How to Create a Company Page on LinkedIn to Promote Your Small Business

With the rise of social media marketing and the prevalence of social networks in our day-to-day lives, having a presence on a variety of platforms is a must for your company. That means creating and managing multiple accounts, which can be time-consuming.

Fortunately, building and maintaining a company page on LinkedIn only takes a little extra time and effort. By adding an air of professionalism to your online presence and showing off your products or services, a well-rounded LinkedIn page can help polish and promote your company’s identity.

This article will explain the many benefits of creating a company page on LinkedIn. Then we’ll show you how to launch one, pointing out the important requirements you’ll need to meet along the way. Let’s dive on in!

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The Benefits of Having an Outstanding LinkedIn Company Page

As a social media platform designed to help people build their professional networks, LinkedIn is a crucial resource for any business that’s hoping to grow and expand. It can help you get plugged into industry-related news and even share valuable content that promotes your company.

When compared with individual employee profiles, a LinkedIn company page can be much more effective at showcasing your business as a whole. Of course, your employees’ profiles are still useful as well. They can act as indirect company ambassadors and help build your connections organically.

On the other hand, a company page is a useful outlet for showing off your business’ latest news, along with your specialized products or services. LinkedIn will help deliver this content to other professionals in your industry to generate buzz and business.

Another handy feature of the platform is that you can easily monitor the impact of your page. Notifications and visual analytics reports will keep you apprised of how often your company is mentioned on LinkedIn so that you can see the effects of your presence there.

Plus, this will help you create effective promotional content for your page. You can keep track of trending content to see what’s working, and use custom Call to Action (CTA) buttons to send traffic towards your website. In other words, a LinkedIn company page offers a lot of potential advantages.

How to Create an Award-Winning Company Page on LinkedIn (In 6 Steps)

There are quite a few things to consider if you want to create a company page and successfully promote your business on LinkedIn. However, with a little careful planning, it can be worth the investment of time and energy. The steps below will help you effectively plan and build your page.

Step 1: Ensure That You Meet LinkedIn’s Requirements for Creating a Company Page

One potential roadblock when it comes to creating your LinkedIn company page is that there are a handful of requirements you must meet to access this feature. For instance, you’ll need to have a personal LinkedIn profile of your own. That account also has to:

  • Be at least seven days old
  • Have a profile strength of Intermediate or All Star
  • Show that you’re currently an employee at the company you wish to create a page for
  • List your company position on your profile
  • Have several first-degree connections (there’s no specific number you must reach, but the more you can include, the better)
  • Be associated with a company email address that has a unique company domain

In short, if you’re not an active LinkedIn user already, it can be challenging to get a company page started. Fortunately, anyone who’s an employee at your business can create and manage your company page. As long as you have at least one active LinkedIn user, meeting these requirements shouldn’t be too hard.

The one criteria that might get a little tricky is providing a company email address with a unique domain. Gmail, Yahoo, and other accounts won’t work for this purpose. You’ll need an address like johnsmith@mycompany.com.

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At DreamHost, we provide professional email plans for creating addresses with unique domains. They start at just $1.67 per month per mailbox. You don’t even have to register your domain or host your website with us — this service is available to anyone!

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Step 2: Add Your Company’s Details to Launch Your New Page

Once your profile (or an employee’s profile) meets all of LinkedIn’s requirements for creating a company page, you can do so by clicking on the Work icon in the toolbar. Then scroll down and select Create a Company Page.

Creating a new Company Page on LinkedIn.

On the next screen, choose the tile that best describes your business. After that, you’ll be able to fill in some basic details about your company. Start with your company’s name and then create your custom LinkedIn company page URL. Don’t forget to add your website’s address as well.

Adding company details to a new LinkedIn company page.

Next, you can select your company’s industry, size, and type. You have to choose from several drop-down menu options, so you may need to pick the available choice that’s most relevant, especially when it comes to your industry.

After that, scroll down to upload your company’s logo and add your tagline. These elements are essential for promoting brand recognition through your profile.

Adding a logo and tagline to a new LinkedIn company page.

Keep an eye on the Page Preview section to get a peek at how your company page will look. When all your information is correct, check the box to agree to LinkedIn’s terms and then hit the Create page button.

Step 3: Spruce Up Your Company’s Profile to Attract and Inform Visitors

After you’ve officially created your company page, you can start adding additional information and brand elements. First and foremost, you’ll probably want to include a banner image. This is a large image that will be displayed at the top of your page, similar to a cover photo on Facebook.

DreamHost’s LinkedIn company page banner image.

You can use the small blue pencil icons to edit various features on your company page, including your banner image. You might use a team photo, a picture of your brick-and-mortar location, a popular product image, or a relevant decorative visual.

Additionally, you’ll want to write a compelling summary of your company for the Overview in your About section. LinkedIn provides limited space here — just 2,000 characters, including spaces — so you’ll want to make every word count. Be sure to highlight what makes your company unique and better than the competition.

Then head over to the Jobs section of your page. Here you can provide career-related information and job postings.

Job postings on DreamHost’s LinkedIn company page.

Since many LinkedIn users take advantage of the platform’s job hunting features, this can help to boost your page’s visibility. Just make sure to keep it updated so you don’t have people applying for positions that are no longer available.

Step 4: Post Regular Updates to Generate Industry-Related Content

Now that your page is up and includes all your company’s information and some key branding elements, it’s time to start filling it with content. There are a few ways to go about this. One of the easiest is to use LinkedIn to promote blog content you’ve already created for your business website.

A blog post on the DreamHost LinkedIn company page.

This doesn’t require you to generate any new long-form content, and it can drive visitors to your website via your blog. Simply include LinkedIn as a part of your blog promotion strategy, and you’ll have a regular source of content for your company page.

However, you can also include recent business news, upcoming events, and other company-specific posts to keep your followers in the loop.

An update on DreamHost’s LinkedIn company page.

This can be a smart and simple way to demonstrate your authority in your industry, promote events, and even attract more followers. Just remember that, as with a blog, your LinkedIn company page will thrive when filled with relevant content that your followers want to see and read.

Step 5: Promote Your LinkedIn Company Page to Gain Followers

Your company page isn’t very useful if no one knows it exists. Especially when you’re first getting it off the ground, promotion will be vital to gathering followers. One of the easiest ways to get started is by adding your company’s location to your page’s About section.

The Locations section of the DreamHost LinkedIn company page.

This makes your company and job postings more discoverable on LinkedIn. Your page will be more likely to show up in searches as a result. Using relevant keywords in your page’s content can also help to increase your reach.

Another key promotional tactic is engaging your employees on LinkedIn. Invite them to list your company page on their own profiles and claim it as their place of employment. This will help you tap into their already existing networks to make connections with others in your industry.

Finally, it never hurts to promote your LinkedIn page on other social channels. This may mean including links to your company page in your Twitter bio or your Facebook About section. You could also include LinkedIn among your social sharing icons on your website and blog posts.

Step 6: Showcase Individual Products or Services on Their Own Pages

So far, we’ve covered all the basics for creating and maintaining a LinkedIn company page. However, you can take your profile to the next level and use it as a way to promote specific products or services, by creating showcase pages as well.

These are pages dedicated to your company’s products or services. They appear on your company page in the right-hand sidebar, under Affiliated pages.

The showcase pages on Automattic’s LinkedIn company page.

You can write a description, share a link, and even post content on each of your showcase pages. If you offer a wide range of products or services, this is a way to provide targeted content for each of your audiences. In some cases, this technique may be more effective than offering generalized content on your company page itself.

If you’d like to create more traditional, campaign-based content for LinkedIn, you might also consider using the platform’s advertising options. LinkedIn ads are highly targeted and can help you reach other professionals in your industry, generate leads, attract job applicants, and more.

Linking Up

You have a lot of options when it comes to promoting your business on social media. With its professional audience and unique opportunities for showing off your products and services, LinkedIn can prove well worth your time.

This guide has demonstrated how to create a high-quality LinkedIn company page in just six steps:

  1. Ensure that you meet LinkedIn’s requirements for creating a company page.
  2. Add your company’s details to launch your new page.
  3. Spruce up your company’s profile to attract and inform visitors.
  4. Post regular updates to generate industry-related content.
  5. Promote your LinkedIn company page to gain followers.
  6. Showcase individual products or services on their own pages.

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The post How to Create a Company Page on LinkedIn to Promote Your Small Business appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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How To Set Up a Node.js Application for Production on a CentOS 7 VPS

In this tutorial, we will create a simple Node.js application and put it into a production ready environment. We are going to install and use the following pieces of software:

  • Nginx as a reverse proxy. It will make the app accessible from your browser, and in case you ran several sites from the same server, it could serve as a load balancer as well.
  • Certbot will let us install Let’s Encrypt certificates. Access to the site will be secure as only the HTTPS requests will be honored.
  • NPM package called PM2 will turn a node.js app into a service. The app will run in the background, even after system crashes or reboots.

What We Are Going To Cover

  • Install Nginx
  • Install firewall-cmd and enable rules for Nginx
  • Install the latest version of Node.js
  • Add NPM packages for the app that we are making
  • Create the example app to show all characters in upper case
  • Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy
  • Install Let’s Encrypt certificates to serve HTTPS requests
  • Access the app from the browser
  • Install PM2, a production process manager for Node.js applications with a built-in traffic Load Balancer
  • Use PM2 to restart the Node.js app on every restart or reboot of the system

Prerequisites

We use Centos 7:

  • Starting with a clean VPS with
  • At least 512Mb of RAM and
  • 15Gb of free disk space.
  • You will need root user access via SSH
  • A domain name pointed to your server’s IP address (it can also be a subdomain) using A records at your DNS service provider
  • We use nano as our editor of choice, and you can install it with this command:
yum install nano

Step 1: Install Nginx

After you have logged in as a root user, you will install Nginx. Add the CentOS 7 EPEL repository with this command:

yum install epel-release

Next, install Nginx:

yum install nginx

Press ‘y’ twice and the installation will be finished. Enable Nginx service to start at server boot:

systemctl enable nginx

Step 2: Change Firewall Rules to Enable Nginx

Let’s now install firewall-cmd, the command line front-end for firewalld (firewalld daemon), for CentOS. It supports both IPv4 and IPv6, firewall zones, bridges and ipsets, allows for timed firewall rules in zones, logs denied packets, automatically loads kernel modules, and so on.

Install it in the usual manner, by using yum:

yum install firewalld

Let us now start it, enable it to auto-start at system boot, and see its status:

systemctl start firewalld
systemctl enable firewalld
systemctl status firewalld

Node.js apps require a port that is not used by the system, but is dedicated to that one app only. In our examples, we might use ports such as 3000, 8080 and so on, so we need to declare them explicitly, otherwise the app won’t run.

Here is a list of ports and feel free to add any other that your host requires for the normal functioning of the system:

firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=ssh
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=3000/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=8080/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=https
firewall-cmd --reload

Let us now start Nginx:

systemctl start nginx

With HTTP functioning, we can visit this address in the browser:

//YOUR_DOMAIN/

and verify that Nginx is running:

Step 3: Install Latest Node.js

We’ll now install the latest release of Node.js. First, install development tools to build native add-ons (make, gcc-c++) and then enable Node.js yum repository from the Node.js official website:

yum install -y gcc-c++ make
curl -sL //rpm.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | sudo -E bash -

Now, the repository is added to your VPS and we can install the Node.js package. NPM, the package manager for Node.js, will also be installed, as well as many other dependent packages in the system.

yum install nodejs

Press ‘y’ twice to finish the installation. Show the version of Node.js that is installed:

node -v

It shows v12.3.1, which was the actual version at the time of this writing. If it shows an error, double check the commands you entered against the ones shown above.

Step 4: Adding NPM Packages

We of course know what packages our Node.js app will need, so we install the required npm packages in advance. Since our app will turn any input into uppercase letters, we first install a package for that:

npm install upper-case

Most Node.js apps will now use Express.js, so let’s install that as well:

npm install --save express

Execute this command as well:

npm install -g nginx-generator

It will globally install an NPM package to generate the reverse proxy config for Nginx. We will apply it after the app is running on port 8080.

Step 5: Creating The App

Open a file named uppercase-http.js for editing:

nano uppercase-http.js

Add the following lines:

var http = require('http');
var uc = require('upper-case');
console.log('starting...');
http.createServer(function (req, res) 
  console.log('received request for url: ' + req.url);
  res.writeHead(200, 'Content-Type': 'text/html');
  res.write(uc(req.url + 'n'));
  res.end();
).listen(8080);

Save and close the file.

The HTTP server will listen to port 8080. You can specify any other port that you like, provided that it will be free when the app is running (and that you have previously opened access to it in firewalld).

Run the app:

node uppercase-http.js

You will see the following message:

starting...

Node.js app starting

To test it, fire up another terminal, connect to your VPS as root via SSH and curl localhost:8080:

curl localhost:8080/test

The program correctly converted path to uppercase. The server app shows a status message for the request:

received request for url: /test

Now we have two terminal windows, one with the app running and the other which we used to test the app. The first window is blocked as long as the app is running and we can press Ctrl-C from keyboard to stop it. If we do so, the app won’t be running later when we access it from the browser. The solution is to either activate the app again or — much cleaner — enter further commands only into the second terminal window for the rest of this tutorial.

Step 6: Configure Nginx as Reverse Proxy

Nginx for CentOS comes without folders for available and enabled sites, as is the custom on Ubuntu Linux. You’ll need to create them:

mkdir /etc/nginx/sites-available
mkdir /etc/nginx/sites-enabled

Then, edit Nginx global configuration to load config files from these folders:

nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Find line

include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;

and insert these lines:

include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

Save and close the file. Now Nginx will read the contents of the “enabled” sites.

For the sake of completness, our nginx.conf file looks like this:

user  nginx;
worker_processes  1;

error_log  /var/log/nginx/error.log warn;
pid        /var/run/nginx.pid;


events 
    worker_connections  1024;



http {
    include       /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;

    log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
                      '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                      '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    access_log  /var/log/nginx/access.log  main;

    sendfile        on;
    #tcp_nopush     on;

    keepalive_timeout  65;

    #gzip  on;

    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

You may want to copy it and paste it.

With NPM package nginx-generator we generate files that will tell Nginx to act as a reverse proxy. In the command line, execute the following:

nginx-generator 
      --name site_nginx 
      --domain YOUR_DOMAIN 
      --type proxy 
      --var host=localhost 
      --var port=8080 
      /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site_nginx

Replace YOUR_DOMAIN with your actual domain before running this command.

That command creates a file called site_nginx and puts it into the directory /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/. (We could have used any other name instead of site_nginx for the file.)

We can see it with this command:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site_nginx

Test the configuration:

sudo nginx -t

and if everything is OK, restart Nginx:

systemctl restart nginx

Run the app again:

node uppercase-http.js

You will see the following message:

starting...

In your browser, go to address

//YOUR_DOMAIN/test

and the result should be

/TEST

Bad Gateway Case No. 1 – The App is Not Active

Instead of proper result, which in this particular case would be text printed in uppercase letters, it is all too easy to get the message Bad Gateway in this place.

The main reason is that we were using one teminal window to both run the app and insert other commands. When you start the app with node uppercase-http.js, it will block the entire window and when you want to try out the next command in the installation process, the app will stop running. One way to prevent this is to repeat starting the app all over again, as we have done in this tutorial.

Another way would be to open two terminal windows, start the app in one of them and then proceed with further commands in the second terminal window, exclusively.

Bad Gateway Case No. 2 – SELinux Is Active

If SELinux is enabled, it can block Nginx from making outbound connections.

You can check this with:

getenforce

If you get Enforcing as the result, SELinux is active. Run this command to let Nginx serve as a reverse proxy:

setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect true

Step 7: Securing Your Site To Serve Only HTTPS

We want to serve our app via a HTTPS request. If you have a domain name and DNS records properly set up to point to your VPS, you can use certbot to generate Let’s Encrypt certificates. This means that you will always access the app as well as the rest of your domain, via HTTPS.

We will folow the original documentation to install Let’s Encrypt. Choose Nginx for Software and Centos/RHEL 7 for System – it should look like this:

Certbot Certbot Site

Certbot is packaged in EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux). To use Certbot, you must first enable the EPEL repository. On CentOS, you must also enable the optional channel, by issuing the following commands:

yum -y install yum-utils
yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional

Now install the Certbot by executing this:

yum install certbot python2-certbot-nginx

It will compute the dependencies needed and ask you to let it proceed with the installation.

Press ‘y’ when asked.

Finally, run Certbot:

certbot --nginx

If you are installing certificates for the fist time, Certbot will ask for an emergency email address, then several less important questions and finally – do you want to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS? Select 2 to confirm this redirection, and you’re all set!

Activate Nginx as you normally would after each change in parameters:

systemctl restart nginx

To verify that redirection is working, go to the same address in your browser:

//YOUR_DOMAIN/test

Note that this address started with HTTP, but that it ended up as HTTPS.

Step 8: Install PM2

PM2 is a production process manager for Node.js applications. With PM2, we can monitor applications, their memory and CPU usage. It also provides easy commands to stop/start/restart all apps or individual apps.

Once the app is started through PM2, it will always be restarted after system crashes or restarts. In effect, it will “always be there”.

Use NPM to install PM2:

npm install pm2@latest -g

Option -g tells it to install pm2 globally, so it can run from all paths in the system.

Let’s now run our application under PM2:

pm2 start uppercase-http.js

The output of PM2 can be spectacular when run for the first time, but we really need to concentrate on the rows about the app:

PM2 will use app name, and then show the id number of the app, mode, status, CPU usage and memory. If two or more apps are running in the background, they will all be presented in this table.

We can list the processes like this:

pm2 list

The following command

pm2 show 0

will show details of the app with ID of 0:

It is also possible to monitor CPU usage in real time:

pm2 monit

Other useful PM2 commands are stop, restart, delete.

What Can You Do Next

Now you have a node.js app in a production environment, using HTTPS protocol for safety, Nginx for speed and as a reverse proxy, running as a service in the background. We have just installed one such app and one such site, while you may run serveral node.js apps and sites from the same server. We used root user throughout for ease of installation, while for multiples sites you would need multiple non-root users for safety.

Dusko Savic is a technical writer and programmer.

duskosavic.com

The post How To Set Up a Node.js Application for Production on a CentOS 7 VPS appeared first on Low End Box.

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How to Setup & Configure VestaCP on Ubuntu 16.04

VestaCP is a versatile open-source control panel for Linux machines. It provides a point & click, clutter-free interface, simplifying server administration tasks at the same time.   In this tutorial we will walk you through the process of installation, configuration, and first time usage of this free and open-source web hosting control panel.

As a part of the installation, VestaCP will install and configure the following for you:

  • Apache web server with Nginx as the frontend. Nginx will serve static files (such as images and CSS), while Apache will render PHP and HTML files.
  • vsftpd, a FTP server
  • Exim and Dovecot, so you can create and use email accounts
  • MySQL database
  • Softaculous, an application auto-installer

It requires 512MB RAM, 1Ghz CPU, and 20Gb disk space.

In this article, you will install VestaCP on your VPS. Then, you’ll setup a new site in VestaCP, along with an email address (at your domain).

Prerequisites

  • A clean VPS running Ubuntu 16.04 with at least 512MB RAM, 1GHz CPU and 20Gb disk space.
  • A domain name for hosting VestaCP and your sites, pointed to your machine’s IP address at your DNS provider. We will use panel.example.com for Vesta, and test.example.com for the website throughout the tutorial.
  • If you wish to set up email accounts, you’ll need to have PTR records correctly set for your server. This can be done only by your hosting provider.

Step 1 – Installing VestaCP

First, login to your VPS as root via SSH. After logging in, navigate to the /tmp directory by running the following command:

cd /tmp

Then, download VestaCP installation script by running:

curl -O //vestacp.com/pub/vst-install.sh

Run it with:

bash vst-install.sh --force

The –force parameter overrides Vesta’s warnings such as Apache already installed, the admin group already being present in the system and so on. The warning may look like this:

With the the –force option you go directly to the installation prompt:

Answer with y. You will be be asked to provide your email address and a FQDN hostname. Enter an email where you woud like to receive messages from Vesta, and for the hostname, enter your domain name, which you have set up in the prerequisites.

Vesta will then start the installation, and it will take about 15 minutes to complete. You won’t need to enter anything else. When it finishes, you will see a message that looks like this:

Note the username (admin) and the generated password – you’ll need them to log in to Vesta.

Step 2 – Logging in to Vesta

Navigate to the domain shown in the message in your web browser. Note the :8083 at the end of the address – that is the default port for accessing Vesta.

During the installation, Vesta created a self-signed certificate to enable HTTPS access. That is why your browser may show a warning  about TLS certificates being self-signed — here is what it would look like in case of Mozilla Firefox:

In case of Chrome, the message will be:

In spite of the warnings, proceed to the advanced section and create an exception for your browser.

You will be asked to log in:

Enter the credentials you noted previously and press the Login button. You will see Vesta control panel:

Notice the columns in the center upper part of the screen. They allow access to the core of Vesta’s functionality – managing users, their websites, DNS records, email addresses, databases and backups.

Step 3 – Creating a New User

After the installation of Vesta, there will be exactly one user, called admin, as shown in the image above. Adding a new user is a frequent task when setting up Vesta, as you’ll need one new user for each new site that you are creating.

When you want to create a new resource in Vesta (be it a user, a domain, or whatever else), you’ll need to click the green plus button, which will expand with additional text when you hover mouse cursor over it.

So, to add a new user, press the green plus button on the Users page. You’ll see the following form:

VestaCP Add User

Fill in the username and password with your desired credentials, the first and last name with your name, and type in your email. When you’re done, scroll down and press Add.

Vesta will then show the same page you were on before, with the message informing you that the user has been successfully created. For a user named example-user, here’s how the message will look like:

For each available user, you have the options such as Logout, Edit, Suspend, and Delete. They will unintuitively appear only when you hover your mouse cursor over the row, and they look like this:

Step 4 – Create a New Web Site

Click the link shown to log in as the newly created user, and when you become logged in, click the Web column. Press the green plus button to create a new web site.

Enter the domain name  — ours is test.example.com. As noted in the prerequisites, you’ll need to point the domain name to the IP address of your server beforehand – for instructions on how to achieve this, consult your DNS provider.

FTP access

To be able to access files in your site, you will need to create a FTP user for it. To do so, press on Advanced Options and check the additional FTP option. Then, enter username for the new FTP user (maximum safe length is 8 characters), and a password. You can press on Generate to let Vesta create one for you. Note it down for future reference, because that is how you will be accessing your website’s files from now on. If you want to create an additional FTP user, press Add One More FTP Account and repeat the process.

Enabling HTTPS

If you want to have HTTPS enabled for your site (and you most certainly do), check the SSL Support option.

Then, you’ll have to fill in the required fields with the data you got from your certificate issuer, or automate the whole process for free by checking Lets Encrypt Support. Let’s Encrypt is a fully trusted certificate authority which issues completely free certificates, which last 90 days. You can check this option provided you have certbot installed on your system (the program which actually requests the certificates) installed, and Vesta will create and renew them for you. Keep in mind that if you do select this option, Vesta will take a longer time to add the new website, so don’t press the Add button twice.

Tracking Site Statistics

VestaCP also allows you to set up either webalizer or awstats web statistics software. Without delving in deeply into which one of them is better, note that Webalizer does not differentiate between human visitors and bots in its reports, while awstats tries to.

When you are done, click on Add to create the website in Vesta. When the page loads, you’ll see the new website in the list. If you navigate to your domain in your browser, you’ll see a placeholder page created by Vesta that shows the domain name.

Step 5 – Create an Email Account

Click on the Mail column in the center. To create an email address, you’ll first have to add an email domain in Vesta, after which you will be able to create unlimited amounts of email addresses. As in the previous steps, start adding an email domain by clicking the green plus button.

You’ll only need to enter a domain name. Leave the AntiSpam and AntiVirus options checked, which will increase security at no additional expense. When you are finished, press the Add button.

As in the case of Users, additional options will show up when you hover your mouse cursor over it. To list the existing email accounts for that domain, click the List Account button. Otherwise, to add a new email address (account), click Add Account.

Type in your desired email address (without the @domain part) in the Account field. Next, enter your desired password, or let Vesta create one for you by pressing on Generate. You can see how the final configuration will look like in the box shown on the right.

If you wish to set a storage quota or set up email forwarding, press on Advanced Options and type in the relevant information. When you are done, press Add.

You’ll be returned to the listing. Vesta will show you a success message that looks like this:

You can press the Open Webmail link, which will open Roundcube. Roundcube is a mature open source web mail software used by many. It will ask you to log in – enter the full email address you just created as the username as well as your password, then click on Login. Once in Roundcube, you’ll be able to read and write email as you normally would.

Dusko Savic is a technical writer and Flutter programmer.
duskosavic.com

The post How to Setup & Configure VestaCP on Ubuntu 16.04 appeared first on Low End Box.

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12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them)

Site speed plays a crucial role in the success of your website. It affects a variety of key metrics, for example, including your site’s visibility and conversion rate. Optimizing your website’s speed is clearly a necessity, but figuring out how to do it can be tricky.

Fortunately, there are several easily-accessible speed tests you can use to determine how your site’s performance measures up. Although there are several reasons your site may be slow, you can resolve many of them with free WordPress plugins and quality web hosting.

In this post, we’ll explain why site speed is so vital to your website. Then we’ll share solutions to 12 common issues that can lead to poor website performance. Let’s dive right in!

Shared Hosting That Powers Your Purpose

We make sure your website is fast, secure, and always up so your visitors trust you. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

Why Your Website’s Loading Speed Matters

These days, users expect websites to be fast. When pages take longer than expected to load, it negatively impacts your site’s User Experience (UX). This matters because any time your UX takes a hit, so does your conversion rate.

You’ll likely see higher page abandonment and bounce rates as well. To be more specific, studies show that an additional two seconds of loading time can increase your site’s bounce rate by 103 percent. Plus, just 100 milliseconds of extra loading time can cause a 7 percent drop in conversion rates.

Even fractions of a second count, so optimizing your site’s performance as fully as you can is crucial. What’s more, website speed not only influences whether users stay on your site and convert; it also affects whether or not they can find it in the first place.

Site speed is now a Google ranking factor for both desktop and mobile sites. If you don’t maintain decent website performance, your site’s visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) may decrease, leading to lower traffic levels.

With your website’s success on the line, speed can’t be ignored. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a smart place to start is by testing to determine where your site stands now. You can run load time tests to see how long your users are waiting and then get to work on decreasing those numbers.

12 Reasons Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them)

Once you know the current state of your site’s performance, you can start optimizing key factors that influence site speed. Let’s look at 12 of the most common problems that contribute to slow websites and discuss how to resolve them.

1. Render-Blocking JavaScript Is Delaying Page Loads

JavaScript is the code that makes your website functional and interactive for users. Without it, your site would be pretty dull. However, if left unoptimized, JavaScript can delay your pages when they try to load in users’ browsers.

When a browser tries to display a webpage, it has to stop and fully load any JavaScript files it encounters first. This results in what’s called ‘render-blocking JavaScript’ or JavaScript that prevents the page from loading quickly.

There are three solutions for dealing with render-blocking JavaScript:

  • Remove external JavaScript files, and use inline JavaScript instead.
  • Use asynchronous loading so JavaScript can load separately from the rest of the page.
  • Defer JavaScript loading until the rest of the page is visible to the user.

Each method has its pros and cons. Generally speaking, inline JavaScript will only improve page speed when used sparingly. Asynchronous loading can cause issues as files are not loaded in any particular order. Therefore, deferring JavaScript is usually the recommended method.

2. You’re Not Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of several servers that are placed in strategic geographic locations. You can store copies of your website on them so its pages can be quickly loaded by users who are located far away from your main server.

There are several CDN options for your WordPress site. Cloudflare is one of the most popular solutions, as is the Jetpack CDN for images and videos. For customers on our DreamPress Plus and Pro plans, you’ll get unlimited CDN usage powered by Jetpack.

Additionally, if your website uses jQuery, you can load it from a CDN instead of your web server. Since jQuery uses far fewer lines of code than JavaScript to accomplish the same outcomes, it can be especially useful for boosting your site’s speed. Google and Microsoft are the two most popular jQuery CDN options.

3. There’s Excessive Overhead in Your Database

‘Overhead’ refers to extraneous items in your site’s database — things like logs, transients, and other entries from plugins or themes can build up over time. Too much of this ‘overhead’ can cause database queries to take longer than necessary. In some cases, it can even cause your web server to time out while waiting for a response from your database.

Optimizing your database by removing overhead will help prevent this. Most web hosts allow you to access the database management platform phpMyAdmin via your hosting account. If you aren’t able to optimize your tables in phpMyAdmin, you can use the WordPress Command Line interface (WP-CLI).

4. Your Site’s CSS Isn’t Optimized

Like JavaScript, your site’s CSS — the code responsible for styling its pages — can delay loading if left unoptimized. There are a few solutions you can implement to get your CSS into shape:

  • If you have several external CSS files, combine them into one or a few files.
  • Remove external CSS and use inline CSS instead.
  • Use ‘media types’ to specify when certain CSS files should be loaded.

Like inline JavaScript, inline CSS is only useful for small portions of code. If you have several large CSS files, you shouldn’t try to add all of them to your HTML file. Specifying media types and combining your external CSS files (if you have more than one) should make a more significant impact.

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5. OPcache Isn’t Enabled

OPcache is a built-in caching engine for the coding language PHP. If you use PHP on your site, having OPcache enabled can speed up its loading and the loading of your pages as a result.

If you host your website with one of our Shared WordPress or DreamPress plans, OPcache is enabled by default. If your site is hosted using one of our other plans or with another web host, you’ll likely need to enable it manually.

6. Caching Issues Are Preventing Optimized Page Loading

Caching is when browsers store static copies of your website’s files. Then when users access your site, their browsers can display the cached data instead of having to reload it.

There are several caching solutions available for WordPress users, including using a caching plugin such as WP Super Cache.

The WP Super Cache plugin.

Our DreamPress customers have the advantage of built-in caching, which is included with your hosting account.

DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plans

This makes third-party caching plugins unnecessary. However, we do recommend using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin to manage your DreamPress cache.

The Proxy Cache Purge plugin.

The plugin automatically sends requests to delete cached data for a page or post after you’ve modified it. This can help prevent some caching issues that may result in slower site speeds.

7. Large Media Files Are Increasing Loading Times

Media files, such as images and videos, tend to be quite large. Optimizing them through compression can help to decrease their size and, therefore, improve your loading times.

TinyJPG is a free online tool that compresses images. There are also several plugins you can use to compress media files within WordPress, including Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

The Smush Image Optimization plugin.

Compressing videos is a little trickier, so it’s usually better to host them externally on YouTube or another platform instead. You can then easily embed your videos on pages or posts.

8. Poorly-Written Scripts Are Conflicting With Other Site Elements

Poorly-written JavaScript can sometimes cause compatibility issues with other parts of your website, resulting in longer loading times. Running a speed test using tools such as Pingdom, Web Page Test, and GTmetrix can often point out scripts that are taking a long time to load.

You can then investigate these files more closely to determine how you can improve them. It may also be useful to turn potentially problematic scripts off temporarily, to see how your performance scores change without them enabled.

9. Your Site’s Code Is Too Bulky

The more code your user’s web browser has to load, the longer it will take for your website to become visible. If your code is too ‘bulky’ or contains unnecessary characters and line breaks, your site may be slower. In response, you can ‘minify’ that code by removing the elements that aren’t needed.

There are two popular plugins for carrying out this task. Autoptimize minifies code, in addition to inlining CSS and optimizing JavaScript files. It also integrates well with WP Super Cache.

The Autoptimize plugin for WordPress.

Fast Velocity Minify merges CSS and JavaScript files to reduce the number of requests needed for browsers to load your pages. It also minifies your code.

The Fast Velocity Minify plugin for WordPress.

Both plugins are solid choices. You might consider trying out each one and seeing which increases your performance test scores more.

10. Missing Files Are Causing Errors

In some instances, your WordPress installation may be missing files. If this happens, users will experience longer loading times as additional requests are made in an attempt to find the files. This process will eventually result in a 404 error if the files can’t be found.

The causes behind this issue are numerous and varied. Instead of trying to track down the source of the problem, the fastest solution is to restore your site from your most recent backup. This should replace the missing files with the versions saved in your backup.

11. Plugins Are Weighing Your Site Down

Having too many plugins — or even a few very bulky ones — can weigh your website down and cause poor performance. It’s wise to always completely remove any plugins you’re not using to minimize the chance that this will happen.

Additionally, some plugins can interfere with the caching of your site’s pages. If you’re using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin we mentioned earlier in this article, you can pinpoint which plugins are causing the problem by navigating to Proxy Cache > Check Caching.

12. Internet Issues Are Hurting Specific Users’ Performance

Finally, poor website performance can be due to an issue with a user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), rather than with your site itself. Slow site speeds can result from network congestion, bandwidth throttling and restrictions, data discrimination and filtering, or content filtering.

If you notice slow speeds when visiting your site, you can run a traceroute between your computer and your website to test the connection. This should give you an idea of whether or not the problem is related to your ISP or is a more significant site-wide concern.

Lighten Your Website Load

Your website’s performance and response time are closely tied to its success, so taking every available opportunity to improve it is worth the effort. Figuring out why your website has lagging load times can help boost both its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and UX, resulting in better visibility and a higher conversion rate.

We’ve covered twelve common causes of slow site speeds throughout this post. While ideally, you’ll want to optimize your site in all the ways we’ve mentioned, pinpointing specific areas for improvement — such as enabling caching or compressing your media files — can help you tackle the biggest issues first.

Looking for a hosting service that can keep up with your site’s performance needs? Our Shared Hosting plans are a convenient, low-cost solution that’s optimized for WordPress and ideal for new users. Check them out today!

The post 12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them) appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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KudoHosting – 3GB RAM VPS for $19/year in Los Angeles + Alpha Reseller Hosting Offers Inside!

KudoHosting is back with a special deal to share with the LowEndBox community! They are offering specials on VPS and Alpha Reseller Hosting accounts.

You can find their ToS/Legal Docs here. They accept PayPal, Alipay, All Major Credit Cards, Bitcoin, and Litecoin as payment methods.

Here’s what they had to say:

“KudoHosting is committed to providing quality hosting services for a wide range of clients who may range from a student all the way up to a Fortune 500 company. We achieve this by providing flexible diverse plans at affordable costs! Our vision is to enable thousands of people around the globe to unlock the power of the Internet, and give them the platform they need in order to create and grow. We owe huge thanks to our existing customers for joining us on this thrilling journey, and we hope that you will be apart of our story!

All plans include access to our timely support team, which is available 24×7 around the clock. We pride ourselves on providing prompt service and high performance servers.”

Here’s the offers:

# VPS Offer

If you are looking for VPS server with full root access and control, check out the below offer. Multiple Linux OS Distros available.

3GB VPS

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Alpha Reseller Hosting Offers:

With an Alpha Reseller Hosting account from KudoHosting, you can create shared, reseller and master reseller accounts on demand, powered by cPanel/WHM + WHMReseller! Perfect for those looking to start a new stream of income by selling hosting, or introduce hosting services to their customers as an additional product offering for their business. Or simply for those who want to create multiple cPanel/WHM accounts on demand!

Alpha Reseller – 100GB

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Alpha Reseller – 500GB

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NETWORK INFO:

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Test IPv4: 107.175.180.6
Test file: //107.175.180.6/1000MB.test

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Test IPv4: 192.3.180.103
Test file: //192.3.180.103/1000MB.test


Minimum Host Node Specifications:
– Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2
– 32GB RAM
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Please let us know if you have any questions/comments and enjoy!

The post KudoHosting – 3GB RAM VPS for $19/year in Los Angeles + Alpha Reseller Hosting Offers Inside! appeared first on Low End Box.

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Freedom to innovate: VIP at Change Forum 2019

VIP was proud to sponsor February’s Change Forum, where our friends at News UK brought together established media businesses and startups in London, to speak candidly about product design and development.

Speakers from the BBC, The Times, Netflix, Lego and here at WordPress.com shared lessons learned about audience engagement and growth whilst leading product teams.

The common thread across all the day’s presentations was an acknowledgement that a steady flow of new ideas and perspectives was essential to the continued success of a modern business. Teams at one startup were expected to carry out five experiments every single month.

David A Kennedy on stage at Change Forum 2019 London
David Kennedy, design director at Automattic

Data, experience and intuition were all of limited value in predicting which ideas would ultimately move the needle. Several speakers described lengthy or expensive processes which yielded little; whilst tweaks taking only a few hours could have a remarkable impact.

And sometimes, as our colleague David Kennedy explained, ideas expected to deliver one benefit could produce greater gains in another, unexpected way. David’s passion is accessibility in design. He cited the example of NPR, who began posting transcripts of their audio broadcasts to aid accessibility – and saw a significant increase in traffic and user engagement, through the text content’s greater search engine friendliness.

Christina Scott interviews Jonas Huckestein
News UK’s Christina Scott chats with Jonas Huckestein of UK bank Monzo

Jonas Huckestein, co-founder of UK banking disruptor Monzo, confessed that the company’s success had been built on trying things, seeing which ones worked, and keeping on doing them. They spent months developing a peer-to-peer payment function, which was a total flop. But a simple ‘golden ticket’ function, to let friends of existing customers jump up the waiting list, drove steady weekly growth for many months.

Customers loved it when Netflix began sending out brand-new movies on the day of the DVD’s release; but it only reduced customer churn by a tiny amount, so they canned the initiative.

Conversely, when faced with the dilemma of whether to notify customers about the imminent expiry of their initial free trial, Netflix decided to do the ‘right thing’, and send out reminders. It naturally reduced conversion rates, costing the company tens of millions in revenue; but they decided it was good for the brand… and easy to reverse.

Gibson Biddle, former VP of Product at Netflix

How to decide if an innovation was successful? It depended on what you had hoped to achieve, the data you considered, and who was making the decision. Your CFO might take one view; your community of users, or readers, or consumers might take another. It’s for the culture of the company to decide whose view matters most.

With VIP’s roots deep in the WordPress open source community, these conclusions rang true to our own experience. We believe that the freedoms to innovate on top of WordPress, to share your ideas and efforts with the world, and to choose from many solutions already in circulation, are key factors in the continuing growth of WordPress.

Photos courtesy of Fluxx Studios: posted on Flickr, used under license.

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Building Your Own Business Website? Don’t Make These 10 Mistakes

It can be daunting to get a business website up and running.

Let’s be real here: if you weren’t a little bit jittery about it, we’d be worried. Not because you can’t do this. You totally can. It’s easy to build a great-looking business website if you use the right tools — and you don’t even have to know how to code!

No, it’s daunting because your website matters so much to the health of your business. It’ll help you generate leads, drive conversions, and build your brand. But like a first date, there are a lot of ways to screw this thing up.

“So, you’re paying, right?”

“I’m a huge Nickleback fan.”

“Do you mind if my mom joins us?”

Luckily, avoiding “website don’ts” is much easier than finding love in a hopeless place. In this post, I’ll outline the 10 biggest mistakes you could make when setting up a website for your small business. Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll be on your way to turning visitors into devoted customers. Ah, l’amour.

1. Failing To Make A Responsive Website

This is the ultimate beginner’s mistake. So what is a responsive website anyway?

Simply put, it’s a website that responds to its environment to give the user the best possible viewing experience. In other words, if a user comes searching for your website on a mobile phone, then the site’s layout will display in a different, more accessible way than if they were visiting the site on a desktop.

We’ve gone in-depth on why mobile-friendly website design matters here on the blog before. But here are the simple facts: 61 percent of users who have trouble accessing a mobile site are unlikely to return. Of those, 40 percent will seek out a competitor’s site instead. And if you don’t create a mobile-friendly website, Google’s going to ding you too.

The takeaway?

When choosing a website builder or platform to create your website, make sure you pick one that offers responsive designs. You don’t want to mess around with a stagnant design that will drive away mobile visitors.

2. Not Customizing Your Theme

One of the best things about using a content management system is the free themes available at your fingertips. In fact, as soon as you settle on your web hosting company and purchase a domain, you can select the perfect theme to match your brand in mere minutes.

However, it’s important to remember whatever platform you use, you’re going to have to customize it to match your brand’s style. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a website that looks exactly like thousands of other business sites on the web — a big mistake.

Happily, with Remixer, our in-house website builder, it’s easy to personalize your site. You can upload and insert your own images (or use our royalty-free gallery, your call), flesh out your unique content, and place menu items where you need them to build your dream website.

3. Using Jargon

We get it. You have been working in your field for years and years, and you’re literally a master of your industry. You know what “IPC,” “VC Money,” and “apportunity” stand for, but I’ve got news for you — your website visitors don’t.

If a visitor lands on your website and the copywriting is full of technical jargon they can’t understand, they’re not going to stick around to parse through your metaphors.

Remember: the average human has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. That’s a piddly eight seconds. This means when customers find your site, they need to encounter copy that is straightforward and encourages them to take action fast — whether that’s watching a video, entering your sign-up flow, or subscribing to an email newsletter.

If you need a good example, Dropbox Business slays when it comes to website design and simple copywriting. Let’s take a look at their homepage.

dropbox business home page

What is Dropbox Business doing right?

  • The headline is straightforward with no jargon.
  • The subheading tells you what they do in one easy-to-follow sentence. In fact, it’s immediately clear what the company offers.
  • The call-to-action is easy to see (and click)!

When approaching copywriting and design, be like Dropbox.

4. Not Thinking About Readability

Not only does your copywriting need to be sweet and simple, but the design also has to be easy on the eyes.

And I don’t just mean nice to look at; it also has to be easy to read.

When you use a website builder, you have free reign to customize your website as you wish, but this doesn’t mean you should part with best practices. To make sure your users don’t get turned off by your design, stick to these rules:

  • Keep Your Font Sizes Consistent — Larger font sizes are a good way to say, “This is important, so pay attention.” Smaller font sizes should be used for more in-depth information. When building your website, don’t go hog wild and use a bunch of different sizes. Stick to three or four sizes.
  • Consider Your Fonts — Papyrus may look cute on your kid’s 5th birthday party invite, but it doesn’t look great on your website. Luckily, most website builders themes will only use fonts that designers have already vetted for readability and looks. One important tip: Sans-serif fonts — the ones without the extra little flourishes — are generally easier to read on the web.
  • Choose Contrasting Colors — When selecting a color palette for your website, make sure the background images don’t drown out your font. Readability has to be the first priority. If you’re design challenged (no shame in admitting that, by the way), Remixer comes with preset color mixes so you don’t have to worry about the subtle differences between Seafoam and Aqua.
freshbooks cloud accounting home page

So who is doing readability right? FreshBooks is nailing it.

  • The copy is free of jargon, simple, and straight to the point.
  • Even though their content is more robust than the Dropbox example above, it’s still easy to understand.
  • The colors work nicely with each other, and none of the images detract from the text.
  • The most important messages are in larger font while the supplemental information is in a smaller font.

Overall, the readability of this website is on the money — which is good because, well, their business is all about the dollars.

5. Falling For Search Engine Optimization Myths

Every new business owner hopes to create a website that will sit on the top of the search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and every other search engine. And they hope to rank for more than just one keyword.

However, the truth of the matter is that a good SEO strategy takes time, smarts, and money. Plus, it’s impossible to successfully optimize your homepage for hundreds of keywords. That’s just not how the internet works, and if you try to cut corners, Google knows where you live.

Seriously, it knows.

A better strategy is to think about the top keyword for your website and optimize your content to rank for that keyword. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Write Long-Form Content — Once upon a time, stuffing your content with your top keyword would help you rank in the search results. Gone are those days, and just like on that first date we talked about earlier, you’ll actually be penalized for trying too hard. These days, it’s better to simply write your content for the user. Be as comprehensive and helpful as possible and Google will reward you.
  • Structure Your Content with Heading Tags — Heading tags — the top-down <h1> to <h6>s — are often seen as a “meh, not that important” sort of thing, but they really do matter. Headings give structure to your pages, making it easier for both readers and Google bots to consume your content. To get the most SEO bang for your buck with headings, follow this guide from Yoast.
  • Add a Call-to-Action — Your homepage should have a clear call-to-action (CTA). Not only will it help direct your readers to do the thing you want them to do — buy your product, sign up for your service, or subscribe to your newsletter — but it will help Google focus on what is important to you.

The Moz blog is a solid example of on-point optimization. Here’s what they’re doing right:

  • Clear, strong heading tags in every post.
  • Structured content that is easy to follow, read, and scan.
  • The posts aren’t laden with annoying keywords. Instead, it supports the H1 tag and is helpful to readers.

6. Going Pop-Up Crazy

Here’s how I like to think about pop-ups. When someone puts a sign in front of your face, it’s difficult not to pay attention to it. But when someone puts a whole bunch of signs in your face, it’s impossible to pay attention to any of them.

Helpful pop-ups that serve your readers are a great way to build your business. For example, you can include ONE pop-up asking someone to do ONE of the following: join your mailing list, share a post, follow you on social media, or sign up for an upcoming event.

But the second you start throwing pop-ups on your website to join your mailing list and share a post and follow you on social media and sign up for your webinar, and . . . you are not serving your visitors — or your business.

When it comes to pop-ups, be wise. Determine what the most pressing action you want your users to take is and then build a pop-up around that action. Leave the rest out. Simple as that.

example of pop-up 'super early bird 65% off'

Digital Marketer, one of the marketing world’s top thought leaders, serves as a great example of using pop-ups wisely.

  • Digital Marketer is an online publication with thousands of daily followers. They use this pop-up to let subscribers know about an upcoming event.
  • Once a subscriber either enters their information or opts out, the pop-up disappears.
  • The pop-up isn’t asking for multiple actions from the subscriber.

Feel free to use a pop-up on your website. Just don’t go crazy or your website visitors will feel like they’ve shown up at a protest with mixed messages.

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7. Slow Server Times

Did you know customers will only wait 4 seconds for a site to load before clicking out of the website, according to a study by Akamai Technologies? That means if you want to keep your customers interested, you need to make sure your site loads whip fast.

The good news is when you build your site with Remixer, you are working with a product that is configured to make load times faster. Remixer’s static pages load whip-fast compared to dynamic ones.

8. Poor Navigation

The internet yields nearly 7 billion global searches a day, and websites with intuitive navigation are rewarded with more visitors (and visitors who stick around for longer). If you can’t help your users get what they want immediately, chances are they will move on to a competitor’s site.

Even if you’re not a professional, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure your design is intuitive for visitors:

  • Use a Theme — The easiest way to create a winning website is to use a website builder. With Remixer, the important structural elements you’ll need for a basic website are incorporated into each of our expert-built themes. That means, all you have to do is choose a design that works with your brand, add your content, and boom, you’ve got a well-designed website — no coding required.
  • Stick to the Standard — Humans are creatures of habit. And most of us are trained to expect vertical navigation on the left side of the page and horizontal navigation across the top of the page. To avoid confusion, keep your navigation standard.
  • Don’t Overwhelm Users — You may be tempted to include several links in your navigation bar. But remember: less is more. Stick to the basics — About, Products, Services, Contact, etc. — in your navigation menu.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you? A good example! 4 Rivers Smokehouse has a really sleek design.

  • The navigation bar is up top, simple, and easy to read.
  • You know exactly how to take action as soon as you view the home page. “Show me the menu!”
  • The design is simple — and makes you want to dive into a plate of slow-roasted brisket.

9. Outdated Information and/or Design

I know we just talked about brisket, but building a website is not like making slow-cooked pork. You can’t set it and forget it! Your website requires regular updates and maintenance for a variety of reasons.

  • Updated Information Helps Customers — If you let your website information get outdated, it will be difficult for customers to find you, order from you, and remain a loyal customer. Don’t leave them hanging!
  • It Keeps Google Happy — Google ranks websites based on a huge algorithm. One major driver of rankings: how fresh and robust is your site’s content? This means you need to frequently add new content to your site (blog posts, anyone?) and routinely spruce up your older pages and posts.
  • Updated Design Keeps Your Brand Relevant — The tech world is constantly innovating, and you need to stay in the game when it comes to design trends and best practices. For example, here’s how Google and Facebook, two of the world’s most popular websites, looked when they first launched. Imagine how successful they would have been if they never updated their look and feel. Yeah, it’s not a pretty picture.
Google home page in 1996
Google in 1996
Facebook in 2004
Facebook in 2004

As you continue to build (and grow!) your business, make sure your website keeps up.

10. Don’t Go It Alone

Building a website from scratch is a lofty goal, but unless you’re really looking forward to investing in the process, it can be a big drain on your resources. And remember, your time counts as a resource when you’re bootstrapping a small business. If you need a responsive, professional-looking website — and you need it fast — Remixer is the tool for you.

Need a Beautiful Website?

Design it yourself with Remixer, our easy-to-use website builder. No coding required.

You can start with a free responsive theme that’s been put together by our web experts to help you sidestep all the mistakes we’ve outlined above. Our themes are designed to load quickly, look great, and help you easily plug in SEO-friendly content.

All you have to do is import your content, customize your theme, and then hit ‘publish.’ And if you get stuck somewhere along the way, the DreamHost team is just a chat away. Today is the day to start building your own Remixer site for free.

The post Building Your Own Business Website? Don’t Make These 10 Mistakes appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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April 2019 VIP Roundup

Spring has sprung (in the northern hemisphere, at least) and as you scroll through March’s updates, you’ll see fresh growth everywhere: We’ve got new launches for Hilton and Alaska Airlines. Development for WordPress 5.2 is well underway. Our teammates and partners are winning awards and earning certifications. And we’re thrilled to announce expanded support for enterprise clients in Asia Pacific. Explore details on all that and more below, including the latest from WordCamp Europe and a special spotlight on our work supporting female leaders in digital media.

At WordCamp Kolkata, CEO of rtCamp Rahul Bansal wears a white blazer and poses next to VIP Anand Natarajan in front of a blue banner celebrating rtCamp as a featured partner of WordPress VIPCEO of rtCamp Rahul Bansal poses with VIP’s Anand Natarajan at rtCamp’s 10th Anniversary Celebration

News and Releases

Updates from around VIP, our clients, and our agency and technical partners.

  • WordPress 5.2 is slated for release within the next month, bringing the block editor into WordPress mobile apps and shaving 35% the load time for large posts. The software is still in development, but you can download the beta or experiment with the WordPress beta tester.
  • Newspack is a collaboration from Automattic and partners News Revenue Hub and Spirited Media that aims to make it easier for smaller publishers to produce sustainable journalism. Project leads have selected 12 newsrooms from around the world to pilot the first live version of the platform. Among this first cohort are Chile’s El Soberano, Prague’s Transitions, and San Antonio’s The Rivard Report.
  • Automattician Seyward Darby was named a Top Woman in Media for her work as Editor-in-Chief at The Atavist Magazine.
  • VIP welcomed Anand Natarajan to the team as Sales Director for Asia Pacific, and expanded our infrastructure with a new data center in Mumbai.
  • Does your team deploy on GitHub? If so, 10 Up’s new plugin, GitHub Actions for WordPress, might make your life a little easier.
  • Congrats to Alley on the launch of Food Learning Locator. They’re also behind the design and development of Alaska Airlinesredesigned blog, and the development of Hilton’s corporate responsibility site. CEO Austin Smith was featured in a Local News Initiative story on the need for improved user experience of news websites.
  • Three cheers for Big Bite, who achieved certifications in two ISO standards for Information Security and Quality Management, and won the Northeast England Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Award.
  • Petya Rakovska of Human Made has started hosting kid’s workshops at WordCamps across the globe, teaching the next generation of WordPress superusers to build their own websites and custom themes. She created an organizer’s kit to spread the movement.
  • Inpsyder Frank Bültge shared this recap of eCommerceCamp 2019.
  • Reaktiv Studios released Design Palette Pro 1.6
  • rtCamp celebrated their 10th anniversary. You’d expect the cake, but the lemons were a surprise. CEO Rahul Bansal spoke at WordCamp Kolkata and COEP FOSSMeet’19 about Hiring in WordPress Ecosystem and Careers in WordPress and Open Source. Another Rahul (Prajapati) introduced students to WordPress Hooks Concept at COEP FOSSMeet’19. Amidst the revelry, they also released three GitHub Actions for automated code review, deploying WordPress, and Slack notifications.
  • Congrats to Trew Knowledge on the recently launched independent.com, the new site for the Santa Barbara Independent, a weekly newspaper in California which moved to WordPress and VIP after years using EllingtonCMS. Trew Knowledge also launched Journal Métro on Apple News.
  • Distributed teams are increasingly common. The crew at XWP identified 7 experiences that help them create a sense of ‘team’ among remote contributors.
Over a dozen kids with laptops collaborate with WordCamp Belgrade volunteers at one of the first WordCamp kid's workshops
Volunteers at WordCamp Belgrade taught kids to build their own WordPress sites and themes. Photo via Petya Raykovska and provided by Ivan Gatić.

Platform Notes

  • VIP Files Service, our distributed, scalable, and versioned file system, now supports a much greater range of files operations, thanks to an upgrade in the way file writes work for WordPress uploads.
  • We rolled out WordPress 5.1.1, Jetpack 7.1, and Jetpack 7.2 to all sites. (Links point to Lobby posts for clients.)
  • We released a VIP Cache Personalization API.
  • We updated the process for specifying files to be excluded from automated build and deploy processes. It now uses a .deployignore file, rather than .gitignore.
  • WP core upgrade has been fixed for local environments.
  • Fixed an issue with Contact Form 7 attachments and the VIP Files Service.
  • We’ve been working with selected clients on our Node.js application hosting. If you’re interested, please get in touch using the form below, or by contacting your RM.

What We Read (And Listened To)

Research and perspectives on the business of media and the practice of marketing.

Spotlight

The spring 2019 Women’s Leadership Academy cohort at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.

This year, VIP is proud to sponsor both the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator and the Poynter Institute’s Leadership Academy for Women. Steph Yiu has been attending their programs since 2016 and wrote a feature on the exponential impact of raising new voices to the highest levels of digital media leadership.

Upcoming Events

  • We’re excited to sponsor WAN-IFRA’s 71st World News Media Congress in Glasgow June 1-3. The event draws global news leaders passionate about media freedom and ensuring a sustainable news industry. You can register here.
  • We’re also sponsoring brand storytelling and digital marketing conference Forward, where marketing VP Jessica Snavely will share how Automattic uses data to tell success stories.
  • WordCamp Europe descends on Berlin June 20-22. Schedule highlights include talks from our featured partners 10up, Human Made, and rtCamp; sessions on Gutenberg, accessibility in design, optimizing remote teams; and a keynote from Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic. VIP’s very own Tom Nowell will do a live demo on using blocks outside of posts and pages.
  • The sixth annual SRCCON returns to Minneapolis July 11-12. This event attracts over 300 journalism-technologists, newsroom leaders, and others working to change journalism for the better. Sign up for information about tickets if you want to learn more.
  • WordCamp for Publishers is slated for August 7-9 in Columbus, Ohio. Plans are underway for the speakers and schedule, which will include tracks for editorial, engineering, and product teams. Read our notes from the 2018 event to get a feel for the festivities, and bookmark the event page to stay up to date.
  • The National Association of Black Journalists’ Convention and Career Fair combines education, career development, and networking to improve access for journalists of color. This year’s theme is “Fight The Power: Press Forward with Passion and Purpose” and goes down in Miami August 7-11.

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How has Stephen Tobolowsky found inspiration in breaking his neck?

Now, Stephen Tobolowsky Connected me.

He is best known for playing with Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day. He has been telling tales of their life. In this episode of One Question Interviews we speak about his newest movie, the principal Instinct, his talent for becoming life threatening circumstances and end up with a single random query...

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The Commodity Markets Outlook in six charts

Also available in: Español | Français
This blog is the first in a series of nine blogs on commodity market developments, elaborating on themes discussed in the April 2019 edition of the World bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook.

Oil prices will moderate from their current highs and be lower on average in 2019 than in 2018 on slower-then-expected global growth and rising non-OPEC production, according to our latest Commodity Markets Outlook. Metal, agriculture prices are on track to stage a partial recovery, with momentum likely to pick up in 2020.
 
Commodity prices reversed declines in early 2019
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Most commodity prices accelerated up in the first quarter of 2019 following last year’s declines, and many have recovered from drops in the last quarter of 2018.
 

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