Email remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Having a direct channel for connecting with your audience is a priceless way to bypass all the noise on the Internet.
MailChimp is one of the many email marketing providers. The service is a favourite for bloggers, small businesses as well as large corporates. And the best part is the fact that it is completely free to use up to 2000 subscribers.
MailChimp is only one of many solutions out there. So why should you use this service?
As mentioned above, MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers on your email list and 12,000 monthly emails
The service is trusted by more than seven million users
It integrates extremely well with WordPress
MailChimp is very easy to use and lets you create HTML email templates without any coding
In my case security from cyber attack is very important as in the past four years I lost two of my websites to hacking and last week I almost lost the entire content in my hard drive. A proper website can take months or even years to create – this means much time and money.
Many of us have heard cases of friends whose websites were hacked and their clients were receiving invoices from the hackers.
Once someone hacks your email he/ she has access to your mailing lists and in some cases to all your computer files as well.
Whenever a hosting company tells you that they will back-up your website – take that statement with a pinch of salt. Yahoo, my hosting company at the time was unable to recover my websites. Also, the back-up I had, was not effective. I will mention about an incredibly effective backup plugin later in this article.
Protect your Computer
Protect your computer from Malware. There are various reputable brands, Malwarebytes being one of the most popular. If you opt for the free version ensure that you do a weekly scan.
Anti-virus: Again there are a couple of good brands Kaspersky being one of the best. A great feature of Kaspersky is the fact that it shows you if a website is not safe to visit. My friend Niren Singh is using AVG Premium and he is very happy with their service.
Use an USB Flash Drive or some other easy, reliable storage solution. Install Cobian backup and have all your computer’s content transferred to your flash drive (or other reliable storage device) automatically and do this regularly.
Protect your email
Activate ‘two-step verification’ for your email account. What this means is that additionally to entering the password you must tap on your smartphone to access your email on your computer.
Change your password regularly. A note from my friend Andrew Gibb: “I’ve learnt that long passwords are strong passwords, that special characters (like: !@#+-_ etc), numbers and mixed case (UpPeR and LoWeR) are important but not as important as longer passwords. Remember if you think that you’re going to forget a password, write it down and store it in a safe place – it’s not often that crooks steal physical documents”.
Protect your WordPress Website
Ensure you have a website that starts with https://. If your website starts with ‘http://’ change to ‘https:// immediately!
On a weekly basis go to your ‘installed plugins’ and update any plugin that needs updating – this takes a few seconds to do.
Install and enable ‘VaultPress’ – the best back-up plugin there is (it only costs US$5/ month) and you will sleep easy. This plugin backs up your entire website every 24 hours and should your website be hacked you can restore your entire website at a touch of a button.
Your Developer/ Local IT Store
Keeping your computer, email and website safe is something you can do yourself. Additionally, keep a friendly relationship with your Developer or the Technical person at your local IT store as they are well-equipped to assist you in an emergency.
This is what happens if your website does not load:
your visitors won’t be able to access your site (not good w.r.t. customer service…).
you won’t be able to access your Admin Area and therefore you won’t be able to do any work on your site.
if you are running Campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook, Pinterest, other – visitors clicking on your Ads will be directed to a page that shows: “Page Not Found – Internal Servor Error”.. believe me, your customers won’t be impressed.
Google bot will try and crawl your site but cannot find your pages. Result? Google down-ranks your site on Google search. Very bad for your SEO!!
WordPressTrainingJohannesburg.com was down for 10 hours yesterday. Talk about someone about to get a nervous breakdown…
I have received good service from both hosting companies and so it was with great surprise (and shock!) that I saw that my one website was not loading yesterday.
After a few online chats to Bluehost and getting nowhere I contacted Bluehost’s Head Office in the United States. They said that the server needed upgrading and that I would have to authorise upgrade from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 which I did and the website was subsequently uploaded to the internet. Why request authorization? just do it…
Fortunately no such issues with WordPress.com hosting!!
Why am I writing this post? To let you know the incredible importance of having a “good” company host your website. You don’t want your website to be down… EVER!
Should you have a Developer and should your Developer host your website for you, then hopefully your website is in competent hands and you should be experiencing no issues.
One more note: should your site be the free version of WordPress.com then you have nothing to worry about as WordPress.com will be the host of your free website. And should you one day upgrade from the free plan to a paid (premium) plan, I would recommend your stay with WordPress.com hosting.
At times, what is expensive today is going to save you much time and money later on.
Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) recently introduced ‘Broad Match Modifier’ that lets you create keywords that are more targeted than broad match, yet have a greater reach than phrase or exact match.
With modified broad match, you put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. The words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the user’s keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation.
The words that are not following a (+) sign will trigger ads on more significant query variations.
This feature can drive more traffic than phrase or exact match, and attract more qualified traffic than broad match.
What are examples of modified broad match phrases?
Say your broad match phrase was “red purses.” That phrase could prompt ads on relevant query variations like “red bags,” “colorful purses,” “women’s clutches,” etc.
But if your modified broad match was “+red purses,” the word red or some close variant would have to appear in the keyword phrase.
Close variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms and stemming.
So the query “redd purses” or “reddish bags,” for example, could trigger your ad.
If you made your modified broad match “red +purses,” the word purse or some close variant would have to appear in the keyword phrase. Examples include “colorful purses,” “colorful purse,” or “women’s purrses.”
Go into your Google Ads account, click on the Keywords tab, and select the keyword phrase you want to edit. Click on the current match type in the Type column and choose modified broad match from the drop-down menu. Add the necessary (+) signs to the keyword phrase.
How do I know if modified broad match is a good idea for my campaign?
If you decide to give it a try, make sure you track how your campaign performance evolves. See, for example, how your clicks, CPCs, conversions, return on investment, and so on change. Google notes in its broad match modifier overview that you can produce a performance report that just details information about modified broad match keywords.
If modified broad match keywords seem to be improving your ROI, then stick with them. If not, stay with broad match, phrase match, or exact match.
Another question I often get relates to photo editing. What is the best online photo editor?
The probability is high that Adobe Photoshop has the world’s best imaging and photo editing software. But it is not free and it has quite a steep learning curve.
There are a number of free online photo editors, one of the best-known being Canva. Besides being free, Canva is easy to use.
With Canva‘s drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, you can share and print business cards, logos, presentations and more. It has many features – you can create:
Poster and so much more on your own or with your Team.
This is not a tutorial on canva. The objective is to show how easy it is to edit an image you already got:
How do I edit the image below to have 2 lines of text that reads: ‘Terrier dog enjoying driver’s seat’? I would like the text to be in blue and at the top and centre of the image. To view the edited image please scroll down to the bottom of this post.
All WooCommerce stores share a single aim: To increase conversions and get more sales. Whatever your wider business goals, that’s what it all comes down to!
If you Google ‘WooCommerce conversion rate optimisation’, you’ll find lots of general advice on how to convert more visitors into paying customers. This usually focusses on improvements to the cart and checkout. These are important, but often forget that you need to convince customers to buy your products in the first place.
In this article, I’m going to do the opposite. I’ll provide specific and actionable tips on how you can convince customers to add more productsto their cart using a specific tool: product tables.
WooCommerce product tables are an excellent tool for increasing your sales. By adding well designed table layouts to your store, you can present products in user-friendly ways that make it easier for customers to buy from you.
Bed and breakfast themes are niche WordPress themes available for the hotel and lodging industry. They’re designed to showcase a single location as is typical with B&Bs, so they need to be powerful and well-designed yet minimalist enough to not be too bloated with features intended for large hotel chains.
This post features a collection of over 20 bed and breakfast themes available for WordPress. These themes are more than capable of showcasing B&Bs effectively through the styles and features they offer. Let’s go over what exactly a bed and breakfast is and what features you should look for before we get into the list.
It can be tempting to think any working web host will provide you with a top-notch experience, but that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. No two hosting providers are the same, and performance can vary wildly between different hosts. All that means that even if you’re feeling happy with your WordPress host (and definitely if you’re not!), you might not necessarily be getting the best service possible. And that’s why it’s important to look at some metrics that indicate when it’s time to switch WordPress hosting providers.
The good news is that moving to a new hosting service isn’t as difficult as it sounds. So even if you’re ambivalent about your current host, we encourage you to consider these metrics because there’s a decent chance you might be able to improve your site’s hosting situation without much hassle or money.
Because of how important metrics like uptime and page load times are to your site’s success, every little improvement counts. For that reason, whether you’re happy with your current host or not, we’re going to walk you through five reasons you might want to switch WordPress hosting providers and explain what makes each important. Let’s get started!