brand. Here are the eight vital skills every web writer should have. 1. Know Key Writing Practices This seems so obvious it almost goes without saying, but it’s so important I’m going to say it anyways. A web writer needs to know how to copy write, and they need to do it exceptionally well. There...
The Future of HTML Emails

The Future of HTML Emails

From this article you’ll know about the future of HTML email and get tips on how to design your HTML email. This text was posted by Alex Silva (Zion & Zion, the leading Phoenix Ad Agency & Digital Marketing Agency). Image courtesy of zaniman via Bigstockphoto.  Before we can dive into the future of HTML emails, we need to look at emails of past and present. Unfortunately, HTML emails are leagues behind modern web development. Your fancy HTML5 and CSS3 are not available when coding an email. We’re going to code like it’s 1999. We’ll cover these email basics: HTML Tables Inline CSS Images Before you roll your eyes in disgust over such archaic techniques, let me explain why emails have not made the same advancements as modern web development. Every email client, like Gmail and Outlook, uses their own preprocessors and rendering engines to process the HTML. These preprocessors and rendering engines remove what they determine to be harmful: unrecognized tags, external style sheets, and JavaScript files. This means that your email may not contain the same elements or styles as what you originally coded. An example of an email client that produces unexpected results is Outlook 2007. Outlook 2007 uses Microsoft Word to process its HTML. As you can imagine, Word has poor support for HTML and CSS. So we must code for the lowest common denominator, which requires table layouts and inline styles. Better safe than sorry. HTML TABLES: TABLES ON TABLES ON TABLES When constructing an email, you’ll be tempted to use divs, articles, and sections much like you would for a web-based project. Don’t. These elements are not universally supported,...
Content First Web Design: What It’s About and How to Get Started

Content First Web Design: What It’s About and How to Get Started

If you’ve been around the world of web design, you’ve heard of the concept of “content first.”  In this article, Karol K. explores what it is. About the author: he is a blogger and writer, published author, and founder of NewInternetOrder.com. Article source is blogs.adobe.com. Image courtesy of nongpimmy via Bigstockphoto.  There’s this incredible shift that happened in the history of cinematography around 1970-1980. Before that point, a big part of a given film’s credits went before the actual film – “opening credits,” the name was. You can see this in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You can see it in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and countless other masterpieces (or is it just me enjoying westerns here?). But then, there was a transition towards an entirely different look. If you go see Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, you’ll notice that it takes exactly 6:30 minutes before you get to see even the film’s title. And until you see the full credits? That’s 113 minutes – the entire length of the film. You get action right away. The movie starts right away. Like there’s no time to lose! And looking at the title of this very post, you might already know where I’m going with this… Yes, content first! Films have been “content first” for years now, giving us what we came for right up front. Of course, you might quite enjoy that vintage style or whatnot, but you do have to agree that things have shifted in a more attention-grabbing direction. But what about web design? Should we also think content first? Should we start with the content – or at least the concept of the content –...
What is the Difference Between Search Engine Friendly and Search Engine Optimized?

What is the Difference Between Search Engine Friendly and Search Engine Optimized?

There’s a huge difference between search engine optimization and search engine friendly. Stoney G deGeyter (searchenginejournal.com) tells us more. Stoney is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!, and President of Pole Position Marketing. Follow him on Twitter: @StoneyD. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides and how-tos for the SEO and marketer community. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto.  There is a lot of confusion about what makes a website search engine friendly and what makes it search engine optimized. When a business goes to get their site built by a developer, the best a developer can do is to make the sure the site is search friendly. But the process of optimizing that same site is vastly different, both in scope and scale. To clear up any misunderstanding, let’s look at the difference between the two. Bear in mind that when I talk about “SEO,” I’m really talking about optimizing your entire web presence (“web presence optimization,” as I like to call it). SEF is One-and-Done. SEO is Ongoing. Making a site search engine friendly is pretty much a one-time only process. There may be a hundred things involved in that process, but once a site is search engine friendly, there isn’t much more to do unless and until there is a forced change to the system. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process. There are always more keywords to optimize, more content to create, more links to get, more rankings to achieve, more traffic to build, and more conversions to fulfill. There is never a day when the SEO gets to sit back and say,...
Tips for Dealing With Stress in the Digital Industry

Tips for Dealing With Stress in the Digital Industry

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by technology, check out these tips to deal with digital stress. About the author: Sven Lenaerts is a freelance product designer with love for solving complex business problems. He helps startups with MVP designs, as well as with investment, pitch and sales decks. Article source: Envato Tuts+ helps you learn creative skills and shape the life you want. Image courtesy of Rido81 via Bigstockphoto. A career within digital industries often leads to stress: tight deadlines, troublesome communication with clients, and unapproved work are all occurrences which you’ll encounter at some point. For people who work as full-time freelancers it can get worse: you have less financial security, more worries about landing the next gig, and you might have issues finding the right work/life balance. In this quick tip we’ll cover some basics on how you can prepare yourself to handle stress in a better way. Understanding Stress Everything starts with the realization of when exactly stress occurs and how it manifests itself. There are plenty of reasons for feeling stressed; anxiety about “something” typically being the root cause. You might have trouble focusing on non-work related activities such as eating, sleeping, and relaxing, because you’re preoccupied with your job. Being aware that you’re stressed is the first step in reducing the anxiety you’re experiencing. Below, I’ve outlined a few methods which can help you reduce stress. 1. Mindfulness Being more “mindful” helps you feel in control. You can achieve a state of mindfulness by being aware of the present moment instead of being distracted by past or future events. Whenever we’re stressed, our mind races and we’re tremendously focused on all the different things we should...
Why Web Security and UX Should Compliment Each Other

Why Web Security and UX Should Compliment Each Other

Let’s talk about web security and user experience (UX). This article is originally from Speckyboy Design Magazine. About the author: Harlon Agsaoay is a blogger, he works currently a Content Specialist for HostingFacts.com and Websitesetup.org. Image courtesy of Sentavio via Bigstockphoto.  With the resurgence of popularity and notoriety of hackers in recent years, it seems that web security has become more imperative than ever. You may not think at first that your little website could be the target of hackers, but you may be surprised that a lot of websites do indeed get compromised when their proprietors disregard security due to that assumption. Therefore, it is certainly in your interest to tighten up your website’s security while it’s still early. But the thing about web security, especially in platforms like WordPress, is that while it may seem that all you have to do is to lock everything down and make everything airtight, an unfortunate consequence of this could be making your website less user-friendly. This is a legitimate concern, especially if using your website requires account registration. If the web security actually impedes users from doing certain things, then that could be enough for them to just give up and not come back since online users can actually be that fickle. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure that the web security and user experience (UX) of your website be complimentary to each other so that you can have it both secure and user-friendly at the same time. The best of both worlds is indeed possible, but only when you know what to look for. The Concern Regarding Identity Theft The biggest concern with web security...
How Attackers Gain Access to WordPress Sites

How Attackers Gain Access to WordPress Sites

Most WordPress site owners do not know that their website faces the potential risk of online threats. Dan Moen (wordfence.com) reveals the ways how hacker get access to WordPress. About the author: Dan brings a unique combination of marketing and technology leadership experience. He served as Chief Marketing Officer for OnlineShoes. Image courtesy of www.BillionPhotos.com via Bigstockphoto.  On this blog we write a lot about different vulnerabilities that could lead to site compromise. In our Learning Center we go deep on a myriad of important topics related to WordPress security. Our handy checklist, for example, includes 42 items you really should be paying attention to. But surely not all 42 items are equally important, right? In today’s post we dive into some very interesting data we gathered a couple of weeks ago in a survey, letting the facts tell us what matters most. The question we asked in the survey was: If you know how your site was compromised please describe how the attackers gained access. The answers were free form text, so we manually categorized the answers. If the respondent expressed any doubt in their answer, we categorized them as uncertain. Most Site Owners Don’t Know Of the 1,032 survey respondents who answered this question, 61.5% didn’t know how the Attacker compromised their website. That is a not a huge surprise given that the large majority of respondents cleaned their sites themselves, but it is troubling. It is impossible to be confident that you have cleaned your site completely or that the vulnerability doesn’t still exist without knowing how the site was compromised in the first place. For the site owners who did figure out...
How Influencer Marketing is Changing the Dynamics of Social Media Marketing

How Influencer Marketing is Changing the Dynamics of Social Media Marketing

Krystle Vermes (fullbottle.co) explains how influencer marketing can amplify your social advertising efforts. Fullbottle is the industry’s first pay-per-like crowdsourcing platform for ad creative. Their customers range in size from small businesses to global brands. Image courtesy of Jakub Jirsak via Bigstockphoto. Social media has been the darling of the marketing world for several years now. As brands have learned to navigate the social media marketing space, there’s been a shifting focus on which tactics are most effective. Many brands needed to understand how to craft organic content and build their own following. As more and more platforms introduced advertising options, online budgets shifted toward advertising campaigns. But the market has become saturated on both of these fronts and brands are looking for new ways to stand out and connect with consumers. Enter influencer marketing: the best strategy for brands to create highly unique content that audiences are willing to embrace. Let’s take a closer look at how influencer marketing is shifting the dynamics of social media promotion. Why Social Media Matters More than 74% of adults that are online today take part in some social media network.[1. http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/] Originally, the major focuses were Facebook and Twitter. Today’s social media landscape has evolved dramatically and includes a much more diverse set of platforms, from visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram to video networks like Snapchat and Periscope. It naturally follows that brands want an active presence on targeted social networks. Finding concentrated pools of customers who congregate around their interests and can amplify those topics to their friends and networks is critical for growing brands. The ROI on successful social media campaigns is tremendous; when a...
The 5 Most Important E-Commerce Success Metrics

The 5 Most Important E-Commerce Success Metrics

Ben Feldman (affirm.com) tells us about 5 e-commerce metrics you need to know to scale your business. Ben is a writer and Millennial who is fascinated by financial services innovations and who is dedicated to helping online retailers create positive relationships with his generation. Affirm is a financial technology company based in San Francisco, California that offers financial loans with instant decision. Image courtesy of viviamo via Bigstockphoto.  Why Read this Article If you are running an e-commerce company, you know how fast things move. It’s too easy to get distracted by short-term tasks and lose sight of the big picture. That’s why tracking a few key success metrics is so important. This article describes 5 of the top success metrics you need to track and explains how you can use these to grow your business. Introduction You can spend every waking moment of your day working on various parts of your e-commerce business and still not achieve your desired results. This is why it’s imperative to identify those key success metrics that will best move the needle for your business and focus your efforts on optimizing them. In this article, we’ll explore the 5 most important success metrics for e-commerce businesses, and provide tips on what levers to pull to optimize each metric. 1. Conversion Rate Definition: The percentage of your site’s visitors who make a purchase. How to calculate it: Your total number of site visitors who make a purchase divided by the total number of site visitors. Why it matters: A good conversion rate makes all your other metrics look better. How to improve it: An average conversion rate across industries...
Generic TLDs & How They Change The Web

Generic TLDs & How They Change The Web

Over the past three years, there have been a lot of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) coming out. Anna Monus (hongkiat.com) tells us more about them. Anna is Technical Editor and Writer for Hongkiat.com, a web developer and code writer with an interest for science, artificial intelligence, and disruptive technologies. Hongkiat (HKDC) is one of the leading go-to sites for all things related to tech, design and technology, plus we also publish awesomely cool and inspirational content. Image courtesy of NiroDesign via Bigstockphoto.  If you are an attentive web user, lately you could see new kind of domains here and there, such as .jobs, .photo, .cafe, .xyz, and many others. The first set of the new domain extensions were released in 2013 by ICANN, the non-profit organization responsible for the global coordination of domain names. In this post we will trace why these new domain names have been introduced, how they change the web, and if it’s worth to purchase them for our websites. image: iwantmyname.com Lingo of Top-Level Domains First of all, let’s quickly familiarize ourselves with the lingo of top-level domains. In IANA’s Root Zone Database you can take a peek at the top-level domain extensions that are currently in use. The three main types are: Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) that are bound to certain countries such as .uk for the United Kingdom, or .in for India. We wrote about ccTLDs here in detail. Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) for general purposes, such as .com, .info, .net and .org. Since 2013 many new gTLDs have been introduced, see some of them in the first image in this post. Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLD)...
30+ Beautiful HTML/CSS Login, Registration Form Templates 2016

30+ Beautiful HTML/CSS Login, Registration Form Templates 2016

DesignMaz presents a huge compilation of Beautiful HTML Login and Registration Form Templates 2016 which using modern design with CSS3 and HTML5. Find the best Login Form Templates from this list (posted by Smith). DesignMaz – the site that discover, recognize, and promote the talent and effort of web designers, bloggers, developers, techies, and readers who are hungry for creativity and inspiration in developing for WordPress, CSS3, HTML5, jQuery, Joomla, Drupal and Interior, etc. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto. DesignMaz have collected list of the best CSS/HTML Login Form Templates for Web Designers, Developers that they can download and use to create a form and most of them also have pre builtHTML validation features as well as some option jQuery validation (like the Login/Register form with pass meter below). Free Responsive Flat Login Form Widget Template Free Responsive Flat New Login Form Widget Template for your websites. This Login form is designed using web technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3. It is completely free for download and can be use for your website or application sign in. Info / Download Forms Plus Froms Plus is a HTML5/CSS3, Bootstrap, fully responsive Form framework. It’s comes with 9 designs with styled form elements and animation effects, more than 40 Color Themes, each color theme has its own css file, that can be easily modified for creating your own colors. With more than 40 form templates such as contact, user login, registration , eCommerce forms, example of results page and allows you to create forms of any complexity. Froms Plus includes all popular elements for built multipurpose own form you need: styled inputs, buttons, selects, textarea, file uploads, colorpick, checkboxes, radio buttons, switches, ratings, block...
Stay Focused: 5 Types of Content Specific Landing Pages that Convert

Stay Focused: 5 Types of Content Specific Landing Pages that Convert

Reading this post you’ll learn some key elements every successful landing page needs. About the author: Andrew Smyk (blogs.adobe.com) coordinates a postgraduate program in Interactive Media Management at Sheridan College and writes about how kids adapt and use technology on his blog. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewsmyk. Image courtesy of PureSolution via Bigstockphoto. Content specific landing pages should be just that – web pages that focus on delivering specific messages to your audience to accomplish specific goals and grow conversions through calls to action. The specific functions of landing pages can cover everything from sales (lead generation) to informational newsrooms and beyond. Whereas, homepages tend to be general and offer more casual informational content to the user, landing pages have a specific function and curated content. Stop Going Around and Around to Get Started Before starting on any landing page or microsite project, the first design consideration is to drop the use of a banner or image carousel. Click through rates on carousels are extremely low, so using them is counterproductive to messaging and bad for conversion. Carousels fail the 5-second test for user recall of page content and do not provide the perceived benefit. Metrics from the University of Notre Dame web department showed that the interaction statistics were “1% clicked on a feature and 84% were the first position only.”  Most users have already scrolled down the page or have moved to other content before carousels have fully loaded onto the page. Carousels offer a quick solution to content presentation and messaging problems, but do not offer the desired results. Should I use a carousel? Now you know the answer. Let’s look at five different types...
Why visitors only read 20% of your web page

Why visitors only read 20% of your web page

It is becoming harder and harder to get appreciation or attention from visitors. People don’t read a web page in the same way as they do a book. This article is originally from econsultancy.com (published 14 September, 2015 by Jack Simpson). You can find there 252 more posts from this author. Image courtesy of seamartini via Bigstockphoto. 20%? Please tell me you’re joking. I don’t spend hours crafting a perfectly worded article only to have four-fifths of it ignored! Sadly it’s true though. On average a user will only read 20% of the content on your page. There is one very simple reason for this slightly depressing fact… scanning. You could stop reading this article now because I’ve already spoiled the ending (more on that later). But if you want to know why people scan and how do deal with it then please read on. If you want to learn lots more about writing for the web from somebody who’s been in the business for years, try our online copywriting or online copywriting advanced training courses.  Scanning People don’t read a web page in the same way as they do a book or a newspaper. When people browse the web they are looking for quick answers. This isn’t just the educated guesswork of an online writer. Eye-tracking studies have found that the majority of people read online content in an ‘F’ pattern. The image below shows you what the F pattern looks like. It is a heat map, so the red parts are where people spent the most time looking and the blue parts the least time. The F shape explained As you can see from the...
10 Tips to Speed Up Joomla Performance

10 Tips to Speed Up Joomla Performance

Here are the tips the help improve your Joomla site performance. This article is from keycdn.com (posted by Brian Jackson). KeyCDN is a service of proinity LLC. They are a passionate team operating a high-performance content delivery network (CDN). Image courtesy of  Chrismp via Bigstockphoto.  Joomla is a free and popular open-source content management system (CMS), built on a MVC framework, and used by at least 2.7% of all the websites on the internet. It is used by corporations, online magazines, government applications, small businesses, and all different types of websites. In this post, we will discuss tips on how to speed up Joomla performance to ensure your website keeps running fast, ensuring a good experience for your visitors. Joomla was originally released in 2005 and is the second most popular content management systems (CMS), putting itself in between WordPress and Drupal. Here are some reasons why people choose Joomla: Community: Creating a community with Joomla is incredibly easy. Out of the box it supports a membership area, newsroom, forums, articles, input from external authors etc Multilingual: Unlike WordPress, Joomla comes with built-in capabilities to create a multilingual website. No additional plugins and components need to be installed in order to be able to translate your website. Cleaner Extension Directory: Joomla has a little over 7,000 extensions which in turn results in a much cleaner and organized extension directory than that of the WordPress plugin repository which holds over 40,000 plugins. The WordPress repository is known for having a lot of useless plugins, such as Logout Roulette. Built-in Caching: Unlike WordPress Joomla comes with built-in caching options as well as additional caching extensions. Easy-to-use: Joomla! does not require a full-time developer on staff...
Use responsive web design or design mobile first?

Use responsive web design or design mobile first?

Mobile first and responsive web design are huge words in the web design world. Are they actually different things? This article is originally from GoDaddy. The author is Nathan Reimnitz. He is is a certified expert WordPress developer from Scottsdale, Arizona. Nathan is a full-time freelancer for Codeable.io, Clarity.fm, and GoDaddy Pro Connect. Image courtesy of MPFphotography via Bigstockphoto. Learn mobile web design with mobile–first, adaptive, and responsive web design concepts. Review the best practices with our Journey into Mobile course You probably remember the big digital cable transition of a few years ago. Basically, all analog broadcasting ceased to exist after the cutoff point, rendering some older television sets useless. The past several years in web development experienced a similar shift: either your website is responsive or it’s obsolete. For developers, this has raised some interesting questions and challenged the approach on each project. Being “mobile-friendly” is one thing — great, there’s a version of your site that loads on a tablet. Gone are the days when this was all you needed to check the box for mobile design, even if the user experience was maddeningly unfriendly. But with search algorithms (namely Google) overtly favoring sites with more mobile responsiveness, developers now face a strategic decision from the get-go. Designing for mobile first versus responsive web design is not a chicken-and-egg conundrum; one can exist without the other. The debate comes down to a question of need from project to project — and only after you’ve considered your audience and your future marketing efforts will you find your answer. Mobile-first vs. responsive web design: Determine user needs A responsive site displays identical content across all...
5 Essential Skills for Content Marketing Copywriters Today

5 Essential Skills for Content Marketing Copywriters Today

Every copywriter should perfect a range of 5 skills to be successful and create amazing content. You’ll learn more from this article by Neil Patel. The original is here (contentmarketinginstitute.com). About the author: Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he has created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. You can connect with him on Twitter @neilpatel. Image courtesy of GaudiLab via Bigstockphoto.  It used to be that a decent writer was all you needed to run a content marketing campaign. Write a few blog posts. Publish. Awesome. Times have changed. How important is copywriting? Today, content marketing is a vast industry. Writers are only one part of the composite marketing force that successful content marketing requires. CMI’s definition of content marketing gives you a sense of the industry’s breadth: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. See? It’s not about writing alone. It’s broad. It’s about creating and distributing content for the end-goal of marketing: to drive profitable customer action. As big as it is, content marketing still requires copywriters. In fact, some would argue that the role of the copywriter is more important than ever. (Note: 19% of B2B content marketers surveyed cited “becoming stronger writers” as a top five priority in 2016 research.) Generating copy isn’t...
Web Content Writing Tips

Web Content Writing Tips

These 20 tips for writing on the web will help you create webpages with content that people want to read. This post is originally from www.contentfac.com. This company offers digital PR, social media and content marketing for startups and small businesses. Image courtesy of Dean Drobot via Bigstockphoto.  Since our last post about web content writing tips was one of the most popular we’ve ever written, we decided to share a few more. As we’ve mentioned a time or twelve before, having excellent copy on your website is one of the most important things you can do for your business — your web content is like an ambassador for your company, and if it’s not on point you’re going to lose out on sales. Is your website copy clean, neat and conversational? Or is it laden with errors, poor formatting and weird text? Is your web content representative of you and your company? If not, it’s time for an overhaul. Error-free, compelling copy is one of the best free online PR tools at your disposal, even if developing the content takes some time and effort. Shareable blog posts are also an important aspect of content marketing efforts and SEO. Good copy will help you get backlinks and make people trust your company more (after all, who wants to give their credit card number to a business that can’t tell the difference between there/their/they’re or puts unnecessary apostrophes in plural words?). When you’re writing web content, keep these things in mind: 1. Always start with keyword research for SEO. TCF’s site generates over $300,000 worth of organic traffic each year (as in, we’d have to...
39 Free Web Services & Tools To Monitor Website Downtime

39 Free Web Services & Tools To Monitor Website Downtime

If you are a webmaster or you have your own site and don’t know how to monitor the website uptime and downtime… This article is from hongkiat.com, published by Ashutosh KS. He is a tech enthusiast who is interested in software technologies. Also he is a supporter of open source software. Hongkiat (HKDC) is one of the leading go-to sites for all things related to tech, design and technology, plus we also publish awesomely cool and inspirational content. Image courtesy of AldanNa via Bigstockphoto.  An online portal of your business brings traffic and the last thing we want is for the site to go down for wahtever reason. Various factors could lead to downtime and one of the ways we can stay on top of such an occurrence is to monitor site uptime and downtime, and receive notifications if a site goes down. In this post, we’re showcasing free online services to monitor website uptime as well as downtime. Some of them come with pricing plans for better and more features that may be helpful to you but the highlight focuses on. PingMySite. Supports 1 site, checks the site every minute from 31 locations and sends performance reports via SMS, email and push notifications. Monitoshi. Free tool that monitors unlimited website URLs, sends email whenever the site is down. Has simple API to create a status page or send a tweet when a site goes down. WatchSumo. Free tool that sends instant reports via email or webhook, no limit on URLs to monitor. Generates a 24-hour mean response time for an overall look. UptimeButler. Checks up to 5 sites, every minute. Alerts through email, web hooks...
7 User Experience Tests to Do When Redesigning Your Website

7 User Experience Tests to Do When Redesigning Your Website

Before finalizing your new website design, make a point to conduct these seven tests to determine that your website is user friendly and truly works. This article was written be Amber Callan, blog.hubspot.com. Amber currently works as an Inbound Marketing Strategist for Leap Clixx. As a Rice University alum, she loves helping clients bring in new leads and writing about digital marketing tactics. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Image courtesy of scyther5 via Bigstockphoto.  Designing your website can be a long and expensive process. To ensure the process goes smoothly and that your end product is the best it can be, test early and test often. By revealing flaws in competitors’ websites as well as flaws in your current website, you can save time and money during your redesign. Because a website design is all about the visitors who will view and interact with it, your redesign should focus on their experience. In order to be sure that you get the most out of your new website, here are seven user experience tests to do during the process of a website redesign. 1) Competitive Analysis Most businesses are aware that they can compare themselves to competitors in order to see what they are expected to do or what they can do better. This should be no different when redesigning your website! I recommend starting with five of your direct competitors and looking at their websites. You’ll want to create a spreadsheet, like the one below, so you can see the results of your analysis clearly. When looking over your competitors’ websites, here are things to note...
Why W3C Validation is Important for a Growing Business Website

Why W3C Validation is Important for a Growing Business Website

W3C represents the WWC or World Wide Consortium, which is the internationally recognized standards organization for the World Wide Web. So what is W3C validation and why is it important? You can know it from this post, originally from csschopper.com. CSSChopper is a privately held web design & development company headquartered in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India. Image courtesy of kgtoh via Bigstockphoto.  What makes a developer pro in his field? Exactly his expertise and ingenuity in using the latest technologies. A developer is the one who knows that every detail is important while designing a website. From validating codes to customizing templates, s/he has to check all the aspects to accomplish a fruitful web development. Let us dig more about W3C validation and know what role does it play in setting up a website or any web solution. UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT W3C VALIDATION Validation is one of the major factors that influence the quality of a web design. It mainly refers to comparing formatted HTML and XHTML documents/files with the defined W3C standards. W3C is referred to as World Wide Web Consortium which is being defined as a set of standard coding guidelines. All markups and coding are subject to abide by W3C in order to run along future business aspects. It is same like checking your sentence in accordance with the general grammar rules of a language in which it has been written in. Just like there are rules in grammar language, similarly in computer programming, there is a set of rules & guidelines which must be followed during every web project. WHY W3C VALIDATION ON A SITE IS...
How to Offer Great UX When Using Video

How to Offer Great UX When Using Video

Daniel Schwarz has some thoughts on presenting a great video UX. This article is originally from sitepoint.com. SitePoint is a hub for web developers to share their passion for building incredible Internet things. Founded in 1999, SitePoint is for web professionals, byweb professionals: developers, designers, programmers, product creators and entrepreneurs alike.   Daniel Schwarz is a full-time design writer and digital nomad. When he’s not writing about design and code, he’s actually doing it (sometimes) at Airwalk Studios, a creative studio of which he’s the founder.   Image courtesy of mast3r via Bigstockphoto. Video in web design was anticipated to be a top trend in 2016, and what was once thought of as impossible is now a widely-consumed concept by users in certain industries. Video is designed to captivate the user emotionally so this trend mostly applies to travel websites, hip startups and e-commerce stores selling luxury items. In short, video can bring a sensual notion of a time and place that still photography can struggle to match.   Airbnb’s captivating video-based header depicts how “at home” you can feel by choosing an Airbnb over any other type of accommodation. But video can be heavy, in terms of both of megabytes and screen real estate, and it should be used with extreme caution. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that we can make websites with video more accessible to the average user, andmuch more accessible to the more-common-than-you-might-think disabled user. How Much Real Estate Should Video Acquire? Video can be a high-risk web component, but it isn’t hard to maximise its effect and optimise its user experience. Most of the decision-making comes...
What’s New in WordPress 4.6

What’s New in WordPress 4.6

WordPress 4.6 “Pepper” is now available and is named after Pepper Adams who played the Baritone saxophone and the clarinet. Learn about the new features and updates from this article (original is here – wpbeginner.com). WPBeginner is a free WordPress resource site for Beginners. The main goal of this site is to provide quality tips, tricks, hacks, and other WordPress resources that allows WordPress beginners to improve their site(s). Image courtesy of Armando Torrealba via Flickr.  WordPress 4.6 was released just a few minutes ago. It is the second major release of the year 2016, and brings some exciting new improvements and fixes several bugs. In this article, we will show you what’s new in WordPress 4.6 and which features you should try after updating your websites. 4.6 is a major WordPress release, and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you will have to manually initiate the update. Important: Don’t forget to create a complete WordPress backup before starting the update. Native System Fonts in WordPress 4.6 WordPress started using Open Sans from Google Fonts project, as the default font so that the admin interface looks the same on different platforms and devices. However, this meant a tiny compromise on speed and relying on a third party project. Since 4.6, WordPress will now use your native system font for the admin area. This will make WordPress load faster and feel like your native device and platform. Here is a screenshot of admin area in Safari web browser on macOS using system font San Francisco. This change only affects user interface elements inside WordPress admin area. It will not affect content...
Why Should You Update Your Old Content?

Why Should You Update Your Old Content?

Let’s look at some ways you can liven up old content. This great article is from searchenginejournal.com. The author, Danny Goodwin, is a news writer for Search Engine Journal. Danny has been a professional editor, writer, and ghostwriter in the marketing industry for 10 years, creating content for SMBs to global brands, spanning all things search and digital. He formerly was managing editor for Momentology and editor for Search Engine Watch. Image courtesy of AlexLMX via Bigstockphoto.  Your content has an expiration date. In general, 95 percent of the content you create will get most of its traffic within the first two to three days of publishing. Content can become “old” within just a few weeks in some industries, while some types of content may continue to drive solid traffic for anywhere from 3-5 years before, inevitably, you’ll see diminishing returns. With old content, you’ll eventually have a choice: you can either remove or update it. Here are 10 smart reasons why you should update that older content. 1. Your CTR Is Terrible Head into the Google Search Console and check your Search Analytics. If the click-through rate is really low for certain pieces of content, that’s a clear indicator that you need to update your content. Look at your title and description. Make sure it contains relevant keywords but is also interesting and eye-catching for people quickly scanning the search results. Use words that are more likely to attract clicks. 2. Your Content Isn’t Written Well Have you ever rushed out a piece of content without editing it (and editing it again) and never looked back? Publishing poorly written content (e.g., contains glaring typos or...
5 Ways to Generate Content Ideas from Events

5 Ways to Generate Content Ideas from Events

Events are priceless content creation opportunities for professionals. Carro Ford at curata.com gives us some ways how to repurpose content from events to your blog or online magazine. Carro is the author of The Smartass Marketer’s Handbook. She also loves sharing ideas, tips and techniques to help fellow marketers. Reach Carro at carrof@earthlink.net or connect on LinkedIn. Image courtesy of kasto via Bigstockphoto.  Does your marketing strategy include conference speakers, sales presentations and webinars? These events can also be go-to sources for blog post ideas. Read on to learn five ways to repurpose content from events to fill your blog’s editorial calendar. 1. Choose Topics Based on Conference Sessions Show organizers do their research and know what will interest their target audience. Take advantage of their hard work. If a topic is on a conference agenda, it’s on the minds of people in your industry. Study the agenda and session tracks to get a sense of trending user problems and concerns.
 Conference keynotes and sessions highlight trending topics in your market that you can cover in your blog. You’ll also get ideas for keywords to use in your writing. If you work in content marketing, take a look at this list of conferences to start exploring sessions and speakers. 2. Repurpose Your Speaker Presentations If your company has a presenter scheduled at a conference, collaborate with them to write blog post before and after the event. It can be a win-win for both of you. You’ll create awareness for the speaker, and you’ll save time on content by tapping into the presentation as your source material.  For this specific scenario, consider creating a pre-event blog post to talk about why...
UX Trends For Small Business Websites

UX Trends For Small Business Websites

This was originally published on speckyboy.com. Andrew James explains the best UX trends of modern design. Andrew has been involved with Amazon and authority web design for almost a decade now. He enjoys being in the trenches and doing all the hard work in order to transform someone’s old, ugly side-project into the real money making machine it is. Top image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto.  With smartphone and tablet technology catching up to desktops and laptops, web design and user experience needs to catch up, too. If you toss together a design based off a wireframe template, hand it off to a copywriter, and then turn everything over to a marketer, you’re going to miss crucial pieces of the puzzle that can all come together to turn a winning design into a hugely profitable business asset. There are 6 trends that are making big moves into designs from smaller mom and pop shops, up to Fortune 500 companies that, as a designer, you need to pay attention to. Endless Scrolling Layouts Millennials are making up a bigger sector of internet users, so if you want to get their attention — and keep it — your designs are going to have to reflect the type of personality and attention span that Millennials are known for having. Short attention spans, and wanting information quickly without having to browse through dozens of pages, or getting put off by a huge wall of text are all qualities that Millennials exhibit. That means they don’t want to land on your page, only to see a ton of text that they have to scroll through, or get redirected through multiple pages before...
Best Practices for Background Images: Your “Getting Started” Guide

Best Practices for Background Images: Your “Getting Started” Guide

In this post Karol K (blogs.adobe.com) covers primary uses for background images.  Karol (@carlosinho) is a blogger and writer, published author, and founder of NewInternetOrder.com. Image courtesy tashka2000 via Bigstockphoto.  In the era of simplicity and minimalism – or modern web design, as some people like to call it – the background is often one of the few elements of design that convey any sense of branding. Big and bold typography, ghost buttons, “flat,” “material” … whether we like it or not, they all look kind of the same. So if you want to opt for that minimalist style, the only tools that are left for you to make the website stand out is the logo, the layout itself, and, chief of them, the background. Here are the options you have when it comes to image backgrounds, plus how to make your next background awesome: The old-school background – solid color If you want to keep things old-school, you can experiment with solid color backgrounds. For some scenarios, they can look good, but they can also be a bit harder to execute when you want to keep the design minimal. Solid colors can make it too minimalist and not interesting enough to grab the visitors’ attention right away … in a word, dull. On the other hand, traditionally, those were the backgrounds that were the easiest to make work from atechnical point of view. After all, solid colors always scale well on all devices and screen sizes, they’re consistent and predictable. Several years ago, when CSS wasn’t a thing yet, we didn’t have much of a choice other than going with solid backgrounds. Today, however, there...
What Happens When Changing WordPress Themes?

What Happens When Changing WordPress Themes?

Are you looking to change your WordPress theme? Julia Nimchynska (cms2cms) answers your questions on this subject. Image courtesy of mkabakov via Bigstockphoto.  This article will mostly deal with cases of switching themes on websites which have been using a certain theme for a while (not the case when you try theme after theme when setting up a new site). Even if your site looks totally breathtaking and you have zero complaints about its functionality, there comes the time when you start thinking about making changes to its appearance and looking for a new theme. With WordPress, this is most tempting as it’s got one of the largest numbers of themes available – both free and premium – to suit any taste. However, many users are doomed to sticking with one theme for ages because of the fear to break their website during the switch or lose their content and stuff. In fact, adopting a new WordPress theme isn’t a rocket science, and the changes it brings aren’t that drastic. If you know what to expect and how to get ready for the switch, it may turn out quite a simple task. So, let’s take a look at the most common questions about WordPress theme switch and find the answers for them. Will I lose my posts/ pages/ images/files etc? No, those are safe and you’ll find them intact after the procedure is over. A theme is, so to say, a part of the website, and its change will only affect theme related elements, while content is independent from the theme. However, this doesn’t include custom post types, like testimonials, reviews etc....
9 Reasons You Should Use Bing Ads In Addition To Google

9 Reasons You Should Use Bing Ads In Addition To Google

In this post Steven Stallone (Zion & Zion) will show us the benefits of Bing Ads.  Image courtesy of official_powerset via Flickr. WHY USE BING ADS IN ADDITION TO GOOGLE For those of you that are not familiar with Bing Ads, it is Microsoft and Yahoo’s alternative platform to the more popular and well-known Google AdWords. This partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo was formed in order to compete with Google. It also provides advertisers with one platform through which they can place ads on both the Bing and Yahoo search engine results pages (SERP). Many advertisers will go the easy route and stick with the bigger and more well-known Google AdWords for their paid search marketing, often ignoring Bing Ads altogether. However, at Zion & Zion, we make it part of our digital strategy and almost always allocate a portion of our clients’ budgets to Bing Ads in order to compare results. 1. 30% MARKET SHARE ComScore recently released new statistics showing that together, Bing and Yahoo have a 32.8% share of all search traffic on desktops in the US. This is nearly one third of all searches performed via desktop and can be a new source of impressions for advertisers. While these statistics do not include mobile search traffic which is heavily dominated by Google, Bing Ads tends to get about 1/5 of the impressions that you get on AdWords. Without Bing Ads, you are essentially missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new people and grow your business. 2. LESS COMPETITION One of the big advantages to Bing Ads is that not everyone using AdWords has caught on to the fact that Bing Ads...
How to Use Keywords Throughout Your Marketing Strategy

How to Use Keywords Throughout Your Marketing Strategy

Is keyword development a part of your marketing strategy? The right keywords are very important for every business website! Learn more in this article from Moz. The author, Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+. Image courtesy of fuzzbones via Bigstockphoto. How do you use keywords? If you’re only using them to optimize your website for search, then you’re missing out on many ways to get visibility amongst your target audience. In this post, I’m going to share with you the best ways to use keywords across your entire online (and even offline) marketing strategy. Webpage optimization I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this one, especially since you can read all about it in theBeginner’s Guide to SEO. But just for a quick review, here are the places that you should use your target keyword phrase on each page of your website that you’d like to optimize for search. In the SEO title tag of your page (or just the main title of the page if your CMS does not allow you to edit SEO fields). This is a requirement for the on-page optimization of a keyword. In the meta description for your page. Even though it may not count for optimization purposes, it will get bolded when someone sees your webpage in search results for that keyword. In at least one image’s filename and ALT text. In the first paragraph on the page. In a few places throughout the content on the page in a natural way. Now, let’s look at more ways you can utilize your keywords...
20 SEO Link Building Tactics That Work

20 SEO Link Building Tactics That Work

Link building is one of the most important things you can do in terms of off-site search engine optimization. Follow these 20 tactics that would help you build the right links. The original article is from semrush.com. The author, Navneet Kaushal is the Founder and CEO of India’s leading search marketing agency PageTraffic. A leading search engine strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in the digital world. He has helped value-conscious businesses build site traffic, increase the user base, boost web sales and bolster customer satisfaction. Navneet’s expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies in Asia. You can follow him at Twitter. Image courtesy of argus456 via Bigstockphoto.  The Internet is built on links. Link building plays a vital role in achieving the good search engine rankings. Gone are the days when buying hundreds of links through spam methods would give better rank in the search results. But, now in the present world of SEO, quality matters a lot over quantity. Thus, you have to follow some superior link building techniques to stay authoritative in the eyes of Google and other search engines. In this post, we’ll look at 20 different SEO link building tactics that will help you to build the links a lot more naturally. 20 Different Ways to Perform Link Building as Part of Your SEO Strategy 1. Craft link worthy content Before writing any post, ensure the content you’re going to produce will be useful and actionable for the readers. Yes, when you have the useful stuff that is worth linking, getting other websites to link your helpful content will become...
Five Reasons To Choose Joomla

Five Reasons To Choose Joomla

As you decide between WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or any other CMS, you may find a lot of conflicting reviews. Joomla! Community Magazine™ recommends to choose their system. About the author: Cliff Pfeifer is Joomla UX Team Lead, a member of the Joomla Marketing Leadership Team and contributor to the Joomla Community Magazine. He is a passionate Joomla contributor and savvy business owner from Denver, Colorado. Cliff is also the organizer of the Denver Joomla User Group & JoomlaDay Denver. Image courtesy of Sören via Flickr. There are more CMS platform choices than ever. All of them boast powerful features but it’s not always clear how these features help us in real life. These are five reasons why many people choose Joomla to accomplish website goals and solve real world website challenges. How can Joomla actually help us? This article is not about comparing Joomla to other CMS platforms, there are plenty of CMS comparisons out there already. Often they are biased in some way or contain generalized information that isn’t always meaningful. In real life we need to accomplish specific goals and it is easier to accomplish our goals if we choose the right tools. This article is about the strengths of Joomla. These features are powerful, but they are only useful to us if they apply to what we need to do. Maybe they apply to you, maybe they don’t. Choosing the right CMS for a project can be a process in itself and only you can decide what will work best for you, but it’s always good to make an informed decision. Authors Note: I am very involved with the Joomla community and...
7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Website’s Organic Traffic

7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Website’s Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is the best thing your website can hope for. These visitors are actively searching for you and have made a conscious decision to visit your site. They’re instantly engaged. Best of all, they’re free. Here are seven things you can do to boost your website’s organic traffic right away: 1. Encourage Natural Links Backlinks to your site are an important part of your search rank. The more times other sites link back to you, the higher you’re going to appear. It’s important to make sure your links are legitimate, however. According to former Google executive Matt Cutts, “The objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural.” For more information on natural link building, take a look at this video: 2. Reach Out to Prospects Via SMS If you want to drive prospects to your website, you need to make it as simple for them as possible. SMS is great for your audience because they can sign-up for alerts by texting a simple one-word code to a 5 or 6-digit number. Once they’re subscribed, you can rest assured that they’ll receive your message. On average, 97% of all text messages are opened, most of them within the first five minutes. For simplicity and effectiveness, it’s hard to beat SMS. 3. Focus On Social Media Social media presence doesn’t correlate directly to your search rank, but it has a strong indirect correlation. When your content gets a lot of shares and discussion on social media, it’s going to be viewed by more people – leading to interaction and referral traffic. This...
Opera’s 4 standout features that make it competitive with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox

Opera’s 4 standout features that make it competitive with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox

A Chinese consortium has bought the Opera for $600 million. Here are some great features of this internet browser (original article).  About the author: Ian Paul is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news. Image courtesy of Ben Hutchison via Flickr. When you talk about major browsers for PCs, you usually mention Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer or Edge. Then most people throw in Opera as an afterthought. While it’s still considered to be part of the “big four,” this browser often gets ignored because the usage base for the other browsers is so much higher. It shouldn’t be. Over the past year, Opera’s beefed up its browser with killer performance and compelling new features. If you haven’t looked at Opera in a while, here are four big reasons why you should give Opera a second look. 1. Stellar performance All the features in the world won’t help if your browser’s performance is lackluster. Fortunately, Opera’s anything but. In our browser showdown from late 2015, Opera performed very well in real-world browsing tests, including memory usage and page load times. Chrome may have won the top browser crown, but Opera came in a very close second. More recently, we tested battery usage for all the major browsers following Microsoft’s own tests that touted Edge’s battery usage. In our findings, Edge was still the top performer when it came to battery life, lasting 385 minutes. But Opera came in third place, lasting 352 minutes and just barely losing to Chrome by...
10 of the Best WooCommerce Extensions to Power Up Your WordPress Website

10 of the Best WooCommerce Extensions to Power Up Your WordPress Website

In this post we’re going to provide a brief overview of some of the best WooCommerce extensions available. It was posted on December 5, 2015 by Shaun Quarton at elegantthemes.com. Shaun is a freelance blogger from the UK, with a passion for online entrepreneurship, content marketing, and all things WordPress. Image courtesy of djvstock via Bigstockphoto.  If you’ve been using WordPress for more than five minutes, you’re probably already aware of the powerhouse of WordPress eCommerce, WooCommerce. After all, developers WooThemes estimate that WooCommerce powers around one-third of all online storefronts. I’m also sure that you’ve heard that the WooCommerce core is free to download and use. While this is true, if you’re serious about launching a profitable eCommerce store, you’re going to have to open your wallet – nothing that good was ever completely free, right? I’ll be honest: the free WooCommerce core really is a perfectly capable eCommerce platform. It allows you to add product pages, a fully functional shopping cart, and a working checkout procedure for handling payments to your website. This, of course, is essential eCommerce functionality, and without it, your store couldn’t survive for long. However, when choosing an eCommerce platform, I recommend that you don’t judge WooCommerce solely on the core’s strengths and weaknesses. After all, if you want to witness the true potential of WooCommerce – what the platform is really capable of – you’ll need to purchase some premium extensions. That’s the focus of today’s post: to provide a brief overview of some of the best WooCommerce extensions. If you want to unlock WooCommerce’s full potential, this list will show you just some of the ways you...
7 reasons why should upgrade your Magento

7 reasons why should upgrade your Magento

This article (originally from here) covers the reasons you should consider updating your Magento platform. About the author: Hung Nguyen is founder of LitExtension (premier provider of best-in-class shopping cart migration tools). Image courtesy of Guido Jansen via Flickr Magento has been a very powerful and fast growing e-Commerce since it was launched in 2007 by Varien. Nowadays, Magento is chosen as a major digital commerce platform by over 200,000 online retailers because of its modular architecture, complete scalability and a wide range of options. Howewer, like many other softwares, Magento always upgrade its present version to become more compatible with users. The question is ‘Should we upgrade Magento?’. We all believe that the appearance of the latter is the innovation of the previous. Therefore in this article, we will show you 7 reasons why the answer is yes. 1. Security Updates The first reason why we should definitely upgrade Magento version as soon as possible is the security issues. The world of online security is progressing at light speed day by day. Even famous brands such as Adobe, Sony, Amazon and Wal-Mart were all hacked in 2014. Magento has stepped up its default security in the newest version to protect users’ privacy. What Magento did to patch security gaps: XSS vulnerability while creating configurable product variations was addressed. Information about different orders was not displayed. Changes to PayPal Express checkout. An .swf file was removed from the Magento distribution. File system was secured better. The security of action URLs was enhanced. Vulnerability during checkout was fixed The randomness function was also more secured 2. Responsive Theme Updates The default Magento theme in the...
12 Incredible Resources for Downloading Icon Packs

12 Incredible Resources for Downloading Icon Packs

In this article (original is here) we look at 12 sites where you can find many great icon packs. About the author: Levin Mejia is a self-taught designer and front-end developer whose passion for design combined with his thirst for continual learning inspired him to run his own conference: Go Beyond Pixels. He has worked for clients all over the world, such as Vox Media in NYC, and now works as a Designer Advocate for Shopify. Image courtesy of Anastacia Mironova via Bigstockphoto. Using icons on your site allows you to effectively communicate with your visitors by increasing readability, highlighting important content, re-enforcing functionality or features, and enhancing the design. We have compiled a great list resources where you can download free and premium icon packs to use in your existing and future projects. Many of the resources listed offer SVG format icon packs. These vector files will provide you with endless flexibility and their small file size will help in reducing your website load times. SVG icons will look sharp on retina and high density displays and eliminate the need to duplicate the same icon files to support different density displays. SVG files can also be modified with CSS to change properties like colour and size, and if you want to take things to the next level, SVGs can also be animated. Icons8   Icons8 guarantees that you can find all of the icons you’ll ever need on their site. If there’s an icon you need and you can’t find it, Icons8 will make it for you for free. All of Icons8’s icons follow iOS, Android, and Windows icon guidelines, ensuring that your icons...
Backing up and Restoring Large WordPress Databases

Backing up and Restoring Large WordPress Databases

If you have a large WordPress database, it may be difficult to backup and restore your website data. Jérémy Heleine gives us solution. Jérémy is a passionate guy who is interested in many fields, particularly in the high tech world for which he covers the news everyday on some blogs, and web development which takes much of his free time. He loves learning new things and sharing his knowledge with others. Original article is from sitepoint.com. SitePoint is a hub for web developers to share their passion for building incredible Internet things. It founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz in 1999. Image courtesy of HD_Premium_shots via Bigstockphoto. In this article, I’ll cover how to restore big database dumps with a useful tool called BigDump. Essentially, BigDump is a PHP script that allows you to import a database dump as big as you want, even if your upload limit is low. This article assumes that you don’t have SSH/command line access to your server, or are more comfortable using a web application. Note that BigDump is released under the GNU GPL 2 license. After restoring a big database dump with BigDump, I’ll show you how to automatically generate these dumps thanks to a WordPress plugin named WP-DBManager, because you don’t have time to waste manually backing up your database every day! Generating a BigDump-ready Database Dump I’ve already covered how to back up a WordPress database in the previous article, so we won’t describe how to do that again. However, there’s something you should know if you want to use BigDump. In practice, BigDump splits your file into as many files as necessary for your server to allow...
9 Best Web Analytics Tools

9 Best Web Analytics Tools

These tools offer an easy and inexpensive (sometimes free!) way to know everything about your website. This article is originally from computerworlduk.com. The author, Matt Eagan, is Editorial Director of IDG UK, publisher of Computerworld UK, having worked for the UK’s leading technology media company since 2003. A passionate technology fan who writes on subjects as diverse as smartphones, internet security, social media and Windows, in his spare time Matt enjoys playing football (badly) and singing in a band (also badly). Image courtesy of Bigandt_Photography via Bigstockphoto. Every business is a publisher now, and it is important to understand how the content you publish reaches its intended audience. For most businesses Google Analytics is the perfect web analytics tool – free (up to a point), relatively easy to set up, and with lots of peer support from a huge user base. But there are alternatives to Google Analytics. In this article we pick out the nine best web analytics tools. Great free and paid for alternatives to Google Analytics. How to track how many people visit your website. Google Analytics If you are new to the game of measuring web traffic, Google Analytics is the place to start. The basic hosted package is free until you have more than 10 million impressions (although we were only charged when we got beyond 50 million). And GA offers a frighteningly full feature set, whilst being easy to set up. Down sides? It is not the most intuitive for the end user, and if you do go to the premium package, it steps from £0 to £90,000. Still, with 50 million pages to play with, that won’t seem such...
SEO is Dead. Content Marketing = Guaranteed SEO

SEO is Dead. Content Marketing = Guaranteed SEO

Is SEO dead? This is a question that gets asked often. Jasmine Henry (writtent.com) gives us the answers. She is an experienced content marketer with an educational background in analytics and informatics. She loves helping small businesses take a metrics-driven approach to blogging! Image courtesy of cartoon resource via Bigstockphoto. SEO as we know it is actually gone forever. The most recent Hummingbird update to Google’s search algorithm was a final nail in the coffin of an industry that had been in decline since the major Panda update in 2011 that affected as many as 30% of all search results. Are you dubious, or worried that our position is extreme? Consider the following factors that were recently highlighted in the Search Engine Journal:   Keywords are Now “Not Provided” Prior to September 23rd, marketers could draw rich insights from data on the keywords that were driving visitors to their sites from Google. The information was abruptly protected several weeks ago. Google PageRank May Be Dying Once the de facto standard for measuring a website’s authority, Google PageRank figures haven’t been updated in 2013, and Matt Cutts himself has stated they won’t be updated again this year. Authorship and AuthorRank Google authorship has been around for nearly 2 years. While there’s been no official word that Google AuthorRank will be rolled out, it’s clear that Google is perfectly prepared to start using an individual’s expertise to determine content rankings. In-Depth Results August 6, Google introduced in-depth search results, a way for the search engine to highlight quality content around the broader context of user’s searches: Social Signals is On the Rise A recent Searchmetrics study...
7 of the Best Blogs for Learning Copywriting

7 of the Best Blogs for Learning Copywriting

Copywriting is the most important element of any website. Here is great article on this subject, from www.elegantthemes.com. The author, Ariel, is a Hubspot Inbound Certified blogger, copywriter specializing in autoresponders, and social media manager for hire. She enjoys testing SaaS products, diving into Twitter analytics, and reading Jane Austen novels. When she’s not typing away on her Mac and drinking copious amounts of coffee, she enjoys spending time with her amazing boys. Image thumbnail courtesy of GaudiLab via Bigstockphoto. Let me ask you one question: How’s the conversion on your site? If your ears are now drooping and you suddenly feel the need to go skulking off to wallow in self-pity as you begin to ponder those numbers — don’t. Conversion is one of those things that just about every business and business owner wants and needs to improve so you’re not alone if you look at your conversion goals and see that the reality of them coming to fruition is a bit far off. The chances are that the reason behind that low conversion rate of yours that is just limping along is due to the fact that your posts and pages lack that little extra oomph to tip the scales in your favor. That extra oomph is called Copywriting, and it’s actually much more important than you think. Not long ago, we covered the topic of what copywriting is, and now we wanted to cover where you can learn a bit more about it. 7 of the Best Blogs for Learning Copywriting as a Soloprenuer Copy Hackers Okay. Time for a truth session: I LOVE Joanna Wiebe — the main head honcho behind the...
UberMedia Integrates with NationBuilder to Help Political Campaigns More Precisely Target Modern Voters

UberMedia Integrates with NationBuilder to Help Political Campaigns More Precisely Target Modern Voters

This news was originally published on PRWeb.  Image courtesy of ImageCatalog via Bigstockphoto. UberMedia and NationBuilder Integration Provide Political Parties with Direct Marketing Access to the Mobile Devices of Qualified Voters and Constituents UberMedia, a mobile insights, advertising, and measurement platform, has integrated with NationBuilder, the world’s first software platform for political leaders, to help campaign customers target, reach, and influence voters directly on their mobile phones and devices. By mapping UberMedia’s substantial location data to corresponding mobile devices and existing voter registrations, political campaigns, organizations, and leaders can access a totally qualified advertising channel. The integration provides a hyper-targeted, unmatched approach and allows campaigns to maximize their reach while exponentially improving their campaign’s efficiency. UberMedia has invested in encompassing all 435 Congressional Districts within proprietary polygons and has identified key battleground districts that will require aggressive marketing as the election season progresses. “Political campaigns have wasted millions in inefficient advertising that simply hopes to capture would-be constituents,” said Gladys Kong, CEO of UberMedia. “Our integration with NationBuilder provides clients with validated audiences that are most likely to respond to targeted, mobile advertising.” With the UberMedia integration, NationBuilder campaigns can now directly reach voters with ads that speak specifically to their interests and recorded preferences. If a NationBuilder customer is developing a political campaign for a Republican running for Congress, that customer now has access to an even greater universe of political capital, including an ability to target potential voters on the device they use more frequently than any other. Since the last political cycle, and even more so since the 2012 Presidential election, consumer habits have shifted significantly toward mobile engagement. Consumers...
Search Engine Optimization Jokes That Will Make Any SEO Laugh

Search Engine Optimization Jokes That Will Make Any SEO Laugh

This was taken from World Of Web (posted by Jordynclee). Image courtesy of Langstrup Photography via Bigstockphoto. This post was originally published on the SkilledUp blog. Working in SEO can sometimes be frustrating and humorless. Google might not always answer your prayers and the guy with inferior content might edge ahead of you in the rankings by using dirty SEO tactics (we’re looking at you About.com and WikiHow). Your client may demand top rankings in a day even though the best SEO campaigns can take months for those kinds of results. If you’re an SEO fan or are perhaps a little stressed out about it as of late, these jokes will give you the laugh you need to get through the day and remember why you love your work. This infographic was originally published on SkilledUp.com. Optimize Your Fun and Your Career Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to just laugh about what you’re doing. Work hard but don’t take things too seriously, especially yourself. However, if you felt like these jokes went over your head but are still interested in SEO, trying taking some courses so you can be on the inside next time. SEO is a field rich in opportunities since 100% of marketers in the world now value Search Engine Marketing and Optimization despite competition from PPC. In fact, the average company is planning to increase SEO spending in the coming year. You might want to consider a career in it if you’re especially intrigued and are looking to make up to $66,000 with an entry-level position! Now hold that thought while we check our rankings for SEO...
The Top 10 MailChimp Alternatives for Small Business Email Marketing

The Top 10 MailChimp Alternatives for Small Business Email Marketing

MailChimp is a simple service for managing mass emails, but it can get quite expensive. There are many alternatives available in market. This article was orginally posted in Capterra blog. The author, Cara Wood, is a marketing associate at Capterra and a graduate of Mary Washington! When she’s not hard at work, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life. Image courtesy of Jakub Jirsak via Bigstockphoto. In the world of tissues, Kleenex is indisputably the king. You can use the words “tissue” and “Kleenex” interchangeably, much like the phrases “email marketing” and “MailChimp”. But just because these brands have become the generic trademark of their industries doesn’t mean they necessarily work for you. (Personally, I really like Puffs – it’s so soft and plushy.) After all, like every nose is different, so is every company. So what’s the Puffs of email marketing? I’ve compiled this handy list of ten MailChimp alternatives for you. Please note that I have put them in no particular order. What works well for one company, might not work at all for another. For a quick glance, check out the graphic below and for more details, keep reading. 1. GetResponse GetResponse is a feature-rich solution, as shown in the comparison graphic, and starting at just $15 a month, it’s actually one of the few solutions on this list that comes in cheaper than MailChimp’s paid version! ($10 cheaper, to be specific.) It’s best suited for small to mid-sized companies, but it’s scalable! What Makes It Special: GetResponse really does have a TON of features, many of which other vendors don’t even...
24 Clever 404 Error Pages From Real Websites

24 Clever 404 Error Pages From Real Websites

Rachel Sprung puts together 24 examples of creative 404 error pages to impress, inspire and make you smile. About the author: Rachel is a Customer Demand Manager at HubSpot. She frequently blogs for the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Blog and other marketing publications. Connect with her on Twitter @RSprung. Image courtesy of sasha2538 via Bigstockphoto. Website uptime — the amount of time a business’ website is up and functioning — is an important metrics for marketers and IT professionals to track. But no matter how many resources you put into ensuring your website never, ever, ever goes down … there’s always the looming possibility that it might. It’s a bummer, but a fact of life. And the reaction of visitors when they land on your temporarily unavailable website can run the gamut — from “taking it in stride” to “totally losing their minds.” While there’s nothing you can do about the latter, you can make your website downtime a little less of a pain by having a creative error 404 message. This can do wonders to make your website visitors crack a smile in an otherwise frustrating situation. To get your design juices flowing, this post will display some of our favorite website error pages. Hopefully you’ll be able to take away a few ideas to snazz up your own 404 message. What is a 404 Error? A 404 error is a standard HTTP error message code that means the website you were trying to reach couldn’t be found on the server. It’s a client-side error, meaning either the webpage was removed or moved and the URL wasn’t changed accordingly, or the person just typed in the URL incorrectly. For the most part,...
19 Search Engine Optimization Tips for Solopreneurs

19 Search Engine Optimization Tips for Solopreneurs

Every business with a Web site should make Search Engine Optimization – trying to get your site as high up as possible on Google. Check out these basic tips from Mike Allton, SiteSell blog. Image courtesy of MSSA via Bigstockphoto. SEO is fundamentally a set of methodologies that make it easier for search engines to find, include, categorize and rank your web content.” Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing Search Engine Optimization is a complex and ever-changing topic, but there are a number of tips and tricks that solopreneurs and bloggers can implement to make sure that they’re being consistent with their blog posts and content. Search Engine Optimization Tip #01 – Write for Humans, not Search Engines First and foremost, it’s important to stress the need to focus on writing for humans. Everything that you do needs to be valuable and useful for real people. Make it interesting, helpful and shareworthy. But, once you’ve written an article that you know your audience will enjoy and appreciate, take time to make sure that search engines will appreciate it equally. That’s what the remainder of these SEO tips are designed to help you with. Search Engine Optimization Tip #02 – Target One Keyword At A Time While it might be tempting to create content that attempts to speak to several groups or interests at the same time, you’re really better of focusing on a single, specific keyword phrase. This will also help you make your writing more concentrated on that topic, not wandering off onto other subjects. Not sure what keyword to target? That’s what keyword research is for, and why we’ve baked...
6 Absolutely Free Ways to Build a Community Around Your Blog

6 Absolutely Free Ways to Build a Community Around Your Blog

How do you REALLY build a blog community? Here are some tools and other tips from Ann Smarty, originally posted at www.searchenginejournal.com. Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann’s expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto. All screenshots via Ann Smarty, taken July 2015. A blog is not a place to dump content. Obviously, you know this. At least I assume that everyone with a blog would be aware, and yet so often that is exactly what they seem to be doing. Blog posts are being published on websites and just left there to gather dust. Maybe there’s some traffic. But that doesn’t mean the blog is successful, or that the post has done well. Dan Shure published a great piece on Moz about this titled The Broken Art Of Company Blogging (and the Ignored Metric That Could Save Us All). He explains that he does not use traffic or social sharing as a measurement of success. A blog post could have hundreds of shares, and he would consider it a failure if it did not have one particular metric to judge it: comments. That isn’t quite what I want to talk about here, but it brings up an excellent point: How do you measure the success of a blog? The answer is not necessarily comments, but rather a sense of community. Your blog should be a community of users, not a place to host content. Community Building as a Primary Goal Often the idea of community building is secondary to other...
Best PSD to HTML Conversion Tutorials For Easy Learning

Best PSD to HTML Conversion Tutorials For Easy Learning

This list article (originally from CSSChopper) contains links of good tutorials where you can learn very best ways and methods of coding up a PSD into workable HTML/CSS. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto PSD to HTML conversion is one of the best and effective way to create a browser compatible website, which can be optimized as per the client’s business requirements. This approach of creating the design using Photoshop and further converting it to HTML/CSS markup is quite efficient and time saving. Here, we have put together the best written and easy to understand detailed tutorials that will help you master conversion skills. Each and every tutorial brings you something new and interesting to learn. Read each of them to enhance your knowledge. PSD to HTML Step By Step Conversion: This is a great tutorial, which takes you through the whole process of PSD to HTML conversion with code samples and screenshots. Here, you will learn to create a set of 4 PSD mockups of a site that will help you build a WordPress theme. This massive tutorial requires you to spare a few hours to go through to it till the end. For your convenience, all the source files are there for free download. Convert PSD to HTML: Simple Yet Elegant CSS3 Layout: From two-part tutorial series, this is the second part, which shows nice steps to design an HTML web template from the Photoshop design built in the part1. This article is especially helpful for the amateurs. To get the most out of this tutorial, it is recommended to attempt its first part. Creating a Sleek Portfolio Website from...
10 Essential Magento Extensions You Need

10 Essential Magento Extensions You Need

Magento is a powerful and popular e-commerce platform whose development community is quite active in writing and publishing useful extensions. Agus from www.hongkiat.com gives us a brief description of 10 of the most effective plugins in the market. Image courtesy of Turnkey Ecommerce via Flickr. Magento is probably the most solid e-Commerce platform around. If you own an online store, you probably have given some consideration to using Magento on your site. Even big names like Nike, MotherCare, and Bazaar are on Magento. Still, Magento has a few features that could really be improved further, which is why sometimes you need to be proactive and check out what you can better achieve with extensions. Magento Extensions is a collection of extensions that can add extra functionalities that you might want on your e-Commerce website. Whether it is to track your sales and invoices or to make checkout a lot easier for your visitors, these extensions can help you better manage your online business and more. 1. MageMonkey MageMonkey is the official MailChimp extension that integrates with Magento. It will effectively improve how you communicate with your customers and potential customers. It allows you to create auto-responding emails for completed transactions, birthday wishes, reminders about abandoned carts among others. 2. Blog Even if you have an e-Commerce site, you can still use a blog to announce promotions, news on upcoming products, write about your company alongside other relevant content about your business. This may help in attracting visitors to your online store. If you want to have a blog try Blogs. The extension serves as a regular blogging platform including RSS, native WYSIWYG...
11 Effective Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content

11 Effective Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content

There are many ways of social media promotion. Let’s learn more at this article from curata.com. About the author: Neal Schaffer is a global social media speaker who has spoken on three continents and also teaches as part of the Rutgers University Business School Mini Social Media MBA Program. As an author, Neal is best known for his definitive book on social media strategy creation, implementation, and optimization “Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success” (Wiley). Image courtesy PureSolution via Bigstockphoto You’ve spent hours researching, analyzing, and finally creating compelling content to help you reach whatever content marketing objective you have. Just like authors who write a book, you’ll probably need to spend just as much, if not more time promoting your content than actually writing it. And where better to promote your content than where we spend more than 25% of our online time: social media. 80% of marketers are already promoting their content in social media–but are they doing it effectively? Before we get deep into social media tactics, ensure you are planning out your content—and your social media updates—on an editorial content calendar. This ensures every piece of content gets properly promoted in an organized manner. Download this free editorial calendar template to start planning today. Now it’s time to take your social media promotion to the next level. Here are 11 effective ways to promote your content using social media you probably aren’t doing enough of. Embrace the visual We all know tweets with images get more engagement. We’ve known for a while that photos on Facebook get more...
7 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared

7 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared

Looking for a solid backup plugin for WordPress? Here are the top 7. This article was posted on www.wpbeginner.com, written by Editorial Staff (it is a team of WordPress experts at WPBeginner , led by Syed Balkhi). Image courtesy Mazirama via Bigstockphoto. Creating regular WordPress backups is the best thing you can do for your website. Backups give you a peace of mind and can save you in catastrophic situations when your site gets hacked or you accidentally lock yourself out. There are several free and paid backup plugins for WordPress, and most of them are fairly easy to use. In this article, we will show you the 7 best backup plugins for WordPress. Important: Many WordPress hosting providers offer limited backup services, but please remember that it is your responsibility to backup your website on your own. Do not rely solely on your hosting provider for backups. If you are not already backing up your site, then you should pick one of these 7 best WordPress bckup plugins and start using it right away. 1. VaultPress At WPBeginner, we use VaultPress to backup our site. VaultPress was founded by Matt Mullenweg (WordPress co-founder) and his team at Automattic. It is a subscription based service with different plans and pricing. VaultPress offers automated real-time cloud backup solution starting at $5 / month (which is good for most websites). Setting up VaultPress and restoring from backups is just a matter of clicks. With some of their packages, they even offer security scans. The only downside to VaultPress is that it is a recurring expense that can add up if you have multiple WordPress sites. 2....
Get Your Site Mobile-Ready With 6 Free Emulators

Get Your Site Mobile-Ready With 6 Free Emulators

This article is about emulators for mobile site testing (originally from makeuseof.com). About the author: Sandy Stachowiak is a freelance writer, IT project manager, and team supervisor from Florida who loves writing about technology. Image courtesy Scanrail via Bigstockphoto. In the past, we have looked at reasons and ways for testing your website, whether business or personal, on multiple desktop browsers. The importance of testing your site on different browsers ensures that your site looks and behaves correctly, no matter which browser it is being viewed on. The same goes for mobile browsers and may even be more crucial these days, as many people employ the use of responsive web design. This concept, in a nutshell, provides a website that will look and behave well on all mobile devices, regardless of size. With so many different types of cell phones and tablets, designing your site to only accommodate one device is a huge mistake. Here is what Eric Fischgrund, Marketing and Communications Professional, has to say about the importance of this concept in a recent Huffington Post article: Content often needs to be rewritten, too. For smaller devices you want concise, easy to understand text. Images should be smaller in size. Responsive design is about enhancing the users’ experience by anticipating their needs. With all of this in mind, no one expects you to purchase and maintain every device available. And it is important to note, that as new devices are produced and sold, it would be impossible to keep up with that method. Enter, the mobile emulators. These handy tools allow you to not only view, but in most cases navigate through your...
Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter and Why

Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter and Why

Neil Patel at blog.kissmetrics.com helps to choose the best social media platform for your business. Image courtesy Flynt at Bigstockphoto. I think social media is really important. I doubt anyone would argue with me about that. But social media is also misunderstood in some ways. One of those misunderstandings is which social media sites a business or individual should be on. If you read this article, you’re going to understand which social media sites are best for your brand or business. You won’t have to waste your time messing around on social media sites that have no ROI, and you even might do better at gaining leads on the social media sites that are perfect for your business. A Quick Look at the Social Media Landscape Social media isn’t a fad or trend. It’s an enduring reality of online existence. For marketers, it’s indispensable. But when you approach social media as a marketing channel, things may get a bit confusing. Here’s why. Social media marketing includes a myriad of potential social media sites, a vast array of ways to engage, and a medley of styles for each platform. It’s more than just Facebook. You need to figure out which of the legion networks to join. Then, you need to determine optimal messages, posting frequency, cost of social media management, integration with other marketing channels, and how to make the most of the billions of people who are purportedly hanging out on social media. To slice through the confusion, here are four questions that you should answer. 1. Where is my audience? The primary question to ask about social media is where...
Why You Should Avoid Vibrating Color Combinations

Why You Should Avoid Vibrating Color Combinations

In this quick article you’ll learn about how color vibration affects interface legibility in the context of web and interface design. This article was written by Eli Schiff on webdesign.tutsplus.com. He is a design critic, UI design consultant, speaker and author of the upcoming Humanist Interface book. Image courtesy of Rawpixel.com via Bigstockphoto Bold or Garish? There is an emerging tendency among interface designers to mimic the garish color schemes often found in print design. While partially due to ideological trends, this impulse also emerges from the newfound typographic range available to the modern web designer, which encourages print-like layouts and large type. It is important to note the distinctions between each medium which cause vibrating color to be somewhat more permissible in print, and less so for web. Vibrating colors on Frooti’s website In print, using a bold color scheme often means the difference between being ignored on a magazine rack and making a sale. On the other hand, in the user interface, we have other considerations that take precedence over grabbing the user’s attention by force, in particular, the legibility of text. What is Vibration? One of the primary phenomena that emerges out of bold and highly saturated color schemes is a seemingly “vibrating” color, an occurrence wherein the edges of two directly adjacent colors appear to merge, blur and glow, giving the illusion of motion. The outer two samples have text with vibrating color, while the middle sample has text with equiluminant value. Josef Albers, the noted color theorist, warned against the use of vibrating colors in his classic, Interactions of Color: “This initially exciting effect also feels aggressive and often...
5 Lessons We Can Learn From Japanese Web Design

5 Lessons We Can Learn From Japanese Web Design

This article is from Speckyboy Design Magazine, by Benedict Brychta. He is an experienced contributing blogger and also a beginner in web design. He is a big classic movie fan and loves to share his opinions on the film industry, marketing and inspiration. You can contact him via his Twitter or Facebook. Image courtesy Torsakarin via Bigstockphoto Japan has its own particularities in terms of culture. As a result of several periods of isolation from the outside world, this millenarian civilisation has developed their own ways of expressing themselves through art, architecture and language. So it is understandable that this uniqueness has reflected inhow they create websites. If you have had the opportunity to take a look at some of the most popular Japanese websites, you have probably noticed how different they are when compared to what is generally created by most Western cultures, and by many others Eastern cultures as well. Their websites are colorful, chock-full of text and images, and look quite confusing and overwhelming to us. And yet, there are quite few things we can learn from them. Lesson #1 – Information Matters In Japan, it isn’t acceptable to take any risk caused by a lack of information. Businesses are expected to let their clients know absolutely everything about their products and services, from specs to warranty. Each aspect must be described, demonstrated and explained, so the customer will know exactly what they are buying. It isn’t acceptable to try to trick the client into hiding aspects of the product, or only letting them know something when they ask. Lesson Learned: Respect for the client is key. While...
Why Blog When You Can Start an Online Magazine?

Why Blog When You Can Start an Online Magazine?

What is better – to have a blog or to go beyond, to start an online magazine? Ross Simmond wrote some ideas at his personal site, http://rosssimmonds.com. Ross Simmonds is a digital strategist, entrepreneur, consultant and public speaker. He’s worked with brands ranging from fortune 100 co’s to startups. Image courtesy Yury Zap via Bigstockphoto The first niche magazine was published in 1731 and was called The Gentleman’s Magazine. Since then there have been thousands and thousands of niche magazines published with many of them finding great success. For years, magazines have been successfully financed by advertising, purchase price, and by pre-paid magazine subscriptions. For centuries, the largest source of revenue for these magazines came from marketers dropping large sums of cash for print advertising. However, as of recently advertisers and marketers have begun to turn their backs on print advertisements. Digital Magazines > Traditional Magazines In fact, According to AdPulp – Forbes is reporting that the amount of money spent on digital advertising will out-number print, Of the $368 billion marketers plan to spend this year, 32.5% will go toward digital; 30.3% to print. Digital spending includes e-mail, video advertising, display ads and search marketing. “It’s a watershed moment,” says the study’s lead author, Outsell vice president Chuck Richard. If this tells us anything besides the fact that were in the middle of a new age – it tells us that theres an opportunity for all of us to hop on. Magazines made many people millionaires, they also put several journalism careers into overdrive. However, the game has changed. Today, GQ and Esquire must compete with each other along with Askmen.com and The...
40 Fresh Blogging Tools For Better Traffic and Bigger Earnings

40 Fresh Blogging Tools For Better Traffic and Bigger Earnings

This list (source is here: http://www.webdesigndev.com/)-  is very useful for bloggers, website owners, designers and other persons. Top image courtesy dolgachov via Bigstockphoto   Whether you’re a casual enthusiast, blogger, or digital publishing professional, these fresh blogging tools in the list below will be a much-needed breath of fresh air. These blogging tools combine simplicity with powerful features and give you all you need to create amazing content, optimize your website, be more productive, find perfect visual elements and more. We grouped the useful blogging tools below in 7 categories: Writing & Inspiration, Outsourcing, Productivity, SEO and Content marketing, Social Media, Photos and Videos, and Monetizing. Which ones do you already use? Let us know in the comment section below. Writing & Inspiration Desk Desk focuses on what matters most: Writing. Designed to marry both function and form, it is the desktop publishing client that you’ve always wanted: simple, intuitive, powerful, and fast. Blogo Blogo is a blog publishing app that helps content creators to focus on what matters most: publishing the next story. Open Live Writer This is a lightweight blog editor. Create blog posts, add photos and videos then publish to WordPress, Google Blogger or others. Evernote Take notes to a new level with Evernote, the productivity app that keeps your projects, ideas, and inspiration handy across all your digital devices. BuzzSumo BuzzSumo is an important tool that you can use for my content marketing and SEO campaigns. It offers the ability to quickly identify what content is working well on social media. Blog topic generator Fill in the fields with terms that you’d like to write about, and this tool will...
Why Web Design is Dead

Why Web Design is Dead

Here are some thoughts on web design from Sergio Nouvel, UX Magazine. Sergio is a chilean-born designer, Director at Continuum Peru and entrepreneur. He has worked with big companies and small startups in Latin America, helping them building better digital products and innovative business models. He is also co-founder of Get on Board, a job board focused on tech professionals. Image courtesy aleksey.stemmer via Bigstockphoto High quality templates, mature design patterns, automation, AI, and mobile technology are signaling the end of web design as we know it. Web design is (finally!) dying of irrelevance. Web pages themselves are no longer the center of the Internet experience, which is why designers need to move on to the next challenges—products and ecosystems—if they want to stay relevant. Web design has no future—a risky statement I know, but this article explains why it has no future and what we, as designers, can do about it. As a discipline, web design has already exhausted its possibilities, an emerging combination of tech and cultural trends highlight the need for a broader approach. Let’s start with the symptoms of this inminent death. Symptom 1: Commoditization by Templates Most of the content that you see on the web today is run by some framework or service—WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, you name it. Frameworks provide you a foundation and shortcuts so you spend less time struggling with the creation of a web site, and more time creating content. As a consequence of the ubiquity of these frameworks, a whole world of free and paid templates lets you get started with a professional-looking design in minutes. Why hire a web designer if you...
Web Image Effects Performance Showdown

Web Image Effects Performance Showdown

You can find full article (posted May 19th, 2016) at www.smashingmagazine.com. About the author: Una Kravets is a UI Engineer at DigitalOcean. She writes technical articles around the web and on her website una.im, is a Sass community organizer, and cohosts theToolsday podcast. Una frequently contributes to the open source community, being a core member of the Open Design Foundation and creator of CSSgram. Image courtesy of roibu at Bigstockphoto As browsers constantly improve their graphical rendering abilities, the ability to truly design within them is becoming more of a reality. A few lines of code can now have quick and dramatic visual impact, and allow for consistency without a lot of effort. And as with most things in web development, there are often many ways to achieve the same effect. In this post, we’ll take a look at one of the most popular image effects, grayscale, and assess both the ease of implementation and performance implications of HTML canvas, SVG, CSS filters, and CSS blend modes. Which one will win? Filters on the web work like a lens laid over an image. They are applied to the image after the browser renders layout and initial paint. In supporting browsers, filters can be applied individually or layered on top of one another. Because they can be applied as image modifications after the initial render, and are likely an enhancement, filters gracefully degrade by merely not being visible in browsers which do not support them. CSS Filters Let’s get started with the most straightforward method for producing a grayscale effect: the humble, yet powerful CSS filter. Unfiltered image To achieve this effect, we...
30 Best Blog WordPress Themes For Corporate, Personal, Fashion, Travel, Photoblogging And More – 2016

30 Best Blog WordPress Themes For Corporate, Personal, Fashion, Travel, Photoblogging And More – 2016

This is outstanding list of WordPress themes from colorlib.com (Author: Aigars). You can buy there any theme or download the demo. Top image courtesy pling via Bigstockphoto WordPress is the most preferred blogging platform due to its flexibility and powerful features.  It’s easy to customize and offers a range of stylish appearances for any kind of websites. Choosing the right WordPress theme for your blog is important to run a WordPress-powered website. A good theme gives your website a distinct character and feels that sends out a positive impression to your target readers or visitors. In addition, a well-structured theme also helps your website rank well on major search engines. Though there are WordPress themes that you can use for free. It is still rational that you use premium WordPress theme for your blog. Premium WordPress themes allow you to modify basic elements on your layout and come with cutting-edge features. These themes are well suited for personal, adventure, corporate, fashion, food, travel, lifestyle tech, apps and any other awesome blog. Divi Soledad Soledad is the best selling new item on Themeforest with hundreds of sales in less than a week. Soledad is a completely modern and vibrantly youthful, dynamic and visually appealing, clean and very legible, aesthetically polished and functionally resourceful, fast loading and search engine optimized responsive WordPress multiconcept blog and magazine theme. Soledad has been crafted to be a massive and all-encompassing website building solution for webmasters of any skill level to easily and effortlessly churn out professional looking blogs and magazine websites that are clever and attractive, with a solid, cohesive design and an intuitive navigational experience and user interface. To...
What Hackers Do With Compromised WordPress Sites

What Hackers Do With Compromised WordPress Sites

Your site has been hacked… and what they will do next? Dan Moen from wordfence.com tells us more. Image courtesy MSSA via Bigstockphoto We often talk to site owners who are surprised that their sites are targeted by attackers. Most of them assume that if there isn’t any juicy data to steal, like credit card numbers, that compromising their site is a worthless exercise. Unfortunately they are wrong. Aside from data, a compromised site’s visitors can be monetized in various malicious ways.  The web server can be used to run malicious software and host content and the reputation of the domain name and IP address can be leveraged. Last month we ran a survey that included the following open ended question for people who reported that their site had been compromised: What did the hackers do to your site? We received a total of 873 responses that could be categorized, which we did by hand. The chart below reflects the results. Many of the responses described multiple categories, so the percentages on the chart below deliberately add up to greater than 100%. We did not include categories for “installed backdoor” or “installed malware”. We consider that to be more of a means to an end. Instead we focused on answering the question, “what’s in it for the attacker?”. As you can see from the chart there are a wide variety of things that attackers are doing with compromised WordPress sites. Let’s take a look at each of them, so we can better understand the motive behind the attacks that we are constantly defending against. Defaced Site / Took Offline In some...
7 Deadly Web Design Sins You Might Be Making

7 Deadly Web Design Sins You Might Be Making

Joe at blog.kissmetrics.com give a list of some common web design mistakes you should avoid. About the Author: Joe Putnam (@josephputnam) is a Growth Manager for iSpionage, a PPC competitive intelligence tool that makes it easier for smart advertisers (and agencies) to set up profitable campaigns faster. Image courtesy seamartini via Bigstockphoto. Web design is a tricky subject. People have different opinions about what constitutes good web design and what doesn’t. Some people think your site needs to be super sleek with an up-to-date, modern design in order to get attention. Others believe that web design doesn’t really matter all that much and you just need a site that works and lets people do what they want, like Craigslist. Both answers are right depending on which industry or business you’re talking about. But, how do you figure out what’s right for you? And, how can you make sure you’re web designer knows what they’re talking about and won’t make mistakes? This post presents seven deadly web design sins you don’t want to make on your site. The good news is that they’re all simple principles every website should follow. So, whether you get a slick design or not, you still need to know about these design principles and how they apply to your site. Also, you can use these principles to make sure your web designer knows what they’re doing. Just because someone is a good designer doesn’t mean they know how to design for the web. And, just because someone designs websites doesn’t mean they know how to design a site that will convert. Pay close attention to the principles presented in this...
4 Myths Debunked About Outsourced Product Development

4 Myths Debunked About Outsourced Product Development

If you think outsourced product development could compromise quality or IPR, you’re far from the truth. Rahul dare to tell you why you’re wrong. This article was originally from inc.com. Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a developer as a service company in the mobility space, and the author of Appreneurship: Build a Mobile App Business With No Technical Background. Image courtesy MSSA via Bigstockphoto. Airbnb is doing it. Zendesk is doing it. And so is Art.sy! Gone are the days when Silicon Valley looked down up on outsourcing their product development. Today, the same and very many newer startups are willingly outsourcing the complete product development or some parts of it. The reasons are aplenty–hiring developers is a time consuming and an expensive affair. The salaries are through the roof when the demand for great resources far exceeds supply. Not only that, but companies have to account for recruiter fees, cost of training and development. By the time the resource starts delivering, that’s 5-6 months gone. Quick iteration goes down the drain and the trouble of recruiting takes over. That’s where outsourced product development steps in. There are many shades to this, but I’ll stick to one of the most popular models–remote contract hiring. You don’t have to worry about payroll, recruitment fees or training costs and timelines. You hire a developer and you get started. But there are still many that fall prey to the myths that surround hiring of remote contract resources and eventually struggle to get faster product iterations. Here are some of the most common myths busted. Myth #1: You’re losing control Just because you have remote...
How to Create Newsletter Designs That Convert

How to Create Newsletter Designs That Convert

Email newsletters are great extension to your business communication. Karol K gives us some good advices, so that we’ll be prepared to create successful email campaigns. This article was originally posted at blogs.adobe.com. Karol (@carlosinho) is a blogger and writer, published author, and founder of NewInternetOrder.com. Image courtesy Michal Bednarek via Bigstockphoto. Oh, email, my friend, everybody hates you, yet we still can’t imagine our online lives without you. … This kind of sums up what most people think about email and everything related to it. Let’s face it, there’s more than enough spam circulating out there, and we surely don’t want to see any more of it in our inboxes. But there’s also the other side of the coin… If you’re a business owner – or you’re a designer contracted by one – how else can you reliably contact your customers online? Facebook? Forget it! Only about 2 percent (or less) of the people who have liked your page will see your updates in their News Feeds. Twitter? Certainly a solution, but you have to rely on the reader looking at their feed right at the very moment when you’re sending your update. Otherwise, your post will get buried in the archives very quickly. So whether everyone likes it or not, email is still king when it comes to communicating online. Interestingly, email became a marketing tool very early on in its lifespan (it was somewhere around 1976), and it’s been a never-ending task for designers and marketers to make commercial email appealing ever since. The game is for really high stakes. Various stats indicate that around 66 percent of online consumers in the US...
Helpful Tips & Tricks for Choosing a Web Host

Helpful Tips & Tricks for Choosing a Web Host

What are some of the things you should look for when choosing a web host? Let’s find out in this article by Ryan Sullivan, WP Site Care. Image courtesy mkabakov, via bigstockphoto.com Choosing a Web Host If you’re looking for a quick answer to the question: who is the best web host, then I’m afraid you’re gonna be disappointed. However, if you want some good guidelines to help you navigate choosing a web host, then read on. Be Clear On Your Requirements Whether you’re in the process of choosing a web host for an existing site or selecting one for a new project, it’s important that you’re clear on what your requirements are. Knowing what you need and want is a good way to ensure you find what you’re looking for. To help determine your hosting needs, some questions you can ask yourself include: What platform are you using? Is your site powered by WordPress, another platform, or are you building it yourself? What types of content are you publishing? Will your site be featuring lots of videos and high resolution photos, or will it be mostly text based with the occasional animated gif? How many visitors are you receiving and what’s the projected growth for the foreseeable future? Where are the majority of your visitors or target audience based? Do you require servers in a certain location or would geographically distributed hosting be more appropriate? What additional services do you require? For example email services, managed hosting and offsite backups. How important is uptime to you? Does your site generate income and how would 98% uptime impact you, compared to 99.99%?...
10 WordPress Plugins Just for Fun

10 WordPress Plugins Just for Fun

You can add fun factor to your site or blog using plugins from this article (kindly taken from www.cms2cms.com/blog/). Image courtesy master1305, via bigstockphoto.com The time you’ve enjoyed wasting can’t be classified as time wasted. Old saying Truth be told, we all are not always serious and focused on everyday problems and business running. WordPress is no different. There is a pool of fun plugins to be found in the WP plugin repository aiming to squeeze some fun in your site. In this post we’ve compiled a list of 10 crazy, foolish and utterly useless WordPress plugins that can be used to add fun factor to your site or blog. If you know of any other futile, mind-boggling or just fun WordPress plugins, feel free to add them to the comments below. Barrel Roll Is there anything more useless than a webpage that spins? The Barrel Roll plugin enables you to add that little trick to your WordPress website. Once the plugin is activated – just enter the text barrel roll in the text field and get ready to see how the whole page rotates 360°. Asteroids Widget Turn your site into the game of Asteroids with the help of Asteroids Widget plugin. This is sort of a game in which you can destroy the whole contents of your page by flying around and shooting them. Don’t worry, everything comes back to normal after a page is refreshed. CAPTCHA Garb Find yourself tired enough of the old text CAPTCHAs? Have a go with supercool CAPTCHA Garb plugin and throw an image captcha at the comment bot. The images are split into 4 pieces...
6 steps to design genius

6 steps to design genius

This article was originally published in Web Designer Magazine in March 2016. Image courtesy digitalista, via bigstockphoto.com Expert advice for upgrading your creativity and maximising your design potential 1. KEEP A SCRAPBOOK Go traditional and put ideas into a physical book, then keep a tab on it digitally with Pinterest In the age of bookmarks and favourites, we all have digital designs, websites and campaigns that we have loved over the years, but it’s as important to suck up what’s going on offline as well as on. If you’re out and about and see a flyer for a bar or restaurant, why not bring it home and keep it in a book? The mind works in strange ways, and sometimes you don’t need to see that flyer again in order to remember it. The fact you brought it home will act as an anchor for the thing itself. For example; you see a beautifully illustrated image in a magazine, once you tear that image out and put it in your book, you’re way more likely to remember it and reuse the concept in some way than if you’d have just said “that’s nice” and turned the page. The object itself is only there now to fill in and provide the detail. It’s easy to think that all the best ideas and innovation are only happening online, but go through magazines old and new, find things you love and think of how you could bring something 2D and static to life on the web. To keep your scrapbook with you, snap each item using Pinterest on your phone and add it...
Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing

Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing

This post written by  Corey Wainwright, blog.hubspot.com/marketing. It was originally published in November 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. You can find a lot of similar materials at this blog. Image courtesy Gustavo Frazao, via bigstockphoto.com I had a co-worker email me the other day asking for a blog post about the benefits of business blogging. “It’s for a friend,” she said. Sure it was. I told her I’d shoot over one of our up-to-date blog posts about why businesses should blog and … I couldn’t find one. Whoops. Quite the meta mistake. So I’m doing it now. If you’re trying to explain one of the core tenets of inbound — business blogging — to your boss, a coworker, your mom at Thanksgiving, whomever, then send them this post. I hope it helps. The Benefits of Business Blogs for Marketing 1) It helps drive traffic to your website. Raise your hand if you want more website visitors. Yeah, me too. Now think about the ways people find your website: They could type your name right in to their browser, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic on top of what you’re already getting. You could pay for traffic by buying an email list, blasting them, and hoping some people open and click through on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know, illegal. You could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid ads, which isn’t illegal, but still quite expensive. And the second you run out of money, your traffic stops coming, too. So, how can...
HTTPS Everywhere: Encryption for All WordPress.com Sites

HTTPS Everywhere: Encryption for All WordPress.com Sites

Some interesting news from Barry, en.blog.wordpress.com. Image courtesy beatpavel, via bigstockphoto.com We’re proud to support a more secure web — now for all custom domains on WordPress.com. Today we are excited to announce free HTTPS for all custom domains hosted on WordPress.com. This brings the security and performance of modern encryption to every blog and website we host. Best of all, the changes are automatic — you won’t need to do a thing. As the EFF points out as part of their Encrypt the Web initiative, strong encryption protects our users in various ways, including defending against surveillance of content and communications, cookie theft, account hijacking, and other web security flaws. WordPress.com has supported encryption for sites using WordPress.com subdomains (like https://barry.wordpress.com/) since 2014. Our latest efforts now expand encryption to the million-plus custom domains (like automattic.com) hosted on WordPress.com. The Let’s Encrypt project gave us an efficient and automated way to provide SSL certificates for a large number of domains. We launched the first batch of certificates in January 2016 and immediately started working with Let’s Encrypt to make the process smoother for our massive and growing list of domains. For you, the users, that means you’ll see secure encryption automatically deployed on every new site within minutes. We are closing the door to un-encrypted web traffic (HTTP) at every opportunity. Web encryption provides more than security Protocol enhancements like SPDY and HTTP/2 have narrowed the performance gap between encrypted and un-encrypted web traffic, with encrypted HTTP/2 outperforming un-encrypted HTTP/1.1 in some cases. Google also announced HTTPS is used as a ranking signal in search results, with HTTPS-enabled sites ranked above their plaintext counterparts. As a WordPress.com site owner, keep an...
Joomla Security Tutorial: Protecting Against Hacker Attacks

Joomla Security Tutorial: Protecting Against Hacker Attacks

Today, we’re looking at a great open source platform called Joomla. Joomla Security is pretty easy, all things considered. SiteGround make up this lovely tutorial for us to peruse. Image courtesy Jarmoluk, via pixabay.  How to Secure Joomla 3 and Protect it Against Hacker Attacks As any open source application Joomla is subjected to all sorts of hacking attacks. This is why it is important to take all possible measures to protect your Joomla site and improve its security. Follow the instructions in this tutorial in order to minimize the chance to get hacked. STEP 1 Keep Joomla and its extensions up-to-date Probably the most important part of securing your Joomla website is to keep it updated to the latest version. In almost all version releases there are fixes for security issues. For more information on how to update Joomla to the latest version check out our Joomla Update Tutorial. Keeping your Joomla extensions up-to-date is equally important for the security of your website. Actually, there are more attacks that utilize security issues in extensions than in the actual Joomla 3 core files. For more information on how to keep your Joomla components, modules and plugins up-to-date, please refer to our tutorial on How to Update Joomla Extensions. STEP 2 Improve Joomla Security with Strong Login Details First, you should avoid using default user names like “admin” or “administrator”. Those will be first in the list of words a potential attacker would try. Next, it is important to have a strong password for your website. Many attackers try to brute-force your login details. This means that they use a list of...
Securing ExpressionEngine (EE) tips and tricks

Securing ExpressionEngine (EE) tips and tricks

CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine are proving to be popular platforms with the MVC crowd. Ethan Thomas of Green Egg Media tells us a bit about the do’s and don’ts of securing ExpressionEngine installations. Image courtesy Matthew Pennell, via flickr. ExpressionEngine is one of the advanced web design and development tools that you can use today. With ExpressionEngine, creating highly sophisticated websites with intricate details is possible. So now you have a highly complex yet user-friendly ExpressionEngine e-commerce site for your business. But how safe is it for monetary transactions? Will your customers’ financial information and demographic information be safe on your site? Security is one of the most important things you should consider when designing an ExpressionEngine e-commerce site for a business. In this article, we will focus on what you should do to secure your ExpressionEngine website. The idea is to make sure that your website is secure and also efficient. Importance of Security and Performance Security and performance are the two pillars that keep your e-commerce site running. The performance of your site also affects your bottom line directly, because poor performance or security means reduced sales.  If your e-commerce site fails to perform – if it keeps displaying errors, or is slow or is not supported by proper code, then it will not be able to retain customers for as long as needed. At the same time, if the customer is warned about security issues on your site, which their anti-virus/spyware software is likely to do, they are not coming back to your e-commerce site ever, forget shopping through it. Security and performance are the two things that...
A Definitive Guide to Magento Security

A Definitive Guide to Magento Security

In line with this week’s theme, we take a solid look at Magento Security. This guide was originally published by M.Anwaar Haq through Tut’s Plus in March 2015. Image courtesy David Goehring, via flickr.   Although the security of all websites is important, M Although Magento is considered the safest and most secure eCommerce CMS, there are still some additional security steps advised to make its security foolproof. In this article I’ve explored some easy to implement steps to make your Magento store even more secure and robust. 1. Making the Admin Name & Password Secure One of the first steps towards securing your Magento site is using a secure username and password. The rule of thumb for creating a secure password is to always use a password which is not easily guessable, for instance strings like ‘123’ or ‘abc’, or your phone number, date of birth, etc. It is always a best practice to keep a password longer than eight characters, and that should be a combination of letters (a, b, c, etc.), numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) and special characters (@, &, #, etc.). Besides having a secure password, it is also very important to create a username which is not easily predictable. Most hacking attempts succeed because hackers only have to guess the password, as usernames are mostly set to easy-to-guess names like ‘admin’, ‘administrator’, etc. Therefore I strongly advise you to create non-generic usernames like your nickname, last name, company name, etc. There is an option to create a username at the time of installing Magento, but even after installation, you can change your Magento username and password by going to System > My...
Securing WordPress – Tips from the developers themselves

Securing WordPress – Tips from the developers themselves

Continuing this weeks’ theme of security, the team at WordPress have put together a comprehensive “how-to” guide, which was originally published here. Image courtesy Yuri Samoilov via flickr. Security in WordPress is taken very seriously, but as with any other system there are potential security issues that may arise if some basic security precautions aren’t taken. This article will go through some common forms of vulnerabilities, and the things you can do to help keep your WordPress installation secure. This article is not the ultimate quick fix to securing wordpress. If you have specific security concerns or doubts, you should discuss them with people whom you trust to have sufficient knowledge of computer security and WordPress. What is Security? Fundamentally, security is not about perfectly secure systems. Such a thing might well be impractical, or impossible to find and/or maintain. A secure server protects the privacy, integrity, and availability of the resources under the server administrator’s control. Qualities of a trusted web host might include: Readily discusses your security concerns and which security features and processes they offer with their hosting. Provides the most recent stable versions of all server software. Provides reliable methods for backup and recovery. Decide which security you need on your server by determining the software and data that needs to be secured. The rest of this guide will help you with this. Security Themes Keep in mind some general ideas while considering security for each aspect of your system: Limiting access  Making smart choices that reduce possible entry points available to a malicious person. Containment  Your system should be configured to minimize the amount of damage...
10 security tips to protect your website from hackers

10 security tips to protect your website from hackers

This week we’re concentrating on security, starting with some great security tips for your website and server. We’re starting off with a great article by Ruald Gerber and Toby Compton (developers at digital agency Precedent). This article was originally published on Creative Bloq. Image provided by Perspecsys Photos via Flickr.   Ruald Gerber and Toby Compton offer pro advice for optimising your website security and avoiding hacking disasters. You may not think your site has anything worth being hacked for, but websites are compromised all the time. The majority of website security breaches are not to steal your data or deface your website, but instead attempts to use your server as an email relay for spam, or to setup a temporary web server, normally to serve files of an illegal nature. Hacking is regularly performed by automated scripts written to scour the Internet in an attempt to exploit known website security issues in software. Here are our top 10 tips to help keep you and your site safe online. 01. Keep software up to date It may seem obvious, but ensuring you keep all software up to date is vital in keeping your site secure. This applies to both the server operating system and any software you may be running on your website such as a CMS or forum. When website security holes are found in software, hackers are quick to attempt to abuse them. If you are using a managed hosting solution then you don’t need to worry so much about applying security updates for the operating system as the hosting company should take care of this. If you are using...
13 Warning Signs Your Web Copy Stinks

13 Warning Signs Your Web Copy Stinks

We now all know what makes a bad website visually, but what makes a bad site? Henneke Duistermaat gives us some valuable insight. This article was originally posted here. Image courtesy Tom via Flickr.   We’ve all been there. We’ve slaved over our web copy. We’ve carefully crafted and polished each sentence. We’ve rewritten, and edited, and tweaked again. We finally publish our web copy…and face total letdown. We find web visitors are bouncing. We don’t get the email sign-ups we’re looking for. We don’t get the sales we deserve. Could it possibly be that our web copy sucks? I’ve collected the thirteen most common warning signs of crappy copy. Avoid these silly mistakes and you have a good chance to persuade your web visitors to stick around. To sign up to your email list. To join your free trial. Or to buy from you. And each warning sign comes with a tweetable takeaway, so you can share your new found knowledge with all your friends & followers. Let’s have a look… 1. You don’t know your ideal reader Your ideal reader is the person you’re trying to persuade to sign up or to buy. To write persuasive copy you need to know what makes your ideal reader tick. It sounds obvious, but it’s often more difficult than it seems. For instance:Carelogger thought that their target audience would like to have a diabetes app that’s easy to use. But they found that ease-of-use isn’t that important for their users. Their users really want to improve their health. Conversions increased by 31%, when Carelogger changed their headline fromKeeping tabs on your diabetes...
12 handy tips for writing better web copy

12 handy tips for writing better web copy

Continuing with this week’s theme of copy writing, Econsultancy’s David Moth gives us a couple of handy tips. This article was originally published here. Image courtesy Nic McPhee via Flickr   Writing for the web isn’t particularly complicated, but it is an important skill to master. And it doesn’t require a huge departure from the basic rules of writing that were (or used to be) hammered into us at school. There are just a few criteria that have to be taken into account to maximise the impact of your copy, whether it be for marketing materials or a blog post. And to be clear, these are guiding principles rather than hard and fast rules. For more on this topic you can read my 10 tips for writing irresistible headlines or book yourself onto our online copywriting training course… Get the important information upfront This is also known as the inverted pyramid method, which essentially means that readers should be able find out everything they need to know from the opening few paragraphs. You start with all the important information then move onto the additional detail and a more in-depth explanation. It’s commonly used in news journalism, where reporters cram all the important details into the first line, such as in this topical example from the BBC: Remember that people will be scanning your web copy, so they need to be able to glean the important information upfront or they’ll go elsewhere. Know your audience Aside from all the technical aspects, this is one of the most important criteria for writing for the web. You need to be aware of who your...
75 Resources for Incredible Website Copy that Converts

75 Resources for Incredible Website Copy that Converts

No one-single place holds all the information you need to build good website copy. Fortunately KISSmetrics has assembled a comprehensive resource for you to work from. The original article can be found here. Image courtesy of Karola Riegler via Flickr. Quick Note: A huge thanks goes out to Darren DeMatas of Intertwine Marketing, for proofing the article and rooting out some dead links! Check out his latest article 19 Persuasive Writing Techniques For Product Descriptions That Sell. Writing great copy is one of the most useful skills a marketer can develop. After all, copy is a key element of successful internet marketing across the board, from emails with sky-high open rates to blog posts that get shared hundreds or even thousands of times. Masterful copywriting plays a big part in the difference between a website that converts like crazy and one that simply falls flat, failing to engage potential customers. Case in point: in Conversion Rate Expert’s redesign of the Crazy Egg website, copy had a big role in growing the site’s conversion rate by 363%. This resource guide provides links that will give you a strong foundation for writing great web copy. In order to write effective web copy, it’s necessary to understand the principles of copywriting as a discipline. So, this guide includes resources that are not specific to online copywriting, but, nonetheless, will help you build a strong arsenal of copywriting skills you can take to the web. E-books, Articles, Infographics, and Guides to Get You Started with Web Copywriting 1. Copywriting 101 by Copyblogger – This 10-lesson e-book will teach you the fundamentals of how to excel at...
The “Secret” to Writing Outrageously Good Web Copy

The “Secret” to Writing Outrageously Good Web Copy

Copywriting is more than just “putting text on a page”. It’s an art, and it’s also how you communicate with your customer. Henneke Duistermaan of Enchanting Marketing tells us more. This article was originally posted on Valuable Content.   Writing seductive web copy is a brilliantly useful skill. We’re delighted to introduceHenneke Duistermaan of Enchanting Marketing, who’s written us this excellent blog that tells you how to do it.  Check out her e-book too, details at the end.  Over to you Henneke! How to write outrageously good web copy You’re umming and ahhing. What should your home page headline say? Do you need a subheading or bullet points? What should you write on your blog? Writing your own website text can be tricky, difficult, or even frustrating. What do potential customers want to hear? What entices web visitors to contact you, to sign up for your e-newsletter, and to buy from you? And what makes them click away? The “secret” to writing seductive web copy is to write for one person only: your ideal reader. Once you know who you’re writing for, it becomes clear what you should write and how you should write it. Writing for one person makes your copy more engaging and persuasive. Nobody likes being addressed as a crowd “The biggest mistake web writers make is trying to write for too many people.” How do you chat up a girl (or a guy)? The first rule is making her feel special. You charm her. You flatter her. You might brag a little about what you’ve achieved, but only if she finds your achievements interesting. So why do we try...
20 Killer Web Copywriting Tips

20 Killer Web Copywriting Tips

This week we’ll be delving into the world of copy writing for web. Starting with an article by Christina Walker, content expert for Writtent. This article was originally posted here, thanks to JD Hancock for the image. If you feel like becoming a Copywriting Superman, you need to learn how to attract visitors. Being able to put yourself into your customers’ shoes, you should also be eye-catching and unique in your content. Do you want your customers to switch to your competitor’s website just because your headlines or paragraphs are too generic and scarce? If not, use these 20 killer web copywriting tips to always stay in the forefront. 1. Use Active Voice. When you use active voice, the subject does the action instead of being acted upon. That makes it powerful. Sentences that follow this structure are easier to understand, convey movement, and are naturally more interesting. For example: “We wrote our new ebook to help you work smarter, not harder.” vs. “The new ebook written by our company can help you work smarter instead of harder.” See how the first sentence is not only shorter, but easier to follow? Active voice sentences can also begin with a verb, as in a command. For example: Learn how to market your business smarter, not harder, with our new ebook. Which of these example sentences you use depends on whether you want to emphasize the new ebook or what your audience will learn with it. But either option is exponentially better than long, convoluted sentences that bury the subject and verb. 2. Remember the Important Details. Who, what, when, where, why, and...
The true cost of the TPG iiNet merger

The true cost of the TPG iiNet merger

The iiNet / TPG Merger has a lot of us in the tech-world concerned. Will Internode’s customer service level drop? Will the new giant simply roll-over on privacy, as TPG has done before (iiNet fought the Dallas Buyers Club tooth and nail)? Or will this be a boon for the domestic user. Paul Budde (managing director of BuddeComm) wrote this opinion piece for Business Inspector. The original article can be found here. Image courtesy Not Always Right.   TPG’s $1.4 billion offer to acquire iiNet now stands to create a company with combined revenues of $2.3 billion, one that can aggressively pursue its quest to become a comprehensive telecoms provider in the market. However, the merger will come at a cost to the public, further reinforcing the lack of infrastructure competition in Australia. The TPG iiNet deal is a significant moment of industry consolidation in the telco sector but the trend still has some way to go. Buying iiNet has obvious merit for TPG. It gives the telco an entry into the NBN, courtesy of iiNet’s 60,000 Fibre-to-the-Premises customers, allows the combined entity to overtake Optus in the fixed broadband space; and gives it a vastly expanded reach into the small-to-medium enterprise market. TPG is already strong in corporate and government, partially as a result of the PIPE Networks and AAPT businesses it bought previously. The backbone facilities from TPG will also reduce the overall operating costs for the iiNet part of the merged entity. It is interesting to note that the deal values iiNet’s 975,000 subscribers at $1,436 a head – this is quite substantial, giving the deal a total value of $1.4 billion. TPG reported...
11 Common Web Design Mistakes

11 Common Web Design Mistakes

Here at PSD to Final, we work with designers every day to bring their concepts and visions to life. Making sure a site’s layout, UI and UX is initiative can be a bit of a battle at times (especially if the end-client has something “very specific” in mind, that’s not quite web-compatible). Here are some design tips from This post is written by Brujo Owoh (originally written for Hongkiat.com). Image courtesy Quick Meme.   There are tons of website on the Internet, and hundreds or probably thousands are created by day. Here’s a very interesting thing to ponder – What are the elements of a good website? Image Credit: tveskov Building a website can be daunting but the real challenge lies in making it usable. The problem is most web designers forget that the website wasn’t created for themselves but to solve the users’ needs. They give creativity priority over practicality and usability. In this article, we would like to highlight 11 web design blunders that web developers and designers make and some suggestions how these mistakes can be easily avoided. 1. Where’s the Search box? The web is like an archive of information. Whether it’s a corporate website or merely a blog, a search box is essential. The visitor might be looking for something that is hidden within the website, with the search box, chances are, visitors will get what they want. Suggestions: Google Custom Search is a neat, simple and effective way to get started. It enables visitors to search your site in an efficient manner. Just copy the HTML code from the control panel and paste it on your...
Top 10 Worst Websites You’ll Wish You Hadn’t Seen

Top 10 Worst Websites You’ll Wish You Hadn’t Seen

There are some things that are DIY, and there are some things that are not. Websites, mostly, fall into the second category. Jo Throup of branded3.com showcases some of the worst the web has to offer. Original article available here. Image courtesy ultradownloads.   Remember back in the mid-nineties when websites were a bit of a novelty? They didn’t really serve much of a purpose and, all things considered, were pretty hideous to look at. Common design features were primary colours, flashing letters, poor quality pictures (sometimes hastily Photoshopped together to create a digital collage). As the web has evolved considerably over the last couple of decades, site design and functionality have changed massively, too. Unfortunately (and surprisingly) there are some websites that are still stuck in a bit of a time warp, sporting clunky designs, an overload of information and some pretty poor quality images. These are surely the worst websites on the internet. Uglytub.com Thinking of replacing your old bath tub? Go right ahead, because this website doesn’t really persuade you to do otherwise. A combination of flashing poor quality imagery, tiny fonts and garish colours in conjunction with the limiting frames that minimise the site to a small window in the centre of the screen, makes this one of the worst offenders on the web. Mrbottles.com Presumably, bottle collecting enthusiasts the world over already know about Mrbottles.com, the online hub for everything you need to know about your bottle collection. Aside from the pillar-box red typeface clashing with the colourful bottles in the background, there are also some poor quality pictures of happy bottle owners on rotation. Jamilin.com...
5 Tools to Make IE Play Nice With CSS3 and HTML5 in WordPress

5 Tools to Make IE Play Nice With CSS3 and HTML5 in WordPress

While older versions Internet Explorer continues to hold not-insignificant market share, front-end and full stack developers must ensure website look, feel and work correctly on older versions of IE (IE8, IE9 and IE10, mainly. To make like easier for us geeks, the kind folks at WPMU Dev have made this lovely guide. The original post can be found here.     Catering to IE’s stubborn disregard of standards can be a loathsome task when developing a website. This is especially problematic if you’re eager to use some of the exciting new features of CSS3. Using CSS3 cuts down on the number of images you would previously have to use in order to include effects such as box and text shadows and rounded corners. IE also severely cuts down on your ability to take advantage of HTML5’s powerful support for web-based applications, including better support for graphics, videos, styling effects, and devices such as tablets, televisions, and mobile phones. If you’re waiting for IE to catch up first, then your website will remain in the dark ages indefinitely. Don’t let IE’s lack of support for CSS3 and HTML5 limit your WordPress website. Here are a few helpful tools that force IE to behave better: Make use of the IE-CSS3 Script IE-CSS3 is a script developed by Nick Fetchak that will allow you to take advantage of everything your modern browser is capable of doing, while providing a little bit of remedial discipline to IE5 to IE8 to make it play nice. When using the script, you add CSS styles as you normally would, but include one new line for IE,...
Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer?

Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer has long been the bane of front-end developers’ existence. How to Geek attempts to explain why. This article was originally posted by HTG, here…   It’s common knowledge that almost every single geek hates Internet Explorer with a passion, but have you ever wondered why? Let’s take a fair look at the history and where it all began… for posterity, if nothing else. Contrary to what you might think, this article is not meant to be a hate-fest on Internet Explorer—in fact, since IE 9, they have continued to improve the performance, add new features, and generally make it standards-compliant. In the Beginning There Was IE, and It Was Good? We’ve all been so used to thinking of Internet Explorer as that slow, buggy browser that is behind the times, but it wasn’t always that way—in fact, way back when, Internet Explorer pioneered many innovations that made the web what it is today. Here’s a quick tour through the easily forgotten history of the infamous browser: 1996: Internet Explorer 3 This version of the browser, introduced in 1997, was the first browser to implement CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Yes, you’re reading that correctly—in fact, it introduced many new features like Java applets and sadly, ActiveX controls. 1997: Internet Explorer 4 IE4 introduced a blazing fast (at the time) rendering engine as an embeddable component that could be used in other applications—this was a lot more important than people realize. This version also introduced Dynamic HTML, which allows web pages to dynamically change the page using JavaScript, and added Active Desktop integration. Even more weird? Seems like nobody remembers this...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Defending Your Site’s Honor

Search Engine Friendly Development: Defending Your Site’s Honor

The last of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. How scrapers steal your rankings Unfortunately, the web is littered with unscrupulous websites whose business and traffic models depend on plucking content from other sites and re-using it (sometimes in strangely modified ways) on their own domains. This practice of fetching your content and re-publishing is called “scraping,” and the scrapers perform remarkably well in search engine rankings, often outranking the original sites. When you publish content in any type of feed format, such as RSS or XML, make sure to ping the major blogging and tracking services (Google, Technorati, Yahoo!, etc.). You can find instructions for pinging services like Google and Technorati directly from their sites, or use a service like Pingomatic to automate the process. If your publishing software is custom-built, it’s typically wise for the developer(s) to include auto-pinging upon publishing. Next, you can use the scrapers’ laziness against them. Most of the scrapers on the web will re-publish content without editing. So, by including links back to your site, and to the specific post you’ve authored, you can ensure that the search engines see most of the copies linking back to you (indicating that your source is probably the originator). To do this, you’ll need to use absolute, rather that relative links in your internal linking structure. Thus, rather than linking to your home page using: <a href="../">Home</a> You would instead use: <a href="https://moz.com">Home</a> This way, when a scraper picks up and copies the content,...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Rich Snippets

Search Engine Friendly Development: Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets Ever see a 5-star rating in a search result? Chances are, the search engine received that information from rich snippets embedded on the webpage. Rich snippets are a type of structured data that allow webmasters to mark up content in ways that provide information to the search engines. While the use of rich snippets and structured data is not a required element of search engine-friendly design, its growing adoption means that webmasters who employ it may enjoy an advantage in some circumstances. Structured data means adding markup to your content so that search engines can easily identify what type of content it is. Schema.org provides some examples of data that can benefit from structured markup, including people, products, reviews, businesses, recipes, and events. Often the search engines include structured data in search results, such as in the case of user reviews (stars) and author profiles (pictures). There are several good resources for learning more about rich snippets online, including information at Schema.org and Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool. Rich Snippets in the Wild Let’s say you announce an SEO conference on your blog. In regular HTML, your code might look like this: <div>     SEO Conference<br/>     Learn about SEO from experts in the field.<br/>     Event date:<br/>     May 8, 7:30pm </div> Now, by structuring the data, we can tell the search engines more specific information about the type of data. The end result might look like this: <div itemscope itemtype=“http://schema.org/Event”>  <div itemprop=“name”>   SEO Conference  </div>  <span itemprop=“description”>   Learn about SEO from experts in the field.  </span>  Event date:  <time itemprop=“startDate” datetime=“2012-05-08T19:30”>   May 8,  7:30pm  </time> </div> Previous: Canonical and Duplicate...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Canonical and Duplicate Versions of Content

Search Engine Friendly Development: Canonical and Duplicate Versions of Content

Part 7 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy PixBay. Duplicate content is one of the most vexing and troublesome problems any website can face. Over the past few years, search engines have cracked down on pages with thin or duplicate content by assigning them lower rankings. Canonicalization happens when two or more duplicate versions of a webpage appear on different URLs. This is very common with modern Content Management Systems. For example, you might offer a regular version of a page and a print-optimized version. Duplicate content can even appear on multiple websites. For search engines, this presents a big problem: which version of this content should they show to searchers? In SEO circles, this issue is often referred to as duplicate content, described in greater detail here. The engines are picky about duplicate versions of a single piece of material. To provide the best searcher experience, they will rarely show multiple, duplicate pieces of content, and instead choose which version is most likely to be the original. The end result is all of your duplicate content could rank lower than it should. Canonicalization is the practice of organizing your content in such a way that every unique piece has one, and only one, URL. If you leave multiple versions of content on a website (or websites), you might end up with a scenario like the one on the right: which diamond is the right one? Instead, if the site owner took those three pages and 301-redirected them, the...
Search Engine Friendly Development: URL Structures

Search Engine Friendly Development: URL Structures

Part 6 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy Chris Dlugosz via Flickr. URLs—the addresses for documents on the web—are of great value from a search perspective. They appear in multiple important locations. Since search engines display URLs in the results, they can impact click-through and visibility. URLs are also used in ranking documents, and those pages whose names include the queried search terms receive some benefit from proper, descriptive use of keywords. URLs make an appearance in the web browser’s address bar, and while this generally has little impact on search engines, poor URL structure and design can result in negative user experiences. The URL above is used as the link anchor text pointing to the referenced page in this blog post. URL Construction Guidelines Employ empathy Place yourself in the mind of a user and look at your URL. If you can easily and accurately predict the content you’d expect to find on the page, your URL is appropriately descriptive. You don’t need to spell out every last detail in the URL, but a rough idea is a good starting point. Shorter is better While a descriptive URL is important, minimizing length and trailing slashes will make your URLs easier to copy and paste (into emails, blog posts, text messages, etc.) and will be fully visible in the search results. Keyword use is important (but overuse is dangerous) If your page is targeting a specific term or phrase, make sure to include it in the URL. However, don’t go...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Meta Tags

Search Engine Friendly Development: Meta Tags

Part 5 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy Becky Weatherington via Flickr. Meta tags were originally intended as a proxy for information about a website’s content. Several of the basic meta tags are listed below, along with a description of their use. Meta Robots The Meta Robots tag can be used to control search engine crawler activity (for all of the major engines) on a per-page level. There are several ways to use Meta Robots to control how search engines treat a page: index/noindex tells the engines whether the page should be crawled and kept in the engines’ index for retrieval. If you opt to use “noindex,” the page will be excluded from the index. By default, search engines assume they can index all pages, so using the “index” value is generally unnecessary. follow/nofollow tells the engines whether links on the page should be crawled. If you elect to employ “nofollow,” the engines will disregard the links on the page for discovery, ranking purposes, or both. By default, all pages are assumed to have the “follow” attribute. Example: <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”> noarchive is used to restrict search engines from saving a cached copy of the page. By default, the engines will maintain visible copies of all pages they have indexed, accessible to searchers through the cached link in the search results. nosnippet informs the engines that they should refrain from displaying a descriptive block of text next to the page’s title and URL in the search results. noodp/noydir...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Title Tags

Search Engine Friendly Development: Title Tags

Part 4 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz.  Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. The title element of a page is meant to be an accurate, concise description of a page’s content. It is critical to both user experience and search engine optimization. As title tags are such an important part of search engine optimization, the following best practices for title tag creation makes for terrific low-hanging SEO fruit. The recommendations below cover the critical steps to optimize title tags for search engines and for usability. Be mindful of length Search engines display only the first 65-75 characters of a title tag in the search results (after that, the engines show an ellipsis – “…” – to indicate when a title tag has been cut off). This is also the general limit allowed by most social media sites, so sticking to this limit is generally wise. However, if you’re targeting multiple keywords (or an especially long keyword phrase), and having them in the title tag is essential to ranking, it may be advisable to go longer. Place important keywords close to the front The closer to the start of the title tag your keywords are, the more helpful they’ll be for ranking, and the more likely a user will be to click them in the search results. Include branding At Moz, we love to end every title tag with a brand name mention, as these help to increase brand awareness, and create a higher click-through rate for people who like and are familiar...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Keyword Usage and Targeting

Search Engine Friendly Development: Keyword Usage and Targeting

Part 3 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Keywords are fundamental to the search process. They are the building blocks of language and of search. In fact, the entire science of information retrieval (including web-based search engines like Google) is based on keywords. As the engines crawl and index the contents of pages around the web, they keep track of those pages in keyword-based indexes rather than storing 25 billion web pages all in one database. Millions and millions of smaller databases, each centered on a particular keyword term or phrase, allow the engines to retrieve the data they need in a mere fraction of a second. Obviously, if you want your page to have a chance of ranking in the search results for “dog,” it’s wise to make sure the word “dog” is part of the crawlable content of your document. Keyword Domination Keywords dominate how we communicate our search intent and interact with the engines. When we enter words to search for, the engine matches pages to retrieve based on the words we entered. The order of the words (“pandas juggling” vs. “juggling pandas”), spelling, punctuation, and capitalization provide additional information that the engines use to help retrieve the right pages and rank them. Search engines measure how keywords are used on pages to help determine the relevance of a particular document to a query. One of the best ways to optimize a page’s rankings is to ensure that the keywords you want to rank...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Crawlable Link Structures

Search Engine Friendly Development: Crawlable Link Structures

Part 2 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy Design Beep. Just as search engines need to see content in order to list pages in their massive keyword-based indexes, they also need to see links in order to find the content in the first place. A crawlable link structure—one that lets the crawlers browse the pathways of a website—is vital to them finding all of the pages on a website. Hundreds of thousands of sites make the critical mistake of structuring their navigation in ways that search engines cannot access, hindering their ability to get pages listed in the search engines’ indexes. Below, we’ve illustrated how this problem can happen: In the example above, Google’s crawler has reached page A and sees links to pages B and E. However, even though C and D might be important pages on the site, the crawler has no way to reach them (or even know they exist). This is because no direct, crawlable links point pages C and D. As far as Google can see, they don’t exist! Great content, good keyword targeting, and smart marketing won’t make any difference if the crawlers can’t reach your pages in the first place. Link tags can contain images, text, or other objects, all of which provide a clickable area on the page that users can engage to move to another page. These links are the original navigational elements of the Internet – known as hyperlinks. In the above illustration, the “<a” tag indicates the...
Search Engine Friendly Development: Indexable Content

Search Engine Friendly Development: Indexable Content

Part 1 of our 8-part series on developing search engine friendly website structures. This was originally written by Rand Fishkin and Moz Staff, and posted on posted Moz. Image courtesy PixBay. Search engines are limited in how they crawl the web and interpret content. A webpage doesn’t always look the same to you and me as it looks to a search engine. In this section, we’ll focus on specific technical aspects of building (or modifying) web pages so they are structured for both search engines and human visitors alike. Share this part of the guide with your programmers, information architects, and designers, so that all parties involved in a site’s construction are on the same page. Indexable Content To perform better in search engine listings, your most important content should be in HTML text format. Images, Flash files, Java applets, and other non-text content are often ignored or devalued by search engine crawlers, despite advances in crawling technology. The easiest way to ensure that the words and phrases you display to your visitors are visible to search engines is to place them in the HTML text on the page. However, more advanced methods are available for those who demand greater formatting or visual display styles: Provide alt text for images. Assign images in gif, jpg, or png format “alt attributes” in HTML to give search engines a text description of the visual content.  Supplement search boxes with navigation and crawlable links. Supplement Flash or Java plug-inswith text on the page. Provide a transscript for video and audio content if the words and phrases used are meant to be indexed by the...
The Top 5 Reasons to Keep Your WordPress Up-to-date

The Top 5 Reasons to Keep Your WordPress Up-to-date

Originally posted by Mark Avila, 3 Media Web WordPress is the most popular content management platform world-wide. And when you keep WordPress updated, it’s also among the most secure. But if you neglect the updates, your WordPress website is at risk from attacks, vulnerabilities and inconveniences. Here are 5 reasons why updating WordPress will make your life easier. 1: Gives You More Feature Options Like a fine wine, WordPress gets better with age. Why? Because new features and enhancements are constantly being added to make WordPress more robust, versatile and feature-rich. So why settle for a clunky old version when you don’t have to? 2: Makes WordPress Easier and Faster When it comes to technology, there are two things we can all agree on… We want it fast and easy to use. That’s what you get when you update WordPress… the fastest, highest-performance user experience available. 3: Prepares You for Change To remain fresh and relevant, your website will eventually need updates or changes. Maybe you’re adding pages and changing the navigation. Perhaps a new add-on can make your website more helpful and valuable to your visitors. Or your website is due for a redesign. Often these changes require the latest version of WordPress. With WordPress up-to-date your website will run smoothly, without a hitch. 4: Treats Your Visitors Well Whether your WordPress website generates income or simply fuels readers’ appetite for content, you must treat your visitors well. But if you’re running an out-dated version of WordPress under your hood, your website could get “glitchy”. Your visitors could encounter unexplained frustrations with your website. And you may never...
5 Myths of Password Security

5 Myths of Password Security

Originally posted by Brent Jensen High profile database breaches aren’t a daily thing just yet, but they’re certainly not rare. Linode’s recent system-wide password reset and Scribd’s account compromises were announced just nine days apart. In the last week, there have been breaches at LivingSocial and Reputation.com. Pay attention to the e-mails sent after hacks like these, and you’ll notice they often come with a set of new password recommendations. Password best practices are something Stormpath has already covered in depth, but always from a backend perspective. So, instead of cautioning against hashing with MD5 again (seriously though, don’t do it), we wanted to take a look at some of the more insidious password myths we run into. We hope this helps developers create smart password policies, which we will shamelessly mention you can set automatically if you use Stormpath. 1. MYTH: Complexity Trumps Length The truth here is that password security depends heavily on the attack method. Dictionary attacks can crack different passwords than brute-force attacks. People often think of a short set of random characters like “*K>#)0$j4” as super secure, but a long string of memorable words like “golfkangaroocrispyhalitosis” is actually stronger. The reason has everything to do with password entropy: a representation of how much uncertainty there is in a password. This translates to how computationally difficult a password is to crack. Simply put, adding length increases entropy more efficiently than replacing letters with symbols. It is also important for users to use random text in passwords, like ‘golf kangaroo crispy halitosis’, which is comprised of words with no obvious correlation. Using people’s names, repeating characters, sequential...
11 Tips for Fashion eCommerce Success

11 Tips for Fashion eCommerce Success

Originally posted by Pedram Yasharel (Product Marketing, Magento) Success in the world of fashion eCommerce can be elusive. Competition is fierce and the bottom line is often defined by the appearance, usability, and mobility of your website. According toStatista, 25 percent of users abandon shopping carts due to complicated navigation, 21 percent because the ordering process takes too long, and 15 percent because the website times out. Shopping cart abandonment is steadily increasing every year, and the monetary losses are staggering. In fact, Business Insider reports that about $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online carts in 2015. The growing influence of mobile is an opportunity no retailer can afford to ignore. eMarketer predicts that 25 percent of eCommerce sales will be conducted from mobile devices by 2017. This “move” will translate into billions of dollars, and will also continue to increase. But these are only a few parts of the equation. Grabbing more market share than your competitors requires a comprehensive marketing strategy. Here are 11 tips to help you stand out from the crowd and turn your website into a money-making machine. 1. Give Your Regular Customers Love. According to the Harvard Business Review, it can cost anywhere fromfive to twenty-five percent more to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones. Your customer retention strategy should include loyalty programs such as discounts for frequent customers. They will be far less likely to browse your competitors’ sites when they know they can buy from your fashion eCommerce store to get the quality products they’re used to at a more favorable price. 2. Offer Customer...
22 stunning examples of CSS3 animation

22 stunning examples of CSS3 animation

Originally posted by Creative Bloq You no longer need Flash to create web-based animations and interactivity. Here are some of the best experiments in CSS3 animation to inspire you. The latest CSS3 properties have opened a multitude of new doors to web designers and developers. It’s now possible to create animations and interactivity entirely in CSS markup, without going near Flash, Silverlight or After Effects. The inspirational experiments in CSS3 animation listed here show just what CSS is now capable of – and while some utilise the odd bit of JavaScript, no plug-ins are necessary. Be warned, though: because they were specifically created as experiments, most of these animations will only work in the very latest versions of web browsers (and some will also only work in specific browsers). To see all our CSS3 posts, click here 01. Solar system The animation is super-smooth – as long as you’re using an updated browser, that is You don’t have to be a web design expert to appreciate this animated model of the solar system, another one of the bestexamples of CSS we’ve found. Created by Julian Garnier, it shows the eight planets orbiting the sun in 3D (yes, you read that right – despite what you got told at school, boffins recently decided that Pluto is no longer officially a planet). The demo was inspired by similar projects by Alex Giron andNicolas Gallager. It’s one of a number of HTML, CSS and JavaScript projects to have been uploaded to CodePen, a new app created by CSS-Tricks creator Chris Coyier, Alex Vazquezand Tim Sabat to help designers and developers share and fork...
Using Professional Service Providers to Grow Your Business

Using Professional Service Providers to Grow Your Business

Originally posted by Mark Hendricks on Entrepreneur After you have owned your own business for a while, you know how to run it. You’ve probably done everything from answering the phones to hiring a general manager, and you can justly claim to know your business inside and out, in general and in detail. In case there’s any operation you can’t personally undertake, one of your employees probably can. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Highly technical matters of law, accounting, management and marketing are usually best handled by outside experts. Attorneys, accountants, and management and marketing consultants have specialized knowledge about niche areas that you couldn’t–and shouldn’t–hope to duplicate either personally or in the form of an in-house employee. Having access to legal, accounting and other expertise is important to help your business grow as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Given enough time, you may be able to master the intricacies of law and finance. But why bother? Hand these duties off to professional service providers. They can do them faster and more effectively than you ever could. Besides, your skills are needed in helping your business expand. Legal and Accounting Help Why do you need a lawyer to grow? It’s generally worthwhile to consult an attorney before making any business decision that could have legal ramifications. These decisions could include setting up or altering the terms of a partnership or corporation, checking for compliance with regulations in new locales where you hope to do business, negotiating loans to fund expansion, obtaining trademarks or patents, preparing buy-sell agreements, tax planning, drawing up or revising pension plans, reviewing business...
Magento Enterprise 1.14.2 is here!

Magento Enterprise 1.14.2 is here!

 Originally posted by Magento We’re excited to announce several new developments that expand the capabilities of the Magento platform and reinforce Magento’s leadership in accelerating business growth. Today Magento are announcing the following: Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.2 Enterprise Edition 1.14.2 software is available today and includes several new features and functionality. More Visual Merchandiser Category Sorting Rules Five new automated product category sorting rules give Enterprise Edition merchants even more power to drive customer engagement and incremental sales from category pages. Selecting a sorting rule enables merchants to completely re-arrange a category page to feature best sellers, highest-margin products, lowest-stock items, or the newest products at the top of the category. Merchants can also sort products by color within a category to easily implement color groupings or seasonal campaigns. As products are added, removed, or changed, the category sorting rules continue to make adjustments, so the merchandising strategy is maintained without requiring any intervention from the merchant. Google Tag Manager Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.2 now comes with Google Tag Manager so merchants can more easily add tracking tags to a Magento site for audience measurement, personalization, retargeting, search engine marketing, and more without modifying code. Using Google Tag Manager can enable faster time to market for new marketing campaigns because marketers can add tags on their own, without waiting for IT. It can also enable more accurate data collection, which supports stronger campaigns and better marketing results. Another benefit is that Google Tag Manager can directly transfer shopping events to Google Analytics™ Enhanced Ecommerce and other third-party analytics solutions, giving merchants a clearer picture of how well their site, products,...
Good Customer Service Made Simple

Good Customer Service Made Simple

Originally posted by Susan Ward, on About Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue. How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.” I know this verges on the kind of statement that’s often seen on a sampler, but providing good customer service IS a simple thing. If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently follows the eight rules following: Answer your phone Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the...
Rags to riches to rags: The rise and fall of Internet Explorer

Rags to riches to rags: The rise and fall of Internet Explorer

Originally posted by Brad Jones, Digital Trends Last month, Microsoft announced that Project Spartan will replace Internet Explorer as the default browser for the Windows platform, ending the software’s twenty-year run as an integral part of the Windows ecosystem. IE guided many people as they took their first steps into the wild world of the Internet, but it’s since become infamous for its shortcomings, and has become the butt of many jokes. Few will mourn the death of Internet Explorer in its current form, but those who remember its early days may look back fondly at the program’s early years. The browser’s story is one of rags-to-riches-to-rags, and serves as a reminder the breakneck pace of technology can turn one mistake into a fatal error. Mosaic takes shape The first version of Internet Explorer was released on August 16, 1995. Back then, the browser was based on software called Mosaic that Microsoft licensed from Spyglass Inc., as other companies eager to enter the nascent field of browser development had done. However, none of those companies had the necessary infrastructure to make their software the household name that Internet Explorer would soon become. For a technology geek, there isn’t much more satisfying than knowing that millions of people are using code that you wrote. Microsoft had agreed to terms with Spyglass that would see the company pay a quarterly fee and a percentage of non-Windows revenue for rights to use the Mosaic Source Code. However, in 1998 the two firms had a falling out, which was resolved by an eight million dollar settlement paid to Spyglass by Microsoft. That was...
Coder humor #45: Funny CSS

Coder humor #45: Funny CSS

Original image posted on 9gag Here at the PSD to Final office, we don’t like to take ourselves too seriously. Coding can be dead boring, and really hard – so taking a few minutes every now and then to have a bit of fun is really important for morale and productivity. We spend our working lives dealing with HTML, CSS and a myriad of other technologies. Every now and then we find a great bit of humour that only programmers will “get”. This is one of those...
Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary

Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary

Originally posted by Mozilla | Image courtesy of Pixbay An important aspect of SEO is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they still can’t see and understand a web page the same way a human can. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users. A Common Argument Against SEO We frequently hear statements like this: “No smart engineer would ever build a search engine that requires websites to follow certain rules or principles in order to be ranked or indexed. Anyone with half a brain would want a system that can crawl through any architecture, parse any amount of complex or imperfect code, and still find a way to return the most relevant results, not the ones that have been ‘optimized’ by unlicensed search marketing experts.” But Wait … Imagine you posted online a picture of your family dog. A human might describe it as “a black, medium-sized dog, looks like a Lab, playing fetch in the park.” On the other hand, the best search engine in the world would struggle to understand the photo at anywhere near that level of sophistication. How do you make a search engine understand a photograph? Fortunately, SEO allows webmasters to provide clues that the engines can use to understand content. In fact, adding proper structure to your content is essential to SEO. Understanding both the abilities and limitations of search engines allows you to properly build, format, and annotate your web content in a way that search engines...
WordPress 4.2 is here!

WordPress 4.2 is here!

Originally posted by WordPress on 23 April 2015 Version 4.2 of WordPress, named “Powell” in honor of jazz pianist Bud Powell, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.2 help you communicate and share, globally. An easier way to share content Clip it, edit it, publish it. Get familiar with the new and improved Press This. From the Tools menu, add Press This to your browser bookmark bar or your mobile device home screen. Once installed you can share your content with lightning speed. Sharing your favorite videos, images, and content has never been this fast or this easy. Extended character support Writing in WordPress, whatever your language, just got better. WordPress 4.2 supports a host of new characters out-of-the-box, including native Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters, musical and mathematical symbols, and hieroglyphs. Don’t use any of those characters? You can still have fun — emoji are now available in WordPress! Get creative and decorate your content with , , , , and all the many other emoji. Switch themes in the Customizer Browse and preview your installed themes from the Customizer. Make sure the theme looks great with your content, before it debuts on your site. Even more embeds Paste links from Tumblr.com and Kickstarter and watch them magically appear right in the editor. With every release, your publishing and editing experience get closer together. Streamlined plugin updates Goodbye boring loading screen, hello smooth and simple plugin updates. ClickUpdate Now and watch the magic happen. Under the Hood utf8mb4 support Database character encoding has changed from utf8 to utf8mb4, which adds support...