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Tips to keep your WordPress Website in great shape

July 11th, 2014

When you are powering 1 out of every 5 websites in the world, there is no doubt that you are pretty awesome. We are referring to the most popular Content Management System – WordPress. Ease of use, thousands of available plugins & themes and abundance of online support has contributed to its thumping success. There is no doubt that you can setup your WordPress site in minutes, but maintaining it is a different ball game all together. In this post, we are going to share some ways to ensure that your WordPress site is running in top shape and at all times.

1] Never miss any updates: WordPress is an open source platform hence bugs and security flaws will always be at its tail. Occasional as they may be, updates available for WordPress are a great way to counter any issue and at times to improve the overall experience of using your website dashboard. Avoiding these updates will only leave you exposed to security threats and put all of your hard work at risk of being lost. Similarly, plugins and themes need to be updated to the latest version to avoid creating a gateway for security threats and also to ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress build.

[Note: If your website is on the latest version like 3.9, then your website will automatically update for all minor and maintenance releases.]

2] Delete unwanted Themes: There are a lot of themes out there but eventually you are going to just use one for your website. Though the rest are deactivated, they can still pose a security threat if they are not updated. Also we noticed a strange lag while browsing through all saved themes, which somehow miraculously changed when we got rid of all the unwanted themes on a demo site 😉 . All themes that are not in use must go except for one default theme for backup. You can always reinstall themes whenever you need them so deleting them won’t really pinch. Also look out for themes that are light weight and don’t put stress on your resources.

3] Delete unwanted plugins: Plugins definitely add functionality to your website but at the same time it utilizes resources allotted to your website. In such a situation, you will need to ask yourself a question, can you live without this plugin? If the answer is a yes, throw that plugin out. Also get rid of any deactivated plugins on your website, since if you don’t update them, then you are creating loopholes for any kind of security threat. Don’t fall for the all in one type of plugins where you get loads of functionality. If you are only going to use one or two functions out of the ten, then the rest is of the code is simply waste of resources. You might as well look for plugins that focus on the functions that you are actually going to use.

4] Take backups: There are times while making a few changes or trying to add new features we might end up messing our WordPress website. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to undo these mistakes and that’s when we need to take help of our trusty old backups. They also come in handy when your website has been a victim to a security threat. We recommend regular backups and you can try BackUpWordPress plugin to do that for you. Trust us when we say that this is one thing you just can’t ignore.

5] Enable Caching:  Whenever you load a website, there are files that are saved in the Cache which is in your computer’s hard drive. So whenever you revisit the same website again, the browser uses the files in the cache rather than the server to display the page. This process is called caching and ensures that less system resources are utilized and pages load quicker for all your visitors. You can use WP Fastest Cache WordPress plugin to configure caching for your website with just a few clicks.

Try all of the above recommendations and you will definitely keep your WordPress website in great shape. You will need to keep maintaining your website as much as you can. Even if you have a single page website, login to your dashboard and ensure that every element is updated to the latest version. Remember to treat your website like a baby that continuously needs love and care.

How to backup your complete website

July 2nd, 2014

It is rare but there is always a possibility for your website getting hacked if it is not properly secured. There are times that one can mess up some code which could result in the website to crash. For all such times we will need to rely on our trusted backups. But how do you backup you entire website? Let’s take a look.

  1. First, login to your cPanel and click “Backup Wizard”BackUp_Website_SpeedHost
  2. Once in Backup Wizard, click “backup” This will backup all your email accounts, files, and a few other things along your MySQL databases. BackUp_Website_SpeedHost(2)
  3. In the next step it will ask you for a “Full or Partial Backup.” You can choose to go with either one of the two options.

[Note: A full backup will create an archive of all the files and configurations on your website. You can only use this to move your account to another server, or to keep a local copy of your files.]

That’s it; you have successfully backed up your website. These backups should definitely give you a peace of mind. You can setup a calendar to regularly backup up your website so that you have the most up to date data when you most need it.

How to get more Website visitors from Social networks

May 22nd, 2014

Most of you will agree with us when we say that every website owner loves good traffic. But good traffic does not just come by; there is a lot of hard work involved. Sharing your content to different social media channels can be one of the ways to get traffic moving to your website but what stands between your website and the visitor is the click on your link. So how do you get that visitor to click that link? Let’s find out

Grab Attention: Remember that link you saw somewhere that you HAD to click. How do you think it stood out from the rest on the page? Well that post must have created a great amount of curiosity and excitement in your mind that pushed you to click that link. That’s exactly what your links should do to stand out and literally scream out “CLICK ME” (well, not literally :-) ).

Consider the following two links

  1. “How to build a website”
  2. “Build your website quickly in 5 easy steps”

You will most likely be interested in clicking on the second link.

Be Specific: Building on the first point, you need to make sure that the article that you are posting not only grabs attention but is also precise. Let your visitors know exactly what they are going to get when they click on your link. The title with no direction can often be interpreted as a spam link and you can easily lose out on potential traffic. The whole idea is to tell people what they are clicking even before they make it to your website.

Recycling posts: As per research the average life span of a tweet is approximately 18 minutes and that of a Facebook post is approximately 2 hours. With the new Facebook algorithm, the life span is even less when posting through a fan page. This means that by sharing your content only once, you’re cutting its life short. So how can we tackle this?

The answer to this is to create different social posts leading to the same content and share them on Social Channels. Let’s take this post and create 3 different titles that we can use to promote on Social.

  • “3 sure shot ways to get visitors from Social Networks”
  • “Drive people from Social Networks to your Website”
  • “Smart ways to get people to click on your links on Social Networks”

Depending on how much you typically post, this can be multiple times a day or multiple times a week. After a month you can revisit your old posts and if they are still relevant then you can share them again through different social channels. Don’t worry if people find out that you are sharing old content, what is more important that your visitors enjoy what they read. However don’t overdo this practice.

So there you have it, that’s our recipe for getting visitors from Social Networks to your website. We would love to hear about how you manage to do the same. Drop in a comment below to share your tips.

Improve your Website’s User Experience with these Tips

April 17th, 2014

Your website is the face of your business online. Anything you display on it will create the impression that you want your visitors to have about you. So important is a good website for your business that it can make or break the online reputation if you don’t get it right. More importantly, you will need to focus on creating a great user experience on your website and keep building on it to get your visitors to keep coming back. However, if you are stuck and in need of ideas to improve your website experience, then here are some to get you moving.

1] Improve Website Speed: Everyone loves a cool looking website with fancy widgets and loads of images, but this would mean compromising on your website load speed. With the rate of information consumption growing steadily these days, a slow loading website could spell disaster for your website. It only takes a few extra seconds of page load time for a user to click on the back or exit button of the browser. Put your website on a diet, compress your images with many awesome tools online like Smush it or Tinypng . Minimalism is the new Design trend and helps a lot to cut down your website fat and give you a clean fast loading website; in fact some of the most popular websites online today have taken this route and are enjoying a much better visitor count.

2] Improve Navigation or Get a Search Bar: We must all agree that we are now a search friendly society. We are constantly in search of great content online and what makes it easier is the search bar on Google or the one on your website. If your website has a lot of content or if you are an ecommerce giant like Amazon or Flipkart then you totally need a search bar. You might have loads of epic content but what’s the use if your visitor can’t search for what he/she wants. We highly recommend that you get a search bar applied to your website. Alternatively, if you do not have a ton of products or articles then you may want to focus on a great navigation bar. Provide all that you have to offer right to the visitor in an easy to read bar with all the information. After, you do want the visitor to be on your website for a long time but the question is, is the visitor staying for the right reasons or is just lost in the maze of content you have created.

3] Make your Home Button VISIBLE: If your content is good the visitor would definitely like to explore your website even more but where would one start? Ideally the tendency is to get to the main/home page and then branch out.  A golden thumb rule of good designers is that you need to make the website logo clickable which will always get you to the starting point if you get lost or at least make your home button stand out from the rest of the menu. Remember the world is in need of quick information and if you give your visitors even the slightest of the stress to find it then you might as well say goodbye to them.

4] Simplify the Design: Content is king and you need your visitors to focus on your content. No one likes a cluttered website and your visitors will drop out even if your content is worth a read. Keep it simple and take off any element on the website that does not give value to the visitor. For example pop up windows are a BIG No No, keep banner ads to a minimum and offer a small subscribe button for those who wish receive your content.

5] Test your website: Functionality of your website will be key to the success of your website. We always have the tendency to add more stuff to the website but avoid testing it. Even if you do test, it is generally for large updates. You should always test the flow of the website after every update to avoid any embarrassing moments. Also if your website is built to support cross platforms then you must make your testing efforts even more aggressive.

These points are just a few in the long list of items you need to create and maintain a great and profitable website. We hope these tips will help you to get started in improving the user experience of your website. Do drop in a comment if you need any questions to be answered. We will be happy to help.

Also don’t forget to share any of your ideas that you personally use to improve the user experience of your website.

Top 5 Website Marketing Tools that every Blogger should Use

March 26th, 2014

So you have written some great content for your blog, but how are you planning to get eyeballs to see and appreciate your content. In this already crowded internet space you will need more than just writing good content and waiting for people to come to you naturally. Well, if you don’t have a strategy yet then we would suggest that you give the following tools a try. These amazing tools will make the Marketing of your blog way more organized and fun.

Buffer: This app does not really need introduction. From the time of its inception this has been the most used social media sharing tool till date. You can simply add all the content that you wish to share at one point in the day and the app will automatically post for you at different popular social media channels. You can also use the custom scheduling, detailed analytics and team member access which make it the most sought after media management tool to go for.

HootSuite: This is another awesome Social media management tool that should consider using. You can control all your tasks like monitor social channels, post updates, upload images, reply to comments/tweets etc. You can also get a custom analytics report via this tool. There is an app available to be used over mobile devices and it also has feature that allows different members of the team to access social easily. The free version is limited in features, however if you are serious about your blog then using the PRO version will be worth every penny you spend.

Google Analytics: This tool is from the search engine giant Google. Google Analytics can generate detailed reports about a website’s traffic and sources. Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines and social networks, direct visits and referring sites. This will be great to understand where you need to focus your marketing towards.

Blog Engage: This website takes advantage of the vast blogging community on the internet. You can sort blogs and blog articles by category and also narrow down your search using the tag cloud. This website is a great place for blog commenting, receive quality back links, meeting new bloggers and promoting your own content. You will love this website if you are need of good traffic.

Viral Content Buzz: This is a great way to share your content to a much wider audience. What this tool does is that it gets you more likes and tweets from different channels that are outside your group. These are not paid like or tweets but are genuine people who have read your blog and would like to share it. This keeps the shares organic and engagement levels reach new peaks. This type of organic sharing gives your content its best chance to go viral!

Though some of the tools mentioned above are paid, they are worth every penny you spend. It is time for you to change from a good blogger to a complete blogger with the help of these tools. If you still have not used any of these tools its time you get your hands dirty with them.