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How To Enable GZIP Compression In WordPress?

How Does WordPress GZIP Compression Work?

A mashup of computer languages—HTML, CSS, and JavaScript—are used by almost all modern websites. Reducing them to their most basic form, they’re essentially text files.

When users go to your website, their browsers download these text files and will begin rendering the website according to the code contained within these files. These codes are then translated to something readable and understandable to the average human.

As machines, browsers don’t require all that extra whitespace and extra formatting used to improve readability. As long as the browser can analyze code content, it can be written in one long block of text.

In general, WordPress GZIP compression takes away the formatting that is mainly used for human understanding. Reducing the length of code also reduces the size of the file containing it.

How to Enable WordPress GZIP Compression

WordPress GZIP compression is actually something that you need to enable on the server side—not WordPress.

For other web hosts, it’s up to you to enable WordPress GZIP compression.

Based on the plugins you’re already using (or the web host where your website is stored), it’s possible that WordPress GZIP compression is already enabled. You can easily check to determine this by running your domain name through the GZIP compression checker.

If you’ve determined that WordPress GZIP compression is not yet enabled, there are multiple methods to get started—with different options for experienced backend web development and newbie WordPress users, alike.

1.     Enabling WordPress GZIP Compression via .htaccess

This is the most common way to enable WordPress GZIP compression.

However, this particular method involves the possibility that you might break something. After all, .htaccess is a very sensitive server file, and one wrong move can mess up your whole website.

To reduce the likelihood of breaking your WordPress website, be sure to make a copy of the original file before making any changes. And back up your WordPress website!

Once you’ve covered all your bases, it’s time to get rolling.

The .htaccess file should be in the root folder of your website. This file, however, is usually hidden by default on both the remote server and your own machine, if you copy it.

The best way is to access the file is through FTP. Alternatively, you can use another admin interface or cPanel.

To enable WordPress GZIP compression in your FTP client, force hidden files to show.

Once you locate the .htaccess file, start editing it. Or, to be safe, download the file on your computer and first make changes on your own hard drive. The file is likely also hidden by default on your own machine, so force hidden files to show.

Add the following code, sourced from GTmetrix, either inside or outside # BEGIN WordPress and # END WordPress (it doesn’t matter where):

# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml


# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent

Save the file and replace your original .htaccess file. Then, run your website through the aforementioned GZIP Compression checker tool to make sure that you were successful.

2. Contact Your Web Host

If you’re not comfortable making changes to your website files, it’ll be easier to ask your web host to enable WordPress GZIP compression for you.

In general, most web hosts will be willing to assist you with this query when you reach out to their customer support teams.

3. Enable WordPress GZIP Compression with a Plugin

Of course, if you’re using WordPress, there’s always a plugin that can make the job easier. The caveat? More plugins means more potential security vulnerabilities—and space on your server.

Regardless, these plugins can help you to easily enable WordPress GZIP compression.

WP ROCKET

WP Rocket is a caching plugin that helps WordPress sites load faster in just few clicks. Upon activation, WP Rocket adds GZIP compression rules in your .htaccess file using the mod_deflate module.

CHECK AND ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION

Just as the name “Check and Enable GZIP Compression” suggests, this plugin is built for that same purpose. It’s simple: the plugin checks if your WordPress site has GZIP compression enabled and it will enable GZIP compression if it’s not yet done. This plugin has over 20,000 active users.

W3 TOTAL CACHE

W3 Total Cache is considered to be the number one WordPress caching plugin. A potential issue: WordPress newbies can easily break their website when using W3 Total Cache without proper configuration. If you know what you’re doing, you can also enable HTTP compression by going to the browser cache, and checking the box for HTTP (GZIP) compression.

WP SUPER CACHE

WP Super Cache is another WordPress cache plugin that offers the option to compress code. To enable WordPress GZIP compression using WP Super Cache, go to the WordPress dashboard > WP Super Cache > Advanced > check the box for Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors.

4. Enable GZIP on NGINX

If you’re running on NGINX, look for your nginx.conf file and add the following code:

gzip on;
gzip_disable "MSIE [1-6]\.(?!.*SV1)";
gzip_vary on;
gzip_types text/plain text/css text/javascript image/svg+xml image/x-icon application/javascript application/x-javascript;

Final Thoughts: Everything You Need to Know About WordPress GZIP Compression

While there are plenty of ways to improve your WordPress site’s speed and page load time, GZIP compression is one of the easiest ways to do it.

Don’t wait for slow page load times to affect your businesses bottom line. Check your website to determine if WordPress GZIP compression is enabled. If it isn’t, you have plenty of tools at your disposal to turn the tides in your favor.

Once you’re done with WordPress GZIP compression, there are still several additional tactics you can employ for improving page speed. Educate yourself and take advantage of the available options—like image optimization plugins or using a CDN.

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Why Choose SSD Web Hosting?

There are several reasons that website owners are choosing SSD hosting, with speed being the biggest motive. Solid State Drive hosting, or SSD, is the best choice for websites with high traffic volumes. In addition to speed, this technology can also improve your website’s uptime and overall performance.

According to recent market research, just a single second delay in the time it takes to load a webpage dramatically impacts visitor engagement with your site. It results in 7% fewer conversions, a whopping 16% reduction in visitor satisfaction ratings and 11% less page views.

Here is a look at how SSD web hosting can have make a definite improvement in your webpage’s speed and your visitor’s positive response.

What Is SSD?

Solid State Drivesare the new kid on the block when it comes to web storage. They have no moving parts, hence the name solid state. There are no mechanical parts to break down, like spinning disks or read-write arms.

When first introduced, they were very expensive. The technology has advanced enough to make them affordable for most web hosts. They are now commonly found in packages for shared hostingvirtual private serversand dedicated servers. The latest laptops, tablets and desktops use them too.

3 Big Advantages of SSD Web Hosting

SSD is reliable, fast and eco-friendly, all-important factors when choosing a web host. The less webmasters need to worry about the nuts and bolts of their webpages, the more time they can spend on content, marketing and engaging with readers.

Here’s a rundown on each advantage.

Reliable

With no moving parts, there is little chance of a breakdown and nothing to wear out. Traditional drives can also have long life spans, but are definitely more prone to problems. Over time, SSDs are more efficient and dependable.

An SSD is less vulnerable to shock and vibration, a constant problem for older drives. Since it runs cooler, it can handle a wide range of temperatures in its environment.

As an example of their reliability, an SSD can handle having the entire volume of its drive to be written to every single day for 10 full years without showing wear. Unlike a traditional drive, an SSD doesn’t simply die at the end of its lifespan, resulting in data loss. Instead it simply stops allowing more write access, which saves data and stress for blog owners. The content is still accessible, even after the drive is no longer usable.

Fast

Speed is essential if you want to attract and keep readers and potential customers to your website. Overall, the loading time for SSDs is considered to be about 10 times faster.

Why is this so important to a webmaster?

Consider what happens when a visitor comes to your website. His actions trigger database queries and access to content. With an SSD, data can be read and written at the same time, saving time for your visitor. With a traditional server, access is regulated by mechanical factors. The mechanical arm on the rotating disks must move in response to each request by the visitor, all of which takes time.

If your website is combined with e-commerce, the result of using traditional servers is fewer sales. Potential customers want the transaction to take place quickly. Abandoned carts are the bane of online marketers.

Websites with high-caching notice immediate benefits when switching to SSDs. Caching is a tool for speed and means that the servers store copies of the site on hard drives so they can be served quickly for the user. SSDs read/write faster so the benefits of caching are even greater.

Eco-friendly

Since SSDs use less power, they are more energy efficient than traditional drives. They don’t spin and they run cooler, both of which help with power consumption. The combination of better performance and environmentally friendly is a hard one to argue with.

Each SSD uses close to 80% less energy per gigabyte than a traditional drive. When you consider how many servers there are in a big data center, the environmental impact is significant.

How Much Does It Cost?

As a rule, SSD plansare now about the same price as traditional hosting plans. In some cases, the plan allows slightly less storage, but this is usually not a factor for most website owners. Even if you have a lot of data on your site, the smaller storage allotment is offset by the gains in performance and reliability.

Who Is It For?

Anyone with a website can benefit from faster load times and reliability. And most people are happy to go green if given the chance. That said, there are five specific categories of web hosting users that will most definitely benefit from SSD hosting.

• Websites using WordPress, Drupal and other types of content management systems: information retrieval is much faster

• e-commerce sites: the faster loading time increases sales

• High-traffic websites: SSD responds to visitor requests faster, resulting in higher visitor satisfaction and conversions

• High-caching websites: since reading/writing is faster, visitors experience faster speeds

• SEO-optimized websites: fast response and SEO go together in visitor satisfaction. Optimizing for speed as well as for search engines is essential.


What is Domain? (Domain Facts)

What Is a Domain Name?

It is very easy to define a domain name: a string of characters that represent one or multiple IP addresses. See? Easy.

The question is, what do you understand from this domain name definition?

Giving an understandable explanation takes a bit more effort and careful wording. The swamp of technical terminology is alluring but not always beneficial.

Let’s try again.

Domain name is what you type in the address bar of your browser when you want to access a specific web page.

HostingCheapASP.NET.

Or Google.com.

These are two domain names.

Mind, these are registered domain names, but they are not the sites HostingCheapASP.NET or Google. By definition, a domain name is the address onto which a website resides.

I know it sounds confusing, but the mucky part is easy to grasp with an analogy from the real world. This analogy is as old as the first domain name Symbolics.com, which was registered over three decades ago.

Anyway, moving on.

What’s the difference between a domain and a website?

Domain name is like the physical address of a street, say, 5 Lincoln Street.

What resides on this address is (a web page in the digital world) a building. This building could be an old Victorian house with an intricate design for several decades before being demolished and turned into a fancy co-work space where lumbersexual hipsters drink copious amounts of coffee and while trying to find meaning to their existence.

The point is that it doesn’t matter what kind of building resides on 5 Lincoln Street; the address itself doesn’t change.

Are you still with me?

It is the same with domain names. They are the location, the digital property onto which something meaningful or obscene is created: a website.

That’s why saying that our site is HostingCheapASP.NET is technically incorrect. This is our domain name. Our site is comprised of the articles, graphics, case studies, technical pages, comment section, and contact form.

Neat division, if you ask me, and a very real one.

A domain name can totally exist without a website on it, and a website can sort of exist without a domain name.

Now that you have gained some free domain knowledge, check out the infographic to see the importance of a catchy URL and how the domain name system came to be.

Is the Domain Name the Same as the IP Address of a Website?

You might be wondering whether IP addresses and domain names are the same thing.

No, they aren’t.

That’s the whole point of having domain names. They were invented to replace IP addresses for day-to-day human activities.

See, IP addresses are essential for the global network to function. Without them, chaos would reign supreme, and no meaningful communication between multiple independent networks would be possible.

IP addresses are the way machines know each other and who they communicate with.

If we, humans, could remember four sets of one-to-three digits separated by dots, then we wouldn’t need domain names at all. Only that we can’t

Even without a domain name system definition, you can figure out that it makes the domain names function. It does a bunch of other crucial things, but one of its core services is to translate domain names to specific IP addresses.

You might have heard the analogy between the DNS and a phone book if you are old enough to know what the latter means. Domain names are equivalent to human names, while the IP addresses are the phone numbers assigned to each domain.

Of course, being what it is, the DNS can change the records easily, mapping one domain to a new IP address without much effort.

For our current needs, this basic DNS definition should suffice. We have a dedicated resource here on the HostingCheapASP.NET that explains how it works in depth, what is a domain name server, how a domain name is mapped to a certain IP address, and so forth.

Domain Name Anatomy

Domain names are read from right to left. That’s why the last thing you type, be that dot-com, dot-net, dot-us or dot-whatever, is called top-level domain or TLD, for brevity.

What you type before this dot is the actual domain. In our case,
HostingCheapASP.NET consists of the domain (HostingCheapASP) and the TLD dot-net.

By definition, domain names and the entire DNS function in a strict, logical hierarchy. The order of begins with the top-level domains, then actual domains, then anything else.

Because the actual domain may be preceded by the WWW prefix or something else to create a fully qualified domain (FQDN). It could be
www.HostingCheapASP.NET or Mail.HostingCheapASP.NET .

Whatever the case may be, the part to the left separated with a dot from the main domain is called sub-domain, as it is hierarchically inferior to the main domain. It belongs to it, forming its own (smaller) domain within the actual domain name.

Confused yet?

Do you want me to tell you about HTTP and HTTPS that you see in the address bar of your browser?

Relax, I won’t go full-nerd there.

HTTP(S) is not a part of the domain name. Instead, it is the protocol, the language in which computer networks communicate. HTTP(S) stands for hypertext transfer protocol (secure).

Pretty much nothing to do with domain names.

Domain Registration and Lifecycle

The first step to secure the web address you wish starts with a domain name search. Practically all companies that register domains have a domain search field. You can use it to check what is free and what is available.

However, one quite confusing thing for first-timers is the fact that you cannot buy a domain name for good. Instead, domains are registered by public or private entities for some time. They can be renewed before the end of their registration period or left to expire if no longer needed.

The logic behind this arrangement is to allow newcomers to the global network to get the domains they want. Theoretically, it should work because once the registration time expires, the same domain name becomes available for anyone to purchase and register anew.

Only that it is not quite that simple.

Domain Name Registration

Normally, the shortest time for domain registration is one year, while the maximum period is 10. There are exceptions, and certain domain registrars offer premium services that ensure a domain is registered for a longer period, but none can be taken for less than 12 months.

In other words, once a domain is registered, it cannot be unregistered or changed. You have to be very careful when typing in the domain name you wish to have; check the spelling two and even three times to make sure it is exactly what you want.

Registering a domain is one of the most immutable pieces of digital data in existence and for a good reason.

Now, certain domain registrars could try to revoke the domain registration within the first five days of its creation, but it is best to not resort to last-ditch efforts to fix an erroneously spelled name.

Once you have the domain under your control, it would be able to host a website and serve emails for as long as you keep on renewing it. The domain registrar, i.e., the company through which you have purchased the domain, is legally obliged to send you email reminders when the domain expiration approaches so that you can decide on time whether to renew or not.

For as long as you renew it, the domain will be serving you.

Domain Expiry

In case you don’t renew, though, things become interesting.

On the expiry date, most TLDs enter a grace period that lasts about a month. During the grace period they cease to function. Any websites associated with them become inaccessible, and so do all mailboxes.

All the same, during the grace period the owner – or domain registrant, as is the right name – can renew the domain for the regular renewal fee. If renewed, the domain should return to normal function within 24 hours.

Typically, the grace period lasts 30 days. Some domain guides state “up to 45 days”, but that’s not in the ICANN rules. While occasionally the grace period might be extended for technical reasons, relying on that is simply foolish.

30 days at most.

Some domains, most notably dot-EU, do not have a grace period at all.

Redemption Period and Deletion

Once the grace period is over (if existent in the first place), the domain enters the ominously named redemption period. During this time the domain is in the hands of the registrar and is no longer owned by the initial registrant.

The redemption period typically stretches another 30 days. The owner could request the domain to be restored, buuuuuuuuuut (it is a big one, indeed) there are two caveats:

  • The redemption fee is significantly higher than the renewal fee; often, it exceeds $100.
  • The registrar (actually, the registry but let’s not go there) is legally allowed to keep the domain; even if a restoration request has been filed and a redemption fee paid, the registrar could keep the domain.

In other words, don’t let your domain enter redemption. Ever.

Once the redemption period is over, the domain name enters deletion. It lasts five days or so. Once over, the domain is officially erased from all records and becomes non-existent.

What that means in practice is that the domain can be registered anew by anyone with internet connection and a credit card.

Domain Hacks – How to Get a Domain Name Back

If your domain name enters redemption and you don’t want to pay the hefty restoration fee, you could wait for the domain to be deleted. Then you could purchase it for the regular registration fee, typically slightly over $10.

The risk here is that the moment the domain appears free, someone else might snatch it. A competitor who wishes you out of the game, a complete stranger who likes the name, a domain name trader who registers domains and resells them for profit, and so forth.

It is a risky move, but it could save you some expenses, potentially.

So, in a nutshell, in case you haven’t seen our neat infographic, the life of a domain name passes through these stages:

  • Available for registration – Practically, the domain doesn’t exist yet
  • Registration – A person or business purchases it for a set period of time
  • Active period – The domain functions for as long as the registration is valid
  • Grace period – Kicks in on the last day of the active period, lasts 30 days
  • Redemption period – Starts once the grace period is over, lasts 30 days
  • Deletion period – Lasts five days and follows the redemption period; the domain is irretrievable
  • Available for registration – The cycle is completed

Again, certain TLDs don’t have a grace period, while others don’t have a redemption period. Some don’t have either. Such domains are listed for deletion upon expiry.

Always check with the domain specialists of your registrar for any funky rules before you purchase a domain name.

Domain Name Registration Process

During the registration process, you must fill in something known as WHOIS information. Essentially, this data identifies who rightfully owns a domain name.

There are four WHOIS sections. They are known as registrant, billing, technical, and administrative contacts and are identical. Each asks for a name, physical address, telephone, and an email address.

While all fields should be filled in accurately, the email address is the most important by a long shot. More precisely, the email address you put in the administrative section matters the most, together with the one in the registrant field.

The administrative email is important for proving who owns the domain name, in case of an ownership dispute. It is also the one through which domain name transfers happen.

Practically, up until 2013, the administrative email address was the only significant one.

Since then, ICANN requires that upon registration domain registrars send confirmation emails to the registrant email address.

In other words, if you input the wrong email address when registering a domain, you will never receive the confirmation email and your new web address will be deactivated.

Make sure to check the spam folder of your registrant email address not to miss the confirmation link.

Free Domain Name Registration

Many hosting providers attract new customers with initial lower hosting fees, but they also throw in the mix a domain name.

It is a nice thing to get a free domain registration, but keep in mind that this offer typically covers a single year. After that, you will have to pay for the domain renewal.

All the same, a free service never hurts.

Domain Transfers

Domain names can be transferred between registrars and between owners. The latter happens much more easily, but it is the former that is normally termed “domain transfer”.

Change of Domain Ownership

For ownership to change, technically, all you need to do is to edit the WHOIS information. Input the name of the new owner and his or her valid email address in the registrant and administrative sections, and that’s it.

Admittedly, that’s a rather narrow definition of domain name ownership transfer. To relinquish control to the new owner completely, she or he must be given access to the control panel of the domain registrar as well.

In case you have many domain names and wish to give away only one of them, a domain transfer might be in order.

Transfer Domains Between Registrars

Domains are transferred for different reasons. Users grow dissatisfied with the registrar company or find a better deal; the hosting service migrates to a new hosting provider, and the domain name follows; a new owner comes in town, and so forth.

Now, a domain can be transferred but only if it is older than 60 days (i.e. two months have passed since its initial registration) and if the receiving registrar can accept it. Not all registrars are authorized to handle all TLDs.

In case the domain name is eligible for transfer, you have to do three things.

Well, four, actually.

First and foremost, make sure you have access to the administrative email associated with the domain. You will need it.

Then go to the current registrar and unlock the domain. By default, domain names are locked to prevent unwanted transfers.

Once the domain is unlocked, ask the registrar to give you the authorization or EPP code. It is a combination of digits and letters unique to your domain that serves to confirm the transfer request.

Without it, no domain can be moved.

Lastly, go to the company you wish to move the domain to and ask them to initiate the transfer. They will send a transfer request to the current company and will need the EPP code to start it.

Once the transfer begins, you must check the administrative email every now and again because you will receive a confirmation request. Typically, it is an email with a link that you need to click to confirm that this is a legit transfer request that you, the rightful owner, wish to happen.

Should you fail to confirm the transfer, it will stop, and the domain name will stay with the current registrar.

Capisce?

Are Domain Transfers Free?

Normally, the gaining registrar would charge you a registration fee for the transfer. This fee will be applied toward renewing the domain for one more year.

I guess, in a sense, this makes the transfer free.

Some hosting providers offer free domain names to new customers, but this offer rarely extends for inbound transfers. Still, it is always worth checking with the sales team to make sure you can’t benefit.

Beware of registrars that charge for providing the authorization code. These are cheap tactics to dissuade people from transferring their domains away.

You can dispute this as you are the rightful registrant and the EPP code belongs to you and are entitled to get it free of charge upon request.

What Is the Best Place to Buy Domain Names?

There are many registrars nowadays. Most website hosting providers can register domain names too.

There is an argument to be had about keeping your domain name where your web hosting services are, but there is one against it, too.

If you have one or two domains and like a particular host, you can easily keep everything in one place, for easier management.

On the other hand, if you have many websites, it is best to have a dedicated domain name registrar.

If you are looking for a deal, buy a domain at Namecheap or GoDaddy. These are two of the largest registrars. And while I have reserves about GoDaddy’s hosting service, their domain registration deals are quite OK.

So, What Is a Domain Name, eh?

If you’ve read the awesome infographic and the entire article up to this point, you already know more about domain names than 95% of the people.

If you have done neither and just came to the bottom to see what wisdom it may contain, I must say that I am a bit disappointed, but… I got you covered, fam.

To have a smoothly running operation online, make sure to register the domain name you wish to use with an email address you actively use. List said email under the registrant and administrative contacts, and you will never lose the domain of yours.

That’s by far the best advice I can give you when it comes to domain management and ownership.

Register with a valid, frequently used an email address, and add the registrar’s email address in your address book or else incoming notifications might end up in the spam folder.

That’s about it.

Happy hosting!

FAQ

Q: Are domain names free?

A: Generally, no, they aren’t. However, many web hosting providers allow a free domain registration to their new customers. Funnily enough, domain names used to be free until 1995, but this is no longer the case. Currently, popular TLDs like dot-com, dot-net, dot-org cost about $10 per year.

Q: What is the highest price ever paid for a domain name?

A: LasVegas.com was acquired for $90 million. No joke. Back in 2005, the marketing value of this domain name commanded a price that is yet to be surpassed. The closest rivals in this category are incredibly expensive as well but are very far behind: CarInsurance.con was acquired for $49.7 million, while Insurance.com cost $35.6 million. Both changed hands in 2010.

Q: What is a computer domain?

A: First of all, a computer domain is not a domain name for website hosting. It is a type of computer network comprised of Windows devices. Windows domain usually contains various user accounts and physical devices that have various levels of access to the network and are controlled by a central (set of) controller(s). Let’s leave it at that.

Q: What is a fully qualified domain name?

A: A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is the complete domain name of a host or a computer. The same way a regular domain is composed of the TLD (.net) and the actual name (HostingCheapASP.NET ), an FQDN adds a hostname to the mix. It could be WWW for the global network or something else, like “mail” or “ftp.” FTP.HostingCheapASP.NET is an FQDN, as it specifies completely what is to be accessed.

Q: What is a domain name system?

A: DNS is the thing that makes the world go round. No joke. Without a functioning domain name system, the global network would come to a halt. It is a hierarchical system that is decentralized, delegating functional authority to various authoritative name servers. Most importantly, the DNS maintains a vast database that maps all existing domain names to their respective IP addresses.

Q: What is a domain name and how does it work?

A: A domain name is the address of a website. Every domain is associated with a specific IP address or addresses to display the proper web page. To learn more, scroll up and start from the top!

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How to Choose the Right Content Management System?

With a vast array of CMS vendors and products on the market, selecting the right CMS can seem like a daunting task. Over the last decade, our team has seen the negative impact of making the wrong choice far too many times – consequences that can haunt your business and its IT department for years. This post is intended to provide a methodology to help get this crucial decision right.

In reality, there is no perfect CMS and no solution to suit all possible situations. Moreover, choosing and implementing a content management system is only the beginning of a journey that can pay dividends – or cost you dearly – down the road. Purchasing a CMS that requires excessive oversight and support, significantly impairs the ability for teams to manage content, and ultimately, leads to an undesirable website experience. The problem compounds for organizations that operate multiple sites and other digital properties. It’s a paradox that a system intended to enable your team and website can also be an enormous setback.

The first mistake many people and organizations make when choosing a content management system is that they overlook the long-term cost of an inexpensive solution, underestimate the amount of work it takes to manage a good content management system, and forget to align their team’s needs with the CMS’s capabilities.

Tips on Content Management CMS

To choose a CMS that’s right for your team – and to avoid from making this mistake, follow these 10 tips below:

Don’t Build Custom/in-house Content Management Software

It is very enticing to believe that your team can build a custom CMS, including open source. However, we have never seen it work. No matter how much you plan for it, your team does not have the years of experience that lends a capable hand to handle many complexities that come with a CMS. The amount of developer support required in the long-term outweighs the cost of purchasing a CMS; and not to mention, custom builds are prone-to-fail.

Avoid Heavy Developer Reliance

That is a recipe for disaster. Your development speed should not dictate your business moves. Make sure your content management solution enables your teams to focus on implementing campaigns and strategies that increase web traffic instead of spending excessive amounts of time on managing the technology.

Make Sure Your CMS is Scalable

Scalability should come as a no-brainer. Change is inevitable for any growing business, and changes impact your websites. Make sure you choose a CMS solution that can quickly grow and scale as-needed.

Choose An CMS that Supports Omnichannel

Even if your business is currently only leveraging desktop or mobile sites, it’s important to consider other properties that you haven’t, yet, looked into, but could benefit from in the future. Currently, content exists in the form of AR/VR, mobile, kiosks, digital assistants, jumbotrons, and so on, and there is no sign of this slowing down in the future. Make sure you choose a CMS solution that is capable of supporting new channels when you’re ready.

Don’t Limit Your System to One Code

No matter how great a content management system is, if there are no proper programmers available, it will fail. Many traditional CMS headaches stem from needing to hire resources that are highly specialized/skilled in a specific CMS infrastructure – this can be very limiting and create bottlenecks. Go for a system that allows your developers to utilize his strength and code in his preferred programming language.

Support is More Important than Software

A system could be everything you need, but if the platform team is not available to help you when you need help the most, it spells disaster for everyone. Finding a content management system that allows developers to work without disrupting the creation and management of content is sure to save your business time and money.

Be Sure to Test and Get A Proof-of-concept First

Before you roll out the CMS for your entire site, make sure to test the CMS and get a proof-of-concept. Implement a section of the website first and get team members and end-users to check everything from creating and authoring pages to establishing a workflow process. Testing mitigates many issues that may not have been apparent and saves you a lot of time and money.

Choose An UI That is Intuitive

Having a user-friendly interface is especially important if you have a team that won’t be living in the system every day. They’ll need a solution that is easy-to-use, not require a lot of technical know-how or training, and can quickly pick it up when they log back in.

Make Sure The CMS Has APIs and Supports Integrations with Other Apps and Microservices

Whether you want to incorporate personalization to your marketing strategy or want to get deep insights into your users’ web interactions and behaviors, businesses, like Partners and Marketing, require very different apps and microservices to manage their day-to-day work on the website. Marketing demands a solution that can easily integrate with marketing automation tool, business intelligence tool, Google Analytics, and RSS to deliver personalized content. Partners need to connect with devices like partner management platform, such as NetSuite, to better manage partner alliances. Pick a CMS solution, like a headless API-first CMS, that has robust APIs and lets you easily connect with third-party tools.

Visualize and Organize Your Website Correctly

One of the first things you should do when you’re implementing a new CMS or rolling out a redesign is to bring all of your stakeholders into a room and gather their input. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Half the battle is developing a well-thought-out content organization and taxonomy that helps your business meet its goals to succeed.

Cheap Drupal 8.0.6 Hosting Recommendation

New Features of Visual Studio 2019

The Visual Studio 2019 preview has been released. This beta release bundles the features that are focused on developer productivity and team collaboration. Let us discuss some core features in this article.

Introduction

The Visual Studio 2019 preview has been released. This beta release has so many features that are focused on the productivity of the developers and team collaboration, such as – better search, one-click code cleanup, debugger improvement, and management of pull requests from IDE. These are some of the core features specifically designed for improving the productivity of the dev team.

The major IDE features and improvements are discussed in detail as below.

IDE Features and Improvements

Start Page

We will see a completely new look of VS2019 startup window. We can directly clone a repository, open an existing project, create a new project, and navigate as well as open a folder for code changes. We see a link as “Continue without code” which opens the VS2019 IDE without any solution. The new look is shown below.

Create Project

The design of the “Create a new project” window has also changed, however, it contains almost a similar functionality to that of the earlier Visual Studio release.

Live Share

The live share enhances the developer collaboration but to use this feature, a developer must sign into Visual Studio so that the other developers would know who is sharing the information.

  1. The Live Share option is available at the right-end corner.
  2. The developer can sign in using a Microsoft account or Microsoft-backed school or work account.
  3. By default, Visual Studio uses a personalization account for the Live Share feature though, we can change the account details for Live Share from the option, as shown in the screenshot, by navigating to Tools > Options > Live Share > User account to switch the credentials.
  4. Click on the Live Share option to start a collaboration session. Once the Live Share environment is ready, we will see a “Sharing” menu and an invitation link copied to the clipboard that we can share with other team members to join the session.
  5. A team member can join a Live Share session by navigating to “File > Join Collaboration Session” and providing the Live Share Invitation Link.

Better Search

This feature is dedicated to the developer’s productivity. The new search is capable to search almost everything like menus, commands, options, installable components, project code, and Online as well.

One-click code cleanup

We see a new option while opening a file which tells about the health of the file.

  1. Mouse hover on the yellow bulb icon and it displays the summary of errors, warnings, and suggestions. Intentionally, I have added two errors to turn the yellow bulb icon to red cross icon.
  2. We can run as well as configure the code clean-up rule as per our need by right-clicking on the Health Indicator icon and choosing the “Configure Code Cleanup” opens a window to configure the customized rule.

Debugger improvement

We see a Search option in the Autos, Locals, and Watch window while debugging the code. By default, the search is available for three hierarchy level. As we know, complex objects have a deeper hierarchy, more than three, so that can also be configured using Settings icon in Autos, Locals and Watch window. The screenshots are shown below.

Manage Pull Request

We have full control over the pull requests in VS2019. We can review the code to run and debug the pull requests from the Azure Repos. We need to download an extension “Pull Requests for Visual Studio” from the marketplace.

We can see the pull requests inside the Visual Studio under the Team Explorer – Pull Requests and by clicking on the request. A “Complete details” window gets open inside Visual Studio.

Conclusion

These are some new features dedicated to focusing on development team productivity. The newly announced VS2019, however, has many improvements in other areas also. Keep connected for more information related to the new version.


What to Expect in .NET Core 3.0?

ASP.NET Core 3.0 will come with some changes in the way projects work with frameworks. The .NET Core integration will be tighter and will bring third-party open source integration.

.NET Core 3.0 brings us a slew of new features, notably support for Windows desktop apps (WinForms, WPF) on .NET Core. This will allow “side by side” versions of .NET Core for your desktop apps as opposed to “in-place” framework installations.

Well, how about ASP .NET Core 3.0? Well, during Connect(); 2018, Scott Hunter pointed out that ASP .NET Core 2.2 was also released at the same time as .NET Core 3.0 preview 1.

Here are a few things you can expect in ASP .NET Core 3.0, whenever it comes out next year:

  • Newtonsoft’s Json.NET will be removed from the shared framework
  • EF Core will be shipped separately as pure NuGet packages
  • ASP .NET Core 3.0 will only run on the cross-platform .NET Core 3.0
  • ASP .NET Core 3.0 will NOT run on the Windows-only .NET Framework
  • Note that some new C# 8.0 features will only be coming to .NET Core 3.0

Changes to shared frameworks in ASP.NET Core 3.0

In ASP.NET Core 1.0, packages were referenced as just packages. From ASP.NET Core 2.1 this was available as a .NET Core shared framework. ASP.NET Core 3.0 aims to reduce issues working with a shared framework. This change removes some of the Json.NET (Newtonsoft.Json) and Entity Framework Core (Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.*) components from the shared framework ASP.NET Core 3.0.

For areas in ASP.NET Core dependent on Json.NET, there will be packages that support the integration. The default areas will be updated to use in-box JSON APIs. Also, Entity Framework Core will be shipped as “pure” NuGet packages.

Shift to .NET Core from .NET Framework

The .NET Framework will get fewer new features that come to .NET Core in further releases. This change is made so that existing applications in .NET Core don’t break due to some changes. To leverage the features from .NET Core, ASP.NET Core will now only run on .NET Core starting from version 3.0.

Developers currently using ASP.NET Core on .NET Framework can continue to do so till the LTS support period of August 21, 2021.

Third party components will be filtered

Third party components will be removed. But Microsoft will support the open source community with integration APIs, contributions to existing libraries by Microsoft engineers, and project templates to ensure smooth integration of these components.

Work is also being done on streamlining the experience for building HTTP APIs, and a new API client generation system.

Cheap ASP.NET 4.6 Hosting Recommendation

WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg Are Here

Big news in WordPress: on December 6, 2018 (last Thursday as I’m writing), WordPress 5.0 shipped. Among a few smaller updates was one massive one: the long-awaited Gutenberg editor has replaced the TinyMCE editor as WordPress’s official content editor.

This guide to navigating WordPress 5.0 is written for people who may have dozens of WordPress sites, possibly operated by nontechnical site owners.

Fortunately, there’s no need to panic: Gutenberg is, overall, a Good Thing, and you can navigate its rollout in WordPress 5.0 without tears or late nights.

This guide is written for people, like me, who have up to dozens or hundreds of sites running WordPress, many of them operated by nontechnical site owners, all potentially updating to WordPress 5.0 at random times. And it answers a question so simple it’s not even grammatical: Gutenberg here, what do?

Here’s the answer, in five steps.

1. Breathe

Gutenberg is the largest change to WordPress’s core functioning in recent memory, and reactions to it throughout its development cycle have varied from excitement to optimism to horror to (this being the internet) a good deal of blind, quenchless rage.

None of those emotions have dimmed with the launch of WordPress 5.0 itself, which was rushed and erratic and has opened new questions about WordPress’s governance model as an ambiguous surprise-dictatorship.

Still, the truth is that most of the high emotion around Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0 is misplaced. This is true whether:

  • You haaate Gutenberg and always have and now there’s no escaping it
  • You’ve been excited about Gutenberg, you updated to WordPress 5.0, and now something’s not working right
  • You’ve been trying to ignore the whole thing, until you got calls from five anxious clients whose sites all broke in different ways when they updated WordPress.

In any of these cases (and any others!), don’t stress. Gutenberg is a good thing for WordPress long-term, and it’s not broken software, despite what is bound to be a there-were-absolutely-zero-issues rollout across millions of live sites.

What’s more, you don’t have to use it yet if it is causing problems. So we have time.

Educate yourself on what Gutenberg is and what it’s for (step #3 below), and how not to use it on sites that don’t play well with it (#2 below), and you shouldn’t need to spend any more time rage-downvoting the Gutenberg plugin, flaming the release announcement in the WP Tavern comments, or any of the other less helpful impulses that sometimes grip otherwise nice people.

2. Know Your Outs

One of the most important things to know about Gutenberg: You don’t have to use it yet.

This is one of the most important things to know about Gutenberg: You don’t have to use it yet.

If Gutenberg is bugging your site out, all you need to do is install the “Classic Editor” plugin, and your site will now continue to run the Classic Editor plugin rather than Gutenberg. The plugin has 900,000 installs and a >4.9 rating in the plugin repository, which I’m guessing is a bit bittersweet for the Gutenberg team, but at least you know it works. 

You can also install the Classic Editor plugin right when you update to WordPress 5.0, so you don’t have to hold back on updating WordPress itself to 5.0. Just follow (or tell your clients to follow) the links below, which appear on the “Welcome” screen post-update:

Clicking the link above takes you to the bottom of the page:

Matt has promised to support the Classic Editor “through 2021,” which is a lot of time to let Gutenberg get the bugs out, and to update the parts of your site that are breaking Gutenberg itself.

ROLLING BACK TO THE CLASSIC EDITOR WITH EXISTING GUTENBERG POSTS

You can still install the “Classic Editor” plugin even if you’ve started to author posts in Gutenberg.

One extra layer I’ll add is that you can still install the “Classic Editor” plugin, even if you’ve started to author posts in Gutenberg. Probably the most weird/genius thing about Gutenberg is that its actual markup all lives in HTML comments, meaning that it falls back to clean HTML.

So you can roll back to Classic Editor even after creating a fair amount of content with Gutenberg, and you won’t lose that content (like you might if you tried deactivating certain commercial page builders)—you’ll just lose whatever Gutenberg-only options you used within it.

3. Understand What Gutenberg Is, and What It’s For

Once again, Gutenberg isn’t WordPress’s doom, or its salvation. (Repeat step #1, “Breathe,” if needed.) It’s simply a better content editor than TinyMCE. You should understand the argument for Gutenberg, and the general outlines of what it does and doesn’t do.

WHY GUTENBERG EXISTS

For a good explanation and defense of Gutenberg’s existence, I’d recommend Matt’s WordCamp US talk from last Sunday announcing its launch:

If you’re short on time, the answer is this: the TinyMCE editor sucks, and WordPress’s competitors (like Squarespace) are slowly winning because of it. So are dozens of incompatible WordPress page builder plugins, many of them really low-quality. Gutenberg is WordPress’s official attempt to fix that, modernize and standardize the content editing experience, and ensure WordPress stays on top.

WHAT EFFECTS GUTENBERG WILL HAVE ON WORDPRESS

I’ve written very extensively on what Gutenberg is for and why it’s, overall, a good thing, in an article from almost this exact time last year:

Most of the analysis on Gutenberg’s effects on the community is as true now as it was a year ago. Recommended reading. 

If you want to understand more in-depth what Gutenberg is, what it isn’t, and what it is doing and will do to the WordPress ecosystem, there’s a good amount of further analysis in our premium course Up and Running.

4. Watch for (and Report) Bugs

As of right now, Gutenberg is surprisingly buggy. At some level, this isn’t anyone’s fault: it’s an enormous change, like upgrading a ship’s engine from steam to nuclear mid-ocean.

But undertandable or not, this bugginess is absolutely something to be aware of: WordPress 5.0 shows lots of signs of not being a clean install across almost all sites, the way most other WordPress major releases are.

For sites you manage yourself, my advice is to enable Gutenberg and experiment with it to see how it behaves.

For sites you manage yourself, where you can afford to do a bit of fiddling, my advice is to enable Gutenberg and experiment with it to see how it behaves. Gutenberg isn’t broken, and on newer installs running newer themes and plugins it’s likely to work seamlessly. But I would recommend that you stay alert on the sites where you enable it.

BUGS AND ISSUES I’VE NOTICED IN WORDPRESS 5.0

Here are the bugs and warning signs I’ve noticed so far when I’ve tried to implement Gutenberg on my own sites. This isn’t “a list of Gutenberg’s bugs,” it’s a list of the issues I’ve run into in only a few hours of working with Gutenberg live:

Breaks in combination with some old plugin versions.

Upgrading to WordPress 5.0 caused the post and page editors on one of my sites to break completely. I realized that this was because the site was running a 1.x version of Beaver Builder Standard. Updating that plugin fixed the problem.

The broader point is that sites with lots of old plugin versions running around are at a high risk of Gutenberg misbehaving. 

Scary behavior with WooCommerce.

As of right now, WooCommerce’s homepage is displaying the following message:

The “Tell me more” link doesn’t give any helpful detail on why this is important. This is especially unnerving as WooCommerce, of all the important software projects in WordPress, tends to make breaking changes, making updating WooCommerce relatively scary on its own.

Breaks inline <script> tags.

Inline <script> tags are bad, but I have a client who uses them all over the place because of the influence of a previous developer.

Gutenberg breaks these inline scripts by adding <p> and <br> tags to them. Below is the client’s “Cart” page, which is a shortcode plus a (now broken) Google Analytics embed script:

You can fix this by manually cleaning the added HTML markup and moving the inline script to an HTML block. But I just rolled that client back to the Classic Editor, at least until we can clean up his inline scripts.

Buggy permalink previewing.

At present, Gutenberg doesn’t properly strip special characters from its suggested permalinks for post drafts:

All those special characters in the “Permalink” section are really bad: URLs shouldn’t have those. Whereas the old editor does this correctly:

This is only for post drafts—when you publish the article it’ll have the correct permalink—but it’s still unnerving.

Changes the TinyMCE Editor in some ways.

The Classic Editor plugin is designed to exactly recreate the old TinyMCE editor, but the editor in WordPress 5.0 with Classic Editor installed actually behaves differently from the TinyMCE editor pre-WordPress 5.0, in several ways that I’ve observed while writing content on WPShout itself. I’ll list what I’ve noticed from most to least important:

  1. Now contains <p> tags. The text view of the Classic Editor has always auto-generated <p> tags, which are hidden even in its view. This is no longer the case, as the following filled-with-<p>-tags Classic Editor view of this article shows:Click to enlargeIf you delete these <p> tags, the post actually loses them on the front end, even if the usual spaces are in place. This is a first for the Text Editor. Given how much confusion hiding <p> tags causes, I’m not sure if it’s a bug or a feature, but it certainly is a change.
  2. Occasional scrolling mishaps in the Text Editor. The Text Editor sometimes seems to try to scroll me all the way to the bottom of the page, which is definitely not great. It may be interacting with another plugin we have running, but it certainly didn’t behave this way prior to 5.0.
  3. JavaScript scrolling is different. The Classic Editor plugin appears to inherit Gutenberg’s “swooshy” JavaScript scroll behavior. This is okay in general, but it’s a lot more noticeable than the instant jumps in the classic TinyMCE editor, especially in the Text Editor and especially if you’re doing something like a ctrl+f (or cmd+f) search of the page content for a specific word.

None of these changes breaks everything, but they’re worth knowing about; and in general, it is fair to say that the plugin-based Classic Editor plus WordPress 5.0 is not identical to the TinyMCE editor as it behaved in WordPress 4.9 and before.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT BUGS

Report Them

WordPress is always looking for this kind of feedback—and especially now with Gutenberg just released—so if you’re good at writing bug reports, you can create a new ticket at https://core.trac.wordpress.org/.

Rollback to the Classic Editor for Now

In terms of your clients themselves, it’s my opinion that rolling back to the Classic Editor is often a better option than spending paid time addressing newly broken things.

After the rollback, put yourself and your clients on a journey toward modernizing their sites. For example, schedule a time to bite the bullet and finally upgrade from WooCommerce 2.x. Then reintroduce Gutenberg when everything’s up-to-date and being done properly.

5. Get a Good Page Builder

As a layout builder, Gutenberg is much better than the TinyMCE editor, but it’s also way behind good page builders.

As a layout builder, Gutenberg is vastly superior to the old TinyMCE editor. As I was glad Matt noted in this year’s State of the Word talk, it’s absolutely insane that WordPress made it impossible to put two images next to each other without special code training or additional software. It’s 2018. It’s long past time for WordPress to ship with the extreme basics of layout, and that’s what Gutenberg does.

But Gutenberg is also way behind good page builders. It’s more difficult to use, it doesn’t do any of the actually hard layout stuff (like margins and padding and custom mobile behavior), and—most crucially—it’s not on the front end.

Best WordPress Page Builder

Beaver Builder

Reliability is everything in a page builder, and Beaver Builder is the most technically solid of the major options.

Elementor is decent too. All the other ones are (and I hope this doesn’t sound harsh) really bad.

Best WordPress Hosting

HostForLIFE.eu

HostForLIFE.eu has been around for 10 years and is known for making web hosting easy. You get the world-class Plesk Control Panel dashboard, 1-click WordPress install automatic WordPress updates, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, and free SSDs which makes your site 200% faster. HostForLIFE.eu powers over 600,000 WordPress blogs and websites. There are no setup fees, and you also get a 30-day money back guarantee.

Welcome to the Gutenfuture

So, Gutenberg is here. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t pretty, and it still needs work, but it is a better direction forward for WordPress. If you follow the steps above, you can also navigate WordPress 5.0 and the launch of Gutenberg, even if you support dozens of sites for nontechnical clients.

Why is Magento The Best for Ecommerce Sites? Magento 2.2.6 Hosting Recommendation

Why is Magento The Best for Ecommerce Sites? Magento 2.2.6 Hosting Recommendation. In this article, we will discuss why is Magento the best for e-commerce sites and who is Magento 2.2.6 hosting recommendation.

Why is Magento The Best for Ecommerce Sites?

One company’s experience with Magento is likely to be totally different than another’s because Magento is really what you make it. A team of highly skilled designers and web developers can make Magento into the Cadillac (or Maserati) of websites, but a poorly done ‘botched theme-job’ could leave you struggling with a site that looks like rubbish.

To get the most out of Magento you’ll want to engage with a company that is serious about SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization.  To start you’ll want a site that has a place to update content regularly or that integrates with an outside blogging platform for regular content updates. You’ll want that blog to live at YourStore.com/blog and look very similar to the rest of your site however you do it, rather than blog.YourStore.com and looking like a totally different site. This ensures your blog content not only attracts potential customers but facilitates them around the site as seamlessly as possible without giving them a jarring effect.

“Everyone uses it”

Yes, we know that this argument may lead to false conclusions. It well may be that something is agreed on by the majority while it is not necessarily the best option.

But now we are talking about ecommerce and business results.

Magento is the second most popular ecommerce platform: it has a market share of 17%, among the Top 100k sites (Magento CE and Magento Enterprise combined, July 2017).

Professional technological support and huge knowledge base

The IT developers of Magento eCommerce, thanks to the help of volunteers, have been able to create a platform that truly serves the unique needs of users.

The flexibility and openness of the system is basically the result of this philosophy. A couple of years ago Magento was acquired by eBay.

This did not come as a disadvantage: it stayed to be an open source platform, while it also enjoyed the massive amount of expertise of the huge ecommerce company.

Magento Commerce then got independent of eBay, but its extremely strong and loyal developer community, which had evolved well before its acquisition by eBay, is still passionately working on its development.

Huge array of product information

It is no surprise that Magento is so popular: it is the most widely used ecommerce platform (according to 2015 statistics) in the world with a nearly 30% market share. Serving such a big chunk of the market successfully would be impossible without a massive amount of flexibility.

You can define basically any product feature you like.

You can set and manage the attributes without compromise in the admin panel. Basically, you can adjust the entire system to your products.

The discount system is equally flexible. For instance, you can give a discount (e.g. a percentage of the price or free shipping) to a particular shopper if he or she puts two products from the same category into the shopping cart. You can define a whole bunch of combinations, you have loads of opportunities to do whatever you like.

Impressive, responsive design

Needless to say that you can tailor the look of your Magento store according to your expectations. It simply could not be any other way, since a standard template would not add very much to your brand value.

It is not a problem if you are not an expert in web design, for Magento offers thousands of freely customizable templates. Installation, however, is recommended to be performed by a specialist.

Responsive design is even more important. There are many solutions on the market that have “forgotten” to adapt to the most recent market needs. Since 2014, more and more people use the internet on their tablets and smartphones, and an increasing proportion of purchases are done on mobile devices.

An online store can compete in such an environment successfully if it has a responsive layout, which means that it offers an interface to its shoppers, which is easy to handle on all platforms from tablets and smartphones to PCs and netbooks.

Supports SEO

Magento features a range of default options to create an SEO-friendly website. You can generate SEO-friendly URLs and sitemaps (e.g. yourdomainname.com/productname), can define the meta data and so on. Searches within your e-store is also crucial, which is also a major strength of Magento.

Customers make multiple, narrow-down searches, which is good for user experience, but less beneficial for SEO because this makes the system generate new product lists or new pages after the searches have been made, but can be regarded as duplicate content by Google.

This drawback can be handled by custom development. The developers of Magento have always kept in mind that Magento websites should be easily found and stay strong in terms of SEO.

Magento is secure

Safety is not an option, it is a must in an environment where hackers try to crack databases every minute. We hear news almost every day mentioning data breaches, so in case of an ecommerce store it is essential to have a hack-proof system.

Luckily, Magento is always tested by a vast number of developers.

The whole system is constantly watched by experts (e.g. ethical hackers) searching for defects and eliminating vulnerability by uploading patches.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to hunt down updates all the time. Magento always calls your attention when an update is available so you will know about fresh developments right away. (You had better ask an expert to carry out the update process, especially when you already have some custom developments in your store.)

All in all, the system is not perfect. No system is. But with Magento it is just amazing how fast its dedicated community can reveal the errors and after making the safety updates, you can avoid any future problems before they can kick in.

Data!

Even if you only have a little experience in online marketing, you very likely know that this business is based on data.

No matter what kind of a website you run, if you want to earn money with it, you need to build databases and after examining them, draw the appropriate conclusions.

You have to know how many visitors you have, how they find you, how much time they spend on your pages etc.

There are a lot of factors you should keep an eye on so that you can optimize your website according to user behaviour and preferences.

You can integrate one of the most useful data collection systems, Google Universal Analytics, into your Magento website.

An even better solution can be implementing Enhanced Ecommerce, specially developed for ecommerce systems. Applying this extension for Analytics needs some programming, but it provides much more detailed data.

Thus you can collect a huge amount of useful data about your shoppers, such as what they like or how they behave when browsing in your store. You also have to watch and control the system. You should know how your website performs, how it works, what may cause failures.

Thanks to the tools of Magento support, you will receive comprehensive reports from which experts can easily find the reasons for malfunctioning.

If you have the possibility, it is worth to request an automated testing system service from your developer partner, which may raise problem solving to a whole new level.

Complete ecommerce toolkit

  • Shopping Cart: Magento can comfortably lead the customers through the whole shopping process. It can be either used by registered users or guests and can also offer multiple payment options.
  • User Account: Shoppers can quickly access their purchase history, check their orders or save products that they want to buy later. In addition, they can store information so that next time they can check out faster. Such information can be delivery address or invoicing address which the users can switch with only one click if they wish to.
  • Management: You can manage transactions in the admin panel, start and complete the shipping process or resolve complaints. A top list can be downloaded about the most searched products (exact terms of what your customers typed in the search field), about the most popular products, or you can see if a particular shopper put some items in his or her shopping cart, but did not order them.
  • Product Management: You can import and export thousands of products and modify their attributes at the same time, you can upload images, set custom pricing conditions, and determine what to show and how to show them in your “shop window”.
  • Marketing: You can run promotions, create unique sales deals, offer free shipping or other special bargains. You also have opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling, you can preset opinions about or comparisons between products, display lists of recently viewed items, and also make it possible for shoppers to share your product pages easily and quickly with each other on social networking sites.
  • Multiple websites: Magento is capable of handling more, an almost unlimited number (!) of websites simultaneously. You can run multiple iterations at the same time with only one user account so managing all these is much simpler. What does it mean more precisely? Say, you have a central online store with a dozen brands. You also have separate e-stores for each brand, all independent from the main website, where you can define different prices and discount offers―and you can manage all this in one single admin area.

Better than anyone – you know what the needs you have for your eCommerce store are – it would be wise to get a master list of these and determine which eCommerce platform lives up to your list before going to a web development shop. If you try to work with a web development company too early, you might find yourself being advised towards a particular solution that doesn’t actually fulfill everything your company needs, because it is what that web development shop is best at.

No web development shop can be the experts in every Content Management System – and it’s actually best if you find a company that is actually specialized in the particular CMS you have a need for. So to recap – these 3 key steps should be taken before you choose an agency:

  • Write out a list of needs of your eCommerce platform to facilitate your online sales goals – both absolutely needs and non-negotiables.
  • Do research on which CMS’s are the best possible solution for your specific needs and which would be most effective as accomplishing the job for the money.
  • Search out and find agencies that have clear examples of using this technology in their portfolio – and contact the top 3-5 to start conversations. Narrow them down as soon as you are able and create a serious discussion where you can determine if you can get what you need done for you budget and if the companies can work together from a ‘cultural-fit’ perspective.

Magento 2.2.6 Hosting Recommendation

Magento is a feature-rich, professional open-source eCommerce solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the look, content, and functionality of their online store. Features includes powerful marketing, merchandising and content management. Magento is designed for scalability and is backed by an extensive support network.

Are you looking for Magento 2.2.6 Hosting Recommendation? Finding a high quality Cheap Magento 2.2.6 Hosting provider is crucial for your web application. Your Magento 2.2.6 application can only run smooth if it will be hosted on a server which can provide a higher up time & plenty of computing resources. There’re thousands of web hosting providers which offer asp.net hosting, but choosing Magento 2.2.6 Hosting Recommendation provider is a time consuming task. To make your buying decision easy we’ve concluded 3 Best yet Cheap Magento 2.2.6 Hosting providers which are reliable and offer affordable Magento 2.2.6 Hosting so that every one can afford it.

Magento 2.2.6 Hosting Recommendation

 

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ASPHostPortal DiscountService.biz UKWindowsHostASP.NET
$1.00/month $2.00/month £3.00/month
Host 1 Site Host 1 Site Host 5 Sites
1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space
10 GB Bandwidth 10 GB Bandwidth 20 GB Bandwidth
Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool
Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains
30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back
Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET
Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel
Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012
SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014
Latest MySql version Latest MySql version Latest MySql version

Cheap Zikula 1.4.2 Hosting Recommendation

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies With Umbraco

Cheap Zikula 1.4.2 Hosting RecommendationSearch Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic (“natural” or un-paid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization. On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimized, from other relevant websites).

Sending Google snapshots of html that has been processed by your JavaScript

Once a sitemap.xml or robots.txt file is created, you can use grunt-html-snapshots to snapshot the files.

How to make sure your dynamic content is indexed

This snapshotting technique also can apply towards content that is dynamic in nature, such as content that is rendered by a database. For best results, it is important to design the infrastructure in a way that enables the content that is displayed to depend upon the URL provided. This strategy operates best with RESTful content and is very compatible with web design patterns, such as Model-View View-Model (MV-VM) or Model-View-Controller (MVC).

Process of developing FAQ pages

Several years ago, a consultant from Webtrends suggested that I follow this pattern:

  1. Start with a set of keyword phrases that you want to target.
  2. Choose one or two keywords that you want to form the base of your targeting.
  3. Choose 30-50 keyword phrases that contain your base keyword.
  4. Construct questions from these keyword phrases. Ensure that the keywords are contained in the questions.
  5. Create a web page for each phrase. Place the keywords in these html tags:
  • Meta keywords tag
  • Meta description
  • Title
  • H1 tag
  • body text (paragraph tag)

How to prevent the site from appearing like spam to search engines

Ensure that you apply some variation in how you use your keywords. Otherwise, your site content may appear like spam to Google. For example, in your H1 tag, use the keywords in a sentence. Be sure to answer the question to the best of your ability.

Glossary pages

Glossary pages attract a very specific type of user, so it is very important to consider how the person will be using your site. Glossary pages are best when you are trying to provide a resource for people that will frequently refer back to your site. These pages tend to obtain high bounce rates, but if done correctly, they also tend to cause individuals to repeatedly come back to your site. The goal here is not necessarily to obtain an instant conversion. Instead, your goal is to provide a valuable informational resource to people on a particular subject. As people land on your site, they quickly obtain the desired information and usually leave. However, with some strategy, you can still convert these visitors into people that explore your site in greater depth.

Strategy for converting visitors from glossary pages

However, to effectively design glossary pages, it is critical to also offer provide internal links to additional articles for interested readers. This allows casual readers to get desired information and leave while also providing additional resources for more interested readers.  This technique also allows us you to track conversions as people that click on that particular link. The best way to create glossary pages is to create one glossary page for each keyword or keyword phrase that you are targeting.

New Features in SQL Server 2016

New Features in SQL Server 2016

June 1, 2016 SQL Server Team announced the general availability of SQL Server 2016, the world’s fastest and most price-performant database for HTAP (Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing) with updateable, in-memory columnstores and advanced analytics through deep integration with R Services. Software applications can now deploy sophisticated analytics and machine learning models in the database resulting in 100x or more speedup in time to insight, compared to deployments of such models outside of the database.

There is a lot of buzz around SQL Server 2016.  Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server 2016 at the Microsoft Ignite Conference during the first week of May 2015. Since that time a number of Community Technical Previews (CTPs) have come out.  It will not be too long until SQL Server 2016 will be fully baked and ready for shipping.

Always Encrypted

With the Always Encrypted feature enabled your SQL Server data will always be encrypted within SQL Server. Access to encrypted data will only be available to the applications calling SQL Server. Always Encrypted enables client application owners to control who gets access to see their applications confidential data. It does this by allowing the client application to be the one that has the encryption key. That encryption key is never passed to SQL Server. By doing this you can keep those nosey Database or Windows Administrators from poking around sensitive client application data In-Flight or At-Rest. This feature will now allow you to sleep at night knowing your confidential data stored in a cloud managed database is always encrypted and out of the eyes of your cloud provider.

Dynamic Data Masking

If you are interested in securing your confidential data so some people can see it, while other people get an obscured version of confidential data then you might be interested in dynamic data masking. With dynamic data masking you can obscure confidential columns of data in a table to SQL Server for users that are not authorized to see the all the data. With dynamic data masking you can identify how the data will be obscured. For instance say you accept credit card numbers and store them in a table, but you want to make sure your help desk staff is only able to see the last four digits of the credit card number. By setting up dynamic data masking you can define a masking rules so unauthorized logins can only read the last four digits of a credit card number, whereas authorized logins can see all of the credit card information.

JSON Support

JSON stands for Java Script Object Notation. With SQL Server 2016 you can now interchange JSON data between applications and the SQL Server database engine. By adding this support Microsoft has provided SQL Server the ability to parse JSON formatted data so it can be stored in a relation format. Additionally, with JSON support you can take relational data, and turn it into JSON formatted data. Microsoft has also added some new functions to provided support for querying JSON data stored in SQL Server. Having these additional JSON features built into SQL Server should make it easier for applications to exchange JSON data with SQL Server.

Multiple TempDB Database Files

It has been a best practice for a while to have more than one tempdb data file if you are running on a multi-core machine. In the past, up through SQL Server 2014, you always had to manually add the additional tempdb data files after you installed SQL Server. With SQL Server 2016 you can now configure the number of tempdb files you need while you are installing SQL Server. Having this new feature means you will no longer need to manually add additional tempdb files after installing SQL Server.

PolyBase

PolyBase allows you to query distributed data sets. With the introduction of PolyBase you will be able to use Transact SQL statements to query Hadoop, or SQL Azure blob storage. By using PolyBase you can now write adhoc queries to join relational data from SQL Server with semi-structured data stored in Hadoop, or SQL Azure blob storage. This allows you to get data from Hadoop without knowing the internals of Hadoop. Additionally you can leverage SQL Server’s on the fly column store indexing to optimize your queries against semi-structured data. As organizations spread data across many distributed locations, PolyBase will be a solution for them to leverage SQL Server technology to access their distributed semi-structured data.

Query Store

If you are into examining execution plans than you will like the new Query Store feature. Currently in versions of SQL Server prior to 2016 you can see existing execution plans by using dynamic management views (DMVs). But, the DMVs only allow you to see the plans that are actively in the plan cache. You can’t see any history for plans once they are rolled out of the plan cache. With the Query Store feature, SQL Server now saves historical execution plans. Not only that but it also saves the query statistics that go along with those historical plans. This is a great addition and will allow you to now track execution plans performance for your queries over time.

Row Level Security

With Row Level Security the SQL database engine will be able to restrict access to row data, based on a SQL Server login. Restricting rows will be done by filter predicates defined in inline table value function. Security policies will ensure the filter predicates get executed for every SELECT or DELETE operation. Implementing row level security at the database layer means application developers will no longer need to maintain code to restrict data from some logins, while allowing other logins to access all the data. With this new feature, when someone queries a tables that contains row level security they will not even know whether or not any rows of data were filtered out.

R Comes to SQL Server

With Microsoft’s purchase of Revolution Analytics they are now able to incorporate R to support advance analytics against big data right inside of SQL Server. By incorporating R processing into SQL Server, data scientists will be able to take their existing R code and run it right inside the SQL Server database engine. This will eliminate the need to export your SQL server data in order to perform R processing against it. This new feature brings R processing closer to the data.

Stretch Database

The Stretch Database feature provides you a method to stretch the storage of your On-Premise database to Azure SQL Database. But having the stretch database feature allows you to have your most frequently accessed data stored On-Premise, while your less accessed data is off-site in an Azure SQL databases. When you enable a database to “stretch” the older data starts moving over to the Azure SQL database behind the scenes. When you need to run a query that might access active and historical information in a “stretched” database the database engine seamlessly queries both the On-Premise database as well as Azure SQL database and returns the results to you as if they had come from a single source. This feature will make it easy for DBA’s to archive information to a cheaper storage media without having to change any actual application code. By doing this you should be able to maximize performance on those active On-Premise queries.

Temporal Table

A temporal table is table that holds old versions of rows within a base table.  By having temporal tables SQL Server can automatically manage moving old row versions to the temporal table every time a row in the base table is updated.  The temporal table is physically a different table then the base table, but is linked to the base table.  If you’ve been building or plan to build your own method to managing row versioning then you might want to check out the new temporal tables support in SQL server 2016 before you go forth and build your own row versioning solution.

Are you looking for Cheap SQL Server 2016 Hosting? Finding a high quality Cheap SQL Server 2016 Hosting provider is crucial for your web application. Your SQL Server 2016 application can only run smooth if it will be hosted on a server which can provide a higher up time & plenty of computing resources. There’re thousands of web hosting providers which offer asp.net hosting, but choosing Cheap SQL Server 2016 Hosting provider is a time consuming task. To make your buying decision easy we’ve concluded 3 Best yet Cheap SQL Server 2016 Hosting providers which are reliable and offer affordable SQL Server 2016 Hosting so that every one can afford it.

Cheap SQL Server 2016 Hosting Recommendation

 

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ASPHostPortal DiscountService.biz UKWindowsHostASP.NET
$1.00/month $2.00/month £3.00/month
Host 1 Site Host 1 Site Host 5 Sites
1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space
10 GB Bandwidth 10 GB Bandwidth 20 GB Bandwidth
Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool
Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains
30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back
Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET
Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel
Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012
SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014
Latest MySql version Latest MySql version Latest MySql version

How to Choose Cheap SQL Server 2016 Hosting Recommendation

Reliability and Speed of Access

Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low — it really should be 99.5% or higher. The host should provide some sort of refund (eg prorated refund or discount) if it falls below that figure. Note though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end — especially if the host denies there was any downtime. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.

Data Transfer (Traffic/Bandwidth)

Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as “traffic” or “bandwidth”) is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site.

Don’t believe any commercial web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”. The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Many high bandwidth websites have found this out the hard way when they suddenly receive an exorbitant bill for having “exceeded” the “unlimited bandwidth”. Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. I personally always stay clear of any host that advertises “unlimited transfer”, even if the exact amount is specified somewhere else (sometimes buried in their policy statements). Usually you will find that they redefine “unlimited” to be limited in some way.

In addition, while bandwidth provided is something you should always check, do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits.

To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that don’t provide video or music on their site use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month. Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well-known, so you will need to also check their policy when you exceed your data transfer limit: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth? Is the charge made according to actual usage or are you expected to pre-pay for a potential overage? It is better not to go for hosts that expect you to prepay for overages, since it is very hard to forsee when your site will exceed its bandwidth and by how much.

Disk space

For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those “unlimited disk space” schemes. Many new sites (that don’t host videos or music) need less than 20 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 100 GB (or “unlimited space”), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let the 100 GB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there.

Technical support

Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn’t want to sign up with a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding

If you have your own site, you will probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like sales@yourdomain.com, etc. Does the host allow you to set up whatever email addresses you want on your domain, so that mail can be forwarded to your current email address, or placed into a mail box on your web hosting account itself? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a preset message (called an autoresponder)? Can you retrieve your mail with your email software?

Control Panel

This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. I will not sign up with a host where I have to go through their technical support each time I want to change a password or add/delete an email account. Such tasks are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.

Web Server and Operating System

Is the type of operating system and server important?

In general, most people will want to sign up for a web host offering a Unix-based system (like Linux, FreeBSD or OpenBSD) and running the Apache web server. Most web-based software assume your website is running on such a system, and you will usually experience fewer compatibility issues with it. There are also a lot of guides available on the Internet on configuring such systems, so finding help when you need it is easier as well.

In my opinion, the only time when you will want to use a Windows server is if you’re running Windows-specific programs, like ASP scripts. But even then, you’ll probably be better off looking for a PHP-equivalent, and using a Unix-based system.

Price

I was actually hesitant to list this, but I guess it’s futile not to. However, I would caution that while price is always a factor, you should realise (“realize” in US English) that you often get what you pay for, although it’s not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best.

Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans

Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. My current personal preference is to pay monthly with all new web hosts until I’m assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows me to switch web hosts quickly when I find that the current host does not meet my requirements: this way, I’m not tied down to a bad web host because I have prepaid for an entire year. I do this even if the new web host guarantees that they will refund the balance if I’m dissatisfied, since at the point I sign up, I have no assurance that they will honour their guarantee. Later (usually after a couple of years), when I’m satisfied with the host, I may change payment plans to the discounted annual plans.

Resellers?

Not all hosting companies own or lease their own web servers. Some of them are actually resellers for some other hosting company. The disadvantage of using a reseller is the possibility that you are dealing with people who don’t know much about the system they are selling and who take longer to help you (they have to transmit your technical support request to the actual hosting company for it to be acted upon). However, this also depends on both the reseller and the underlying hosting company. It is thus wise not to rule out all resellers; there are a number of reliable and fast ones who are actually quite good and cheap. In fact, a number of resellers sell the same packages cheaper than their original hosting company. If you find out that a particular company is a reseller, you will need to investigate both the reseller and the real hosting company.

International

If you don’t stay in the USA, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary. It should be your choice if your target audience is local (eg a local fast food delivery service). On the other hand, hosting it in USA has the advantage of faster access for what is probably the largest number of your overseas visitors (particularly if you have an English-speaking audience). You also have a large number of hosting companies to choose from, and as a result, cheaper prices too.

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