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  • HTML 101: Master Website Management With This HTML Cheat Sheet

    Monday, September 11, 2017 by

    HTML 101 Cheat Sheet

    Most Common HTML Tips and Tricks

    Understanding the basics of HTML will help you develop more confidence when managing your website. When you want to make simple site changes you don’t want to have to outsource the task every single time. Not only will it be time-consuming, but it can also get expensive fast. This guide was written with complete beginners in mind. Even if you’ve never touched a piece of code in your life, you’ll be able to easily make HTML changes by the end of this post. A little HTML knowledge can go a long way. Below you’ll learn the basics of HTML, and a few of the most common post and site formatting options you can use when coding in HTML.

    Recommended WordPress Hosting

    What You Need to Know About HTML

    HTML is also known as Hypertext Markup Language and is the main programming language the web is built upon. Lucky for us it’s also one of the simplest to learn. By knowing basic HTML commands you’ll be able to accomplish things like:
    • Easily embed and add analytics code to your site.
    • Take care of image alignment issues.
    • Properly format your post for improved readability.
    If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, then you can edit your HTML code by clicking on the Text tab on your posts and pages. edit text in wordpress If you aren’t using a CMS, then you’ll need to locate your site’s HTML files, which can typically be found by logging into your host and locating your site’s files.

    Common HTML Tags

    For any piece of code, there are opening and closing tags. The opening tag will start the command and the closing tag will end it. The text in between the opening and closing brackets will be formatted based upon the HTML tag you used. It looks like this: <p>This is a real sentence.</p> The first <p> tag starts the sequence and it ends with the </p> tag. The final / in the closing tag is very important, without this tag your code won’t function properly and will lead to formatting errors. Being able to identify where these tags open and close will help you edit your code better and know where to place certain site elements, so they don’t end up breaking your site. Some of the most common HTML tags include:
    • <strong> </strong> - This tag will bold your text or headlines.
    • <em> </em> - This will italicize your text.
    • <body> </body> This is the body of your html document.
    • <a> </a> - This tag will allow you to insert links.
    • <center> </center> - This tag will align your text to the center of the page.
    • <head> </head> - The code within here will make up the header of your site.
    There are dozens of other HTML tags you can use to modify your site. Below we'll show you how to use these common HTML tags.

    HTML Headings

    One of the most popular formatting tips when writing for the web is to organize your text using various headings. These will decrease in size and help give your post a logical structure. The most common headlines you’ll use are as follows:
    • <h1> </h1> - This tag will typically surround your page or post title.
    • <h2> </h2> - Your main headlines within the post will typically use the h2 tag.
    • <h3> </h3> - Headlines within the h2 tag will use the h3 tag.
    Using the above headline structure will give your post a logical structure and make it easy for your readers to find the information they’re looking for.

    HTML Tips and Tricks for Beginners

    Now it’s time to show you how to put the above information to work. Below you’ll learn how to properly format your text using the HTML tags highlighted above.

    Formatting Your Fonts

    If you want to make certain portions of your text stand out, then the tags below will help you out. You’ll learn how to bold, italicize, and underline your existing text.
    • <strong> </strong> - This will bold your text.
    • <em> </em> - This will italicize your text.
    • <u> </u> - This will underline your text.
    The above tags can be used within your existing paragraph tags to change the formatting of certain words and phrases, and will look like the following: <p>This is a sentence that has <strong>bold text</strong>, <em>italic text</em>, and <u>even a bit of underlined text</u.</p>

    Add a Link to Your Content

    If you’re writing for the web then you’re probably going to be placing a lot of links within your content. To add a link you’ll be using the <a href> tag. You’ll also need to include the URL of the site you want to link to. For example, let’s say you wanted to link to HostGator.com using the text “visit HostGator”. The code would look like this: <a href="https://www.hostgator.com">visit HostGator</a>. The site you want to link to will appear within the quotations, while the text that you want to be hyperlinked will go within the <a href=""> and </a> tags.

    Add a Picture to Your Site

    Adding images to your site will help users connect with your content and make it more interesting to read. Or maybe you want to add a few images to your site's home page or about pages. Regardless of why you want to insert an image, you can do it with the code below. The image tag is <img src=" ">. Notice that there is no end tag for the img command. In order to locate an image, you’ll need to upload that image somewhere online. If you’re using a CMS you can upload the image to your backend, or you can host the image anywhere else online, just make sure there’s an active URL where you can visit the image. The finished image code will look like this: <img src="http://myimage.com/thisismyimage.jpg">.

    Align Text

    Sometimes you want your text to align to the left or right, or align itself to the center of the page. It’s really frustrating when you try to use the alignment option in an editor and they simply won’t work. With the tips below you’ll be able to edit the HTML code by hand, so it justifies exactly how you want it. To align your text you can use the following commands:
    • <p align="left"> </p> - This tag will left align the text within the p tags.
    • <p align="right"> </p> - This tag will right align the text within the p tags.
    • <p align="center"> </p> - This tag will center align the text within the p tags.

    Add Blockquotes to Your Site

    Blockquotes are a great way to break up the formatting of your content and highlight quotes in a unique manner. This will help to create a separation, so readers can tell you’re quoting someone else. Using block quotes is pretty straightforward. Just add the <blockquote> </blockquote> tags to any content you want to format. Everything within the tags will be given the blockquote formatting.

    Add Bulleted Lists to Your Content

    Bulleted lists will allow you to break up your content, and create non-numbed lists. This is great for summarizing key points within your content. To use bulleted lists you’ll need to use the <ul> tag to define an unordered list, and the <li> tags to define every element of the list. It will look like the following: <ul> <li>This is your first item.</li> <li>This is your second item.</li> <li>This is your third item.</li> </ul> Hopefully the above tips will help you start making simple HTML changes to your site. If you have any questions about using the above commands and tags, please ask away in the comments below.
  • Want To Sell Your Website? Prep It With These 6 Steps

    Monday, September 11, 2017 by
    How to sell a website

    How to Sell Your Website

    Maybe you’ve been working on a website for a while and realize you’re no longer passionate about the topic. You’ve done well for yourself and even created a nice monthly side income. Or, maybe you’ve built a site with the intent to sell, and now you’re looking to exit. Whatever the reason, you want to sell your site, but don’t know where to start. Below we walk you through the process of selling your website. Remember, the more prep work you do the smoother the sales process will be and you’ll also improve the chances of selling your site for a larger payment. Domain Name

    1. Prep Your Website

    Running a profitable website takes a lot more than just throwing up a few ads, or dropping a few affiliate links throughout your content. It’s important to optimize your site both for profit, and overall user experience. A site that’s maxing out its profit potential and has a very clean and beautiful design will sell at a much higher price. So, how exactly do you optimize your site?
    • Improve user engagement by testing headlines, layouts, colors, CTA-buttons, and more. It’s important to test various aspects of your site to improve user engagement numbers.
    • Optimize your profits. To get the most value from your site you’ll want to optimize the ways you’re currently driving revenue. For example, if you’re using Google AdSense, then test different layout to improve your profits. If you’re making money via affiliate links, then test different CTA’s and link placements to see if you can improve conversions.
    Even spending time optimizing your site’s speed and performance will have an effect. Basically, you’ll want to make your site as perfect as possible. The higher quality site you have to sell, the more money you’re going to get.  

    2. Improve Your Site’s Value

    It’s important that you sell your site when revenues are actually increasing. If they’ve been declining or stagnating for quite some time, then you’ll want to spend time getting those revenue numbers back up before you decide to sell. If the majority of your site’s traffic comes from a single source, it’s also a good idea to start diversifying your traffic sources. For example, if most of your traffic comes from paid traffic sources, then you could start experimenting with social media or SEO. That way, if one source of traffic dies down, it doesn’t kill your site.  

    3. Remove Yourself from the Process

    If the success of your website depends 100% on you being there, then it’s going to be difficult to sell. You need to have systems in place that completely remove you from the process and allow another person to step in. You may be able to draft up a contract that includes you continuing to work on the site in some capacity, but this needs to be clearly defined. Typically, you may continue to assist on a consulting basis, but your role will slowly be phased out over time.  

    4. Gather Revenue and Traffic Data

    Now, it’s time to gather historical revenue and traffic data. Be completely honest with these figures. It can be helpful to take screenshots from your Google Analytics and Google AdSense accounts, or however else you’re measuring profits and traffic. Without having accurate revenue and traffic figures you won’t be able to accurately convey the value of your site. If necessary, you can even consider hiring a CPA to help compile your revenue reports. The more detail you can cover the higher chances there will be a buyer interested in your site.  

    5. Determine Your Website’s Worth

    The value of your site is based upon the buyer’s ROI. Most sites will be valued at a multiple of their yearly earnings. For example, a website that makes $100,000 per year might be valued at a 1x multiple, which will sell for $100,000. Or, it could be valued at a 2x multiple, which would drive up the sale price to $200,000. This multiple will be calculated based upon the overall risk involved from the buyer’s side. If your site has solid consistent earnings, multiple traffic sources, systems in place, and multiple revenue sources, then it will sell for a higher multiple.  

    6. Choose the Right Selling Platform

    Once you’ve prepped your site for sale, maximized its value, put a system in place, gathered revenue and traffic data, and have a baseline price in mind, it’s time to list your site. There are multiple places online where you can sell your site. The two most common website marketplaces are Flippa and Empire Flippers. Both of these sites allow you to upload your site listings and monitor the auction. Remember, that most of your offers will come in towards the end of your auction. Once you have some offers its important that you remain involved in the selling process. This will decrease the chances that the sale will fall through. Finally, payment is typically done in the form of escrow. This will help to mitigate payment risk for both parties.   By implementing the tips above you’ll be able to sell your site for a solid profit. By neglecting the above steps your site will either have a hard time selling, or you’ll have to cut the price.
  • Why Every Side Hustle Needs a Website

    Monday, September 11, 2017 by

    Side Hustle Website

    Your Side Hustle Deserves a Website. Here's Why.

    Picking up extra work on the side is the American way these days. A new Bankrate survey found that 44 million of us have a side hustle, whether it's selling things online, dog walking or something else. A quarter of Millennials with side jobs bring in more than $500 each month just by moonlighting, while young Baby Boomers are in the best position to rake in an extra $1,000 or more each month on the side. Millennial Side Hustle Trends If you haven't started your side hustle yet – or if you have one but don't earn as much as you'd like – here's the why and how of using a website to win customers and make your side-hustle pay off.  

    Why have a side hustle?

    Paying the bills is a big reason people pick up extra work in their downtime, but it's not the only one. Here are a few more reasons to start your own side business.  

    1. Do what you love

    Not everyone is lucky enough to love their day job, and a side gig can help balance out the daily grind with work that's fun. Maybe after a day at the bank, you're ready to unwind with a couple of hours of writing short stories. If you've got readers who subscribe each month through a service like Patreon, your hobby can pay off. Or maybe a Sunday afternoon that you spend baking and decorating a cake for a local client's party is the perfect way to refresh yourself for the 9-5 workweek ahead.  

    2. Transition to self-employment

    If you've ever seriously thought about becoming your own boss, you know it can be a tough leap to make – financially and emotionally. By testing out your business idea on the side, you can see if it's workable without losing your regular income. And if you're one of those exuberant folks who has a new business idea every other week, testing them out as side gigs can help you decide which are keepers before you go all in.  

    3. Counteract “economic uncertainty”

    Even if your finances are good now, extra income can help you prepare for whatever life throws at you later on. Having a few months' worth of living expenses saved up is always a wise move, and having extra money to invest when you're young can help you out when you're ready to retire someday. HostGator Website Builder

    Does your side hustle really need a website?

    Yes. We're admittedly pro-website here at HostGator, but these days a business without a website is a business many customers will never even know about. There are also marketing and sales advantages to doing at least some of your business online. With a website, your side hustle can:  

    1. Get found

    Most shoppers start the purchase process by searching online, and this step in their purchase process is where small businesses like a side hustle can stand out. According to new research by Microsoft, some 70% of shopping searches happen on Google, Bing, and other search engines, rather than within marketplaces like Amazon. That's good news for independent sellers, as long as you know how to get your side hustle's site to rank well in search results. If you provide local services or goods, a website is a must – and the site must be optimized for fast and easy-to-navigate mobile use. That's because a whopping 88% of “near me” searches happen on mobile devices while consumers are out and about. If they're going to find you when they're ready to do business, it will almost certainly be because of your site and SEO. Mobile shopping local search trends

    2. Establish credibility

    To buy from you, customers need to trust you, and a website is an important tool for building trust. A good site gives visitors the information they need to make a decision, including product or service details, testimonials and awards, purchase and refund policies, contact information, and more. In contrast, businesses without websites can seem shady or amateur. As Craig Reardon writes at Smart Company's Australian site, “The lack of a website will make customers question your fundamental business savvy. You just can’t be serious if you don’t have a website because it is the most basic of customer service tools.”  

    3. Build your list

    When business owners talk about their list, they're almost always referring to their email list. This is the group of customers and potential customers who've opted in to getting newsletters, promotions, and offers from you via email, which means there's real value in building your side hustle's list. Put a sign-up form on your site and create a welcome-to-the-list autoresponder email using an email marketing tool like Constant Contact. Then when you're ready to let your list know about sales and new products, all you have to do is write them up and hit send.  

    4. Sell direct

    Does your side hustle sell products you can delivery digitally or ship easily? Do you sell services that people outside your immediate area can use? If so, a website can expand your side hustle's potential customer pool far beyond your hometown. We've got the lowdown on setting up an ecommerce website and creating a portfolio site for professional services.  

    Setting up your side hustle website

    Even if you've never set up a website before, it's pretty easy to do. Set aside some of your side hustle time to think of a domain name for your site, register it, and choose a web hosting plan. If you use HostGator's WordPress hosting, you'll be able to pick a theme and customize your site in a matter of hours. By investing a small amount of time and money in a site for your sideline now, you can see a better payoff for your time and effort going forward.
  • Should You Use WordPress or a Website Builder?

    Monday, September 11, 2017 by

    Use WordPress or Site Builder

    Website Builders vs WordPress

    Building a website doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, especially with the sheer number of tools you have at your disposal today. WordPress is one of the main players in this market and powers an incredible number of websites today. Plus, there’s a huge community that supports the platform, including developers, web hosts, third-party themes, and plugins. As WordPress has continued to grow so have a series of DIY website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Both DIY website builders and using WordPress can be effective approaches to building out your website. But, the path you take depends upon your overall website needs and goals. Below we take an in-depth look at both DIY builders and the WordPress CMS, so you can decide which one is best for you.  

    What is a Website Builder?

    A website builder is typically a drag and drop website builder that lets you build a website without any coding experience. You simply drag and drop different website elements until your site is complete. Most DIY builders are equipped with beautiful and functional themes that allow you to input your own content and images and end up with a site that looks like it was designed by a professional. Some of the most popular DIY builders today include Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly, although there are dozens of different tools available. For example, HostGator includes a website builder for free with all hosting plans. HostGator Website Builder

    What is WordPress?

    WordPress began primarily as a blogging platform, but since its early days it’s transitioned into a full-fledged website building tool. It’s available in two versions, a self-hosted version and a downloadable version you can host on your own. It’s grown into a much more than a simple CMS and allows you to build any kind of site you desire. The learning curve is a little steep, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be impressed at what it allows you to accomplish. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    When to Use a DIY Builder

    DIY builders are the answer for people who want to get their first website online in the quickest manner possible. They’re equipped to help you build fairly simple websites - not large content sites or eCommerce stores. DIY builders are also all about helping you save time when building out your site. WordPress has a steeper learning curve, so it’s not the best if you want to get a site online this afternoon. With a few clicks, you can have a website online with a DIY builder. Plus, most bundle in their own hosting, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up separate hosting and making sure all of the technical elements are setup properly.  

    When to Use WordPress

    WordPress is a content-oriented site builder. With WordPress, you can build a simple blog or even a full-featured website. It takes a lot more technical skill to create the site you desire, especially in the early stages, but the additional effort can be well worth it. The types of websites you can build with WordPress are virtually unlimited. With a nearly endless amount of themes and plugins available you can customize your site and add any feature you wish. Most themes come equipped with demo content you can import, so your theme’s layout and structure will match the demo theme you chose. If you’re trying to build a large-scale site, or simply want more control over the look and feature set of your site, then WordPress is going to be a great choice.  

    Which One Is Best For Me?

    If you need a website today and you can do without any heavy features, then a DIY builder is the choice for you. With a DIY builder all you have to do is choose your template, modify the layout, upload your content, and press publish. You can have your website online in a few hours. If you have more time available and want to build a more feature-heavy site, then WordPress is a great choice. With WordPress, you’ll have more control over the final result of your site and the long-term direction of it. There are more technical elements involved, so if you don’t feel comfortable, or don’t have the time to learn about the CMS, then you may need to hire additional help to build out your site. Hopefully, the information above will help you decide upon which route to take when building out your website. Whether you end up going with a DIY builder, or WordPress, you’ll end up with an elegant and functional site.
  • How Do I Keep My Site From Going Down?

    Monday, September 4, 2017 by
    How do I keep my site from going down

    How to Diagnose and Prevent Website Downtime

    Having your website go down can be a very frustrating experience. However, just because your website goes down doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your site, or that there’s nothing you can do about it. The best way to prevent your site from going offline is to take preventative action. But, if the unfortunate does occur and your site is already offline, there are steps you can take. If you’re looking to prevent site downtime, then this post is for you. Below you’ll learn why websites go offline and what you can do about it. Don’t wait until it’s too late, implement the steps below to ensure your business doesn’t suffer due to a down website. Create Your Blog  

    Why Do Websites Go Down?

    There are myriad reasons why websites actually go offline. If there were just a single root cause, the problem would already be solved. If your site goes offline you’re not alone in the struggle, even massive sites like Facebook and Twitter do experience occasional outages from time to time. There are a few common reasons your site might be offline, if you’re experiencing site downtime, then one of the issues below could be the culprit.  

    1. Server Maintenance

    Sometimes your website will be taken offline deliberately; this isn’t a reason to worry. Web hosts have to update their server software and sometimes this can cause an interruption of service. Usually, server maintenance is done during non-peak traffic hours. But, depending upon the location of your host, this could occur during a peak time for you, however, it’s very unlikely.  

    2. Overloaded Server

    Depending upon your host your site could be down because you’re currently experiencing a traffic surge. If the hosting package you've chosen isn’t equipped to handle large volumes of traffic, then this could be the issue. However, your site can also go down if you’re utilizing a shared hosting plan and other sites on the same server are experiencing a surge in traffic. This is known as the bad neighbor effect. Most web hosts try to stop this from occurring, but it’s still possible.  

    3. Site Coding Mistake

    Technical errors can break your website and take it offline. For example, if you’re using WordPress a single missing line of code can break your site. If you’re getting an error message that isn’t related to your server, then it’s probably a mistake on your site like a plugin or theme conflict.  

    4. Site Attack

    DDoS attacks occur when a hacker sends a flood of traffic to your site in order to bring it offline. If you don’t have proper security protocols in place on the backend of your site, you’re leaving the door open for hackers to either take control, or take down your site.  

    5. Free Hosting

    If your site isn’t the problem, then there’s a good chance it’s your host. This could be because your current host can’t handle your existing traffic levels. Or, they’re just a low-quality host and have significant downtime. This happens a lot with free hosting services.  

    How to Prevent Your Site From Going Down

    Luckily, keeping your site online is mostly within your control. Below you’ll learn a few proactive measures you can take to ensure your site stays online when you need it the most.  

    1. Choose a Solid Host

    The host you choose is going to play a major role in the uptime of your website. Choose a low quality host and you’ll increase the risk of your site going offline. One of the big factors in choosing the right host is how much traffic your site receives. You’ll need a host that can handle either a steady traffic volume or huge spikes in traffic. Learn more about HostGator and our 99.9% uptime guarantee here.  

    2. Consider a CDN

    CDNs can help to improve your website in a few different arenas. CDNs can act as a buffer during times of peak traffic, and can help to deter any DDoS attacks. CDNs like Cloudflare are free to get started with and can improve most existing hosting environments.  

    3. Keep Your Site Up to Date

    If you have any themes or plugins that are out of date you run the risk of leaving your site open for attack. Make sure you’re updating both your themes and plugins on a regular basis.  

    4. Consider a Monitoring Service

    You can purchase a website monitoring service that will notify you whenever your site goes offline. If you’re not sure if your site is offline or not a service like this can help to diagnose the problem.  

    5. Keep Your Domain and Hosting Up to Date

    Sometimes, something as small as forgetting to renew your domain name or hosting can take your site down. This can be easily avoided. Make sure you set your hosting and domain names on auto-renew.  

    What to Do if Your Site Crashes?

    If the unfortunate does arise and your site crashes there are a few things you should do before panicking. Below we highlight the process you should run through.  

    1. Verify It’s Offline

    First you’ll want to verify that is indeed down. Check out your site on a different browser, or your mobile phone. Ask a friend if they can pull up your site and see if they get the same error.  

    2. Determine the Cause

    If possible, try to determine the cause of the outage. Did you forget to renew your domain or hosting? Is it a site error? Is it down due to a surge of traffic? Is it a hosting error?  

    3. Reach Out to Support

    Get in touch with your  and see if they can help you diagnose, or handle the issue. A solid host will be on your side working with you to fix the issue swiftly.  

    4. Notify Users

    If you have a large audience, or people who rely on your website, then make sure you notify them of the issue. You can do this either through email or via a post on social media. Don’t leave your users in the dark. Having a website go down happens to most of us at one time or another. Hopefully the tips above can help you avoid it from occurring, or minimize any trouble that this downtime might cause. Overall, it’s important to choose a host that’s equipped to handle your website and will be on your team if any issues do arise.