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Why site speed is as important as ever on the visual web

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

In 2017 there has been a lot of focus around the impending mobile-first index and serving content through HTTPS. But there have also been two other important unfashionable topics lingering in the shadows: cybersecurity and site speed.

Since 2010, Google have publicly acknowledged that they take into account page load speed and site speed, and with tools like Page Speed Insights (along with a number of other third party solutions) we’ve been able to monitor and analyse our seconds.

However, balancing a quick page load speed and a great user experience hasn’t always been easy. As the internet has become a more and more important part of our daily lives, our online experience has evolved and we (as users) prefer much more visual content.

Big visuals also mean big image files, video files and potentially a lot of JS and CSS to fancy up the written text. This also means that there is more to load, therefore increasing load speed.

The reason that this is becoming more of an issue is because in 2015 mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in a number of verticals, and mobile users browse everywhere; when they’re on the Wi-Fi at home, at work or using roaming data on the go. Users are noticing slow-loading pages; which means Google have noticed users noticing slow loading pages – and now Facebook has noticed slow-loading pages.

Identifying site speed issues

At the moment, with the noise surrounding mobile responsiveness and HTTPS, a lot of webmasters and development teams are being overwhelmed with changes. It’s also worth remembering that not everyone runs modern stacks or has a clean website; there are still a lot of big websites on legacy platforms.

That being said, there are a number of checks you can carry out that could make a big difference to your page load speed by refactoring your code.

JavaScript Libraries

I’ve encountered a number of websites that run big JavaScript libraries that aren’t used on a lot of pages, but they still have to load on every page.

Making excessive calls to a large amount of unnecessary JavaScript and CSS files slows down the overall page load speed.

You could move all of these code elements towards the end of the code, meaning they are called last. This would only really impact the user if you’re using dynamic phone numbers that change an element through JavaScript, but the flicker is often only a twentieth of a second and minimal.

Image optimization

Images and graphics play a big role in both delivering the message of the content and improving the user experience on a website. Getting rid of images isn’t viable, but compressing their file sizes is.

In some scenarios, the delivery of the images could also be optimized. If your images are quite far down a piece of content, utilize lazy-load solutions or even better, utilize a CDN like Cloudflare or Amazon CloudFront.

System fonts

Another (and slightly less common) solution to improving page load speed is to utilize system fonts.

System fonts are the fonts that come pre-installed on your device. These are great options as they don’t have to be loaded, you simply call the system fonts in your CSS. That being said, choosing a system font can be tricky.

System fonts generally fall into two categories, optimized for screen and optimized for print. The main difference between these fonts is the detail. The only other issue with choosing a system font is that they are really over-exposed.

As every computer and device in the world (near enough) has them, they are not unique; so if typography is important to your brand, use custom fonts. But if Helvetica, Garamond or Seravek will do, use them.

Is AMP really the solution?

I couldn’t go through his whole article without mentioning AMP. AMP allows webmasters to create their slow, heavy pages but essentially serve their content through a new AMP page, that canonicals back to the original slow page.

Accelerated Mobile Pages seems on the surface to be an easy solution, especially for the big content publishers. But it’s not really a solution to the problem, more papering over the cracks.

What made these big sites slow and heavy in the first place is often tied very closely to how they generate revenue, advertising. Big banner adverts, banners spliced into content, overlays, auto play videos in the sidebars (yuck), all there to get your view and edge the website ever closer to another CPM payday.

With AMP, you don’t get to do it to the same extent and will lose out on potential revenue and ad views. How content is formatted is also very controlled, and the fact that Google hosts the content makes it a weird position to put the content publisher in.

Google is obviously willing publishers to utilize AMP and take advantage of the ranking benefits (AMP v non-AMP), but it still an odd situation to be in. A lot of webmasters have migrated to AMP as they manage large web properties that command a lot of traffic, but not because it is a logical business sense to do so, but because they are too afraid not to while their competitors make the move.

AMP is the right move for a number of websites, but I would assess all options first to speed up your website before boarding the AMP ship.

In conclusion

Producing a modern website that works for both SEO and users is not easy. It requires a lot of careful technical planning and development to ensure it contains useful, valuable content; that it’s secure; that it works on mobile; and that it’s fast.

Site speed can often be overlooked as a lesser priority, but it’s an extremely important part of the quartet. There are a number of free ways to test your site speed as well, and a lot of them provide good guidance on how to fix a lot of the issues.

Are We Already Fed Up With Animated Ads?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

On paper (where it began) animated advertising seems like the perfect tool for the creative mind, allowing you to bring to life any idea you can imagine. This can aptly demonstrate your product, service or offering with a captivating message portrayed with motion and color. There’s also an array of animation styles that go beyond changing the look, allowing for a selection of the tone of advert.

Careful use of animation also made possible some of first and most effective portrayals of personality in brands, helping them to control their own narrative with short, self-contained stories that far outlasted their small run times. More recently, animated adverts have overcome the idea that animation appeals only to children.

The reality of the animated advert, is however, not so perfect. Like all innovations, the reputation of animated commercials was sullied by those using the technology for technology’s sake, instead of using it to further a creative idea. Take website animation – what could be used to inform and guide consumers all too often became an interruption during the consumer journey, hampering their progression to the end goal.

A short history of animation and advertising

While early animation techniques can be found as far back as the 17th century, the dawn of what we consider modern animation occurred in 1906. Despite this, the first animated advert didn’t come about for another eight years. “Matches: An Appeal” was produced in 1914 to ask civilians for donations to go toward matches for overseas troops.

It was decades before animated advertising became cheap enough that it could lose its impractical image. In the 1960s, Nyquil used stop motion animation for an advert that wasn’t entirely dissimilar to its 50-year-old predecessor.

This advert allowed the adult subject of medication to appear cute and relaxing, putting consumers at ease with a product they may otherwise have worried over.

Moving forward to the ’80s, TVs had become commonplace and a wave of children’s broadcasts led to the revelation that advertising could be aimed at younger audiences. Both Um Bongo Juice and the more famous Toys R Us adverts use bright colors and characters along with catchy audio to create engaging and exciting worlds. “A magical place” especially became an icon, launching a slogan and brand that would stay in the mind of consumers for decades.

Animated adverts became the norm throughout the ’90s and 2000s but more recently have again taken an innovative turn as they find themselves used in boardrooms, pitches and company websites to demonstrate the offerings of the creator, as well as setting the tone.

They can be seen as extensions of the incredibly popular infographics as a simple, explainer videos like the one of pharmaceutical giant Bayer with stats and figures were used to explain and inform.

Apple is a perfect example of this — the simplicity of its brand advertising melded perfectly with animation. In 2016 they created a series of five adverts to explain their new health app, with a relaxing tone and easily accessible information.

The peak of animated advertising

There’s a lot of debate in the industry about the peak of animated advertising, but this suggests that it has already peaked. Animated adverts may be more commonplace than they were when they were first created, but this has no effect on their accessibility.

Combined with the reach of social media, faster Internet speeds and lower production costs, we’re living in a golden age of animated ads. Remember that just because something had been around for a century doesn’t mean it can’t still be innovative today – it’s all in how you use it.

Popular at the moment

So finally we come to the present – what forms of animated adverts are still in use today? The rise of CGI has lead not only to new forms of animation, but a resurgence of traditional animation which has gained the status of retro or quaint.

Despite the permanence of animated adverts in TV and film, perhaps the most popular form of animated advertising today is the sharing of gifs on social media. Iconic scenes from cartoons are used by brands to display their personality, accessibility and vision.

Talented social media experts can share these animated clips even when they have minimal relevance to their product or message, instead using the popularity of the clip itself to appeal to consumers at no extra cost.

Animated video for business

A final form of the animated advert is the explainer video. Much like how Nyquil used stop motion in the 60s, this takes a complicated subject and makes it accessible, using simple animations alongside explanations that allow the audience to absorb the information in bite size chunks. This video explaining API is a perfect example.

Animated explainer videos created usually in cooperation with a professional animation studio can be used in meetings to make sure the audience are on the same page, on a website to quickly explain what you do (something that’s incredibly helpful for niche startups) or on video sharing sites where it will find its niche with those that are interested.

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So are we fed up with animated adverts? With so many different styles, tones, innovations and uses supported by a rich history, it seems this medium has a way to go before it exhausts itself.


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Frankie Caplan is an animator interested in visual marketing and applying animation to business projects. She loves cats, eating pasta and watching Seinfeld.

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Major Resources for Your Market Strategies: Targeting the Client

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

What are the major resources for your market strategies?  How does a confident and successful entrepreneur differ from one who has tried several times and has failed? The simple answer is that the confident guy earns more money than the guy who has failed. The longer answer is slightly more complicated.  It is connected with the confidence to take a chance and a carefully prepared marketing strategy.

Good Market Strategy Essential

So let’s say you have ambition and have no desire to fail – even though you know it is possible.  Even though you know that success is not definite. How do you get a business running effectively, and do so in a way that you do not have to give it up through failure? The answer is that you should have a good market strategy designed to make you money. One that delegates duties where necessary and makes sure that everybody involved has a part to play and plays it.

The position of your business is an important factor in the major resources that you can use to help your marketing strategies to succeed. Is it an existing business trying to create a market for a new product or service? Is it a new company trying to break into an existing market?  Perhaps it is a combination of the two?

Importance of Social Media in Online Marketing

One of the major resources available to you is social media. More people now use Smartphones and other portable devices to carry out service or product searches online. Social media owns mobile technology, and if you have a website it must look good on small screens.  Most modern websites are responsive to multiple screen sizes, and so must yours be.

Increasing numbers of businesses are using Facebook business pages, LinkedIn, Google+ and blogs to present their businesses to the public. They use Twitter and Facebook to build a list of followers and send messages to millions of potential clients or customers that lead them to their websites. The days of manually building online lists by offering gifts to join are on their way out.  E-mail marketing is not what it used to be. Incessant spamming is allowing Twitter to take over.

YouTube enables you to make a video and publish it to the world free of charge. Simply include a link to your video on your tweet, Facebook post or on another form of social media you use. Pinterest allows you to create a link that will remain there forever.

Use keyword to divert users to your pins that are linked to your website or Facebook page – or even your LinkedIn account.  An important factor is not to copy all the same information to each social site. Rewrite your messages so they differ between each application.

Market Strategies Should Target the Client

The shotgun approach to using social media does not always work.  You must have a market strategy that is directed to the people you want to attract. Here are some aspects of a market strategy that you should consider – in fact, must consider!

Who Are You Targeting:  Who is your targeted customer? Who will want your service or product? Your product may well be a service, so there is little difference between the two terms. If your service is limited, such as repairing damaged bodywork on vehicles, then reflect that in your promotion.  Do not promote ‘auto repair’ but focus directly on your service: ‘auto bodywork repair’.

Do You Have a USP:  A unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors.  Think over what you are selling.  Forget the product or service name. Your clients want to achieve something with what they purchase. You are selling what they want to achieve – you are selling a solution to their problems.

Find Their Problems:  Work on that and you will achieve more success than just saying “This is my product – buy it!”  Devise a product that solves their problem! How do you find their problems? Surf the forums.  Forums are excellent resources to give you ideas on new products – or even used for your existing products.  Google ‘xxxx forum’ where xxxx is your market.  So, something like ‘vegetable blight forum’ will give you forums where people have a problem with blight on vegetables. Find some issues and decide if you can devise a product to help them.  Use any topic you like – there are forums for just about anything.

Measure Success: If you use advertising, online or offline, then measure the success of each advert. If you use pay-per-click (PPC) such as Google Adwords and Facebook advertising, then measure the success of each individual advert or even each keyword.! A keyword that makes you $100 from one advert is worth more than several that give you $100 combined.

Attack Your Competition:  You must learn who your competitors are and how you can provide what they cannot. Research your market or simply run a Google search, which is a good resource to get that information.  Use keywords relating to your product and use them in Google’s search box. You can narrow your search down to country, state or even town.  Google’s results will then provide you good information about your genuine competitors.

Check out these competitors and figure what you can provide that they cannot. Take the top few and put them prominently on your Facebook page and the Home Page of your website.  Right away, potential clients and customers will see what you can offer that others may not.

Offer USPs:  Maybe you have free delivery to offer; maybe a cost advantage or maybe you collect faulty products without quibbling over it. Make all of that clear and you might get the jump on your competition. Many people are simply buying a product – the small differences don’t matter. What matters to them may be getting free next-day delivery. Perhaps it’s having their complaints listened to properly. Who knows – so ask them! A simple question is one of the most effective major resources you have at your disposal.

When seeking major resources for your market strategies keep it simple. Think about what you are selling. You are selling a solution to a problem – not a product or a service. Present your advertising that way and you will be using one of the major resources for your marketing strategies: your brain!

Major Resources for Your Marketing Strategies:  Summary

To summarize, there are many resources for your market strategies available to you. They range from various marketing data and advertising tools to simple brain power. Never lose sight of what your customers or clients are looking for. They have a problem they want solved, otherwise they wouldn’t have a need to buy.

That problem might be a special gift for a friend or a relative.  It might be that their home or even their car doesn’t look like they want it.  It could be that they need something to jazz up their own business’ performance. Your marketing strategy should address these problems, and you have many resources available to tell them you can help. Targeting the client: These are the objectives of the major resources for your market strategies.


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Sonal Patil is a research analyst at Market.Biz. She is keen to handle and use market data for developing marketing strategies. Apart from this she loves to travel and explore distinct places. Besides all this you will find me all time reading, Youtubing and learning new things.

The post Major Resources for Your Market Strategies: Targeting the Client appeared first on SiteProNews.

4 SEO Myths Business Owners Need to Know

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

“[A] website without visitors is like a ship lost in the horizon.”

― Dr. Christopher Dayagdag, CEO of Marketlink Web Solutions Inc.

The Internet is revolutionary because it gives everyone who has access to it an equal voice.

As beautiful as that is, that also means that people can write whatever they want and fake news can spread like wildfire. This is exactly how some of the Web’s biggest myths have been born.

Other myths, however, are not necessarily born out of falsehoods but created from truths that became antiquated. And this is what many small business owners battle within the realm of SEO.

SEO changes so rapidly that it can be hard for anyone other than full-time marketers to remain current on the leading practices. If business owners aren’t diligent in their SEO research, there’s a great chance they will apply outmoded ideas and tactics to their efforts; this can be destructive for a site’s rankings, and for a business as a whole.

To help dispel some of these SEO superstitions, I am shedding light on four of the most prevalent myths haunting the SEO industry.

Myth 1: Content is King

Bill Gates said, “Content is king” a long damn time ago; 21 years to be exact. By and large, the content marketing community has found great satisfaction in cramming this adage down people’s throats at nearly every turn.

But – as with most things on the Internet that are 21 years old – this idea is ancient and not necessarily correct anymore.

Is creating content important? Absolutely.

Is it the panacea that most everyone proclaims? Absolutely not.

Creating high-quality content is certainly a fundamental aspect of topping the SERPs; and Google continues to hammer this notion home as it furthers its crackdown on thin content.

But no matter how useful your materials may be, if you’re not creating SEO-optimized content, then no one is ever going to find it. This is especially true if you are in an overly competitive industry.

Additionally, if you fail to optimize your website as a whole, Google itself might have great difficulty in unearthing your posts.

This means that content is not so much “king” as it is a part of a holistic SEO recipe.

The truth is that a large part of creating great content is ensuring that users don’t have to struggle to find these revelatory insights that you seek to share; mainly because that isn’t a good user experience.

In order for content to be as powerful as the masses like to proclaim, it needs to be top-notch and search optimized.

Myth 2: Keyword Optimization is the Primary SEO Focus

Keyword optimization has long been regarded as a foundational aspect of an impactful SEO campaign. This is a great example of an old best practice sticking around long past its expiration date.

With the advent of Google Hummingbird, semantic search and natural language processing, the focus has dramatically shifted from keywords to user intent.

As machine learning continues to become more intelligent and sophisticated, Google persists in growing increasingly capable of understanding context, topics which relate to each other, and terms that don’t exactly match but mean the same thing.

This has resulted in keywords losing ground to intent. It’s a cause for rejoicing, actually, because this enables content creators to focus more on writing for their audience (i.e. more naturally) than for the robots who index their words.

Myth 3: Images and Video Don’t Impact SEO

This one pops up all over the place.

Whoever is buying this line clearly isn’t paying attention to what is going on right now.

Optimized video and image content can impact a site’s placement in the normal SERPs and through video results and image searches; this is extremely powerful.

Moreover, these content elements impact on-page SEO in a couple of ways.

The first is user experience. No one, and I mean no one, wants to click on a page and be greeted with a wall of text. Nothing about that is sexy.

By integrating and intertwining images, videos, and gifs, infographics, etc. throughout your content, you are making it more digestible for users which significantly helps to boost the appeal of the page, effectively fighting bounce rates and promoting time on page; two of Google’s ranking factors.

Just be sure to keep file sizes down to a minimum to maintain loading speeds.

Additionally, image optimization via alt tags and file names allows you to incorporate your targeted keywords which helps support your efforts.

Myth 4: Meta Descriptions Matter

This is another example of best practices that turned bad over time. But it isn’t that cut and dry, either.

It turns out that this myth is true and false.

Meta descriptions – the little text snippets that appear just below each link in the SERPs – don’t have any bearing over your SEO in any direct way; zilch. But they used to; hence why people still think they do.

If meta descriptions don’t impact SEO, then you may as well let Google generate these for you then, right?

Wrong.

The reason why you don’t want to let Google do this is that the search engine will just take the first few lines of your content and use that as the description.

Those first few lines, while potentially genius in the context of your piece, likely won’t make much sense to the actual search users who read them as a snippet. And this is where meta descriptions matter in a big way.

The people you are trying to drive to your webpages do read these snippets as a way of identifying if your page holds the answers they seek. If you’ve written a compelling description, they will likely click-through and bring traffic to your site; which is something that does impact your SEO.

This means that you need to be writing meta descriptions (similar to content) with people in mind.

There are a myriad of SEO plugins that will enable you to customize (meaning optimize) the meta description and title for maximum traffic.

If you were under the impression these myths were true, don’t feel bad; SEO is hard to keep up with.

The best thing you can do for your site and your business is to discard your previous notions, brush up on 2017’s best practices for SEO, and continue to monitor industry changes. This is the only defense you have against falling victim to 2018’s prevalent SEO myths.

Which of these myths did you still believe? Did any of these falsehoods surprise you?


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

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Switching to HTTPS: Is it really worth it?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Ever since Google made the announcement that HTTPS is a ranking signal, there has been a lot of discussion around whether that extra ‘s’ is really worth the hassle.

There are clear benefits to obtaining that sought-after green padlock, but there is also a lot of nervousness around actually making the switch.

The apprehension is understandable; as with any big change to a website, mistakes have the potential to be extremely costly – both to the user experience and to search visibility. Any risk of a drop in rankings has SEOs quivering in their boots.

However, this is not reason enough to avoid the change. There has been an almighty push towards creating a more secure web. There is a pressure for website owners to take responsibility for the security of their sites; those who do will be duly rewarded by Google.

What does HTTPS actually mean?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure; not that this will help you understand it any more than you did a few seconds ago.

As Google explains, HTTPS “protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and site.” This involves three layers of protection: encryption (goodbye eavesdroppers), data integrity (goodbye corrupt data) and authentication (goodbye attacks).

In short, HTTPS is essential for ensuring a safe and secure experience for users of a website. This is of paramount importance in an age where internet security is coming under increasing threats from all angles.

Having said all that, it is worth mentioning that HTTPS does not make your site an impenetrable fortress. Even with the best security in the world, a site can still come under attack.

That’s just an unfortunate reality of our digital age – look at the recent ransomware attacks across the globe. Nevertheless, HTTPS sure does help.

Benefits of HTTPS

First and foremost from an SEO perspective, Google considers site security to be a ranking signal and will favour websites with HTTPS. Although it is currently only a ‘lightweight’ ranking signal and will therefore only affect a very small number of search queries, we expect this to evolve.

Much like the shift towards mobile-friendly websites, which started gaining momentum and then suddenly slapped us in the face with the (albeit underwhelming) #mobilegeddon and mobile-first indexing, it is only a matter of time before secure sites become more of a priority. In addition, we love the theory of marginal gains so every little helps!

The effectiveness of a move to HTTPS will likely be determined by the type of website. For example, ecommerce sites will certainly benefit the most from a switch to HTTPS. Where payment or the exchange of sensitive data is involved, security becomes critical.

Migrating to HTTPS may not yet be as important as high quality content or link-building prowess but it would be foolish to dismiss its importance on these grounds.

There are further benefits, too, in the realm of user experience; visitors will be more trusting of your website and confident in its ability to provide a safe browsing experience for them. Plus, let’s not forget the peace of mind it will bring you knowing that your site is protected with that little ‘s’.

Concerns with HTTPS

But – and there’s always a but. Just the thought of migrating from HTTP to HTTPS is enough to strike fear into those responsible for the move. What if I accidentally block important URLs in robots.txt? What if it slows the speed of my site? What if my web applications aren’t compatible with HTTPS? What if I mess up the redirects and canonical tags? What if the rankings of my site plummet, never to return? What if my website just DISAPPEARS off the face of the digital ecosystem?

These are (mostly) legitimate concerns but they should not stop you. Here at Yellowball, we recently decided to make the move.

We had similar concerns, especially that we might see an initial drop in rankings and weren’t sure how long this would last. But alas, we made sure that those responsible for the move knew exactly what they were doing and we followed the best practices (getting to these shortly).

So, did anything terrible happen? We have seen a slight drop in rankings but these are already climbing back to normal and we expect to see an overall improvement in the long run. So no, nothing bad happened and now we can all relax in the knowledge that the big move is done.

HTTPS migration checklist

Mistakes can be made during a migration, so it’s important that you do your research and ensure the process is handled correctly. If you follow this step-by-step checklist and enlist the help of someone who knows their stuff, you’ll be just fine.

  1. Obtain a security certificate (usually referred to as an SSL certificate). Ensure you choose a high-level security option: Google recommends a 2018-bit key. You can get these certificates from a certificate authority but we recommend buying one from your hosting company, as they will usually help you install it.
  2. Set up redirects to ensure that all of your old HTTP pages redirect to the new HTTPS pages. There may only be one tiny difference of an ‘s’ but this still makes the URLs completely separate. Create a URL map that lists all of the old URLs with their corresponding new ones. If you have been wanting to make any tweaks to your URL structure for a little while then now is the opportune time to do it. Be sure to use permanent 301 redirects (rather than temporary 302 redirects).
  3. Update internal links so that these all point directly to the new HTTPS pages, rather than having to redirect.
  4. Update all other resources including images, downloads and other scripts, as these will all need to point to the correct HTTPS locations too.
  5. Avoid blocking your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt and avoid the ‘noindex’ tag.
  6. Reindex your site via Google Search Console and submit your new sitemap. Note that you will have to create a new property, due to the different URL. You cannot just submit to the old property and expect it to work.
  7. Test all is working correctly using this SSL Server test. If there are any technical issues then get in touch with your host or a developer to resolve problems quickly.

This is not a comprehensive list so it is worth enlisting the help of an expert. Remember that you can check the data in your Google Search Console to find out whether there are any URL or crawl errors.

Conclusion

All in all, it is clear to us that the benefits of migrating to HTTPS outweigh the potential pitfalls. Having a secure site will only become increasingly important and there’s every possibility that we will eventually face the HTTPS equivalent of mobilegeddon (securigeddon?).

Having said that, there are times where making the move may not be necessary. For example, if you run a personal blog, get only a small number of website visitors and don’t expect this to increase dramatically in the new few years.

However, if you are expecting to see a rise in traffic, or if you already see high volumes of traffic then our advice is to make the switch.

In short, Google says so. So do it.

Top 10 WordPress Hosting Companies – Revealed!

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

WordPress is world’s most popular content management system and known to extend features more than a simple blogging platform. With a library of free and premium themes along with useful plug-ins that defines and supports millions of websites, including Best Buy and The New Yorker, WordPress is surely the champion platform for hosting websites.

Most Web hosts offer WordPress services in terms of optimization or offer a managed environment, wherein the CMS comes preinstalled. Depending on the Web host, one can enjoy multiple site-friendly features, including page caching, quick CMS updates and backup options.

Here are some key differences for each WordPress hosting type:

  • Shared Hosting: An affordable option with a simple and scalable interface. The price involved is low too ($2.50  – $7.50 per month).
  • Dedicated Hosting:  This option is perfect for heavily trafficked sites, which enjoy more than 100k monthly visitors on their site.
  • Virtual Private Server: These servers are like the shared ones, where multiple sites are hosted together with more control at your end.
  • Cloud Hosting: This option pulls resources from different servers thus allaying the risk of a single server that might bring the site down.

The top four criteria for assessing the best WordPress Hosting Companies

1. Pricing vs. Features

For judging the best hosting companies, we first and foremost compared the quantity and quality of features that are being offered. The best companies offer the most features at low costs.

2. Money-back guarantee 

It is important to assess the guarantee of the offerings and what is being mentioned in fine print in terms of commitments from hosting providers. Some hosting providers are smart enough to mention half-truths along the way that might land many in a fix, later.

3. Site’s performance in terms of up time and overall speed

Setting up a WordPress website should be user-friendly with the help of these hosting sites. We closely monitored the performance of all the websites and the hosts with third-party sites that check your site health in periodic intervals.

4. FREE domain (optional)

Also, check for any freebies being offered in the hosting plan including a domain since that will keep the option lucrative for the deal.

Image Courtesy of:  Websitesetup.org

Image Courtesy of: Websitesetup.org

The Top 10 Web Hosting Companies Ranked

We graded the following Web hosts on their uptime and speed, measured in amount of time taken for a page to load fully. We also considered customer support quality and freebies offered in our assessment. Here are the top 10 WordPress hosting companies that offer bang for the buck:

1. Blue Host

BlueHost is a hosting site with two million-plus websites. BlueHost offers a real average uptime of 99.97 percent with an average load time of a staggeringly fast 422 ms. Its 24/7 customer service is efficient too. Although prices are on the higher side starting from $5.95 per month, it adds a free domain name and site migration option for new accounts into its package.

2. Hostgator Cloud

HostGator’s Cloud Hosting offers the best uptime and speed within its packages. Since the company boasts of 100 percent uptime, and in the tests that followed, we witnessed just about 10 minutes of downtime in a five-month period.

HostGator has a user-friendly site that explains the deployment process in simple terms. The customer support and their always-on live chat option are good too. Its pricing starts at $4.95 per month and extends up to $9.95 a month with a 45-day money back guarantee.

3. Siteground Hosting

Siteground now has 450,000 domain names under its hood, from around the world. Having checked its speed, uptime, and performance over some months, the platform is incredible at all levels — 99.9 percent uptime over the year, average page loading time of 539ms, friendly and prompt customer support, free transfers for all existing websites along with a domain name, cheap hosting rates at $3.95 per month with a 30-day money back guarantee offer.

4. A2 Hosting

A2 hosting came up trumps in terms of speed, averaging 364 ms with basically instant page loading as it implements caching. The site offers 24/7 customer support and instant responses. The lowest plan starts a $3.92 for two years and a 30-day money back guarantee.

But it could not live up to their uptime claim of 99.99 percent, having slipped in recent months. Hence it lagged behind some competitors in this regard.

5. InMotion Hosting

InMotion is one of the most well-known hosting providers, with a customer base of more than 300,000 domains. The hosting provider also delivered average uptime of 99.98 percent in a five-month period with a very good page loading time of 615 ms. The customer support agents were satisfactory too with detailed answers.

Its pricing is among the lowest hosting options, starting at $2.95 per month. One drawback with InMotion Hosting is lack of instant account accessibility with hassles in verification procedures for foreigners.

6. DreamHost

DreamHost has a network of 1.5 million sites and has existed since 1996. It had an uptime average of 99.98 percent while the average page loading times were 686ms over five months. It also offers addons in the form of unlimited bandwidth and DreamHost will credit the account when there are issues with uptime. The customer support also offers quick responses.

Its main drawback is pricing since it hovers at $7.95 per month but with a long money back guarantee period of 97 days.

7. GreensGeeks

GreenGeeks hosts 300,000-plus websites since its advent nine years back. It claims 99.9 percent uptime and delivers it too.  The average loading time though is slower than others at 942 ms. It has excellent 24/7/365 U.S.-based customer support and also offers free data transfers and site migration along with a free domain name. The pricing is OK at $3.99 per month with a 30-day money back guarantee.

8. Site5 Hosting

With an average site time of a low 99.94 percent, and a slow average loading time of 701ms, Site5 Hosting does not match favorably with its competitors. The customer support is good enough and it offers a 90-day money back guarantee if one tries Site5 out. The pricing plans are pricey, starting at $4.95 per month to up to $11.95 per month.

9. iPage

iPage, which started in 1998 has grown to more than one million websites. But the average uptime lagged at 99.95 percent with 32 outages, and the average loading time was the worst at 846 ms. But it does have the cheapest hosting plan at $1.99 per month, although not the best option in terms of performance.

10. Arvixe

Arvixe, founded in 2003, delivers an average uptime of just about 99.95 percent and it performs abysmally in terms of average loading times at 3,342 ms. Even the customer support is inefficient and slow while the pricing is expensive at $4 per month.

Conclusion

Bluehost and Hostgator Cloud top the list owing to their consistent performance in uptime, speed, pricing and freebies. One can choose any from the top six of the list and based on their WordPress hosting priorities.


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Boni Satani is a passionate blogger and an Inbound Marketer. His interest lies in WordPress and is always eager to know more about various WordPress Hosting Providers. Along with a group of experts and Web developers, he is closely working with websitesetup.org

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