Categories
Hosting Marketing News

How to choose the best hosting billing system for all your needs!

Choosing a billing system tailored to your needs is an important decision you need to make to seamlessly manage your hosting business and customers. Through this blog, I hope to equip you with the all the information you need to choose the best billing system to accommodate all your hosting business needs. Read on to know more!

Billing platforms today go beyond receiving payments and providing technical support services, they also meet specific needs of the hosting industry. This gives you enough time to spend on your core competencies like marketing, staffing, and new product offerings.

WHMCS (Web Host Manager Complete Solution) is a comprehensive client management and billing tool for web presence businesses. It is the world leader in automated billing, support, and software that bridges the gap between your customers and your hosting infrastructure.

It enables handling the entire process from signing up to termination, with automated billing, provisioning, and management. What’s more? All licenses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

WHMCS helps you sell more than just domains! You can use ResellerClub Mods, that include a bunch of provisioning modules for managing and integrating your ResellerClub products with WHMCS. Mods help propel your business by offering a complete system with store front and backend, fully packaged with everything you need to sell and manage the most complete product portfolio in the domains and hosting market.

Here are some provisioning modules you can use to sell the following products :

All in all, it makes for a very powerful business automation tool to start or manage your web hosting business. Listed here are some non-negotiables WHMCS offers, that you must factor into your decision:

Automated Billing – Sending invoices, collecting payments, taxes, reminders and are a thing of the past! We know you want that added flexibility in terms of settling your dues/billing. Also make sure all the different kinds of billing you need (quarterly, in arrears, prepaid schemes) are supported for usage-based billing and/or fixed billing, including the ability to do specialized forms of billing like bandwidth billing and cloud billing.

Global Capabilities – Be sure the system you choose can make room for multiple currencies & languages, multi-locational infrastructure monitoring, and tracking, and other similar requirements as you grow your hosting business and penetrate various markets globally.

Security and Support – These are bare basics when it comes to any billing system – given how critical securing customer information is in any industry. Don’t forget to factor in standard security features like 2-factor authentication and PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance. You also need to make sure that your team is up to speed at all times, for this, you need to make provisions for quality and responsive support services(& no that just doesn’t include 24*7 Support). These services include:

– Pre-sales

– Implementation

– After sales and tech support

– Consulting

– Videos

– Tutorials

– Documentation

Adding on to these, integrated support tools give you a client portal with a knowledge base, ticketing and more. Your team will need all the support it requires at different phases during your hosting business life cycle & having an awesome support team at your disposal is a great asset!

Scalability – Can this system manage high volumes of traffic, usage, and monitoring to help you grow your hosting company over time. Though migrating platforms is a solution, it costs you time & money. Being able to stay on one platform maintains your business’ hard-earned reliability and stability.

Simplicity – How intuitive and usable this system? It’s not only going to be accessed by business managers & finance executives but also for sysadmins, sales representatives, network engineers, support & operation teams, and various potential stakeholders. The simpler the hosting management system, the better its adoption cross-functionally & higher productivity because of it.

Flexibility & openness – Be sure to test-run a system’s customisable features, API, and any other extensive functionality available. Study their documentation, and ensure the system will flex to accommodate unpredictable needs going forward as you grow in or beyond hosting.

Thanks for reading and I hope this post will help you choose the perfect billing system for all your needs. If you have any questions please feel free to write to us or post your comments in the section below. What do you look for when evaluating a billing management solution?

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Categories
Marketing

How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

Only two-thirds of businesses survive almost for 2 years and those who survive, only sustain for 5. What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time? Read on to know how web push can help SMBs overcome the roadblocks and transform their business, by engaging, retaining, retargeting and ultimately increasing sales.

SMB’s usually venture into the unknown with just a handful of people. Most of the SMBs have little technical know how and are detached from the digital world. With skill sets hardly equipped as they should be, and cash flow limiting itself after one point of time, SMBs struggle to make their mark in the market.

Issues SMBs face:

  • Limited resources and expertise
  • Low budget
  • Building everything from scratch up

Even with a huge failure rate, it is estimated that over 90% of the world’s businesses are SMEs. SMBs are growing at a rapid pace in the US; faster than the US GDP. There are roughly 28 million small businesses in America that account for 54% of US sales. Let see how can you get closer to conquering the market.

Journey towards digitisation  

SMBs usually have to learn from the very basics and muster knowledge in the field they want to operate in. The sudden shift to the online sphere becomes overwhelming and too much to handle. At times like these, platforms like Resellerclub, provide SMB’s a breathing space. Many SMBs approach agents who will them to help them to out; from creating a domain to marketing them.

Challenges SMBs face

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

51% said driving sales and building brand awareness are top digital marketing priorities for SMBs. 43% of SMBs see themselves improving revenue growth by improving UX and retention. To achieve this, they need to implement a marketing channel to run things easily and see better results. What is that one marketing channel that could help them tackle these challenges?

Deciding upon a marketing channel

Once you have created a website, selecting the right marketing channel is tricky There are numerous marketing channels out there and zeroing down on one right solution can be a challenge. See what SMBs really want and which channel they can implement.

SMBs look for marketing channels that are –

  • Cost effective
  • Simple to understand
  • Easily reach users

SMS and Email – Do they have what it takes?

To start with, both SMS and Email are considered as spam. SMS only reaches users on mobile and has many regulations surrounding it. It doesn’t support multimedia, unless of course it is an MMS. SMS receives a churn rate of up to 4%.

Email on the other hand, does the job for you, but it turns to be less effective as the times pass and tends to crams the user’s inbox. They no longer receive a high open rate and receives a click through rate of 1% – 5%. It becomes difficult for the user to distinguish between solicited and unsolicited emails and most of them often end up in the spam folder. Moreover, extracting email IDs is a tedious process in itself. The tools used to extract data are expensive and the data is not always updated. The extracted data then needs to be enriched, which further consumes time.

Website Push Notifications – Does it make the cut?

Web push notifications are crisp updates that are sent to users in real time, even when they are not on your website. As a communication channel, push notifications are cost effective, easy to implement, and targets users on desktop, mobile and tab in one go. Businesses like CouponzGuru, have replaced email with web push notifications as it got amazing results.

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

Users are usually reluctant to share their personal information like phone numbers and email addresses. You might just lose a lead just because of this, and that something you can’t afford. With web push notifications, users don’t have to share their email address, all the users need to do is click on ‘Allow’ when the permission prompt is flashed on your website.  

What value can Web Push Notification bring to the table

Web push notifications are packed with amazing features that will help you to –

  • Engage users from first touch point and generate leads
  • Retain users to drive repeat traffic
  • Retarget users to boost sales

According to leadpages, here are the goals of SMBs –

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

As you can see, web push pretty much covers most of them. With web push, SMBs have also substantially increased their subscriber base. FreshMenu leveraged web push notifications and skyrocketed all of their metrics. Here are few SMBs that have seen exceptional results in the span of one year.

NetworkBulls

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

AmigoBulls

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

How web push can help you communicate better

It is all about reaching the right crowd and communication the right way. You need to make the users feel involved and send them updates that would provide them with some value. Send relevant notifications so that they know you are specifically communicating to them and not randomly firing out notifications.

Segment users for effective retargeting

Web push notifications allow you to target a specific audience on basis of –

  • Interest and behaviour – Keep track on what your users like. Which categories do they always choose from? With ‘User Properties’, users can be easily segmented based on their interests. Once you know what the users prefer, you can send notifications accordingly. If you send notifications without keeping in mind they interest, they might just start considering you as spam.

  • Geography based notifications – Not everyone needs to receive notifications if it directly doesn’t cater to them. For example, if you have a sale exclusively for New York users, there is no reason why the notification should be sent to users in Chicago.

  • User actions – Once you have a solid subscriber base, you can segment them by the actions they perform on your website to target them better. You can segment users on basis of actions like ‘Users who have Added to Cart’ or ‘Users who made a transaction’ etc. By segmenting these audience, you can send out a notification specifically to them,  encouraging them to make a purchase by upselling, cross selling or providing them with a discount.

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

Local time notification

Notifications need to be sent according to different time zones to avoid sending notifications to the users at the wrong time. If is a sale based notification, receiving an update after the sale got over is a bummer. You need to pay heed to the fact that timezones exist and that notifications need to be pushed accordingly. This is the very reason why you should scheduling notification keeping the timezones in mind.

Every industry has its peak time, in which you should send out notifications to get higher clicks. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult, all you need to do is select ‘Deliver notifications as per the subscribers timezone’, and it schedules your notification according to local time in just one click.

Native language

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

One is most comfortable in one’s native language. The text within the web push notifications can be written in numerous languages. This automatically attracts the user and throws in a personal touch and incorporates a sense of belonging. Figure out the language that is preferred by your target audience and impress them. This helps in building subscriber base and instantly engaging with the users.

Banner images

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

With web push supporting rich notifications, you can amplify your message with a banner image. Image based notifications helps you to stand out from the crowd. Users can view the image based notification from their lock screen, making it simpler for the users to interact with it. Make sure that the image is relevant to the text of the notification. Adding effective visuals within the notification exemplifies the message you want to convey.

Revolutionize your business with web push

There are different ways you can make use of web push to attain a specific goal. Here are a few ways that have helped others create campaigns that convert.

  • Increase User Engagement with Welcome Notifications

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

We all know that first impression is the best impression. You need to awe them from the first touch point. A welcome notification plays an important part in engaging the users from day zero. Show them that you are happy to have them. Give them a warm welcome and pamper them by sliding in a discount on their first purchase. Entice them with offers that are time bound, which can also increase the chances of them converting faster.

  • Re-engage and re-target effectively

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

Sometimes it so happens that users are really active in the first few days of discovering your website, and then they simply phase out. You need to re-engage them and bring them back to your website and encourage conversions. Users sometimes forget that they have added an item to their cart. You can easily remind them and probably give them a special discount to encourage them to make a purchase.

Notifications about new offers, discounts, season based sales and trial expiry can easily notified to the users, to bring them back to your site. Notifications encouraging referrals can also be sent where the user an get special discount or referral points once they make a purchase. This increases the chances of not only building your subscriber base, but also increasing sales.

  • Product updates and new product announcement

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

When you launch a new product, you need to inform the users about this. This also gives you an opportunity to upsell. You can build curiosity, with product updates and show them how it is better that the older version. This also helps to keep them in loop and avoid confusion and give them a seamless experience.

  • Making feedback super easy

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

Web push has made it easier for users to give feedback. No more lengthy forms, just for users to say they like your products or not. Users hardly have the time nor the patience to do so. With just one click, the users can give their feedback.

  • Flaunt content to build trust

 What is it with SMBs falling apart in such a short span of time How SMBs can use web push notifications as a stepping stone to success

You can easily inform users about the new blog post that you just published, or ebook that is there for grabs. It is easier to bring the users to your website by promoting your blog sometimes, rather than directly selling your product. You can also provide them a detailed content on what your product is all about, quick tips to provide users some value out of it etc. White papers and articles boost your brand image and helps to show off stats & facts.

 

Check out more web push examples here. Already using web push? Tell us the other ways you use web push.

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Categories
Design

Motion in Web Design

Motion has become an important element in design. Google explains motion in web design as Something as simple as tapping a card to expand and reveal more information is made better by fluid animation’. The reason why motion in web design is important is because:

  • It engages the user
  • It gives the user a sense of control
  • It allows for fluidity which results in seamless user experience
  • Is an indicator that an action is in progress

To elaborate on the last point, at one of our Ctrl+F5 events earlier this year, Anish Tripathi (VP Product Design at BookMyShow) made a point in design that stayed with me. He said if a user on a website makes an action for example like clicking a button, – that reloads a page but does not see any motion like a loading icon, it can be frustrating user experience as the user does not know what to expect. He/she is forced to assume your website is down and will instantly click away to another site. That’s exactly what makes motion so important. It makes your website communicate.

I’ve grouped motion into two kinds on the basis of my understanding:

  1. Interactive
  2. Passive

 

Interactive Motion

Interactive motion as I’ve classified it is where the user interacts with the design to make it move. His action causes movement. This is the kind of motion that gives the user a sense of control. Let’s take a look at what motion elements are interactive:

Hovercrafting: This is the motion that occurs when a user hovers on a particular word in a text passage. Hovercrafting is a motion that focuses on the little details using varying fonts, styling or word background.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

We’ve covered hover effects in depth in The Future of Hover in Design – impact of Touchscreens, VR & more

Pull-out menu bar: This again is interactive motion in this, the user can choose to expand the information he/she is viewing on a screen through a slider. Without the user action, this motion does not take place. Pull-out sliders can be easily tucked away with a hamburger menu.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

Progress bar: Progress bars aids user experience because it lets the user know how far she/he’s reached in an article, or how close she/he is to finishing a survey so she/he can evaluate if it’s worth his time. A progress bar or animation can also indicate how long the action she/he has made will take to be implemented.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

Scroll bars: Similar to progress bars, scroll bars give the user control and let him/her know how close he/she is to the end of the page (unless it’s an infinite scroll). Many designs have jumped on the scroll bar trend and moved away from the traditional function of a vertical scroll to creative parallax scrolling.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

Forms: Some creative ways of revamping the conventional form is by adding motion. Once the user has answered a question and hits the arrow button, the next question rolls after her/his action.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

 

Passive Motion

Passive design, as I’ve classified it is motion in web design that are not dependent on the user’s action. This motion happens irrespective. Let’s take a look at some design elements that qualify as passive motion.

Website background: This is probably one of my all time favourite motions – to see animation or video in hero images or homepage sliders.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

Dynamic charts: I love how motion has been used to make data visually appealing with dynamic charts. Dynamic charts can be made to auto-load when a user reaches a section on his/her screen. They make for interesting design & retaining user attention.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

Loading: Patience is not a virtue most of us have when it comes to website load speed, hence the loading icon. Most of us are very familiar with the loading icon and know what to expect when we see it. However, if you only saw a static loading icon sans motion, you’d probably think your internet connection is slow and your page is stuck. Motion in a loading icon not only lets you know how soon you are to viewing what you came to see, it also lets you know that something is happening on the page and your only action is to wait.

Motion has become an important element in design Motion in Web Design

Conclusion

Motion has been one of the most popular design trends in recent times especially with mobile devices. Smart & touchscreen devices opened up opportunities to play with designs, transitions, parallax scrolling, pinch, zoom & more. I want to leave you with my favourite website background motion for this month. I promise you won’t regret seeing it: https://www.vistabluesingerisland.com/

Images courtesy: Dribble.com
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Categories
Marketing

Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

Multi-channel marketing, also known as cross-channel marketing, is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers. It is essentially hedging your bets on as many media as you can to market to as wide of an audience as possible, and it also makes it easier for customers to reach you by having other ways for them to do so.

One of those media is most likely your website, whether it is in a blogging platform or a separate host. It should have a landing page, which visitors are meant to see first upon accessing your website. Advertising and SEO are not the only things you should having going as they themselves will not turn visits into leads.

Optimizing a landing page is about making it more visible and give good user experience to encourage engagement, thus leading to conversions.

Determine the Landing Page’s Main Purpose

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

The landing page is meant to welcome visitors into whatever value you are looking to give, as well as persuading them to heed your calls-to-action in order to convert them from mere observers to actual customers. 

To make it functional, its specific purpose must first be determined. You must first be able to pinpoint whether you want it to generate leads, pitch your idea, entice subscriptions, or so on. You must make that purpose specific in order to prevent distractions that may detract from it and to be able to direct your audience better.

Focus on One Goal

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

When someone gets to a landing page, that person must be able to surmise what it’s for in one glance. Therefore, it’s imperative that you focus on one goal for your landing page. The key to optimize a landing page to focus on one goal is to keep it simple. This can be done to two major aspects of the landing page—headline and links.

You should also have one clear and concise headline to top things off in your landing page. Create a clear and meaningful headline much like the title of an article or the subject line of a marketing email. Readers should be able to determine what the page is about right way and it should contain the main idea of everything in there.

Meanwhile, the links inside a landing page are exits that lead users to other places, thus making the landing page much like a hub that can lead to wherever you may want users to go. The more links there are in a landing page, the more reasons you give people to go away from that page, most likely never to return.

Therefore, it is best to have only one link that you wish for them to go to, which is the call-to-action button.  The CTA button funnel users towards where you want them to go, whether it’s a registration page, online store, or so on.

Identify and Set the Value Proposition

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

Marketing is always about what the people want, and you have to be able to give what they want. In order to do that, you need to know your target audience and how you can best give them what they want. Landing pages should be designed with their desires in mind, and not just your own. You should design yours with the highest value you can give to your audience in order to bolster your call-to-action and its chances of conversion.

This can be done by making your promises explicit in your copy. Whether it is about promising to increase value in something or to take away what ails them, your copy should directly address it. You can make it simpler to read by enumerating them in bullet points, mentioning only the most important things to consider. That copy should then lead readers to the call-to-action for best effect.

Control the Journey with the Fold

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

You may have everything technical with your website sorted out, especially with your landing page, from its loading speed and search engine optimization to its visual design, links, headline, and copy. However, there is usually one element most people tend to neglect, and that is how the landing page is laid out.

In broadsheet newspapers, there is the concept of the fold. Newspapers are typically folded in half, with the half “above the fold” bearing the name of the paper and the main headline. The same concept can be applied to landing pages. Most of what you have to communicate to first-time visitors should be right there “above the fold” without having to scroll down. That includes the name of your website or business, the headline, copy, and call-to-action button.

The gist here is that only the most important elements should be “above the fold,” and you can then put additional information and other elements below it if necessary. This ensures there would be no distractions that can distract the audience from your primary message. They can then look “below the fold” or click on the CTA button if they want more information.

Craft at Least Two of Each Element

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

It is quite difficult to get things right the first time in marketing. Coming up with a headline or copy that hits the spot may take a few tries, which is why you should always test your methodology. Utilizing an A/B test when you are first trying to come up with the right approach is recommended, and the best way to do so is just to have two of the same element that you can pit against each other to see which one works best.

Make two headlines, call-to-action buttons, color palettes, copies, and so on for each landing page you wish to test. You can then put them up for a sample set of the audience to see which one they respond to more, which can then be tracked in tools like Google Analytics. You can then determine which one is best for you.

Consider Basic SEO

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

Showing up in search results for relevant keywords entered in search engines is still one of the best sources of traffic there is, which makes search engine optimization relevant in bolstering your landing page. Have relevant keywords in your title tags, header tags, metatags, image alternate text, and body text so the landing page becomes more visible in search engines. Internal and external links to the landing page can then boost the effectiveness of your SEO even more, as well as lead more people to it through direct linking as well.

Even if search engines are not your primary source of traffic, it is still a good idea to have your SEO on point since the audience it draws in can still be fairly significant. Also, good SEO also can make your landing page’s appeal more powerful by making it more relevant to your marketing campaign through its proper practice.

Always Add Social Proof

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

This is always true with any form of marketing, even before social media or the Internet came about. Having satisfied customers vouch for your products and/or services is powerful and can help persuade audiences to decide on availing of the value you are providing, as well as assuring them that whatever you are selling is not risky or faulty.

Things like testimonials, statistics, awards, badges, and so on can help supplement your call-to-action, thus making your landing page more powerful.

Integrate Analytics to Track Page Activity

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

Being able to track your landing page’s progress can help you adjust when changes come to light and find ways to improve on it. You can get easy access to these statistics through analytics, and platforms like Google Analytics can be integrated to your website’s own metrics in order to show key statistics such as view counts, bounce rates, average times, referral sources, and conversion rates.

Those statistics let you know how much user engagement your landing page is getting and help you understand how visitors tend to behave. You can then put the knowledge gained from those analytics to good use, optimizing your landing page further to make it more effective.

Put Everything into Practice

 is making use of multiple channels to market a business to customers Advanced Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Multi-channel Marketing

You would want to hedge your bets and do everything you can to make sure your landing page performs as best as it can to draw audiences in and convert as many of them as possible. While you may choose to do one or two things to enhance your landing page and then do whatever you want with its design, it is still better to do more in order to truly optimize it for your purpose.

Conclusion

The landing page is merely one of the many things you can optimize for your multi-channel marketing campaign. Getting your landing page right takes you a step towards strengthening your efforts in increasing your visibility and converting your audience. If you have questions or suggestions regarding this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for dropping by.

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Uncategorized

Web Server Load balancing for ecommerce websites – a basic guide to traffic management

For keeping a live ecommerce website up and running, there is a significant amount of investment required in setting up the backend IT infrastructure and its management.

As an ecommerce business owner, one is aware of the fact that this is a necessary investment. Why? Because the losses suffered when a website goes down are debilitating, as explained in our post on how to keep ecommerce websites up and running through 24×7 IT monitoring and support.

Surge in ecommerce website traffic: A boon or bane for your business?

One of the reasons websites experience outage or downtime is due to too much traffic—more than the website can handle. That’s a double-edged sword for any ecommerce website—any increase in traffic is good news, in fact the larger the better. But sometimes websites may not equipped to handle a sudden and significant jump in traffic, leading to downtime. In such cases, not only are the benefits of increased website traffic lost (your potential customers won’t be able to access your website), there’s loss in brand reputation too.

But is it possible to keep the website operating smoothly while still catering to a surge in traffic? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’! This is usually done by distributing the burden of increased traffic across resources—a practice known as load balancing.

In this post, we’re going to give you all the introductory info about load balancing and how you can use it to benefit your ecommerce website without being a drain on business costs.

What is server load balancing?   

Wikipedia explains the meaning and scope of load balancing well: “load balancing improves the distribution of workloads across multiple computing resources, such as computers, a computer clusternetwork links, central processing units, or disk drives. Load balancing aims to optimize resource use, maximize throughput, minimize response time, and avoid overload of any single resource.

In this post, we’ll discuss load balancing specifically in the context of managing ecommerce website traffic.

Why is server load balancing important for ecommerce websites?

As the Wikipedia explanation states, load balancing achieves operational speed and efficiency by ensuring no one server is overloaded, even distribution of the load across servers, improvement in the rate of processing and website speed, and ensuring that there is negligible time lag in website response.

So what’s the effect of these features of server load balancing on your ecommerce website?

  • Scalability: Ecommerce websites usually experience a significant jump in traffic during periods of special offers, festive season shopping or the launch of a much-awaited product. If the website has been usually having traffic of 500-600 visitors, the website is unlikely to have sufficient resources to handle a sudden jump to 2000-5000 visitors.

With server load balancing, the load will be distributed across servers, making your website scalable without collapsing under the burden on the increased traffic.

  • Uninterrupted uptime: Whether these is need for turning a server off for maintenance, or these some kind of server failover, clients connected to that server will experience that the “website is down.” This leads to disappointment among customers as well as business loss.

A load balancer will automatically direct traffic from said server to the other serves that are running, so users never have to experience website outage or downtime.

  • Minimizing latency: During the periods of usual business, there may not be need to employ all the servers available. But when traffic increases, or the active server fails, there is need to call additional servers into action. The load balancer recognizes active servers and directs all traffic to them. When an additional server starts spinning, this too is recognized by the load balancer, which then distributes requests. In this manner, the load balancer adapts to auto scaling and minimizes website latency through load distribution.

In times of 4G internet, a time lag is loss of income, so a load balancer actually helps improve the bottom line.

What are the algorithms behind server load balancing?

Now that we’ve established the need for and significance of load balancing, let’s look at how it is carried out.

How does the load balancer figure out how to distribute the load? To which server should how much of the traffic be directed? Will the load balancer upset the balance and reroute too much or too little traffic to a particular server?

There’s a simple solution to work around these—algorithms that form the basis of load balancing.

1. Round robin: A simple enough formula, as per round robin algorithm for load balancing, client requests are handed out turn by turn in sequence to each server listed. Upon reaching the end of the list, the pattern is repeated from the first server.

This is easy to implement, and has further variations to ensure equitable distribution.

2. Least connections: This algorithm distributes client requests on the basis of the concurrent connections with the server. For instance, a new request will go to the server that has lesser connections at that moment in order to distribute the load.

This method is suitable for websites where user have longer sessions.

3. Source IP hash: This algorithm takes into account the source IP address of the client. A unique hash key is created for each source IP and the request is distributed using this hash key.

With this method, in case of a broken connection, the client request is directed to the same server when the connection is reestablished.

A specific algorithm is chosen as per the unique requirements of different e-commerce businesses, and the availability of resources.

What are the possible risks of load balancing?

To say it as concisely as possible, practically none! Load balancing itself is a risk management and reduction tool, and with the introduction of Amazon’s load balancer, backup systems kick into place seamlessly if the load balancer itself fails.

Is load balancing costly?

Compared to investment made on servers, the cost of load balancing is much lesser, and is worth the potential returns it offers. The now widely-used Amazon Web Services is much more affordable than configured load balancers, which were the norm earlier.

We hope we have covered all the questions you may have had about load balancing, and answered them clearly. As an ecommerce website monitoring and IT support company, we at Embitel Technologies definitely recommend using a load balancer to take traffic woes off your mind.

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Domains

Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

Attention! eCommerce has a new address! It’s been a year since Radix Registry launched .STORE and I must say that the nTLD has had a decent start. There are nearly 140k .STORE domains registered so far! As more businesses (whose primary goal is to sell, for example – retails brands, online shopping portals etc.) get online, it only makes sense for them to get a .STORE domain. It refines what your customers’ brands stands for and what they’re all about. Here’s what’s so great about .STORE:

 

s been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

s been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domains been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

s been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domains been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domains been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

s been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

s been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

Now that you know how .STORE can boost your domain reselling business, don’t forget to visit our Domain Reseller Program to check out our jaw-dropping promos! You can get .STORE domains for just $18.99 $5.99 this month!

s been a year since Radix Registry launched  Take your business to the world with a .STORE domain

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Design

Launching Weebly Website Builder – Create stunning websites in just minutes!

Say hello to Weebly! We’re glad to announce a new addition to the ResellerClub Marketplace! We at ResellerClub understand what matters to you and your business; building smart and beautiful websites effortlessly. As a web designer or developer, what resource do you think you need the most? Let me answer that for you. It’s time. Client demands and deadlines can be cumbersome making it difficult for you to keep up with your projects. Fret not! We have just the solution for you. Let’s run you through what exactly Weebly has to offer you and how it can make your life hassle-free.

What is Weebly?

Weebly is a modern website builder that comes with a drag and drop editor, dynamic themes and much more. It’s the first website builder that has gone on to power more than 40 million websites that see a combined 325 million visitors each month. No matter who your customers are – artists, developers, students, lawyers or business owners, Weebly lets you build the perfect website. Let’s delve deeper into the features of Weebly.

Why Weebly?

  • Simplified Drag & Drop Editor – Weebly’s powerful drag and drop editor helps you to get websites up and running in minutes. All you have to do is, pick a template, drag and drop elements, add images, text and videos to get online instantly. It is not necessary for you to know how to code. Yep!

  • Free and Secure hosting on the Cloud – You can now, focus on what’s important, building professional websites. Manage and grow your business without worrying about downtime and load speeds

  • Powerful Tools & Amazing Plugins – Show off your creativity with beautiful photos and videos. Optimise your website with SEO and edit CSS/HTML with Weebly’s tools

  • Integrated Shopping Cart & Checkout – Ensure a delightful shopping experience with an integrated shopping cart with easy checkout to power your web application for maximum performance of your website

  • Inventory Tracking and Supply Management – Manage hundreds of products and show your customers the number of pending items with automatic shopper updates when items are out of stock

  • Simplified Transactions – Show your customers shipping costs and tax rates. Even offer coupon codes to incentivise your shoppers and drive sales

  • 200+ High-quality apps – Grow your idea with Weebly features extending beyond the builder. The App Center brings a wide range of new functionality and services directly to your website

Now that you know more about Weebly, let’s have a look at the plans and pricing.

Plans

re glad to announce a new addition to the  Launching Weebly Website Builder – Create stunning websites in just minutes!

 

re glad to announce a new addition to the  Launching Weebly Website Builder – Create stunning websites in just minutes!

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Uncategorized

Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness more

We’ve all seen the little pop-up with a one line message and ‘Allow’ and ‘Block’ options when we open an address on the browser – either on our desktops or on our mobile phones. These are called ‘push notifications’.

In this article, we will talk about the history of push notifications, their effectiveness & how they work. Please note, in this article, we will only cover web push notifications (on desktops & mobile browsers). We will leave the mobile app and in-app notifications for perhaps another article in the future 🙂

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

Push notifications are best for:

  • Short or urgent, time-sensitive messages
  • Re-engaging your visitors/ customers
  • Nudging them to complete a purchase / subscription process
  • Adding another marketing channel to your strategy

History of Push notifications

How did push notifications start? This simple infographic provides some detail:

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

(Image courtesy: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/738731145097325693/)

Effectiveness of Push notifications

While many companies use Email marketing, SMS marketing, social media and more (which are all great), push notifications is a channel that should be optimised too. Let’s take a look at how web push notifications compare to the other marketing channels:

Email

(+) Allows for a lot more content & more customizable than push notifications

(-) According to PushEngage, Emails have an open rate of 15% – 30% while push notifications have a view percentage of 45% – 90%

(-) According to PushEngage, emails have a click rate of 1-3% while push notifications have a click rate of 5-30%

Social media

(+) People spend more time on social media than any other online activity (source: http://www.go-gulf.com/blog/online-time/)

(-) Only 0.07% of Facebook audience interacts with your post (source: wizshop) as opposed to click through rate of web push notifications being 5-30% (source: PushEngage)

(-) Only  0.03% audience interacts with your tweet on Twitter (Source: wizshop)

SMS

(+) 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes (source: docstoc.com)

(-) Considered low quality communication channel as no permissions are required from the user & phone numbers are easy to acquire

One of the critical reasons why push notifications are effective is because they are a permission based communication channel, especially web push notifications. This means only those who really want your notifications are those who enable it, making this channel high quality.

According to a recent survey of 1200 adults, nearly 70% of adults and more than 70% of young adults enable push notifications from their favourite brands’ apps. However, while this statistic highlights the effectiveness of app push notifications, as I mentioned earlier in the article, web push notifications differ from mobile app push notifications as web notifications also include desktop. 48.7% of total internet usage worldwide still uses desktop which means web push notifications enable you to reach out to this chunk of global users.

According to Business.com, if reach is the goal, mobile websites are performing much better than mobile apps. This means web push notifications become even more critical as it gives you the ability to send push notifications without investing in an app.

Data from Kahuna suggests that push notifications have high-engagement rates with click-through rates as high as 40%.

Listed below are the engagement rates by industry.

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

How does a web push notification work?

For push notifications to work, there are three essential things necessary:

  1. HTTPS – Web notifications can only be installed on HTTPS to prevent attacks. Although it’s not impossible to be implemented on a HTTP site with a few work-arounds.
  2. Service workers should be supported by the browser
  3. Your website should be registered on the notification server like Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) which will return the API key.

There are also two ways you can shoot out  push notifications:

  1. Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
  2. Plug-n-Play Services

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

This literally means do-EVERYTHING-yourself – from building the functionality to tracking & analytics. Here’s how it works:

  1. A user visits your website & recieves a pop-up seeking permission to display push notifications & you register a service worker (a script that will be executed when a push notification is received).
  2. If the user has clicked ‘Allow’ to grant permission, the service worker is registered along with her/his subscription id. You can read the device token which should be sent to the server & stored (you can have a table in your database to store user ids/ tokens with information like subscription/ unsubscription date).
  3. The subscription id identifies a particular device so that notifications are sent to the correct device
  4. When you wish to send a notification, the user ids are fetched from the application server & sent to the notification server which checks user-agent (device) for permission. If permission has been granted, the service worker sends a fetch request to the application server for the notification to be displayed.
  5. If the user unsubscribes, a request is sent to the push notification server which clears the user’s id from the database.

The service worker API is JavaScript and runs independent of your website & was built to bring web push notification support on mobile browsers.

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

To know about the technical details on the integration, Google’s official doc on push notifications might be useful.

Plug-n-Play Services

There’s a much simpler way of sending push notifications to your customers, though. You can easily opt in for a plug-n-play solution for your business for a low cost. Here are some options:

A user can always see the list of push notifications he has subscribed for and can manage subscriptions, even disable the ones he no longer requires. On Chrome, he can do this by Settings > Advanced settings > Content Settings > Notifications

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

Conclusion

Web push notifications can be customized to suit your brand tone, style & design.

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

To look like this:

 options when we open an address on the browser  Web push notifications: History, Effectiveness  more

We hope we were able to give you a brief introduction to web push notifications. Stay tuned for Part II of web push notifications where we will discuss the segmenting, best practices & more. Have something to share? We’d love to hear it in the comments section below.

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Categories
Domains Hosting

Change of Primary domain name for SDH MDH

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting (SDH) & Multi- Domain Hosting (MDH) packages is now live!! The flow is similar to Reseller Hosting and has been built on the same framework.

Before delving into what changes have been made, let us first have a brief look at what SDH and MDH are.

SDH stands for Single Domain Hosting while MDH stands for Multi- Domain Hosting. SDH and MDH are Shared Hosting Packages. In Shared Hosting, multiple websites share the same server space therefore reducing the cost per hosting. This is perfect for beginners and is one of the popular plans that many new website owners opt for. It has a great user interface and two of the widely used control panels are DirectAdmin and cPanel.

Now that we are clear on what is SDH and MDH, let us move to understanding the updated flow:

Before the Update MDH

After the Update

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

As we can see, before the changes were incorporated, the ‘Change Domain’ tab was not present in the cPanel.

Steps to Change Primary Name:

1. Login into your Orderbox

2. Click on the domain whose primary domain you wish to change

3. You reach Manage Order (domain name) page

4. Here you will find the details of the above screenshot listed under Single/Multi Domain Hosting

5. Click on Change Domain and follow the steps.

I. Once you click on Change Domain, it pops up another window pops up informing you of what would be modified should you choose to change your Primary Domain.

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

II. Since you have decided to change your domain name -now, click on the ‘Change Domain’ button. Once you click this button another window will open asking to you enter the new changed domain name.

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

III. Now enter the new domain name in the text box specifying you to “Enter new domain name”

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

IV. Click Save

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

V. Next move to the top and you see the dropdown Actions, click on ‘Current Actions’ this lists all your current actions as shown below.

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

VI. Finally you can login to your Control Panel and see the changes reflected in it.

Changing Primary Domain name on Single Domain Hosting  Change of Primary domain name for SDH  MDH

Should you as a reseller or a customer, feel the need to change your domain name at any point of time, instead of deleting you can now change it with this new feature. The change process is fairly simple and all you need to do is follow the steps properly and you’ll have a new domain name.

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Categories
Design

5 Reasons You Should Build Your Next Mobile App in Ionic

As mobile app usage continues to grow worldwide, the need to streamline development process is critical.  Mobile apps are becoming increasingly accessible via wearables, smart TVs, and vehicles. This has created products and services that didn’t exist 5 years ago. A quick look at stats uncovers these facts. According to Statista, in mid-2016 about 130 billion apps were downloaded from Apple App Store, and around 65 billion apps were downloaded from Google Play worldwide.

Going by these current trends, the opportunity is ripe for businesses and app developers to go for the benefits and financial rewards of today’s mature mobile market.

Benefits of Hybrid App Development

Back in 2013, the primary focus of app developers was on building native apps. Objective-C and Java were the primary languages of these native apps and required developers to learn them as well as platform-specific tools, SDKs and so on.

For most web developers, this created a barrier to entering the professional domain of mobile development.  A hybrid app — which is a native app built utilizing a range of web technologies — was not a viable option due to the quality of browsers and older devices that made hybrid apps unstable, coupled with design practices that caused a visual disconnect.

At the same time, for most companies looking to enter the mobile app market, using different native coding languages to build an app aimed at running on multiple operating systems is not an option. The hybrid approach would be more logical because you can use your existing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code base — with little modification — to build a cross-platform mobile app. It is more attractive to have a single codebase than writing a native app in Objective-C or Swift for iOS then rewriting it in Java for Android and then in C++ or C# for Windows.

The ones behind hybrid app frameworks, Ionic among them, clearly saw an opportunity here. They noticed the rapid improvement of mobile devices, and that hybrid apps could outpace native apps in the time to come. Certainly, that time has arrived.

Since the early 2010s, hybrid app frameworks such as Xamarin, Cordova/PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, Mobile Angular UI, Kendo UI and many more have been springing up to cater for diverse needs of today’s digital businesses. Some of them are open-source, like Ionic, Titanium and Cordova; others are commercial, like Microsoft-owned Xamarin. Still, they all open up extensive development capabilities based on familiar programming languages and tools – most commonly HTML5 and Angular JS. From reusing both programmers’ web development skills and code components in multiple projects, hybrid app development frameworks save time and effort. In addition, the frameworks are growing to support ever complex mobile applications, including the ones for enterprise-level tasks and media-rich entertainment.  

Today, many web developers use Ionic and Angular — by most measures the leading frameworks — to build cross-platform mobile apps using existing web development knowledge and technologies such as CSS, HTML5 and Sass. Since its inception in 2013, over 1 million apps have been developed with the Ionic framework, according to Drify, the creator of Ionic.

Why Ionic?

Ionic is an easy-to-use open source and front-end SDK. Most of the Ionic apps will be written in Javascript, HTML, and CSS, which creates a huge demand for Cordova — a native code wrapper. Ionic leverages the features of Sass and AngularJS to access native plugins and thus create powerful, robust and intuitive apps.

Ionic provides tools to build cross-platform apps with most of the benefits of native ones while saving time and resources. With unique characteristics and innovative features, Ionic brings a degree of refinement and a broad range of accessible solutions.

Advanced ecosystem

Ionic integrates perfectly with add-ons, plugins and modules for Cordova and AngularJS, in addition to its own large repository. Angular has a vast plugin repository, which allows Ionic apps to integrate seamlessly with popular web services like Facebook and Twitter, using complex UI elements such as progress bars, dialog boxes, sliders, etc.

Successful integration of Ionic Framework and AngularJS leads to a healthy ecosystem and code structure. As a result, coding becomes more handy and manageable.

Cost

One of the key benefits of hybrid app development is that it costs less than developing native apps for multiple operating systems. Whether it is an enterprise or consumer app, most of them are developed either in Java for Android or Objective- C for iOS. With Ionic, it is possible to release one app for both iOS and Android using the same resources as native for a single OS. In a literal sense, Ionic allows you to create a hybrid mobile app that can be tailored to multiple platforms.

From its ability to offload computationally intensive tasks to robust native plugins and consistent application programming interfaces that conform across platforms, Ionic brings value to mobile app development.

Cross-platform compatibility

Ionic utilizes a single code base, unlike other app development frameworks. With Ionic, you can therefore build intuitive and responsive apps for all types of portable devices. Irrespective of their features, apps built in Ionic will work perfectly on any mobile device.

The latest version of Ionic comes with a powerful set of Native APIs for accessing native features such as camera, Bluetooth, touch ID, health kit, etc.

Clean UI

Ionic has an ample collection of readily available UI design elements and layouts. It comes with default styles that can be customized simply by incorporating one of the pre-defined CSS classes to achieve a unique look. Some of these elements include form inputs, sliding menu, popups and navigation. These components are user-friendly, elegant and can be customized further to render the effects of your choice.

As mobile app usage continues to grow worldwide 5 Reasons You Should Build Your Next Mobile App in Ionic

In conclusion, the main assets of Ionic are its features including a knowledgeable community, an extensive library of plugins, development tools and more. To quote Bill Gates, “Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.” The next generation of apps will use voice recognition as the interface as opposed the dominant screen interface and text entry of today. However this plays out, Ionic is well-positioned to dominate the future of mobile development frameworks.

 

What do you think about hybrid app frameworks such as Ionic?  Do you currently use mobile development frameworks in any part of your IT environment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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