Categories
Marketing

How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money. With this article, you will know that blogging is not just a platform to engage with your audience but also a source of making money. The first blog aims to inform you about starting with a blog quickly whereas the second blog will tell you how you can earn money as a blogger by becoming an affiliate. So, without further adieu, lets us know how you can go about it.

In the early days, blogging catered to an audience looking for casual reading. It was a platform where artists, freelancers and curators would demonstrate their skills to reach their audiences online. Over time, with the tremendous reach and power demonstrated by this medium, businesses, enterprises and professionals took to blogging to inform and influence their target audience as well.

Today, blogging has become a staple for many professionals wanting to showcase their domain expertise. So much so that these professionals have started blogging for money to open an extra revenue stream for themselves. This is because of the nature of benefits provided by blogs as a platform. Some of the benefits can be given as follows-

1. Blogging is a no-risk investment

2. You can expand your network as much as you can

3. It helps you build and position yourself as an expert in the field of your choice

4. You can create a unique identity and brand yourself

So how to start a blog right away?

Before you start a blog, recognize what your niche is. That is which category or field would you like to talk about. Allow us to explain. Let us say, your area of expertise is ‘Technology’. But, technology is a very vast topic. Within technology, which aspect would you like to cover? Start off by asking this question first- Is it computers? software? hardware? internet? or domains and web hosting? This level of detailing will allow you to narrow down to a niche so that you will get relevant visitors to your blog.

Now, to get started with a blog, you can take two routes. In the first route, you can essentially start with a blog by choosing a platform of your choice and then getting a free plan which will provide you a blog with a sub-domain i.e your blog will read as myblog.subdomain.com.

Whereas with the other route, you can select a domain and web hosting of your choice to build your own blog. Let us go step-by-step and understand how to go about it, shall we?

Step 1: Go to WordPress.com and select ‘Start a blog’ option.

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Step 2: You will be redirected to a page that will ask you to choose a popular theme. Select one of those themes to go ahead.

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Step 3: Choose a name for your blog. Also, while choosing a name, make sure you remember these pointers-

Ensure that the name will reflect the purpose of your blog.

Make sure that this name is easy to recall.

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Step 4: Select the free plan to get running asap.

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

In case you do not want to choose the free plan which ends with .wordpress.com, you also have the option to choose a ‘premium plan’ if you want to. You can select a hosting plan from WordPress.com or even avail ResellerClub’s WordPress hosting plans which start at $2-$3. You can also choose a shared hosting package to get your blog up and running. After selecting a hosting plan, select a domain name for your blog and preferably choose a .COM domain for the blog. Also, make sure that the domain name is unique, easy to remember, and reflects your field or category.

Step 5: Put your credentials into the relevant fields and click ‘Continue’

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Step 6: Once you are done with the credentials, you will be given an option to start directly or upgrade to a premium plan. To start blogging quickly click on ‘View my site’ to start editing and posting on the blog.

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Step 7: Start editing the pages of your blog by adding images and content. You can also edit the current theme by choosing a different theme of your choice. Once you are satisfied with all the aspects, click publish and witness users coming on to your blog.

Welcome to the first part of how to start a blog and make money How to start a blog and make money – Part I

Benefits of taking this route:

1. Time to go online is drastically reduced.

2. You save on many costly resources.

3. You have total freedom and control over the blog

This was easy, right? But making money through blogs is much easier

People who take blogs seriously generally post on a regular basis. They know that they have a unique offering when it comes to content about a particular topic or a field. Since they are well versed or have deep knowledge with respect to a field, they leverage their skills to monetize through blogs as a medium. One of the most common methods adopted by bloggers is becoming ‘Affiliates.’

Affiliates start off by creating a blog to make money. As you have seen above, getting a blog for yourself does not really take much time. You can also join an Affiliate Program and create as well as publish more content on your blogs to monetize through the same.

Apart from this, becoming an affiliate holds many advantages for bloggers. Along with earning thought leadership in their industry, affiliates also-

a) Get monetary incentives- As an affiliate, you can earn money by using blogs as a platform to market brands or products. Affiliates help in influencing their audience by educating and informing them with respect to a product’s or a service’s benefits. They leverage their expertise and their value in the online space to earn money in return. In short, a blogger can have a good passive income by becoming an affiliate.

b) Flexible working schedule- Affiliates don’t need to have a fixed schedule when they want to earn money like most jobs do. As a blogger, you can write content and publish it according to your convenience and wait for users to read and buy the product you are advocating.

c) No marketing investment required- No affiliate has to make or create marketing collateral for the brand. This is given by brands or companies who tie up with the affiliate. This has allowed more bloggers to register as affiliates.

Conclusion

Blogging really has no end because as different fields, industries and categories keep evolving, so does the information that surrounds it. So, to put it in a nutshell, you will never age as a blogger. Like we mentioned above, if you have knowledge about a particular field, it can be leveraged. So, always treat your blog as a small business that will earn you some more money. There are lots of people today that are starting a blog to make money because they know they have the power to influence people and make the most out of their expertise. These individuals go the whole hog by integrating their blogs with social media channels to pull a large amount of traffic which helps them scale further.

In closing, we would like to add that if you have any doubts or queries regarding this article, feel free to leave a comment as feedback. Also, stay tuned in for the second part of ‘How to start a blog and make money’ where we talk about how you can become an affiliate and monetize through the blog by using various tactics.

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Hosting

How Secure is Cloud Storage

Go back to some good old years and you would have heard a common problem, ‘my hard disk is full I don’t know where to store my data anymore.’ These things now sound alien, don’t they? After all, with the arrival of cloud, this problem has disappeared. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that people actually began trusting the cloud and using it. And well once they did, there was no turning back.

According to a recent survey, 96% internet users employ the services of Cloud which is a clear indication that a vast majority of data is stored on the Cloud. However, the question of the hour is how secure is the cloud? Or a more apt question would be how safe is your data on the Cloud? Also, does Cloud security vary from one provider to another?

In this post, we’ll walk you through the importance of Cloud storage security and what should Cloud providers do to ensure protecting their users.

Importance of Secure Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage has several advantages like virtual scalable hardware, low infrastructure cost and so on.

One instance that is of utmost concern for online business owners is how safe is the Cloud? Or what if a malware or a malicious attacker hacks their system and steals all their sensitive data? Moreover, this concern has increased with attacks like Ransomware in the past and reinforces the need for tight security.

When it comes to Cloud, all the servers are interconnected to each other by means of a network cluster and there is no single point of failure. With this tightly coupled feature, hackers find it very difficult to crack and break into the system. A strong Cloud storage facility should come equipped with high-end intrusion detection mechanism and block the entry of malicious codes and attacks.

How Secure is the Cloud

Having seen the importance of cloud storage we can say that most of the cloud storage services we store our data on are secure. Be it Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon Cloud etc each application has its own set of security mechanisms in place.

One of the ways, cloud providers secure the user’s data is by means of encryption. The data is stored in an encrypted format that would need a key to decrypt and understand. It is nearly impossible to break in and find the key. However, as a user, it is safe to say prevention is better than cure and it is advisable that you employ certain practices for securing your data on the local side.

Let’s cover three basic and important practices that can help keep your data safe over the cloud:

  1. Encryption

    Although while choosing the cloud storage service, you might have chosen the one that is well encrypted so as to prevent hackers. One way to secure your data on the cloud is to encrypt your data as well and store it on the server. This way there is a double barrier layer that restricts the hacker from getting access to your data. Choose an encryption service that lets you encrypt your data before uploading it over the cloud.

  2. Safe Sharing

    Should you want to give anyone access to the data uploaded on your cloud, do not send them your copy. What you can do instead is create a local copy of the file and share that instead. This way if the copy gets in the hands of an intruder it can’t be misused to infiltrate your system.

  3. Security

    Finally, one of the simplest yet overlooked ways of protecting your data is to have a strong password and remember to never share your password with anyone. Also, you can have a 2-factor authentication in place. This helps if your cloud password gets leaked, at such a time the hacker can’t gain access to your account. Should they try to login you’ll be immediately notified.

Handling Cloud Storage Security on Cloud Hosting

Now that we’ve seen how safe is the cloud and ways to secure our data on the cloud, let us move to a different perspective of the cloud. Cloud Hosting is another form of cloud storage when it comes to hosting our website’s data. Every Cloud Hosting provider has different security mechanisms when it comes to providing a secure Cloud platform. This includes Automatic backups, security plugins and protection, anti-viruses and also the overall storage structure.

We at ResellerClub try to take care of all this by providing you with safe and secure Cloud Storage features. We ensure you get maximum protection as we’ve integrated cPanel with our Cloud Hosting, thus you can leverage the security features of cPanel too. Let us have a look at them in detail,

  1. Ceph Storage:

    Ceph Storage is an open-source free storage software that boosts scalability and improves the performance to your system. With ResellerClub we have integrated Ceph Storage with our Cloud Hosting packages for amazing reliability and equal storage distribution. Furthermore, Ceph Storage gives 3N redundancy thereby, ensuring there is no single point of failure and your data is safe in our Cloud.

  2. ClamAV Antivirus

    ClamAV is an open source antivirus software and protects your server from malicious viruses for email and file-manager uploads. It is cross-platform and supports various operating systems.To provide you with additional security, you can install ClamAV on your Linux cPanel in WHM account for your Cloud Hosting. Check out this post to learn how to install ClamAV on your Linux cPanel account.

  3. Hotlink Protection

    Hotlink Protection is a tool that allows you to block other websites from stealing the bandwidth from your package. Hotlink Protection can be easily found in your cPanel Security tab where you as a user can decide whether to enable or disable it. This is an additional feature and can be turned on or off depending on your requirement.

  4. Leech Protection

    Another way of securing your Cloud Storage is by enabling Leech Protection. In Leech Protection, if a user exceeds the maximum number of logins then the system redirects or suspends the user. Leech Protection offers your website security from Brute-Force attack wherein the user is denied unlimited logins. Also, Leech Protection is helpful if your login credentials are made public.You can enable Leech Protection in the security tab of your cPanel account.

  5. SFTP

    SFTP stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol. Our Linux Cloud servers come with SFTP option to keep your cloud storage as well as file transfer secure.

Tips on improving Cloud Security

Although your Cloud Storage provider might take care of securing the data hosted on their cloud. You as a user too should know how to secure your cloud storage. Follow these tips and you might not have to fully depend on the Cloud provider.

  1. Always take backups of your data, in fact, automatic backup is recommended as it is failsafe, should you forget to take a backup. Codeguard is one good option to take automatic backup and restore your website’s data in case of a security breach.
  2. Another way to secure your Cloud storage is to keep your website safe from attacks from hackers. Although with ResellerClub we provide you safe security, adding an additional website security for your sensitive data is a good option. SiteLock offers virus protection and malware removal while SSL certificate builds trust and offers reliability.
  3. Research about your service provider well and also where their datacenter location is. This might seem far-fetched but is equally important. If your hosting data center is located far from where your customer base it, your website load time may suffer slight delay leading to customer loss.

In Summary:

Different Cloud providers have different features and pricing. When deciding which is best for you, take care that you don’t just go on the pricing but check other sensitive information like security feature and support. At the end, there is no definite answer to how secure is the Cloud Storage but you can definitely take measure and do adequate research.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us by leaving a comment below or contacting our sales executives.

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Design

Conversational UI – Designing a Voice User Interface

Imagine your hands are soaked in paint or are too wet to operate your phone. It is urgent to receive the call, as it is your boss calling. You neither want to upset your boss nor damage your phone! What do you do?

Well, evolution is the key in the world of technology. From a basic button-based cell phone to a touchscreen phone to the now evolving and in-force voice-based technology experience, we have seen it all. Your voice can help you keep both your job and your phone safe!

Let’s first understand what a Voice User Interface (VUI) is:

VUI or Voice User Interface is a technology that allows users of computers, mobile phones or other devices to use voice as an input. Remember, the imaginary Star Trek computer? VUI is exactly the technique that has helped in making such experiences a reality. Amazon’s voice service and, Amazon Echo are all examples of VUI.

Any evolved technology can be termed useful when it saves some of the most critical things – Energy, Time, Money etc. In this context, our parameter is time. VUI offers faster and easier ways of doing things. Voice is the next big technology!

Products like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home primarily use the Voice User Interface. Apple’s Siri interface is also an example of a voice user interface that coexists with a graphical user interface.

What Can Users Do with Voice Commands?

Now that we have had a look at what a voice user interface is, the next obvious question that arises is, what all can we do with Voice Commands (VC)? How does it help the user, so that they make the paradigm shift from touch-based input to a voice-based?

Here are some common things that users can utilise VUI for:

  1. Unlocking:

    Let’s start chronologically. You can wake up along with your sleeping phone with a VC. What does this mean? In simple terms, the moment you wake up and give your phone a command it would unlock.

  2. Texting:

    A basic functionality of VC is to help convert to text what we speak through our voice. Thus, if we want to chat with someone or even do a google search, this can all be done through VC. In fact, this is now possible with Google, as the input can be in the form of voice search.

  3. Selfie People:

    Ah! That seems to be a great respite for all the selfie lovers. Command your phone and it obliges with a beautiful selfie. The same applies to videos or pictures.

  4. Turn (On/Off):

    Voice Commands can be used for turning on and off various features viz. Bluetooth, Wifi, speakers or even other devices as in, smart devices in smart homes.

  5. Navigation:

    This becomes very helpful when users are on the go. Voice helps do both – searching for the location and giving directions. GPS systems and Google Maps have already embedded this feature to guide users.

  6. Alarms:

    Setting alarms or snoozing it off both can be done with your eyes closed. Oops! did we just ask you to oversleep?

  7. Television:

    VUI is also being used in televisions where dependence on remotes has been minimized. Gone will be the days when we need to take care of the remote or save them from children spilling milk over it! Voice-based instructions will help change channels or even turn on or off the television.

Tips to Design a VUI

We have looked at the advantages of having a VUI system from the perspective of a consumer. As a web designer, it is your job to turn such fantasies into reality. After all, any interface should be designed keeping in view users’ expectations – both realistic and unrealistic.

So let’s focus on the primary points we need to keep in mind while designing a VUI, how interactive should the UX design be and the key things to be taken care of:

  1. Make Users Aware:

    Information is important. But what’s more important is how we use and present the said information. Are we disseminating information at the right time to the right people? The focus of a good VUI system should be to make the consumer aware of all that’s in store for them. For this, navigation and user guides should be simple and easy to follow. A complicated UI will hamper the user experience instead of enhancing it.

  2. Demonstrate the Design:

    Demonstration through example is very important in any app or technology. Hence one must have demonstrable examples while building a VUI. This is crucial as we humans usually don’t type the way we talk. This might end up creating comprehension issues for the VUI. While designing take care that the system (AI) understands and is able to interpret natural speech. Also, have demonstration videos for users to make them understand how the VUI functions.

  3. Less is more:

    Minimalism in web design is an important aspect of UX. This is so because users love interfaces which have less information but rich material. Having a clear interface with more content-rich features is very important. In a text-based interface, minimalism can be of secondary concern. However, voice clutter will only add to the mess and hence, minimalist approach is encouraged.

  4. Logical Flow:

    The flow of the application is very important. When designing a VUI system try to keep the flow as simple as possible. A complicated navigation might drive the user away. Another thing to keep in mind is keeping the users informed of all possible interactions. Thus, if your user asks something to the VUI of which it doesn’t have an answer, instead of saying a ‘No’, design the VUI in a manner where it asks the user to repeat or rephrase the sentence.

  5. Support:

    Lastly, support is one feature that is fundamental to any product. However, with VUI being a relatively new technology an effective support function will be very much necessary. This, in turn, could increase the productivity of your VUI. In case, users don’t understand something instead of abandoning the system, they would first turn to support. If the support provided is good, the user will continue to use your system. This would ultimately result in better business prospects for your system.

How to go about it:

As a web pro, when designing a VUI based app there are two key things you need to keep in mind:

  • User Perspective:

    This is the end goal of your VUI application. Take note that the user is able to navigate and understand the app easily. Also, the VUI is able to interpret the speech of the user irrespective of their tone or the words used. Build the app in such a way, that the user is satisfied and feels like this is far more beneficial than the regular text-based applications.

  • Designer Perspective:

    As a designer, you need to focus on the proper flow of how the VUI performs. Also, just like empathy is important in a web design, using Machine Learning you can include empathy in VUI. This would help the app understands the user better. This would result in a more meaningful and real-time app.

Conclusion:

To sum it all up, even though a Voice User Interface (VUI) is not exactly a conversational UI system, it can be said to be modelled along the same lines. Designing a VUI is not a complicated task when minute things like deciding the flow and functioning are taken care of. Also, should you wish, you can make use of Alexa’s VUI Testing Tool to test your VUI before building it.

Have you ever designed a VUI app? If yes, do let us know if you faced any difficulties or share a few tips with us in the comments section below.

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Uncategorized

Magento in the age of Shopify and Weebly

Online businesses are growing at a rapid rate, and a professionally designed website increases the chances of users staying on your website for a longer time to explore it further. A good website ensures the retention of existing customers while at the same time increasing the inflow of new ones. A website, after all, is the heart and soul of any digital business.

When designing an e-commerce store the design and structure of the business website matter a lot, as this is your representation to the potential customer. There are several platforms to build an e-store, with one of them being Magento. In this post, we’ll try to understand Magento broadly and uncover if it is still a preferred choice to build an e-store or not.

What is Magento

Magento is an agile, popular and powerful e-Commerce platform that helps you in setting up your online business store. Also, it helps you in designing a captivating web platform to attract users and retaining them. This eventually, in the long run, helps in increasing your revenue.

Features of Magento

Magento helps in improving the overall brand image of your website. Here are the top 5 features of Magento that sets it apart from the rest:

  1. Magento is a freemium platform, its Community Edition is free and open source whereas the Enterprise Edition is a premium paid version with additional features.
  2. As the Community Edition is free and open source, Magento allows the user to make any changes to the source code to suit their needs. This flexibility offers the owner the freedom to modify the platform the way they want.
  3. Marketing is another feature of Magento. It includes a variety of marketing tools like deals, private sales, loyalty programs, coupons etc that can be used for product promotion. Furthermore, Magento even allows you to add a product description, images and videos to present a compelling product to your customers.
  4. SEO with Magento might prove to be a user-friendly task, however, it is very important and Magento provides necessary elements to help your website with respect to search engine optimisation and ranking. Some of the elements are crawlers, canonical tags, URLs, meta content, web configuration, redirection etc.
  5. Magento allows you to create multiple websites on one single platform. It also supports multiple languages as well as currencies.

Online businesses are growing at a rapid rate Magento in the age of Shopify and Weebly

Will Magento as a platform affect you as a Web Developer

One of the primary characteristics of Magento is to help businesses set up an e-Commerce store. Also, should the website owner decide to expand their business, they can do so by converting their website to an Online Marketplace and sell their products there either alone or with other sellers.

For a web developer, if you specialize in Magento then this is lucrative for you as you can easily upgrade your customer’s website to a Marketplace website should they wish to expand. Also, you can not only create their e-Commerce store but also manage it for them. This way the business owners can concentrate on their business while the management and website maintenance is taken care of by the web development firm.

Magento vs Shopify vs Weebly

Magento Shopify Weebly

  • Interest over time for Magento is 42%

  • Interest over time for Shopify is 45%

  • Interest over time for Weebly is 59%

  • Most commonly used in South East Asia and the Netherlands, followed by Ukraine

  • Most commonly used in Canada and New Zealand, followed by Australia

  • Most commonly used in Australia and the United States followed by Canada

  • Themes are premium in nature

  • Themes are premium in nature

  • Themes are free in nature

  • Requires technical knowledge and coding expertise

  • Requires no technical knowledge and coding expertise

  • Requires no technical knowledge and coding expertise

Conclusion:

With the advent of various self-hosted website builders in the market today like Shopify and Weebly, Magento still has an edge over them all as it allows the users to customize their website. As a business owner, if you are starting small you may prefer ready to use e-commerce website builders, however, as your business grows you can switch to Magento.

Overall, Magento as a platform is great when you wish to expand your online business as it has several features and options and, is still a preferred e-Commerce platform.

Data updated in 2019

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Categories
Design

4 Plugins to Convert Websites into Interactive Mobile Apps

Most websites nowadays have an accompanying mobile app. A significant amount of user traffic is generated through these apps. Even if your WordPress website is very responsive on mobile devices and is doing well on small screens, However, consumers prefer getting apps instead of navigating a website.

Moreover, you can instantly publish your app to your own Google Play or App Store account and even charge for downloads. you cannot rely on it by leaving a play store or app store application in place. A mobile app has its own smooth experience. The only problem with it is it is very expensive to make from scratch.

We have many solutions and plugins that can convert a website into mobile apps which are beautiful and responsive with almost half the cost you would pay to make an application on your own.

In this post, we will give you a brief introduction about some of the plugins that convert websites directly to an application but first, we will understand whether you really need to do so. Do you really need a mobile application for your operations or business? Let us understand.

Do you Need a Mobile App?

The customized interaction and great user experience that applications offer are unparalleled. It has increased the traffic manifold. While some people are satisfied by having a website which works on all kind of platforms efficiently, some need an application. If you are a B2C company, then it is recommended that you have a mobile application in order to get more customers.

Most websites nowadays have an accompanying mobile app 4 Plugins to Convert Websites into Interactive Mobile Apps

Now if you have made up your mind to build an application, make sure your website is mobile friendly on WordPress. This will help the WordPress plugin to understand which parts are important and which are not. Which parts are to be shown and what are the parts that users interact with. Also, take a look at the Google analytics of your website. This will help you understand the kind of people visiting your website- what phones and what operating systems your current audience is using, what device they use to access your website. This can help you a lot with many decisions regarding the application.

Now finally here are our suggestions of plugins you can use in designing an android app –

  1. Wapppress – It is lightweight and simple. It does not support e-commerce websites but it allows you to send auto updates to users and allows push notifications. Some notable features of this are -• It’s simple and has only 3 steps to create an app

    • Allows third-party scripts

    • Custom functionality possible

    • This will cost you 19 USD.

    This WordPress site-to-mobile app plugin gives you an app in minutes. It is an ideal premium plugin to present your website in the form of an app! There is no need to customize existing content or worry about how your app looks.

    Bloggers and non-profit entrepreneurs find it easy to establish themselves in the Android app store with Wappress at their fingertips. Get the benefits of push notifications and Admob monetization with only a few app-type add-ons.

  2. Web2app – it has analytics, pulls to refresh like android, auto update and a large list of features to choose from. It also has video tutorials to learn from and help with the process.

    • Push notifications

    • Hundreds of customized templates

    • Allow pop-ups and splash screens

    • Will set you back 19 USD.You want to save hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to build a professional app. You can make a most suitable but easily affordable replacement full native app for your responsive website with Web2app. You will get required customization capabilities.

    Moreover, you can add ‘Rate my app to get customer reviews for Google Play’ and ‘Social sharing’ for monitoring use and making future changes. Make the best use of the tutorials.

  3. Apppresser – It offers both Android and iOS apps. Developer friendly as it has a lot of customizable features.

    • Push notifications

    • Comes with Facebook and camera extension by default

    • Google maps and social sharing

    • Customize any page content from your website into your app

    • Offers Visual Navigation with pull-out menus on plenty of tabs

    • Basic Price starts at 19 USD per month and Billed AnnuallyAppPresser is more the developer’s choice with extensive customization to build a professional app from scratch in the true sense of the application. It is also called ‘Reactor’ because it integrates beautifully with WordPress. Exploit both Android and iOS environment.

    It is a compromise when a free WordPress plugin will not do, but you cannot pay for mobile app ‘services’.

  4. Mobiloud – It can convert all types of content, e-commerce and other websites into an application. Offers a wide range of services for both Android and iOS. It has Mobiloud news and Mobiloud Canvas.MobiLoud News gives you a chance to distribute completely local portable applications that refresh naturally with your substance, run quick on iOS and Android and offer offline support, local picture gallery, sharing, versatile publicizing and propelled push notification.It offers the best mobile application design service. Some of its features are -• Allows you to send customized push notifications

    • Can make native Android or iOS apps

    • Customize the design with your logo and favicon

    • Provide app updates and maintenance

    • Compatible with almost every service

    • Price starts at 69 USD per month.

    An affordable mobile app service to get a mobile app from your website. You can choose one or both products.

    1. Converts blog or news site into an app

    2. Helps high-traffic sites to switch over to apps

    Your MobiLoud payments will give you benefits of ongoing services. Upgrade if you want to set up analytics, monetization and more.

Even if you are a small businessman and cannot invest much to get a mobile app, you can use these affordable plugins to make a mobile app for your WordPress website and explore the ever growing digital industry. So with all the information, you can now make an informed decision about what you should and shouldn’t do regarding mobile application development.

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Hosting

Indian Data Centers are More Expensive than U.S: Myth or Reality

Selecting the location of your website’s hosting server is one of the most important decisions when starting an online business. The right server location can, after all, help in making your website faster and more responsive to the local user thereby helping in converting him into a customer and eventually increasing sales. However, deciding this seems to be a complicated task. It is as good as asking which is better – red apples or green? and, why is one more expensive than the other!

In this article, we’ll cover what a data center is, how important the location of the chosen server is and try to tackle a pressing question – are servers hosted in India more expensive than US servers, or it is just a myth?

Concept of Data Centers

A data center is a repository that houses computing facilities like servers, routers, switches and firewalls, as well as supporting components like backup equipment, fire suppression facilities and air conditioning.’ In simple words, a data center is like a warehouse that stores technical equipment like servers, switches, routers etc. Additionally, a data center requires extremely low temperatures which is taken care of by air conditioning and other cooling systems.

Data centers are usually owned by one single organisation which then partitions servers to provide a cluster of servers to their individual clients. This cluster of servers either physical or virtual in nature acts as a mini data center. The data center can be in the same country your company is in or it can be elsewhere.

Does Server Location Matter

When it comes to choosing a data center for hosting your website, some of the questions that arise are:

  1. Does server location and bandwidth really matter?
  2. If yes, how and why?

The answer to the above question is a simple ‘yes’. The location of your hosted server is extremely important. The location of your hosting server largely depends on the factor where is your target customer base. If a large portion of your customer base is based in a particular country it is best advisable to choose hosting as close to it as possible.

Consider, for example, you have a garment business and you are primarily running this business to cater to people living within India and not anywhere else. In such a case, it makes a lot of sense for you to choose hosting in India or closer to India as the distance matters. Greater the distance between the customer and your website server, the longer will be the response time of your website.

Now depending on the quality of the hosting server, this delay in website loading speed might or might not be noticeable. This is only applicable if your website is catering to an audience of just a single country. However, if your website is targeting international markets it really doesn’t make much of a difference where you host it. In such a situation, it is advisable that you choose a good global hosting provider with servers in Europe or USA.

Websites hosted on India Servers

If your target audience is based in and around India, here are the advantages and disadvantages you need to look at, to make an informed decision.

Pros:

  1. Hosting your website on India servers will load your website faster
  2. Improves your SEO and Google Page Ranking as it largely depends on website load speed
  3. Technical Support is easily available in local language too

Cons:

  1. Hosting on an India server means that you would be paying slightly more than you would pay with US hosting. This is because low bandwidth costs higher, for instance, the cost of broadband and cable is India costs higher as opposed to the US this is partially due to the fact that the infrastructure is expensive in India. Also, India has only 138 data centers. However, with the growth in the economy, this is slowly but surely changing

Websites hosted on US Servers

If your target audience is based internationally it is advisable to go for US-based hosting. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you need to look at, to make an informed decision.

Pros:

  1. Hosting your website on India servers will load your website faster
  2. Improves your SEO and Google Page Ranking as it largely depends on website load speed since your website is targeting customers globally, the location of the server is not of prime importance but the quality of the hosting server and CDN (Content Delivery Network) should be good. If these two factors are taken care of, then your website would load quickly irrespective of the customer’s location
  3. Compared to Indian data centers hosting prices are comparatively cheaper and economical in the USA. Also, US currently has 1716 data centers as opposed to India that has 138

Cons:

  1. If you look at a global page load rate, then in that aspect hosting your server in the US doesn’t really affect your SEO and page rank as the pages load visibly faster due to CDN and you as a user expect that slight delay. However, when compared with hosting where the majority of your customer base is as opposed to global, the page load speed is slow.Also, chances are if at some point the server is closed for maintenance it might happen with respect to local time and this can affect customers placed across the globe

Indian Data Centers are Expensive – Reality or Myth

Overall, as we’ve seen above, we can conclude that hosting your website on Indian servers is costlier compared to the US. The factors being higher economical, resources and bandwidth cost.

However, if your primary customer base is in India, it would be a wise choice to choose an Indian data center so that you don’t have to deal with slow website performance and page load speed. As this would directly impact your customer, their reduced rates which would, in turn, lower your revenue and also, make you lose out on your page ranking and SEO.

If you have any queries feel free to contact our sales and support executives. Alternatively, you can even drop us a comment below.

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Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part III

If your business has anything to do with ecommerce, transactions, products or purchases, this one’s for you. Cart abandons are as the name suggests, a record of how many users / customers leave a website without making a purchase after they reach the checkout page. Business Insider says that products worth approximately $4 trillion are abandoned in online shopping carts. There’s more. 63% of that is actually recoverable! In this article, we’ll take a look at the reasons for cart abandons, a quick overview of the setup & some case studies on how tracking abandons has helped businesses.

Top reasons for Cart Abandons

Tracking this can throw light on some valuable information like why your customers are abandoning their carts and what you can do to rectify this to increase purchases. A survey of online shoppers conducted by Statista uncovered some reasons why shoppers dropout at checkout.

If your business has anything to do with ecommerce Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part III

If your customers are leaving your website without making a purchase, it could be one of these reasons or a combination of more than one reason.

Lucky for us, the guesswork can stop. Checkout funnels in Google Analytics can help put a finger on the issue by letting you know at what stage your customer abandoned her/his cart. So let’s get straight to how to create these funnels in Analytics.

Cart Abandon Tracking – The Setting Up

The new analytics has made it super easy to set up cart abandon tracking.

Once you’ve opened the Google Analytics page (where you should already have your website synced), head to Conversions > E-commerce > Shopping Behaviour

If your business has anything to do with ecommerce Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part III

Analytics gives you a customizable view of your customers’ shopping behaviour.

If your business has anything to do with ecommerce Getting the most out of Google Analytics – Part III

You can use each segment to market to differently. For example, for a customer who drops out before the checkout, you can run a campaign to give him an additional 20% off to win her/him back.

You can alternatively set up a goal to track the same with a URL like /payment-success.php.

However, this is a longer process to setup. E-commerce conversion does the same in a single step. Although, e-commerce tracking is flaky & it’s probably better to set up your own ecommerce tracking using events tracking.

Effectiveness of tracking cart abandons – Case Studies

The effectiveness of tracking cart abandons can best be seen through case studies:

1) LaTiend an online food retailer from Spain, found that customers were abandoning their carts. To test if shipping costs played a part in the cart abandons, they carried out an experiment. They created a funnel in Analytics and segmented visitors based on geographic locations. (You will be able to find this under ‘Location’ reports in ‘Audience’.) They were able to see how people from various geographies convert in their funnel.

LaTiend noticed that those from region B abandoned their carts 48% more than those from region A. Region A was close to their warehouse while region B was further away which meant that shipping costs for region B were higher & therefore customers who lived there tended to abandon their carts more.

To further test their hypothesis, LaTiend then introduced flat shipping rates across regions. They saw a conversion increase of a whooping 70%!

2) Envelopes.com used the information they received from their cart abandon tracking to create win-back email campaigns. An email was sent to customers who abandoned their cart. They sent out the first batch of emails 48 hours after the customer left the site and an email at 11:30 a.m a day after the abandon. The results are below:

Open Rate CTR Conversion rate
Email sent 48 hours after abandon 38.01% 24.71% 40%
Email send a day after abandon 38.63% 19.54% 27.66%

Another set of emails were sent to customers who abandoned at checkout. The results are below:

Scenario Open Rate CTR Conversion rate
Email sent 24hrs after abandon at checkout 39.24% 18.18% 33.93%

Through their email campaigns, they cut out checkout abandons by 40% and increased checkout conversions by 65% (source: marketingsherpa.com)

Conclusion

As shown by the above case studies, tracking cart abandons can significantly improve conversions and as a result, improve business. There is still one other thing you can do to completely prevent cart abandons, a Reward Program. This could work as your biggest asset. A reward program could work to turn surprise costs into surprise discounts that will guarantee conversions.  Reward programs such as welcome points, free credits, shopping credits, free shipping etc. can give your customers incentive to shop, use those credits & therefore reduce cart abandons! Try it & let us know how this works for you. Also, if there is anything else you’d like me to cover under the Getting the Most out of Google Analytics series, let me know in the comments section below.

In case you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of the series, cheggit here:

Getting the Most out of Google Analytics: Goal Tracking

Getting the Most out of Google Analytics: The Power of UTMs

Signing off!

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The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

We love making life easier for our web pro audience. Like most of the world, most web developers use Google Chrome for work (Google Chrome by various reports holds close to 60% of the browser market share). So we’ve put together a short list of what we think are the best Chrome extensions for web developers. While you would have probably heard of a few of these popular ones in the list, we’ve dug deeper and pulled out a few potential gems.

First, while we’re sure you’ve heard of extensions before– can you really explain what they are? Extensions are software programs that you can download and attach to your browser to help make you’re work while browsing the internet easier, better and more customized to what you want in your browsing experience.

So, here is our list of 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

 

  1. CloudQA | The Functional Testing Cloud:

Users: 380+

Rating: 5 (12 reviews)

Touted as a great automatic testing tool especially for users with no knowledge of coding. CloudQA’s other features also include playing back recorded tests to save time.

 

  1. Tag Assistant (by Google):

Users: 1 million+

Rating: 4.04 (900+ reviews)

This chrome extension will help you identify and resolve any issues (such as tags not present, tags not firing and more) with any Google tags related to Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Adwords Conversion Tracking,Google Publisher Tag, etc. You can also record a user’s journey through your website and validate how well your tags are working.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

Go to the extension’s settings to check the codes in detail.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

 

  1. Web developer:

Users: 1 million+

Rating: 4.48 (3000+ reviews)

The Web Developer Chrome extension adds various web developer tools to your Chrome toolbar to help you with CSS, JS, images,forms, responsiveness, cookies and more.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

 

  1. Search stackoverflow:

Users: 4000+

Rating: 4.4 (10 reviews)

No web developer is unfamiliar with Stack and how useful it is. The search stackoverflow chrome extension increases the ease of accessing your favourite resource. Just click on the tool icon and enter your search terms.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web DevelopersWe love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

 

  1. Clockwork:

Users: 11,000+

Rating: 4.91 (47 users)

The Clockwork chrome extension provides web developers with access to php development tools right in the  browser.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

Image source : https://underground.works/clockwork/

 

  1. WhatFont:

Users: 800,000+

Rating: 4.11 (1000+ reviews)

WhatFont lets you inspect web fonts just by just hovering over it. Clicking on the colour block will switch the hex code to rgb.

 

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

 

  1. Web Developer Checklist:

Users: 47,000+

Rating: 4.22 (45 reviews)

The Web Developer Checklist chrome extension allows you to easily identify issues on your website and offers links to help you with further information about each item.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

It also offers you a view to a more extensive checklist for your website to help you cover all important website essentials.

We love making life easier for our web pro audience The 7 best Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

There. Did you discover some tools that could really help with your work? Let us know. To find more of the best Chrome extensions for Web developers, awwwards.com has a bigger list put together for this year. If you want to find more gems like this, look up the Chrome Web Store.

 

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Design

How to customize or change a theme in WordPress

With thousands of free and premium themes available online, why would someone want to put in the work to customize their WordPress theme? Also, how easy is it to change a  theme in WordPress entirely? Let’s find out.

How to change a theme in WordPress :

As you will see below, changing a theme in WordPress  involves just just a few clicks. However, repairing the damage done post a change that was not thought through, may not be easy at all.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before / after changing your WordPress theme:

  • Test your website speed on the theme you currently have to note the increase/decrease in speed
  • Note any custom code that you may have added to the website such as the Google Analytics tracking code, etc. so that you remember to add it back to your website once your theme is changed (please note: this does not refer to plugins for the analytics code that have been added)
  • Take a backup of your WordPress website as a precaution
  • Test your website in all browsers
  • Monitor visitor behaviour once you’ve switched themes

If you’re confident you’ve made the right selection of a theme, there are several ways to customize or change a theme in WordPress:

A. Changing a theme from the WordPress dashboard – without modifying the code:

  • Log into your dashboard
  • Navigate to Appearance > Themes

You will see a list of themes in several categories such as ‘popular’, ‘latest’, ‘featured’, etc.

 

You can also use the filter to specify the kind of theme you are looking for.

 

  • Hover over a theme to see options to preview a theme and install it as your new one.

 

Another way to do this is to :

Navigate to Appearance > Customize

Like you see in the image below, you can change the theme from here as well and also tweak the CSS, images and other content.

Let’s look more closely at how the different elements of your WordPress website theme can be customized here:

 

  • Changing the header image:

 

  • Customizing / adding menu options:

 

Create a new menu, name it and add its location

 

  • Customizing / adding Widgets:

Apart from the ability to choose from a variety of widgets, you can also drag and reorder their sequence of appearance.

 

Deleting a widget

 

  • Customizing your WordPress theme colours, fonts and text:

 

One other way to arrive at the screen above is to select the customize option. (This will appear above your WordPress blog, if you are also logged in, of course).

 

B. Customization using plugins:

You can also use several plugins to customize the CSS of your WordPress theme. Some of these are:

This popular CSS editor has a fairly good rating from users and has been built for for beginners and pros alike.

This useful editor is designed to let you customize code for your website separately for each device.

Has features similar to the two plugins above with great UI.

 

C. How to customize a WordPress theme by editing the CSS :

Navigate to ‘Appearance > Editor to make code changes directly to your website. This is really only if you’re really confident about doing this. WordPress recommends that you actually create a Child Theme to your main, parent theme to minimize the risk and also to ensure your work is saved (in the event your parent theme is updated while you are still working on changes).

We hope we’ve helped you better understand how to customize or change a theme in WordPress. If you’re looking for a robust hosting solution for your WordPress website, take a look at our WordPress Hosting product built on the cloud.

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Marketing

5 Innovative Tips To Improve Your Mobile Advertising Using AdWords

The use of mobile devices has risen hugely in the last few years mobile usage has overtaken desktop for the first time. So it has become crucial that advertisers pay attention to mobiles and make sure they’re optimizing their advertising strategies. You could check if your website is mobile friendly with the right tools.

Google AdWords is one of the key tools used by marketers and advertisers to promote a brand, but be warned, for rookies there are some pay per click mistakes & obstacles along the way. Google has aimed to keep up with the growth in mobile, including adding useful tools to AdWords that allow you to target mobile users more easily.

If you want to improve your mobile advertising, AdWords can help you to do it using a variety of methods.

  1. Create Ads Specifically for Mobile

    One of the best things about AdWords is that it allows you to set your ads so that they’re specifically targeted at mobile users.You probably don’t want to do this with all your adverts, but it is a good idea to try it with at least a couple of them. It’s easy to do by ticking the “Mobile” box when you create a new ad.Try setting up two ads, one for mobile and one for desktop, to see which performs better.Recent stats show mobile currently accounts for half of all global web pages served.The use of mobile devices has risen hugely in the last few years  5 Innovative Tips To Improve Your Mobile Advertising Using AdWords

    Try ‘Mobile Traffic Report’ from Your Google Analytics. This information is useful because it can give you an idea on how to improve your views further. For instance, if you get more mobile views than desktop views, you can review your mobile pages and boost how fast they load and make sure that they adhere to Google mobile guidelines.

  2. Use Faster Mobile Pages

    In their efforts to improve mobile advertising, Google has also introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).These pages are meant to be faster for mobile users, which should make your website a better experience for visitors.

    Speedy mobile landing pages are the next thing they’re focusing on. They could help to lower the bounce rate for your website because people won’t have to wait so long for the page to load.Google says that the new faster pages are twice as fast. You can join the beta to try it out.

  3. Track Mobile Ad Performance With any type of advertising, it’s always important to track how well your campaign is going. A number of tools make this easier to do when you create digital ads.Before you start tracking, though, make sure you have goals that you want to reach. You can keep an eye on mobile traffic specifically using AdWords and Analytics.Here’s more information on how you can Link Google Analytics and AdWords accounts. When linking a Google Analytics property to your AdWords account this will be able to help you to analyze what your customers are doing on your website as you can track them after an ad click or impression. You can link Analytics properties to your AdWords account, you can also edit or remove linked properties, to do the above tasks you will need the appropriate access permissions to your website, console, analytics etc, In the AdWords section of your Analytics dashboard, you can add a mobile section to watch the numbers closely.Once you have linked up you can try another great feature which is adding the google analytics data to your AdWords reports here.

    The use of mobile devices has risen hugely in the last few years  5 Innovative Tips To Improve Your Mobile Advertising Using AdWords

  4. Use Extensions

    Adding extensions to your AdWords ads is a great way to enhance them.One of the most common ones at the moment is a call extension, which allows people to easily call you from the search results page.Extensions are growing, however, with Google introducing a message extension for instant messaging, plus a price extension so you can be more transparent about your prices.

  5. Direct Purchase Through Mobile Search

    Another thing that’s now available to try out right on the search results page is direct purchase.You can offer the option of buying your products without having to visit your website, although the customer does need to have a Google Wallet and an Android device.If you sell physical products, it could work for you.

Google AdWords can help to improve your mobile advertising strategy if you know how to make the most of it.

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