Monthly Archives: September 2018

How to Diagnose Issues Related to Website Publishing

Encounter a website error when publishing your website can be pretty stressful. You followed the steps to get your website online, but whenever you type in your domain name nothing comes up. Luckily, most problems surrounding your website can be pretty easy to fix – especially if you have a simple website, and the error isn’t coming from a code conflict. Below we dive into some of the biggest issues surrounding getting your website online. If you’re stuck, then spend some time working through the list below. Hopefully, you’ll be able to resolve your website issues on your own. But remember, you can always reaching out to technical support for assistance on any issues you can’t solve on your own. With that being said, let’s jump in.

 

It can be pretty stressful when error message appears in front of your screen each time you try to publish your website. You have followed the steps to get your website online but each time you enter your domain name on the web browser, nothing comes up. Luckily most problems related to website can be fixed easily provided if the website is not complex and the error is not triggered by code conflict.  In this article, we shall focus on some of the biggest issues surrounding your website online. If you’re stuck, you can spend some time working through the list below and hopefully you will be able to resolve the website issues on your own. Alternatively, you can also contact your web hosting technical team for support assistance in case you’re unable to find the solution to your website problem. With that being said, let’s dive in straightaway.

 

Problem #1: Your Website Is Unavailable

This is the most common problem faced by inexperienced web publisher or first-time web hosting account user.

For instance, you have uploaded your website’s files to your server via FTP or installed WordPress on your domain name, but you can’t see anything when you type in your domain name on the web browser. Do not worry because this issue is not complicated and can be solved easily. The most common reason your site isn’t showing up is that either your DNS records aren’t pointing towards your host, or you’ve just updated your nameservers recently, but they haven’t transferred over yet. First, make sure that your nameservers are pointing towards your new host and allow at least 24 to 48 hours for successful propagation. Secondly, always double check that your domain name hasn’t expired.

 

Problem #2: No Changes or Updates Appearing on Website

You have successfully designed your website and uploaded the latest website files and images into your hosting account but your changes does not appear when you type your domain name on the web browser. So, what is really happening?

Well, if you have made changes on your website but they aren’t appearing, then you are not facing issue with your site, but rather with your browser. Your web browser is probably just calling up a cached version of your old website or content, instead of the latest version where changes have been made. In order to rectify this issue, you need to delete the cache on the browser you’re using to view your site. If this does not solve your problem, make sure you have uploaded the correct website files and images into the right directory or path.

 

Problem #3: Your Website Appears Incomplete

There are times when you are uploading your website content to your server, you do not realize you are facing connectivity issue at the same time, either with your Internet or connection to the server. This one off event is rare but it does happen. For instance, you access your site but it appears incomplete and showing only partial images or pages. To solve this issue is very simple. Try uploading your website content by using another network or connection.

 

Problem #4: Images Appearing as Broken Links

Your website images appear broken or do not appear at all even though you have uploaded them to the web server successfully. There are a few possibilities why this issue is happening:

  • First, your image files could have been uploaded to the wrong folder when using FTP upload. You need the images to be uploaded into the exact folder specified in the image path name.
  • You could have the wrong image filename within your site’s HTML. As an example, if your code says the image name is “cloudserver.jpg”, but you’ve named the image “cloud-server.jpg” it won’t be able to find the image. Always double confirm that the image filenames match what’s referenced in your site’s code.
  • You could be linking to the desktop location of the image, rather than the image on your server. This is a common issue when you’re building your site using a website editor software such as Dreamweaver on your computer. When you preview the site offline it looks good, but it won’t be able to access the same images when view online. To resolve this issue always ensure that your HTML is referencing your images located on your server, not your desktop.

 

Problem #5: You Receive Error Messages

If you build your website using Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress and all you are getting is an error message, there is probably a plugin conflict or an error with your theme’s code. This is probably an issue that you won’t be able to resolve if you don’t possess any developmental skills. However there is a solution if you have just made changes to your theme’s code and after making such changes, you are receiving an error message.

In order to fix this issue you need to login to the backend of your website via FTP and locate your website’s files.  You need to open up the modified file and replace the existing codes with the original codes “copied-and-paste” from the original theme code found in the fresh version of your WordPress theme. If you do not know how to replace the codes, you can make things simpler by uninstalling the existing modified theme and reinstall the same theme again from your WordPress dashboard.

Hopefully, the 5 tips listed above have helped you to resolve the most common issues preventing you from publishing your site online. We recommend you to reaching out to your web hosting support team (which is us hopefully)  to help diagnose and solve the issue if you’ve tried the above to no avail.

 

Top 6 WordPress Plugins to Monetize Your Blog

Since you already have a blog, you can use content marketing to attract people to your main site. But if all you have is a solid blog that people like to read, how can you turn that website traffic and interested audience into a real stream of revenue? Well, the answer is to start building a loyal audience and convert your loyal blog audience – using the help of WordPress plugins.

It’s generally known that setting up your own online business and monetizing your blog will give you the freedom to live your life on your own terms.  This sounds very appealing however knowing just how to get started can be a huge challenge.

Investing on the right plugins is essential for your business especially when it comes to saving your time and maximizing your blog revenue at the same time. Therefore, let’s review the 6 best WordPress plugins that will help you to monetize your blog efficiently and make your venture a success!

 

Woocommerce Plugin

One of the best monetization methods is to sell products on your own blog which allows you to have 100% control over the products you sell and the revenue you generate.

WooCommerce is the best plugin available for WordPress if you’re looking to create an online storefront that helps you to sell your products with ease.

Woocommerce is packed with built-in features that allow you to manage your online store with ease including shipping options, payment processing, inventory management, and more. If you need more advanced features added to your online store, you can do that easily with several extensions. In addition, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform on the web, so you can search for supported themes and complementary tools easily in order to build a powerful eCommerce store.

 

OptinMonster

Do you wish to convert your website visitors into email subscribers and customers? Looking to improve conversions on your blog?

OptinMonster is the best customer acquisition and lead generation tool that enable you to construct and perform A/B test on captivating lead capture forms without a developer. It works for any type of business, so you can use it no matter how you decide to monetize your blog.

You can create visually stunning optin forms including lightbox popups, floating bars, sidebar forms, etc by leveraging OptinMonster’s powerful builder and high-converting templates. In addition, you can also convert abandoning visitors into subscribers and customers by prompting them with a targeted campaign at the precise moment they’re about to leave – all by using its Exit Intent Technology.

OptinMonster offers flexibility – you can use it on any website, whether it’s WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or even a static HTML website. To connect optin forms on your WordPress site, you can install the free OptinMonster WordPress plugin and easily publish them anywhere on your site.

 

AdRotate

Advertising is often the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to making money with your blog. Monetizing your existing blog content is the best way to get started.

You may consider include AdRotate on your blog in order to manage and serve ads on your WordPress site. To date, AdRotate supports popular advertising networks like Google AdSense, Chitika, Doubleclick, JuiceAds and many more similar ad servers.

The basic version of AdRotate is available for free to download from the WordPress.org plugin repository. If you need more advanced such as live ad previews, mobile device detection, geotargeting, and many more – you may consider upgrading from the free version to the premium version. This plugin is user-friendly and features an intuitive dashboard interface where you can review how well your ads are performing at a glance with daily, monthly, and yearly stats. In addition, you get to keep 100% of ad revenue instead of just a percentage because this plugin allows you to sell ad space directly to advertisers without engaging an agent or third party.

 

Easy Digital Downloads

Besides selling advertising space, selling digital products is another great way to create a steady stream of income from your blog.  Installing Easy Digital Downloads plugin on your WordPress blog is a great way to monetize your site – by creating a storefront to sell digital products only.

Right now you might be wondering, why not use WooCommerce to create a digital storefront instead of Easy Digital Downloads?

The answer is WooCommerce comes with lots of unnecessary options such as shipping and inventory managements that you’ll never need for your digital storefront, hence Easy Digital Downloads plugin is a better option since it offers a lighter weight plugin that focus more features specific to digital products.

Just like Woocommerce, the Easy Digital Downloads community is also huge, thus many useful add-on plugins are easily available and supported by developers which really helps to enhance the overall features of your digital store.

 

WPForms

If you want to create simple order forms easily without having to hire a developer, you may consider installing WPForms on your blog. This is a “Drag-and-Drop” WordPress forms builder plugin specially designed to connect your form with payment processors such as PayPal and Stripe, so you can sell goods and services and collect payments right from your WordPress website. Besides payment processors, WPForms also allows you to integrate your form with your favourite email marketing service providers and other online services.

 

With its easy-to-use “drag-and-drop” plugin feature, you can create any type of forms easily such as contact forms, survey forms, order forms, newsletter signup forms, donation forms, and many more right from your WordPress dashboard.

 

The free version of WPForms or Lite version comprises almost all the features you need to create a basic WordPress form. Similar to AdRotate and OptinMonster, this lite version is available for free download in the official WordPress plugins directory. You may consider purchasing the pro version if you require more advanced feature such as payment processing.

 

Thirsty Affiliates

Another great monetization method is through affiliate marketing. The main benefit of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to create a product to make a passive income which is probably why it is the easiest way to monetize your blog. To get started, you may join several popular affiliate programs such as Clickbank (digital products) or Amazon (physical products) and promote their products on your blog. You will generate a sales commission whenever your website visitor or subscriber makes a purchase through your affiliate link.

With ThirstyAffiliates plugin, you can add and manage your affiliate links easily. By using this plugin, you can insert links into posts, cloak links, auto-insert links, and see how many clicks each affiliate link is receiving.

Just like other plugins mentioned previously, the Thirsty Affiliates plugin is free to download from WordPress.org plugin repository and you may consider purchasing the premium addons individually if you require more enhanced features.

 

Final Thoughts on Blog Monetization

With the advent of WordPress platform, blog monetization can now be done easily even for a novice. Not only is WordPress powerful enough to handle a fully functioning online store, but it’s an easy and affordable option that can be customized to suit any of your e-commerce needs. However, it’s essential to install the right plugins for your site, or else you’ll find yourself wasting too much time on managing the details.

The plugins listed above have all the features you need to monetize your blog and maximize your revenue. Today, many web hosting companies including ServerFreak are offering special hosting package for self-hosted WordPress blogs. With your own self-hosted blog, you can start creating your own online store and monetize it today by using the plugins listed in this article.  So, what are you waiting for?

Click here now to secure your WordPress hosting package today!

 

10 Essential Components of A Successful Website

Thanks to the existence of website builder services and powerful Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, building your very own website is now becoming easy and fast. Just like any Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, your new website will be more appealing if you plan ahead before you jump in. That means you need to understand first what are the most important elements of a great website i.e. essential  features that help people to find your website, navigate it, connect with you and so much more.  Let’s group these important website components into two categories: things your visitors will notice when they landed to your website, and things that work “behind the scenes”. In order to have an effective website, both sets of elements must exist and when your website is well constructed, they all work together.  Here’s what you’ll need:

 

1) Reliable Web Hosting Service

Once you already picked up your own domain name, the next thing you need is a reliable web hosting service. Think of your web host provider as similar to a landlord who rents you space for a physical store. They provide and maintain the server space where your site files “live” and allows your visitors to come by and explore your site. Like a good landlord, a trustable web hosting provider will provide excellent service, ongoing server maintenance and improvements, and good customer service support. If you pick a host with a website builder included just like ServerFreak’s Website Builder hosting plan, you can snap together the framework of your site in just a few minutes.

 

2) A Content Management System (CMS)

Your content management system works behind the scenes to help you organize and maintain parts of your website such as meta data and site pages, and it makes it convenient for visitors to find their way around your site. Alternatively, you can create your own if you have some knowledge on coding. Or you can utilize WordPress, which is the most popular CMS around. There are thousands of plugins, themes, and templates available to help customize WordPress sites. Learning how all those elements work together can take time. To get a site up and running faster, especially if it’s your first site, a website builder will include its own content management system as part of its all-in-one service.

 

3)  SEO Basics

Learning how to get your website ranked in the search engines for targeted keywords is a must-know skill and added advantage because competition among webmasters is getting stiffed nowadays with millions of sites on the internet now in competition for a spot on the 1st page of search results. Hence, you’ll need to follow and implement several Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices in order for your website to get found. To execute this, you need identify which keywords visitors are using (or will use) to locate your website – the more specific and local the better, especially if your site serves a local or regional audience. Distribute those important keywords wisely in your meta data, media tags and file names and also site copy. There are other important aspects of SEO that you cannot simply ignore, like mobile-friendly optimization and fast page load times of your website.

 

4) Analytics Tools

The best analytics tool available is the Google Analytics tool.  Google Analytics is the most popular and easy to use resource, it is free and it integrates easily with WordPress and some website builder tools.  It is crucial for you to understand how Google Analytics works because this will allow you to know how people are finding your site, which pages they spend the most time on, and how well different elements of your site convert.

 

5) Inventory Management

Inventory management is crucial when selling products on website. You need to keep track of which product is in stock, what’s sold and what’s on order. When inventory management is integrated with checkout process and your shop pages, both you and your clients will know whether an item is available to purchase.

 

6) Mobile Friendly Template and Theme

Another important factor for a successful website is to optimize your website for various devices:  desktops, laptops, tablets and especially mobile phones.  You need to install a mobile-optimized or responsive design so that your website can load fast, easy to read, and easy to navigate on the phones, which are the way most web users search now on the internet. In addition, Google also favours website that is mobile-friendly by rewarding them with better position in the search engine results.

 

7) Sections That Visitors Expect

Have you ever landed on a brand new online website that felt a bit off and did not feel quite right? Chances are that feeling of ‘wrongness’ was caused by the site missing some elements  you’ve come to expect: a home page that inform you what’s the site is all about, an “About Us” section that shows there are real people behind the website, and “Contact Us” section which enable readers or customers to reach you if they have any feedback or questions.

 

8) Media

Humans are visual beings and likely to be attracted by meaningful and captivating images. Hence, it is important to incorporate images into your website or blogs instead of posting articles alone. Our eyes are naturally drawn to images, especially if they move and make noise, and images are a must if you’re selling merchandise online. People will also want to see a photo of you in your “About Us” section. For search engine optimization (SEO) purpose, you need to select images that are optimized to look good and load fast, and be sure to tag and name your website’s images in ways that use your SEO keywords.

 

9) Social Media Links and Integration

Social media marketing is a great way to promote your website but there is no need to register for every single social media marketing account out there. Most importantly, select a few popular social media account such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and integrate these accounts to your website with the use of website builder.  Each time you make a new post on your website, the widgets will show your latest posts and the plugin will share the latest post updates to all of your linked social media account at the same time.

 

10) Shopping Cart and Payment Tools

If your site includes a shop, you’ll want a reliable, easy to use shopping cart and payment tools like PayPal or Square that are popular with most online shoppers. Most e-commerce platforms integrate well with WordPress, and many website builders can help you set up shopping and checkout tools in a snap.

If you are running e-commerce website, it is crucial to integrate a reliable, easy-to-use shopping cart and payment processors such as Paypal or Stripe that are popular with most online shoppers. Although WordPress can be used to run e-commerce sites (known as Woocommerce), you may also use website builders such as Weebly or Wix to assist you in setting up shopping and checkout funnels for your online store with ease.

 

Conclusion

Now that you know the basics your site needs to succeed, you’re ready to get started! Check out our options for getting it done, including ServerFreak’s Website Builder hosting plan that includes all the elements on this list.