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  • A Guide To Conducting A Website Safety Check

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    website safety check

    A Guide To Conducting A Website Safety Check

    Most people will think that hacking will never happen to their website until it does. Most people only think about their site’s security once their site has been compromised. But, security is something you’ll want to take seriously from the beginning. You never know when hackers could be trying to force their way into your website. To ensure that your site’s security standards are up to date, and you don’t have any existing security issues it’s important to do a website safety check. Below we’ll walk you through the process of doing a site security check.  

    How Your Website Can Be Attacked

    Simply having a website live on the internet means that it’s prone to a lot of risks. Here are the most common forms of attacks you’ll want to be aware of and protect yourself against:
    • DDoS — This type of attack will flood your site with traffic and service requests, which will overwhelm your site and bring it offline.
    • Brute force — This attack uses an application that cycles through password combinations until it finds one that works, and the hacker will have unlimited access to your site.
    • Malware — Malware covers things like viruses, worms, spyware, and more. This type of attack and can steal your information, erase your website data, and even infect people who visit your site.
    • Injection — An injection uses malicious data or some kind of command that will make your site give the hacker access to sensitive information.
    • Scripting — Cross-site scripting lets hackers hijack your website’s traffic, or change it in some way.
    Simply having knowledge of the above types of attacks isn’t enough. You need to proactively protect your website and any users who are interacting with it. Below you’ll learn how to conduct a website safety check to ensure your current site is secure, and take steps to protect from any future attacks. HostGator SiteLock Malware Protection

    Conducting a Website Security Check

    The goal of a security check is to identify any security vulnerabilities before they become actual issues. After all, you can only fix security issues if you know they’re there in the first place. Follow the steps below to find and fix and existing security holes.  

    1. Update Your Current Site

    Before you begin doing any security checks it’s a good idea to update your current website. If you’re running WordPress, then make sure your WordPress core, themes, and plugins are all up to date. This will help keep you safe from existing vulnerabilities that the updates have been created to protect against.  

    2. Remove Any Older Accounts

    If you’ve been running your site for a while, then you might have some user accounts that are no longer in use. These accounts might have weaker passwords and be easier to crack, or they might belong to people no longer associated with your site. Go through any accounts that have access to your site and delete them, or change the user permissions, so they don’t have access to the entire backend of your site.  

    3. Do a Security Scan

    Now, it’s time to run your site through an online security scanner to check for any issues. There are a variety of both paid and free tools you can use. If you’re just getting started with optimizing your security, then you can use one of the free tools below: Input your URL into any of the above tools. The software will check your site for any known security issues and give you a report that shows things you can fix. securi site scan   4. Fix Any Issues If any issues are detected, then fix these as soon as you can. The free tools above will only give you a quick check to known errors. If you want a detailed report, then you’ll have to pay for an in-depth security screen. If you use HostGator for your web hosting, we recommend Sitelock. However, the free scan will be enough for most website owners.  

    5. Use an Ongoing Solution

    Even if the scan above revealed that your website is secure and free of malware and other issues, it’s still a good idea to take the steps for ongoing site protection. There are a variety of tools out there that will regularly protect your site, and do regular malware scans, and backups in case something unfortunate happens. If you’re a WordPress user, there are a few security plugins you should consider:  

    Secure Your Site. It's Important.

    Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the common ways your site can become compromised, and the steps you can take to improve your site’s security.
  • 5 Reasons To Shorten Your URL Structure

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    reasons to shorten your url structure

    5 Reasons To Shorten Your URLs

    Your URL is one of the most fundamental aspects of your SEO. However, it’s such a small task it can be easy to overlook. Chances are you’ve come across a website where the URL screamed spam, but it was just a regular site. Or, maybe you haven’t taken the time to optimize your own URLs and you’re giving off the same vibe. Your URL is one of the first things your website visitors will see. Even though it’s subtle, it will go a long way towards making a good first impression. Below we explore five reasons you’ll want to shorten and optimize your URL structure and show you how to do just that. register domain name

    5 Reasons Why Shorter URLs Are Better

    Before we dive in it’s important to note that we’re not going to be talking about using URL shorteners. These tools help you generate a short and clickable URL that can be used for tracking and monitoring other metrics. Instead, we’ll be focusing on the benefits of cleaning up and shortening the structure of your existing URLs, and the benefits your site will receive when you do just that.  

    1. Improved Search Engine Rankings

    The structure of your URL will influence your site’s rankings. It is not a direct ranking signal, but it does carry important qualities, which can end up influencing your rankings. For example, by including your keyword in your URL you give Google and your readers a better idea of what your page is about. You don’t want to go crazy and stuff your URLs will all kinds of keywords. But, by using your target keyword it’ll give the search engines and your user's cues to the topic of your page. The chances are high that most pages ranking at the top of Google will have the keyword within the URL.  For example, check out the search results for the term “affiliate marketing”. Every single top ranking post has the keyword “affiliate marketing” within the URL: google search results for affiliate marketing showing URL

    2. Greater User Trust

    Like we mentioned in the introduction, sites that have long URLs filled with strange characters just look spammy. With a clean URL, your site looks much more authoritative and trustworthy. Try to have all of your site’s URLs pass the readability test. Read your URL out loud. Does it sound confusing, or you can generally guess what the page is going to be about? This also includes minimizing the use of any subdomains and subfolders. The cleaner your URL reads, the more likely your users are to trust your website.  

    3. Enables Easier Site Growth

    As you expand your site you’re probably going to have multiple categories, pages, and sections of your website. By shortening and simplifying your URL structure you’ll make navigating and expanding your site much simpler. If you have long and confusing URLs it’ll be harder for the search engine bots to crawl your site, and you’ll have greater difficulty creating a logical and intrusive website experience. With short and simple categories and URLs expanding your site will be easy.  

    4. Shorter URLs Make Sharing Easier

    With a shorter URL, you’re making it easier for your readers to share your content. Think about it, if you have a long and confusing URL this will not only look weird when shared across Facebook, Pinterest, or in an email, but it’ll be less memorable. What are you most likely to share? http://example.com/shoes ohttp://example.com/all-the-shoes/red-shoes/pageone.jghfp=p6 I’m guessing you’d go with the first one every single time.  

    5. Align Your Content With User Expectations

    Another aspect of shortening and optimizing your URLs has to do with user expectations. You want your URLs to give insight into what your page is about. Typically, you’ll want to match your page title and your URL structure. They don’t have to be a perfect match, but you’ll want your reader to come to a logical conclusion about the topic of the page. For example, if you have a post called The 10 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes of All Time, your URL could be yoursite.com/best-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipes. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s short, simple, and relates to the topic of the main page. Your URL will create an expectation for your page, and your page’s headline and content will deliver on that expectation. Creating a solid user experience through and through.  

    Make Your Life Easier with a Shorter URL Structure

    Overall, shortening and improving your URL structure doesn’t have to be difficult. When shortening your own URLs just think logically. Ask yourself, what would make sense for this URL? And of course, if you’ve done your keyword research, then use those keywords for your posts and pages. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why you want to simply and shorten your existing URLs, and a few crucial elements to include.
  • Introduction to Social Analytics [FREE Ebook]

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    social analytics ebook

    Free Ebook: Introduction to Social Analytics

    You know it’s important for your business to have a presence on social media, but figuring out what you’re doing on there is an ongoing challenge. Each social media platform is unique and requires its own approach and strategy. And no matter what you do when you’re just starting out, there will be room for improvement. The only way to learn how to get better as you go is to pay attention to what works. The way to do that is with social analytics. If you’re just starting to venture into social media marketing for your business, our ebook on social analytics provides all the information you need on how to access social media analytics and what to do with them.  Click here to download now or keep reading to learn more about what you'll learn in this FREE ebook.  

    What Are Social Analytics?

    All of the major social media platforms offer data on how people interact with the posts and content you share. Some of the information they provide is fairly basic, like showing you how many people viewed or liked a post you published. Some of it goes deeper, providing demographic data on the people who interact with your posts or details about their behavior on the platform. All of this information can be put to use to strengthen your social media strategy and get better results for the time you spend on social media, but only if you know where to find it, and how to use it.  

    Why Social Analytics Matter

    There are thousands of blog posts and articles out there about how to do social media marketing well. And they’re a good place to start. Knowing the best practices and seeing examples of what has worked for other brands does help in establishing a solid plan when getting started. But ultimately, you don’t need to know what works on social media for another brand or media property – you need to know what works for your audience. The best way to figure that out will never be someone else’s blog post; you have to turn to your own social analytics for that.  

    What You’ll Learn When You Download the Ebook

    This ebook delves into how to access social analytics data for the five main social media platforms:
    •      Facebook
    •      Twitter
    •      Instagram
    •      LinkedIn
    •      YouTube
    While there’s a lot of overlap in the kind of information each platform provides, each one supplies a different dashboard and layout for finding the analytics they make available. Once you’ve found the analytics, you’ll need to understand what you’re looking at. Our Social Analytics Ebook also covers the most important categories of data the platforms offer and why each one is valuable to users.  

    Download Now

    You know from running your website how important analytics are to analyzing what’s working and what’s not. You’d never know if your website was doing its job or not without useful metrics that show you how people find and interact with your pages. Social analytics do the same job for your social media profiles. With their help, you can optimize your social media efforts to make sure you’re reaching the right people, at the right times, with messaging and content they’re likely to appreciate. Download the Social Analytics for Business ebook to learn all the basics you need for success on social media.
  • The 7 Best Domain Name Suggestion Tools

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    best domain name suggestion tools

    Best Domain Name Suggestion Tools

    Maybe you’ve come up with the perfect domain name. You’re unbelievably excited until you head over to a domain name registrar and find that your dream domain is gone. Choosing the right domain name is the first step in building your new site. But, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your website name and associated domain it needs to be catchy, short, memorable, and relate to what your website is about. If you’re stuck during the brainstorming phase or want a tool to help simplify the process, then this post is for you. register domain name

    Best Domain Name Suggestion Tools

    Below we highlight the best domain name suggestion tools to help you find the perfect domain name.  

    1. Namestation

    namestation Namestation is a pretty cool tool. You enter the niche of the type of website you’re building, and the keywords you’d like in your domain, then let the tool do its thing. You can also check the box that says "I need an available domain", and the tool will only show you domains that are currently available for purchase. If you want to get the feedback of the community, then you can create an account and hold a contest. Once you create your content all the community members will be notified and vote on their favorite entries. You’ll be notified once 10 people have cast their votes.  

    2. Domainsbot

    domainsbot Domainsbot is a unique tool in that it gives you a lot of different search options. First, you’ll be able to search for something similar to an existing website, like "meditation.com," or you can enter a keyword or series of keywords like "learn meditation." With your seed domains or keywords in place, the tool will give you an initial domain list. You can filter this further by searching only for specific TLDs, languages, synonyms, and more. This tool will also search for expired domains and domains that are currently owned by third-parties and selling for higher prices via marketplaces like Sedo.  

    3. NameTumbler

    nametumbler NameTumbler lets you enter a series of different keywords. The tool will then find various keyword and topic combinations to help you find a great domain name. You can also choose to look for domain combinations that use a certain TLD like .com or .net. Then, you’ll be given a list of potential domain names to choose from.  

    4. Domainr

    domainr Domainr kind of acts like a search engine. You input your keyword, or series of keywords into the search bar, and choose your domain from the drop-down list. You’ll see the domains that are available highlighted in green, which you can purchase today. This tool will show you results that have a variety of different domain name extensions. Although some of them aren’t as great as the classic .com, you might be able to find something short and very brandable.  

    5. Lean Domain Search

    lean domain search Lean Domain Search does exactly what it sounds like, it helps you discover a short and simple domain name. Just enter your chosen keyword into the tool and you’ll get an entire list of domains that feature that keyword. If it’s a popular keyword then you’ll find modifiers either before or after your keyword. The best part about this tool is the volume of results it provides. Just for a single search, you’ll have hundreds of options for potential domain names.  

    6. Nameboy

    nameboy Nameboy will help you find the perfect domain name based upon your target keywords. You can enter either one or two keywords to uncover a unique domain that combines the two. The results will give you around 30 different results and show which of the domains using your keywords are still available. The results will show you results for domains with the .com, .net. .org, and .info extensions. The best part about these domain results are that the tool will keep them as simple as possible, so you won’t end up choosing a long and difficult to remember domain.  

    7. Panabee

    panabee Panabee will provide you with a massive selection of domain name choices based upon the keywords you’ve provided. You’ll get a ton of results that include multiple varieties and combinations of your keywords, plus a lot more. With each domain, you’ll also see the price for purchasing the domain. There are even additional sections that provide related keyword domains and also show which social media names are available if you want to build a cohesive online presence.  

    Ready to Get Your Domain Name?

    Hopefully, the seven tools above will help you uncover the domain name of your dreams. then, once you've settled on a domain name, you can purchase it easily with HostGator!  get custom domain name from hostgator Remember that choosing your domain name isn’t something you’ll want to rush. Use your own creativity and the tools above to land on a domain you can build a successful website around.
  • How Much Is My Website Worth?

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    how much is your website worth knowing when to sell your website

    How Much Is My Website Worth - Knowing When To Sell

    You’ve put a lot of time and energy into your website. After another long day of typing away at your keyboard and working away at your website, you’re probably wondering, what’s the end goal? Some people create websites for the love of it, or as a necessity for their small business. Some people create sites with the goal to eventually sell their site down the road. Have you ever thought about selling your site and asked yourself the question, "How much is my website worth?" This post is for you. Below we’ll show you how to determine how much your website is worth, so you can answer the question, should I sell my website? register domain name

    Should You Sell Your Website?

    If your website has been generating consistent revenue, then it is up to you whether you want to continue that monthly income, or try and cash out for a lump sum payment. Ultimately, choosing to sell your website is up to you. If you’ve been generating consistent revenue, have decreased expenses as much as possible, and optimized your revenue streams, then you’re in a solid position to sell. If this sounds like you, then it could be time to sell your site:
    • You feel like your site has reached it’s potential, both in income and traffic.
    • You feel bored with your current site or frustrated that it’s still taking up your time.
    • You want to cash out and move onto other opportunities.
    Selling your site should be something you’re excited about and not something you feel forced or pressured into.  

    How Much is Your Website Worth?

    There isn’t a way to determine the exact amount you’ll get for your website. But, you can get a general range that’ll be pretty close to what you can expect to get for the sale. To get a sense for how much your website is worth you’ll multiply your monthly or yearly profit times a certain multiple. How large that multiple is depends upon what kind of site you run, its legacy of income, its traffic sources, and a lot more. The general equation is: (your monthly revenue) multiplied by (a factor of 24-36). However, this multiple will vary based upon a variety of factors. Below we explore how you can both determine and increase the amount you’ll get for the sale:
    • Your Net Profit — How much does your website actually make? What’s your yearly or monthly net profit after expenses? The higher this number the better.
    • Long-Term Profit — Have you been consistently generating revenue for years? Or, are you experiencing an income spike? Buyers like to see steady, or increasing income, month after month.
    • Multiple Revenue Streams — How many revenue streams do you have? If you rely on a single revenue stream your site could be risky. While if you’re diversified across things like your own product income, advertising, and affiliate products, you’ll get a higher multiple.
    • Multiple Traffic Streams — If your site relies on a single traffic source it could be risky if that dries up. Having a site solely based on SEO can net you more cash than an advertising-based site. But, the more traffic sources available the better.
    • External Factors — Do you have an engaged email list? How about active social media channels? These aren’t necessary, but they can help to improve the overall value of a sale.
    • Time Required to Run — Does your site require you to work a 50-hour week? Or, is it optimized where you only need to put in an hour or less per day? The less time your site requires to run the more it’ll be worth.
    If you want to get an accurate representation of how much your current site is worth then check out the Empire Flippers valuation tool. It uses the criteria above and more to give you a general valuation of your existing site.  

    How to Sell Your Website

    Although you can technically sell your website to anyone at any time, the recommended approach is to go through a website broker. This will help get your site in front of potential buyers and help to ensure the safe transfer of your site and payment. The three most common places to sell your site are highlighted below:  

    1. Flippa

    flippa Flippa is an auction site where people can place bids on your website. You can list your site for a certain amount, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get that amount, or that it will sell at all. They currently have around a 10% sell rate for the websites listed. You can think of it like a marketplace that’s similar to eBay. Typically, sites that are sold on Flippa end up selling for smaller amounts, however, there have been some larger deals processed through the platform.  

    2. Empire Flippers

    empire filppers Empire Flippers acts as a partner in helping you sell your site. They help to walk you through the entire process, get your website in front of serious buyers, and even transfer over the site to the new owner, so you don’t have to. You can expect to pay a higher fee than listing your site on Flippa. But, if you’re selling a high-quality site, and you want it done right, then they’re worth checking out.  

    3. FE International

    fe international FE International is an online brokerage that helps you sell your website and online business. They will work with you side by side the entire time and make it as easy as possible to sell your website or online business. With a 94.1% success rate, the chances of selling your website are high, as long as it’s high-quality.  

    Is Your Website Worth Selling?

    Hopefully, you have a better idea of when you should sell your site, how to determine how much it’s worth, and where you should consider listing your site for sale.