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  • How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Business

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by
    Tips for Choosing Best Domain Name

    Choose A Domain Name for Your Business

    Choosing the right domain name for your business is a big decision. Your domain name is more than the words you type into the browser, it’s the foundation for your online identity. Choose the wrong domain name and you’ll end up doing your business a disservice. But, choose the right domain name and you’ll make your online success that much easier. But, how exactly do you choose a good domain name for your blog or business? We’ve got you covered. Below you’ll learn how to choose a domain name for your business, and the most important factors in getting your domain name right  

    1. Go with “.com”

    When it comes to choosing your domain extension you’re going to have a lot of different options available. It can be tempting to go with a TLD that’s innovative and creative. However, if you can it’s always a good idea to go with .com. The .com TLD is by far the most commonly used and recognized TLD. So, people already have a built-in association with .com being the primary TLD. You can use this to your advantage and build a higher-quality brand by choosing .com You can also think of it this way. If your website does become very successful and you decided to start with something like .co, then you’d probably need to eventually purchase the .com too  

    2. Scoop up other domain extensions, too

    When you register your .com domain name, pick up top-level domain variations like .biz and .net if you can. Redirect them to your .com site so visitors who type in the wrong domain will still find your site. For example, sephora.biz, sephora.net and sephora.info all take you straight to Sephora.com. Sephora TLDs redirects

    As the number of domain names registered continues to increase, good names are becoming more and more competitive.  For this reason, it’s possible to have a competitor snatch up the “.net” or “.biz” version of your URL – even if you’ve secured the “.com” version.

    Because this can lead to lost traffic – especially if your competitors wind up outranking you in the search engine results pages – consider buying up popular TLDs (top-level domains) for your chosen domain, if they’re available.

     

    3. Keep it short

    When in doubt, make your domain as short as possible. This will help with making your brand more memorable. The fewer characters your domain has the easier it’ll be to type, say, and share with friends. Now it might be hard to find a single word domain that’s related to your business, especially today. However, consider combining two or three shorter words together to make something memorable. Plus, since more internet users today use their smartphones to browse the web, you need to make it easy for them to type your domain into their browser  

    4. Avoid “cutesy” names and abbreviations

    Don't use cute shorteners like 4U and 2U in your domain names because:
    • They're hard to remember.
    • They look unprofessional.
    • Only Prince could get away with that, and 4 real UR not Prince.
    If you think people might have trouble remembering long URLs, know that they’ll have a field day trying to remember your text-speak domain name!  Steer clear and look for alternative domain names that convey your company’s brand messaging without resorting to tricks like these.

    Domain Name

     

    5. Don't make it awkward

    Domain names don't include spaces, and using hyphens in domain names is a terrible idea, so whatever you choose shouldn't look awkward written as one word. 

    To see what we mean, consider the real-life URLs for the following legitimate company names:

    • Pen Island – “www.penisland.net”
    • IT Scrap – “www.itscrap.com”
    • Who Represents – “www.whorepresents.com”
    • Experts Exchange – “www.expertsexchange.com”
    • Speed of Art – “www.speedofart.com”
    Clearly, carefully reviewing your final selection before hitting the “Register” button is always a good idea!  

    6. Make it brandable

    Brandable means that when you see or hear your domain it sounds like a brand. By looking at your domain name your visitors should be able to intuit what your website is going to be about. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to spell out exactly what your business does with a list of keywords but instead try to capture the essence of what you do.

    When a customer sees a name like billreducer.com, they have one expectation in mind: this website is going to help me save money by reducing my bills in some way.

    Choose a name that is going to let customers know what they are in for from the moment they read it. Your site should deliver what it says on the label, and your domain name is the label.

    For example, if you sell pet supplies in Tulsa, www.tulsapetsupplies.com makes that clear to visitors in a way that, say, www.treatsandtoys.com does not.

    Don’t make it confusing for your visitors to figure out what your business does. Say it all with a great domain name.  

    7. Choose a domain that's easy to remember

    Customers will find your website URL on flyers, newsletters, search queries, and other websites so making the address stick is key.

    Memorable domain names are often short, clever, and avoid trendy humor, hyphens or numbers. The longer or more complicated the domain name, the less likely it is to stick. A good rule of thumb is if you saw the domain name on a delivery-truck sign, could you remember it later?

    Think obvious, catchy, unique, and memorable. Do a quick analysis of your favorite domain names and see what makes them stand out, and incorporate those elements you like into your own business domain name.  

    8. Stay clear of copyright issues

    If you’re pretty much settled on a domain name, then you need to spend some time looking into the past of your domain. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • Have there been any associated domain names that have a negative public opinion?
    • Does your domain name contain any words that have a double meaning?
    • Are there any existing trademark issues with the words used in your domain?
    The last thing you want is to find and register the perfect domain name, only to realize that your domain is creating brand confusion, or that you’re accidentally stepping on someone’s trademark. Double-check social media, too. You want to make sure any relevant social media handles are still available. This will help you build brand consistency and make it that much easier for your visitors to find your business on social media.  

    9. Unlock the power of keywords

    Internet search is based on a framework of keywords and phrases when indexing addresses and sites, so why not take advantage of this when choosing your domain name?

    Brainstorm keywords related to your organization and use these in shaping your chosen name. For example, your butcher's shop might name meat, butcher, smoked, cured, savory, friendly, and service as descriptive keywords for your business. An appropriate name might then be SavoryService.com or TheSmilingButcher.com. Either domain respects the fact that search engines work off of such keywords when indexing and fetching information for users, while providing a description of what customers can expect in the process.

    What keywords do people use to search for businesses like yours? Use them in your domain name if you can.  

    10. Protect your privacy

    When you register your domain, the rules of the internet require that you give your
    • real name
    • home or business address
    • email address
    • phone number
    Anyone online can find that information through the global WHOIS database. Don't want randos looking up your contact info? Sign up for HostGator’s WHOIS privacy service when you register. We’ll replace your private information with ours. HostGator Domain Privacy Protection  

    Ready to register?

    It only takes one click to check if your dream domain name is available. Once you've found the right name and made sure it's available, it takes just a few minutes to buy and register it. 

    Check now to see if your domain name is available today.

  • How to Transfer a Domain Name

    Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by

    Changing Name Servers

    How To Transfer A Domain Name

    There are a variety of reasons you’ll need to transfer your domain name. Maybe you’re not satisfied with your current host or domain registrar, and you’d like to switch. Or, maybe you’re just trying to bring all of your domains under one roof, so it’s easier to manage. Whatever your reason transferring a domain name doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. If you registered your own domain the first time, then you have the skills required to transfer that same domain name. Below we walk you through the process of transferring your domain name. Follow the steps below and you’ll be able to easily transfer your domain.  

    When You Can’t Transfer a Domain Name

    Before we jump in, it’s important to cover this point. There are certain situations where you won’t be able to transfer a domain name. If you’ve done any of the following tasks, then you won’t be able to transfer for 60 days.
    1. You’ve just registered or transferred the domain name you’d like to transfer
    2. You’ve just updated the contact organization or information of the domain
    3. You’ve just updated the contact's first or last name, without having an organization listed
    4. Your domain isn’t 60 days old yet.
    This has to do with ICAAN’s transfer policy to ensure the safe transfer and ownership of domain names. If you’re interested you can learn more about their policies here. If none of the above apply to you, then you can start to initiate the domain transfer via the steps below. register domain name

    How to Transfer a Domain Name

    The steps below will show you how to transfer your domain name to HostGator. If you’re switching to another registrar then you’ll be in communication with the registrar you’re switching to, however, the steps will be very similar.  

    1. Prepare to Transfer

    Before you begin the transfer there are a few things you’ll need to do first. There are a variety of protection protocols in place to ensure that your domain remains secure, so you’ll need to disable these shields in order to make it ready to transfer.
    1. Update your current name servers to reflect the nameservers of your new registrar.
    2. Disable the WHOIS privacy, if it’s currently enabled.
    3. Make sure that your WHOIS and domain contact information is up to date.
    4. Unlock your domain just before you begin the transfer.
    5. Make sure your domain isn’t going to expire while the transfer is taking place.
    6. Obtain your EPP authorization code. If you can’t find this get in touch with the support team at your current domain registrar.
    With all of the above steps completed, you’re now ready to initiate the transfer of your domain.  

    2. Starting the Domain Transfer

    To get started with the transfer process, navigate to the HostGator domain transfer page. Enter your domain and the tool will run through the pre-transfer checklist to make sure you’ve completed all of the steps required. If there are any issues you’ll see a pop-up window that will show you how to fix each issue, so you can proceed with the transfer.

    3. Complete Your Purchase

    If your domain satisfies all of the conditions above then you’ll need to purchase your new domain at your current registrar and the transfer processes will begin. If you’re transferring to HostGator, then all you’ll need to do is click the ‘Continue to Checkout’ button. Here you’ll accept the terms of service, create a new account, and make sure all of your contact information is correct. Next, click on the ‘Place Your Order’ button and the transfer process will begin.  

    4. Verify the Transfer

    The final step in the transfer process is to verify the transfer. Go to your email inbox of the email address that’s currently associated with your domain. You’ll see a verification email where you’ll enter your EPP key. Enter that authorization code and the process will begin automatically.  

    Common Domain Transfer Issues

    There are a few common issues that’ll interrupt the domain transfer process. Take care of these issues beforehand and the transfer process will go off without a hitch:
    1. You haven’t setup your account at your new registrar. Make sure that you’ve chosen a plan and your payment has been received by your new registrar before you being the transfer process.
    2. Your contact information isn’t up to date. You’ll receive a confirmation email that the transfer has begun through your email addresses that are connected to the domain. Make sure these are current, otherwise you won’t be able to confirm the transfer and get the process started.
    3. Your domain is still locked. Make sure you go through the ‘Prepare to Transfer’ protocols in step one above to ensure that your domain is unlocked and ready to transfer.
    4. Your EPP code expired. Make sure you generate your EPP authorization code as soon as you’re about to start the transfer process, as the codes will expire if not used within a specific time frame.
    Typically, the domain transfer process will take around 7 days. If it’s been longer than that, then get in touch with the support team at your current registrar to see if there are any issues holding up the process. In some cases, your registrar will transfer a domain for you for free when you sign up for a new account. If you’re interested in this, then check out the details here. Learning how to transfer a domain doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow the steps above and your current domain will be transferred to a new registrar. Hopefully, the post above has been useful in walking you through the process and helping to ensure the transfer process doesn’t take longer than it should.  
  • What You Need To Know About Gutenberg

    Thursday, March 22, 2018 by
    What You Need to Know About Gutenberg WordPress

    What You Need to Know About Gutenberg

    If you’re in tune with the latest WordPress developments, then chances are you’ve heard of Gutenberg. This editor is set to replace the current backend editor. It’s currently going through beta testing and exists in plugin form, for those who want to get used to the editor before it becomes a stock WordPress feature. Below we explore what the Gutenberg update is all about, what the update hopes to accomplish and address the most common concerns and questions regarding Gutenberg. best WordPress hosting

    What is Gutenberg?

    Essentially, Gutenberg is a new WordPress text editor. The name comes from the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. This invention revolutionized the written word, and WordPress is hoping to do the same to the WordPress editor. The goal of this addition is to make adding rich content to your WordPress site a simple and intuitive process. Instead of the classic post editor, you’ll be creating content with blocks. Instead of creating text-based content along with shortcodes and custom HTML to customize the look and feel, these blocks will be arranged on an individual basis There’s a lot that Gutenberg is going to introduce to WordPress, but the main elements are highlighted below:  

    1. It Currently Exists in Plugin Form

    Today, Gutenberg exists in plugin form. It currently has a couple thousand installs and a pretty low star rating. However, these ratings need to take into account the version being reviewed won’t be the final version of Gutenberg. This update will come into effect with the launch of WordPress 5.0. gutenberg plugin

    2. It Makes Adding Content Blocks and Embeds Easy

    One of the core elements of this update are including content blocks and making embeds easy. The goal of these content blocks is to simplify the site customization process. You’ll have access to common content blocks like paragraphs, headers, and images, along with text formatting blocks, layout blocks, and widgets. In terms of embeds, you’ll be able to quickly and easily add media from various sites to your existing site, like Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Reddit, and a lot more.  

    3. It Includes Drag-and-Drop Functionality

    Existing website builders make creating your website a very intuitive process. To build and customize your site with these you don’t have to utilize shortcodes, widgets, custom HTML, or plugins. With the Gutenberg update, all you have to learn about and utilize are content blocks. You’ll be able to add content elements by dragging and dropping and will be similar to the Medium post editor. These blocks will allow you to accomplish all the same tasks without having to master and integrate things like plugins, shortcodes, and widgets.  

    Why The Switch to Gutenberg?

    The shift to Gutenberg marks a change in the future of WordPress releases. From now on WordPress releases will focus on adding more features that make writing and publishing much simpler. The goal will be eventually to minimize the use of third-party plugins and instead incorporate those features into the WordPress core itself. Currently, the WordPress community is divided about Gutenberg. You can see this in action by browsing through the reviews of the plugin. However, it’s important to remember that the current plugin form of Gutenberg isn’t the final form. The user experience and feature set will definitely evolve over time. Most of the criticism aimed at Gutenberg is directed towards this unfinished version.  

    Common Gutenberg Questions

    Since Gutenberg is still in the testing phase there are naturally going to be a lot of questions and concerns. We address some of the most common questions below.   When will it roll out? Gutenberg will roll out with the WordPress 5.0 update, however, it’s difficult to pin down an exact release date for the update will occur. However, the updated is slated for sometime this year.   Can I still use the classic editor? The Gutenberg editor will become the default editor. However, there are already some plugins that’ll overwrite the Gutenberg changes like, Classic Editor. Gutenberg will have an option called Classic Editor, which will mimic the look of the current post and page editor.   How will it be integrated into WordPress? There’s been a lot of talk and feedback regarding the integration of Gutenberg. Some have suggested that it be incorporated into Jetpack. However, all signs point towards Gutenberg replacing the standard TinyMCE editor completely for a seamless page and post building experience.   What about existing plugins? Gutenberg will change how certain WordPress plugins are developed and integrate with the post editor. Most plugins will have to be updated; however those that do will be at a huge advantage, and it could make development easier due to the flexibility of the block system.  

    In Closing

    Eventually, the Gutenberg editor will replace the classic WordPress text editor. If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve and understand how to use Gutenberg before it becomes standard, then you can install the plugin and get a feel for how it works. Time will tell the impacts and success of the Gutenberg project. It has the potential to revolutionize how content is created and edited within WordPress, but it’ll definitely change how things are done in the backend. One thing is for certain; Gutenberg will shape the future of WordPress for years to come.
  • VPS vs. Cloud Hosting for Your New Website?

    Monday, March 5, 2018 by
    VPS vs Cloud Hosting

    Cloud Hosting vs VPS

    When the time comes to choose your web host you’re probably going to have a ton of questions. Hosting can seem a little complicated. You have cloud hosting, shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and you have dozens of hosting companies to choose from as well. Yikes! With this post, we hope to reduce a little bit of that confusion and narrow in on two different types of hosting: cloud and VPS. As you’ll soon learn, each of these types come with distinct advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading to learn more about cloud hosting vs. VPS, so you can determine which one will be the best fit for your website.  

    What Is VPS Hosting?

    VPS servers are also known as Virtual Private Servers. This style of hosting is essentially one physical server, which is then divided into several smaller virtual servers. Each one of these virtual servers acts as its own dedicated server environment. Since you have your own dedicated section of the server, you have your own set of allocated resources and can customize and configure your server partition exactly the way you want. Plus, there’s no exchange of data or file access between accounts on the VPS server. However, they can tend to be less reliable because if one physical server fails, then every VPS using that server fails as well. Their performance can also vary if one site happens to be hogging resources on the physical server.  

    Who Should Use VPS Hosting? 

    Virtual Private Server hosting is great for users looking for more control over their website, with the technical skills to set up a customized environment.

    Get started with HostGator VPS hosting!

     

    Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting

    A VPS can be a great choice for website users who have outgrown their shared hosting plan. However, it’s not perfect for every kind of website out there. Below we look at the pros and cons of VPS hosting, so you can make an educated decision. VPS can be heavily customized. They’re similar to a dedicated server in that you have root access to the server and have control over the OS and server software. However, there may be some limits imposed due to the physical server configuration. VPS also tends to have very high performance, as you’re guaranteed a certain amount of server resources. However, you’ll probably be limited to an extent by the physical machine. Plus, there’s the chance your performance can be affected by other sites using the same physical machine, or when you push up against your plan limits. A VPS isn’t the most scalable solution. Sure, you’re guaranteed a certain amount of server resources, but it’ll be difficult to scale your site quickly and your existing host might not be able to handle any traffic surges, depending upon the volume. Lastly, a VPS is incredibly secure. It’s not quite as secure as dedicated hosting, but it does beat out shared hosting. Your VPS will operate independently of any other sites sharing the same physical server, but there’s a chance that poor security of another site could affect your own.  

    What Is Cloud Hosting?

    Cloud servers are similar to a VPS hosting environment. The key difference is that instead of having a single server that’s dedicated to your site (as is the case with VPS), the resources are spread out amongst a bunch of different physical machines. With cloud hosting, you have a network of potentially unlimited virtual machines. All of these virtual machines rely upon an underlying network of physical servers. With all of these virtual machines connected together, you’re basically creating one massive VPS. With a cloud hosting platform, you benefit from the use of multiple servers, so you have more available resources at your disposal. You can increase the power of your server whenever you’d like to meet varying traffic needs. While cloud hosting offers more flexibility than VPS hosting, it doesn’t allow for quite as much customization.  

    Who Should Use Cloud Hosting?

    Cloud hosting is a great choice for website owners who need the flexibility that cloud hosting provides, to enable increased performance to meet surges in traffic.

    Get started with HostGator cloud hosting!

     

    Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting

    Cloud hosting is a great option for website owners who want a scalable and high performing host behind them. Cloud hosting comes with a lot of benefits, but it’s not perfect for every style of website, as you’ll see below. Cloud hosting offers you decent customization options. However, you may be limited due to the sheer amount of servers you need to distribute the settings across. Configuring your hosting setup to get the most out of your network also might require some technical skills. Cloud hosting truly shines in its ability to scale. Essentially you’ll have an entire network or servers to tap at a moments notice for additional storage, or to meet rising traffic needs. Also, due to the high availability of servers, you’ll have very high uptime and great performance. If a physical server failure ever occurs then your site will be switched to another server. Your cloud hosting environment will also be very secure and will be separated from other users on the same physical server network. However, since your host is entirely web-based this does make it more vulnerable to attacks.  

    VPS Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting: What’s Best For My Website?

    The biggest difference between the two server environments is scale. If you’re looking to launch as quickly as possible and don’t care about scale, then a VPS server can be a great starting point. However, if you demand a flexible hosting setup and a high level of site performance and storage then it’s worth checking out a cloud hosting environment. With cloud hosting you get access to a near unlimited supply of server resources. For sites with variable traffic levels, or sites that are scaling quickly, then cloud hosting can be the perfection solution. Cloud hosting offers you great server power and ultimate flexibility, from resources usage to pricing. Overall, VPS hosting will be less efficient and limited in its level of resources available to your site. However, it’s a great fit for people who simply want to launch a website and have outgrown the limits of their shared hosting environment. A VPS is powerful and does offer improved performance, however the chances of your site going offline, or running into a resource issue is higher with VPS hosting, than cloud hosting. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner
  • What Is Private Cloud Hosting?

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by
    what is private cloud hosting

    What Is Private Cloud Hosting?

    More and more businesses are turning to cloud-based solutions for their hosting needs. Two of the main types of cloud hosting include public cloud and private cloud hosting. Public cloud is the most common form of cloud hosting, however, private cloud hosting does have a specific purpose, which you’ll learn about below. Below we explore what private cloud hosting is, along with the advantages and disadvantages of going private, so you can make the best hosting decision for your business.  

    What is Private Cloud Hosting?

    At its core, private cloud hosting offers the same level of flexibility, scalability, and performance of the public cloud, but it also offers you greater levels of control and security. The two main methods of private cloud hosting are in-house or hosted at a provider’s data center. Most businesses will end up opting for the second option as it’s more cost-effective and won’t require you to maintain a full-time IT staff just to manage your servers. Typically the server network for private cloud hosting won’t be as vast as the public server network. This is especially true if you’re running your own private cloud network in-house. Often, a private cloud hosting network will instead operate in clusters. You’ll have multiple different servers that are running simultaneous versions of your website, and resources can be drawn from various sources as they are needed.

    Advantages of Private Cloud Hosting

    Private cloud hosting will offer you most of the benefits of public cloud hosting, but on top of that, it’ll give you much more control and security. Private clouds can be created in a myriad of ways to help support large-scale businesses that require higher levels of security. Going in-house with your private cloud hosting will offer you the highest levels of security. However, if you decide to utilize a hosting provider for your private cloud hosting you’ll still end up with higher levels of control and security than going with the public cloud. Private cloud hosting is essentially an upgraded version of public cloud hosting and offers you benefits like:
    1. Heightened levels of security. Unlike public shared hosting you won’t be sharing the physical server environments with anyone else. This creates an incredibly secure network on multiple levels.
    2. Improved customization options. Since you’re the only user on your server setup you’ll be able to completely customize it to your liking, including server hardware, software, operating system, and more.
    3. Extremely reliable. Cloud hosting networks are already very reliable. With a private cloud hosting network there’s no chance of your site being brought down by other sites on the network.
     

    Disadvantages of Private Cloud Hosting

    Private cloud hosting can be a great hosting choice for a variety of business owners, but it’s not perfect for everyone. For starters, it’ll be much more expensive for the initial setup, particularly if you’re going in-house with your private servers. Plus, if you’re outsourcing to a third-party provider then you’ll essentially be paying for the use of multiple dedicated servers to run your cloud network on top of. Beyond the initial setup, you might have higher fees related to server maintenance, upgrades, and management as well. This is especially true if you’re going to be purchasing and managing your own servers, instead of relying on a cloud hosting provider. Finally, with the heightened levels of security that a private cloud host offers, this can create some issues with remote access and mobile users accessing your server environment. But if you require very high security standards, then this is a trade off you’ll have to make.  

    What Kind of Business Will Benefit From Private Cloud Hosting?

    Private cloud hosting will be much more time-, money-, and resource-intensive to setup and manage. However, you’ll also be getting very high performance, security, customization and flexibility that is hard to get with other types of hosting. The biggest determining factor in choosing public vs. private cloud hosting is your overall budget and hosting goals. Even sites that receive a high volume of traffic might not need the improved levels of control and security offered by private cloud hosting. If your site deals with sensitive customer and user information, then you could probably benefit from a private cloud hosting setup. Not only will you have higher levels of security, but also you’ll be able to easily manage all your data as you see fit. Overall, if you’ve been thinking about using a dedicated server, but want increased flexibility, then going with a private cloud hosting environment can be the solution you’ve been looking for. Private cloud hosting can be a great solution for high-level businesses that need a scalable and reliable hosting choice, and have the cash flow to support such a high-level network. Hopefully you have a greater understanding of how private and public cloud networks differ, so you can choose the right option for your business. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner